- British Airways First Class, Austin – London Heathrow
- British Airways Club Europe: London Heathrow – Paris Orly
Since the hotel hasn’t changed much since my previous two stays, and I’ve reviewed it before, I won’t be as detailed this time around. Instead I will just hit the most relevant pieces of the stay.
In some ways the hotel may be overrated (I’ve seen some pretty amazing superlatives thrown at the property). But I choose to stay here because it’s about the (1) nicest hotel that is (2) also a reasonable value on points. And because it offers (3) an even better value for Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members.
It’s also in a good location. It’s on a block amidst several luxury shops that I do not go into. But it’s an especially easy walk to two metro stations and a reasonable walk to three.
I use points to make my travels affordable, and to the extent I’m going to redeem for hotel nights I’d rather redeem for a nice hotel than one that’s less nice. Especially since I have lots of points, and there’s not really a treadeoff between using more points and other travels. The tradeoff is between using points and seeing those points worth less at some future point when I’m able to spend them.
The Park Hyatt Vendome is a Gold Passport category 7 property. That makes it 30,000 points per night. As a cash and points redemption it’s 15,000 points and $300 per night. Cash and points is a great deal for category 2 through 6 properties, but for a category 7 hotel you’re essentially buying back points at 2 cents per night (and I consider Hyatt points worth about 1.5 cents apiece).
Nonetheless I booked cash and points. That gets you stay and night credit (which I likely won’t need) and the booking counts towards promotions (Hyatt wasn’t running one during my stay). The reason I booked cash and points though was it meant I could apply a Diamond Suite Upgrade. I confirmed a suite at the hotel at time of booking. Since it would be expiring as well it seemed like a reasonable use of the award, cash, and suite upgrade.
I arrived at the hotel around 2:30 p.m. and proceeded to the check-in desk.
Hotels don’t usually give any indication that they know I’m going to be writing about them, or treat me any differently, but this hotel identified me as a blogger perhaps because I’ve reviewed them in the past or perhaps because a luxury hotel should try to gain intelligence on their arriving guests. When I arrived at the desk the person welcoming me made a quick call and a woman came out to greet me. She was a marketing manager for the hotel.
It didn’t ‘get me’ anything. I asked what sort of room I had been assigned to, and it was a junior suite. The previous year I was given a suite where the living room was a separate room from the bedroom and that had two bathrooms. This time it was just one larger than standard room with a single bathroom. For avoidance of doubt there was no other special acknowledgment during the stay.
I asked whether a room ‘like the one I had last year’ was available. I was told yes — and that I could have it for an extra 100 euros per night. I declined. While some would consider the room to be worth it, I was perfectly happy with the room I was assigned. I don’t consider a single room, usually, to be a suite but it was more than adequate for my needs.
Here was room 444:
The rooms are stylish, though perhaps reaching the point of refurbishment.
My room had a courtyard view, which I didn’t mind, though I prefer a street view overall.
The bathrooms are gorgeous. The toiletries are large, and more mild than they were on my first stay at the property (I used to think I smelled like Paris after showering here – heh).
For the first time in three stays there wasn’t a sink in the shower, a feature I always found a bit strange since of course you already have water pouring all over you and you had separate sinks outside the shower.
The single best thing about being a Hyatt Diamond at the Park Hyatt Vendome is breakfast. That’s because it’s:
- An expensive breakfast
- That’s actually worth the money due to high quality items
- Allowable to be taken via room service
The hotel offers the full American breakfast in their restaurant to Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members, or they’ll let you take the benefit from room service.
On the one hand 50 euros per person for breakfast can seem kind of insane. There’s no question that it’s pricey, and I wouldn’t ordinarily spend for breakfast what the restaurant charges.
On the other hand, they aren’t just charging more for the same sort of breakfast you might get somewhere else. The quality of everything on offer is really fantastic. The pastries are truly top notch. The cheeses are as well. There’s a material difference between their breakfast buffet and what I’d get at most hotels, so in a sense the price makes sense. In fact I think it’s worth the price though I was grateful not to be paying!
You can have muesli and yogurt and fruit. You can order a bread basket. Cooked to order eggs with sides. Fresh squeezed juice and coffee. I also order my eggs scrambled with emmentaler cheese here. They’re the absolute most delicious eggs anywhere. The pastries are the high quality sort you find at the top patisseries in the city.
To be able to order it all from room service is absolute indulgence. Though I avoid overeating so as not to spoil my appetite for everything else I’ll be wanting to try while in Paris.
The Park Hyatt is where I stay in Paris — because of the overall value proposition on points or cash and points as a Gold Passport Diamond member, though under a paid rate scenario or without status I’d likely rethink that decision.
I also like that after three stays here I’ve developed a tradition of staying in the neighbor at dinner on my first night in Paris. I head out to Restaurant L’ardoise, which was recommended by the Park Hyatt’s concierge on my first visit. It’s perfect for a casual meal, good classic French food, and reasonably priced at ~ 35 euros for the 3-course price fixe.