Review: Hyatt Regency Suzhou
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Review: Hyatt Regency Suzhou
Suzhou is a small town (by China standards) of about 5 million people located about 60 miles outside of Shanghai. I spend a lot of time in the area for work and have stayed at the Hyatt Regency Suzhou more times than I can count. The Hyatt Regency is a quite new hotel and just opened about 15 months ago. The hotel is located in the Suzhou Industrial Park and is adjacent to Times Square Station. Upon arriving at the hotel, you'll be greeted by hotel employees and led inside. Once inside, you can turn left to find the concierge desk and then continue to the right past that to find the front desk. You'll immediately notice the hotel's 29 story atrium, which is a striking feature of the hotel. It even has "stars" at the very top of the atrium at night.
Located next to the lobby is The Atrium, which serves as a seating area/bar area for after work gatherings. It's full of chairs and couches and you can order from a small snack menu as well.
The Market Cafe is found on the second floor, just above The Atrium and serves breakfast in the mornings for hotel guests. Breakfast consists of a large buffet area with breads, pastries, pancakes, salads, sushi, meats, eggs, juices, and a ton of other items. You'll find a significant number of staff members in this restaurant ready to help with anything you might need and there's almost never a line in the morning to be seated.
Also located on the second floor is Hua Chi 88, a Chinese restaurant offering authentic Suzhou cuisine, but one I have yet to try.
Located on the third floor above the Market Cafe is The Fireplace. The Fireplace offers a selection of local and international menu items and it's where I eat most of my dinners when I am visiting Suzhou. Usually I am too tired or it's too late to leave the hotel, so I'll grab something here. The food is excellent and the service is spot on as well.
Since I have stayed in this hotel many times, I have stayed in a Deluxe King Room, a Twin Room, and a Regency Suite. The Deluxe King and Twin rooms are nearly identical and I've found little to no variation among the rooms other than sometimes the bathroom is on the left and sometimes it's on the right. You'll take the elevators up to your room and head either left or right around the open air atrium to your room. I always notice that the carpet in the halls is very thick, which makes it a bit difficult to roll your suitcase along, but at least there's not usually any noise from the atrium.
Deluxe King Room
When entering the Deluxe King Room, you'll find a closet and a shelf to place your bag on one side and the bathroom on the other. When you continue into the room, you'll notice a desk and chairs, a lounge chair against the wall, and your king bed as well as a TV and minibar. The rooms are spacious and the decor is clean and fresh, which is always appreciated in China.
The bathroom is also large and features double sliding doors as well as a window out to the bedroom if you wanted a view while bathing. The sink area is large and the toilet is located in a separate stall for added privacy. The bathrooms feature both a shower and a soaking tub. Toiletries are standard Portico branded.
The Regency Suite is quite large and even comically large when you're staying by yourself on a business trip and spend a total of 8 hours a day in the room, but it's quite nice. Upon entering the suite, you'll immediately notice a large desk/dining table with 4 chairs and a half bathroom to the side. The living room is spacious with two couches, a chair, the television and minibar.
When you head in to the bedroom, you'll find a very large closet to your left with room to put your bags, a robe, slippers, the safe deposit box, etc and on the opposite side, you'll find the bed hidden behind a kind of half wall. The bedroom has the bed, a television and 2 chairs and I was able to get a quite stunning view of Suzhou and the lake beyond.
The bathroom is at the back of the bedroom hallway area and you'll notice the toilet in a room to your left when you walk in. Continuing into the bathroom, you'll see a nice standalone tub with a view if you want one and a double sink vanity with a very large shower. Again, the decor is simple and subtle, but clearly demonstrates that this is a very new hotel.
The rooms at the Hyatt Regency are excellent in terms of decor, which I really appreciate, since I spend so much time here. One thing I have had a problem with in the past, however, is the air conditioning. I believe the hotel doesn't really allow the temperature to go below about 25 degrees celsius during certain months because they don't have the air conditioning running or it's somehow throttled at that temperature. I don't try to make my rooms freezing cold by any means, but 25 degrees is quite warm and I'm usually uncomfortable. My coworkers have variously complained to the front desk about the temperature situation and sometimes it work and the thermostat magically starts working, or sometimes they are moved to a different room. This is really my main complaint about the hotel, because even though it's China, air conditioning in the room should not be an issue.
The hotel has a Regency Club located on the 28th floor of the hotel. Regency Clubs are open to Diamond guests and guests staying on the hotel's club level floors. The club at the Hyatt Regency Suzhou is large and spacious with plenty of seating throughout. To the left is mostly couches and chairs and an area for lounging and to the right is the kitchen/dining area. The Regency Club serves complimentary drinks and canapés from 5 PM to 8 PM and continental breakfast from 6:30 AM to 10 AM on weekdays and 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM on weekends. Again, you will find an abundance of staff in the club, which I find very off-putting. I really dislike bothering people or being watched and I feel like every time I am in the lounge, I am being watched like a hawk. I appreciate that the hotel is trying to provide good service, I would just appreciate a much more hands-off approach.
The evening cocktail selection includes beers, wines, meats, cheeses, breads, fruits, and a selection of desserts. There is also a choice of hot items which can be ordered from the club staff. The day I visited, they included: Mini Beef Burger, "Shanghai" Style Noodles, and Deep-Fried Sea Bass Roll.
The continental breakfast is exactly what you would expect and you'll find a selection of meats, cheeses, breads, pastries, fruits, salad, cereals, small Asian items, juices, coffee, and tea. The hot item selection for me included: Omelette of Your Choice, Two Eggs Any Style, Wonton Soup or Daily Noodle Soup.
Overall, the club is nice to have available, but I tend to avoid it if I can because I feel so surrounded by the staff up there. I prefer to eat breakfast in the Market Cafe because the selection is a bit better and it's busier, so I'm not being noticed as much by the staff.
The Hyatt Regency Suzhou is a great hotel and it's really all you could want from a business hotel. It's clean, new, and nice and the staff is plentiful and very attentive. I even had a wonderful experience with the Assistant Manager and a few other staff members the time I had to make a visit to the ER, so I definitely appreciate the level of service. While this isn't the most exciting hotel I've ever stayed at, it's a great option if you're in the Suzhou area.
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