One of the methods to achieve premium tier status is by changing hotels so that you can achieve higher tiers through stays rather than nights. Most hotel groups required 25 stays or 50 nights in their properties to attain the highest status level. Thus when I was searching for a hotel to stay in for my 2 nights in Los Angeles, I discovered that Hyatt has 2 properties within walking distance in Long Beach, California, one being the Hyatt Regency Long Beach and the other is Hyatt the Pike Long Beach. I reserved my first night stay at the Hyatt Regency first before staying the second night at Hyatt the Pike. The former is a classic ‘Regency’ branded hotel, catering to convention guests since the hotel is next to the Long Beach Convention Centre. This means a large spacious lobby but a relatively old looking interior circa the 1980s.
I arrived at the hotel before noon and there was 2 person queueing in front of me. While there was those self check-in machines, I did not know if those worked. And there was no Diamond and Platinum Priority queue which was a big downside. The wait was about 10 minutes or so, and while it might not sound like a big deal, I just found the experience not as inviting as I had just completed a transpacific flight and had queued up nearly an hour for immigration and another queue?
While checking me in, the agent noted my Diamond status with Hyatt and thanked me, also noting that the Customer Service Manager of the Hotel wanted to see me. Turns out she came out to the lobby and thanked all Diamond Members personally. It was a nice touch, but rather than spend on that, who not increase the staff numbers checking guests in instead? As expected, I got an upgrade to a Regency Club Room, though initially the agent could not provide me the room immediately. The agent went to look for another Club room for me and got one, even though it does not have the coveted view of the bay and the Queen Mary liner.
My room was located on the same floor as the Regency Club and it had a non-traditional layout for a hotel room. The entrance foyer houses the wardrobe with a side door leading to the bathroom. The bathroom reminds me of the one in Andaz West Hollywood which was good with a walk-in shower and a long console with a recessed sink. The room also features the new Hyatt Regency amenities by Kenet MD which had a much nicer scent compared to the old ‘Portico’ bath amenities.
The best part was the bedroom which is past the foyer. It was spacious with the bed looking towards the window that has a nice view of the beach, aquarium and downtown area of Long Beach. By the window is a chaise lounge, a chair and a coffee table with the flat-screen TV on the long desk console. The decor of the room was modern with clean lines. The photos by the wall evokes the Southern Californian beach lifestyle and it was all very nice. It was all very good value considering how little I paid for this room. I was able to get bottled water from the Regency Club and the view from the Club lounge provided another vista of the Queen Mary.
It was easy to get food around the area as there are several restaurants around Long Beach and it is probably a 15 minute walk to the downtown area. While I did not have the evening snacks at the lounge, I did have breakfast there the next day. Like many club lounges, the food was pretty average though the quality seems better to many of the Sheraton Club lounges in North America.
When I checked in at Hyatt the Pike Long Beach the next day, the atmosphere of the hotel is vastly different. Hyatt the Pike feels more like the W Silicon Valley I stayed in 2 years ago. The hotel is located in a low-rise building just opposite the Hyatt Regency Long Beach. The lobby is small but nicely decorated and the check-in agent mentioned I was upgraded to the Master Suite which happens to be the highest category of rooms in this property. One thing was the front desk actually ran out of key cards when I checked in but because there was no wait, the check-in process was faster than the previous day. This is perhaps an advantage of staying in a smaller boutique style hotel. Another disadvantage is the parking lot which is not connected by any shelter to the hotel, so it can pose some inconvenience if the weather is raining.
Because Hyatt the Pike is not located by the waterfront, the room did not have great views. However one can certainly get good views from the rooftop pool. Entering the Master Suite, the room layout was similar to the W Silicon Valley. There is a living room furnished with sofas, and a nice study area on the side. Between the living room and the bed was a swivelling flat screen TV that could be positioned to either the living area or the room. The bathroom is much more spacious and laid with white marble which gave it a clean look. There was a huge walk-in shower complete with a stool and double recessed sinks.
Comparing this to my room the previous night, I did like the decor of this room better as it is more spacious and feels more like ‘home’. While the hotel did not provide bottled water in the room, they actually brought me 2 bottles of Evian mineral water when I asked for complimentary water. And it was the huge bottle, which I only managed to drink one since I was only expecting a small Nestle Pure Life bottled water. To say the hotel exceeds my expectations would be right, since they also provided credit for up to $25 for breakfast at the Bay Street Kitchen on the ground floor. I was able to order a cup of cappuccino, French toast, and a sunny side up all for less than $25 with tips included.
Being a small boutique style hotel, there is no club lounge which allowed me to enjoy that amazing breakfast. The hotel also has a very nice rooftop swimming pool which offers very good views though not as good as those offered in the Hyatt Regency Long Beach. If I were to return to Long Beach again, I would actually pick Hyatt the Pike again since the hotel offers a better breakfast choice, and a cheaper parking which was at the adjacent sheltered parking lot. In addition, the convenience and larger room offers much better value overall.