I used the Hyatt Regency Algiers Airport as my base during my time in Algeria. While not perfect, this full-service hotel was lovely, with generous accommodations, great benefits for Globalist members, and a superb gym and pool.
Hyatt Regency Algiers Airport Review
This is a Category 2 hotel, meaning World of Hyatt Redemption rates run from 6,500 (off-peak) to 8,000 (standard) to 9,500 (peak) points per night. I stayed during a peak period and the paid rate was $130 per night. Because I value World of Hyatt points at two cents each, I paid cash for the stay.
The hotel is connected to Houari Boumediene Airport (ALG), but it is quite a walk to get there and the signage is poor inside the airport. After my arrival, I walked out into the arrivals hall, not really knowing where to go. I then walked outside and thankfully caught sight of the hotel in the distance.
I proceeded upstairs to a covered walkway about a kilometer long that took me all the way to the hotel.
Upon reaching the final portion of the bridge, I went through a metal detector and my baggage was screened, something that is fairly common at nicer hotels in the Arab world.
It was now past midnight as I entered the soaring lobby and I was immediately greeted in French by a young man who proceeded to check me in. His English was poor, my French was poor, he didn’t speak German and I didn’t speak Arabic…more on that later.
The lobby is quite soaring with a business center in one corner and the hotel restaurant and bar located behind the check-in desk (one to the left, one to the right).
I was assigned room 322 and told at check-in that I was upgraded to a suite. In truth, the room was huge, but not a suite (traditionally defined as a separate living room and bedroom).
The good: a comfortable bed, full desk to work, couch to lounge on, and a great espresso machine (better coffee than downstairs).
The bad: nothing that I can recall, unless you want to count the aloe vera shower products, which I did particularly care for.
Also oversized, the bathroom included a tub, a separate walk-in shower, and a water closet with a toilet and bidet.
My view was of an off-ramp leading to the airport:
The Language Barrier + Photo Incident
Before I get to all that I loved about this hotel, let me lay out where there is room for improvement.
The language barrier was difficult. I mentioned it during check-in, but it got far worse when I tried to order dinner from room service. The guy on the other end spoke absolutely no English. Not a word. Communication was simply impossible over the phone, but using Google Translate, I asked him in French to come to my room.
He did and I asked him if I could order falafel. No (he had no idea what falafel even was and I am quite confident I was pronouncing it correctly). Lamb. No. Chicken. No. All three times he suggested a hamburger. He kept repeating hamburger, hamburger, hamburger. Fine, hamburger. I asked for a salad with it (salade in French), but no frites (French Fries). Instead, I received French Fries with no salad. The dude just did not get it…
I went down to the bar the following afternoon for orange juice and coffee and the waiter also did not speak English. It was painstaking, though I eventually just pointed to items on the menu and they presently appeared.
Outside the main entrance, I was taking pictures of the building when a security guard ran over to me and started loudly lecturing me in French, no doubt about taking photos. He watched me delete them, but I just restored them when he walked away. I will never understand the aversion to photography among some Arab men wearing uniforms. Is it a cultural thing?
This is a big deal at a western hotel chain, an American hotel chain to be precise. Look, I call Algeria one of the most difficult countries I have ever visited precisely because of this language barrier, even at the hotel. That should not stop you in the least from visiting Algeria, but do keep in mind that basic knowledge of French or Arabic would serve you very well.
At breakfast, the waiter seemed to speak no English and so he did not approach me once during breakfast. I ordered my own eggs, I fetched my own coffee, and I even bussed my dirty dishes to a nearby tray.
But then here was Hani, who was at the front desk the following day, spoke impeccable English, and became my go-to point of contact at the hotel. The hotel needs more Hanis, though on the other hand it probably does not receive all that many guests who cannot speak either French or Arabic.
Regency Club Lounge
The sixth-floor Regency Club Lounge was closed during my visit.
Although the Regency Lounge was closed, this hotel offered some great benefits to World of Hyatt Globalists members. Beyond the daily buffet breakfast, which was great, there was afternoon coffee or tea available on a complimentary basis in the bar and evening Hors D’oeuvres, which included free reign of the bar menu between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm.
What a great deal. From what I could tell, I could have ordered drink after drink after drink during that two-hour period.
The hotel has a large, comprehensive fitness center on the second floor, complete with a variety of machines from TechnoGym. I had two great workouts here during my stay.
My flight was so late I requested access to the gym after checkout, a request which was obliged. I used the locker room to store my bag and to shower after my workout and swim.
Pool + Steam Room
Also on the second floor is a large indoor pool, a terrace overlooking the airport, and separate male and female steam rooms. This hotel does not have dedicated spa facilities for massages.
Palmette services breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet style. I must have been tired because I slept right through breakfast the first morning (waking up around noon), but enjoyed breakfast here my second morning. The buffet included a generous spread of pastries and bread, fresh fruits, Arabic mezze, and a number of hot items including a crepe station and omelet station.
My only complaint was the coffee…it was bitter and the espresso machines were simply horrible in terms of the milk consistency and even the coffee (no crema on top).
I really liked the dining room as well and found the greenery made it a very inviting environment.
The dinner buffet included a wide range of food from around the world, with more baked items, fresh salads, seafood, meats, poultry, fish, a pasta station, and large dessert bar.
Breakfast is served from 6:00 am to 10:30 am, lunch from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm, and dinner from 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm.
After waking up so late, I headed down to the bar for a cappuccino and a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice. The coffee was forgettable (again, too bitter), but the orange juice was absolutely refreshing.
The weather was perfect during my stay (with a high of about 70ºF) and I enjoyed sitting out on the terrace for my afternoon snack.
Later that evening I returned to enjoy the Globalist Happy Hours and greatly enjoyed an Arabic mezze plate, falafel with French Fries, and some more orange juice.
My bill, about $30, was removed at check-out.
Here’s the full bar menu:
There’s a large indoor section of the bar as well:
I mentioned the room service incident above and will only mention that the hamburger itself hit the spot for a midnight snack, though the French Fries were soggy. The salad really did never come.
People often ask me if I let the hotel know ahead of time that I am coming or if I ever pull the blogger card. The answer is no. I think I’d be naive to say that a hotel never knows “who I am” (after all, I’ve been writing this blog for over a decade). But usually, I really don’t think this is the case. For example, my flight was not till 1:00 am, the hotel was less than half full, but my request for an 8:00 pm checkout was denied. I was given 6:00 pm (an extra two hours), which I greatly appreciated, but told I would have to pay for a full night if I wanted to stay any longer. Of course that is perfectly reasonable, but helps to demonstrate that no red carpet was laid out for me here or at most hotels I review.
Despite the frustrating language barrier (which I am responsible for as well, not just the hotel), I had a very pleasant stay at this hotel. I loved the Globalist benefits, indoor pool and gym, and found the location quite convenient considering my short stay in Algeria and late flight out of ALG.
I’m so loyal to Hyatt I would not hesitate to stay here again, but if spending more time in Algiers you may wish to consider a more centrally-located hotel.