Overall rating: 9/10
Location: Portland, Oregon
Last fall my wife and I met my in-laws for a few days in Portland. It was actually a surprise for my brother and father-in-law. Because of limited award availability from Arcata, I opted to arrive a day early (’cause who wants a 6:00 a.m. flight?). I picked the Hyatt House Portland for our one night.
I used 12,000 Hyatt points to cover the night. Cash price was $205, so we were getting 1.7 cents per point. This has since become my base valuation of Hyatt points. Others peg them at 1.4 or 1.5, but everything depends on location, season, day of the week, etc. The Hyatt House Portland often goes for as low as $130. Redeeming points wouldn’t be as lucrative at that price point.
One thing I noticed when booking was how few reviews the hotel had. This was because it opened only 3 months before we stayed.
Arriving at the Hyatt House Portland
I knew my in-laws were renting a car that could fit the 5 of us, so we used public transportation to reach the hotel. It is located just to the south of downtown, near the University.
Public transit to the hotel is easy. We had to make a single transfer from TriMet light rail (leaves from PDX airport) to a Portland Streetcar. There is a streetcar stop literally next to the hotel.
The other cool thing was that the hotel is kitty corner to the Marriott Residence Inn, at which we would be staying with my in-laws when they arrived. Super convenient.
Check in was easy. We didn’t receive an upgrade, but I didn’t really expect to as a lowly Hyatt Platinum. Anyhow, from what I knew of Hyatt House hotels in general, every room is an upgrade since they all have kitchens and are considered “suites”.
Hyatt House Portland studio kitchen suite
Our points got us a standard studio kitchen suite. You can also be booked into a den guest room. Luckily the suite was available for our dates.
Walking into the room, it was love at first sight. The suite had a full kitchen, sitting/living area, bed area, and large bathroom. Everything was new, clean, and modern.
The kitchen was fully stocked. It contained a stove, cookware, flatware, dishes, and more. It even had a dishwasher. We felt spoiled. The stove was even the modern induction type, which is probably to make it easy to clean, more than anything.
The dining area was an island adjacent to the kitchenette.
The “bedroom” and living areas were cleverly designed. The TV was situated within an open section of the wall, at it would swivel, depending on whether you wanted to watch it from the couch or from the bed. I thought this was brilliant.
The bathroom was spacious and clean, and included a shower only, which I generally prefer. Everything was super new and clean, and it was plenty spacious.
The view was okay. The location of the Hyatt House doesn’t really make for good views in any direction. If you pressed your face against the glass, you could get a view of some of the taller buildings in downtown Portland.
Overall, we loved the room. Everything was new and modern, and the layout was wonderful.
Lobby and other facilities
The common area was clean and nice, if a bit clinical. The hotel could have done a better job breaking up the space. There was plenty of seating, but it was so orderly it began to remind me of a cafeteria. There weren’t any great places to sit and have a more private or quieter conversation.
Maybe this just stood out since I immediately contrasted the Hyatt House Portland with the Marriott Residence Inn we stayed at the following nights. The Residence Inn broke up their common space into smaller sections, allowing a bit more privacy and an overall better feel.
I also used the gym in the morning. There were enough machines and free weights to accommodate what most people would want in a work out. There is also a pool, but we didn’t use it.
I have to say, the Hyatt House Portland breakfast was one of the best free breakfasts I have had at a hotel. And its always free.
The best part was the made-to-order omelets. You pick a couple filling options, and a cook makes you an omelet in just minutes. There are also the typical continental breakfast options of bagels, muffins, yogurt, fruit, juice, and coffee. All of that was overshadowed by the omelet.
Location and getting around
While the Hyatt House Portland is not right in the middle of downtown, it is plenty close. And the trolley stop makes most places very accessible. You can be at the main food pod between Washington and Alder in 20 minutes or less.
Essentially, anything within the trolley or TriMet system is easily accessible. I won’t deny that a car made visiting several places much easier, including our trip to Multnomah Falls and attending a glass blowing class.
The riverfront is within easy walking distance, as is the aerial tram to the OHSU campus.
Issues with the final bill
Check out at the Hyatt House Portland was quick and easy. The desk staff put our “bill” in an envelope and sent us on our way. I don’t typically receive an final bill for an award stay, but some hotels seem to give it out anyway.
By the time I read it, we were on the streetcar, and it immediately puzzled me. The bill showed a room rate of $57 + tax. This made no sense. I knew there had to be a mistake.
We returned later and asked the manager what the issue was. He apologized and told me that I wasn’t supposed to receive that bill. It was a record of what they bill Hyatt corporate for our stay. It was no skin off my teeth since we had to return anyway (to the Residence Inn) and it actually gave me an interesting insight into how hotels are reimbursed for award stays.
Overall, we had a fantastic stay at the Hyatt House Portland. It still ranks as my favorite hotel brand. My wife was in heaven. Because she has some tummy problems that require a restricted diet, being able to easily and comfortably cook on vacation is extremely important to us. The Hyatt House gave us everything we needed.
If we ever return to Portland, I will certainly be looking at this hotel again.