Grand Hyatt New York Rebranding, Loses Its Best Feature

The Grand Hyatt New York re-opens November 1 but with a new name: Hyatt Grand Central New York. It will no longer be a Grand Hyatt. And it is losing the best thing about the property, too.

The hotel was scheduled to be demolished before the pandemic, but is re-opening to avoid massive costs for the employees it laid off last year. Put simply, it makes sense to bring back 25% of employees and operate the hotel rather than paying out $15,000 per worker.

Hyatt tells me they’re still planning to tear down the property, it’s just not clear when that will happen.

Hyatt continues to collaborate with TF Cornerstone and RXR on this important project. As we have communicated, this potential redevelopment deal is complex and requires many local and state approvals and necessary financing before finalizing a deal and moving ahead with any project. The process of obtaining those approvals and financing is still underway. Further details regarding the proposed redevelopment and financial structure will be shared as soon as they become available.

The hotel has a fantastic indoor and outdoor club lounge space. It’s really the unique selling proposition of the hotel for any Globalist member. Unfortunately, the club lounge is no more. When the hotel re-opens next month, there will no longer be one.

The hotel will be a category 5 for redemptions. There’d be a use case if it were a category 4 (category 1-4 free night certificates from credit cards, staying 30 nights a year, or reaching brand milestones).

The Grand Hyatt hotel was Donald Trump’s first big development in Manhattan. It’s been through several rounds of renovations. In the early 2000’s it was fairly run down, but I could regularly Priceline it for about $75. Hyatt Stay Certificates used to be an amazing value here, too, I once booked 22 rooms nights at $169 all-in when the rate was running $469 to $519 per night plus tax. Once again I’d say stay here only if it’s really cheap.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central Station closed during the pandemic and re-opened November 1 as the Hyatt Grand Central. The best feature of the hotel, its club lounge with indoor and outdoor seating, did not […]


  1. I had multiple disappointing stays here before COVID but it is hard to beat the location so I kept returning. My biggest issue was I would regularly get upgrades to larger rooms but it was as if they couldn’t have been bothered to actually rethink what a larger room would look like. All the furniture just felt out of place/cheap. Generally too the larger rooms were usually only larger because they had strange footprints, so it was an even more odd setup that was never seen through to its full potential. Oh well.

  2. Few know that the Grand Hyatt was acquired and completely redone in the late 1970s by none other than…..Donald Trump:

    As the Wiki link outlines, it was a typical Trump deal with unsigned documents, unpaid fees and political largesse.

    I started staying at he Grand Hyatt shortly after it opened in 1980 following the renovatios directed by Trump. The rumor I heard back then was that he wanted the multi-story open lobby and atrium so it could be converted to a casino when NYC legalized gambling.

    The Wiki mentions that the there was a $400 million tax abatement on the property that was to run for 40 years. Let’s see-that means the tax benefits expired….last year. As they say in NYC “What d’ya know?”.

  3. Will this count as “Hyatt” for Brand Explorer? Those are hard to find these days. Perhaps the value proposition would include putting you over the top for a free night award.

  4. I’m more likely to get vaginitis than redeem a cat 1-4 cert in the most expensive city in America.

  5. I generally avoid visiting NYC unless I absolutely have to go there to meet with financial types (who hopefully will all move to FL). I understand some people love the place, I don’t.
    That said, when I did go to NYC (did = pre-COVID) I would stay at the Grand Hyatt. It was “OK” IMO, but never a great hotel. I am very influenced by hotel club availability though. Again, the club at the Grand Hyatt in NYC was OK, not great. But, it beat some others.
    No club = no stay for me.
    n.b. for readers. At the time I was thoroughly spoiled by using Shangri-La Horizon Clubs, so that may have biased my opinion.

  6. The selling point of the Grand Central Hyatt is simply location.
    You have the 4,5 and 7 lines in your basement. Shuttle to time square is nearby too.
    Going upstate? GCT is in your lobby.
    Buses to all 3 major airports are less than a block away.
    Plenty of food and shopping within walking distance, even more that delivers, and a high percentage of NYC is a 20 min ride away.
    Did Trump build the Hyatt? No. He provided a major renovation/expansion of the Hotel Comodore.
    As this hotel was built in 1919…The rooms are a bit different.
    In 2019 – it was obvious that it would be torn down. Today with occupancy in office space dropping combined with major increases in inventory…No one knows.

  7. The dumbest thing about this hotel is the entrance on the roadway that goes around Grand Central. All uptown traffic on Park Ave is funneled straight past that entrance and since 9/11 it has been reduced to only one lane. So when someone is pulling into or out of or double parking at the hotel, all uptown traffic comes to a halt.

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