I love Seattle.
My husband Josh and I lived in Seattle together for a year before we set off to wander around in Africa for a few months, and the time we spent in Seattle was some of the best days of our lives. So, to celebrate Josh’s birthday this year, I planned a trip to Seattle so we could take a trip down memory lane.
Since Josh is working on a Hyatt Diamond challenge, the 3 nights we spent at the Hyatt at Olive 8 would complete a substantial chunk of the 12 total nights he needs to earn in order to get and keep Diamond status through February of 2015. In other words, it was worth it for us to pay cash for the room.
One of the best things about a Hyatt Diamond challenge is that you are able to enjoy Diamond benefits while you are completing the challenge. A super valuable part of being a Diamond member is that you get four “suite upgrade awards” deposited into your account every year. These awards can be used on a basic room, magically upgrading it to a suite. Since we were here as a family, I decided to use an upgrade award for our stay this weekend.
The price I paid for a “Deluxe King” room (their least expensive) was $259/night. Suites were going for $439 a night, so using the upgrade award was worth a total of $540 ($180/night savings x 3 nights). The website describes the suite as
A generous entry foyer and private parlor that offers expansive downtown views from two windowed walls. A spacious sitting area features occasional furniture, wet bar (stocked upon request) and 37” LCD TV. A separate bedroom boasts a King-size Hyatt Grand Bed™ and two dressing areas, separated from the bedroom by a sleek frosted glass sliding door.
so I assumed that it would provide plenty of space for the four of us. This was actually a mistake on my part – I’ll explain why below.
As we drove into the valet parking area, we were greeted by some of the friendliest valet parkers I’ve ever met in my life. Not only were these guys helpful, they were also cool – great representatives of the Seattle scene.
The lobby was spacious and modern. The check-in process was a breeze. There were crisp apples to munch on and ice water to sip, and comfortable seats to sit on if you were waiting.
Our suite was large. It was an L-shaped room with a pull-out sofa and sitting area, connected to a King room by a sliding door. This proved to be a problem for us, for a couple of reasons:
- First, the bathroom is located adjacent to the bedroom, which means that people in the sitting area need to walk through the bedroom in order to get to the bathroom. This was totally fine when we were all awake, but when we were trying to sleep, the sliding door and traffic through our room was a big disturbance.
- Second, the sliding door features a big pane of opaque glass. This meant that if either side had the lights on, the other side was also bathed in light. It was also not soundproof at all. This was challenging when our kids were trying to fall asleep and we were trying to hang out and talk on the other side of the door.
Also contributing to our suite woes was the fact that there was a very unhappy baby in the room on the other side of the sitting room; we could hear the baby crying throughout the night. I think the noise was louder than it would have been if we had been in a regular room, because the sitting room had a possible connector door to the room next door, so instead of a wall, there were just two doors in between the rooms.
Lastly, the pull-out sofa was very uncomfortable. My kids were the ones who slept on it, but after they complained that springs were poking them in the back, I tested it out, and indeed, it was not a place I would have been able to fall asleep.
To sum up, we had a difficult night in the suite. I would not recommend it for anyone whose occupants need different things at different times (light/dark, silence/noise), or anyone who needs privacy.
A Room Move
The next morning, Josh went down to the front desk to ask if we could move to a suite with a different layout. Apparently all of the suites have the same configuration, so they offered us connecting rooms. Both of the new rooms were “Pure” Hypo-Allergenic rooms, which means that they are designed for allergy sufferers and have an air-purification system and other features. Normally, I wouldn’t have booked these rooms because they were more expensive ($25 more per night), but I ended up LOVING the air-purification system, which was a machine that sounded like a white noise machine. Perfect!
The new rooms were a huge improvement over the suite, and we all slept really well the next two nights.
There was some confusion at check-out over the room switch – initially they charged us for both rooms. It was finally resolved, although it took about half an hour to straighten it out. In the end, the hotel removed several other charges from our bill (a midnight snack and one day’s valet charge) as a gesture of goodwill. Two thumbs up to Hyatt for making the room situation completely good all around.
The Hyatt at Olive 8 has an indoor pool on the second floor. The pool is great for kids, because it is shallow (4 feet deep) and fairly large. There is also a hot tub next to the pool, and each locker room features a sauna and steam room.
We spent about an hour enjoying all of the pool amenties. This was a great little break during the day.
Another amazing Hyatt Diamond perk is the free breakfast. Each property handles this benefit a little differently. At the Hyatt at Olive 8, each registered guest in the room is free to spend $26.50 per day on breakfast. You can use this credit either in the restaurant or on room service. We chose to order room service each day. Our total charges on two of the days were over the stated benefit (instead of $106, we spent $125 one day and $140 another day), but all of the charges were completely covered.
The breakfast foods were delicious. During our stay, we sampled a wide variety of the offerings, and we enjoyed them all. The yogurt parfait was probably my favorite item.
Good To Know
One potentially confusing thing is that because the hotel is a green hotel (LEED certified), they are committed to using as little paper as possible. For this reason, they did not provide paper copies of anything. While I totally love and agree with this idea, it did trip us up a couple of times so it is just something to be aware of. The first thing was that there were no room service menus in the rooms. We had to scan a code with our phones and read the menus that way. This was fine, but it was a little cumbersome, especially in the morning before we had had any coffee 🙂 The hotel will provide a paper copy of the menu upon request, but if you want to order something right away, it could be slightly difficult. The other thing is that they did not give us a paper copy of our bill when we checked out, which was what caused some of the initial confusion. Again, we were able to straighten it out after awhile, but it was definitely not easy to go over the bill if you don’t have a copy in your hand. I’m sure I could get used to it, but in the moment I wasn’t prepared to have to try to grab the email on my phone and then read it.
I would definitely return to the Hyatt at Olive 8. It was great for my family: centrally located, super clean, with every amenity we could have asked for. The pool was really fun for my kids, and the steam room/sauna were relaxing for Josh and me. The Diamond breakfast benefit was a huge perk, and the items we ordered from room service were all delicious. Once we got into the room that was the right choice for our family, we all slept really well. All in all, it was a hotel I would recommend to anyone.