I visited the Washington DC area twice within a week and was able to try the Hyatt Regency Bethesda, Maryland. Here is my review.
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In the heart of downtown Bethesda, Maryland, and not far from Washington DC, we found the location of the Hyatt Regency Bethesda to be very convenient for our needs. For those who would prefer to take the WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority), the Bethesda Metro station is right outside the property that will take business travelers and vacationers alike on the short train ride into Washington DC. Walter Reed (some of the best care our military and civil servants can receive) and the National Institutes of Health are nearby.
Address: One Bethesda Metro Center, 7400 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: +1 301 657-1234
This Bethesda hotel reminded my wife and me of the business hotels we would visit when we were growing up. The design featured a large, cavernous opening in the middle with glass elevators in the center.
The hotel offers several dining options (limited hours during COVID-19), a fitness center, and an attached garage though this is managed independently of the hotel.
The property is full-service with a business center, banquet and meeting facilities, and an upscale steakhouse.
Globalist Suite Upgrade
I was only able to stay for one night this time and had my family in tow. I was upgraded to what was loosely called a suite. The bedroom and living spaces were not separated by a door, so it was not a true suite, however, the property has a limited number of Terrace guest rooms like the one I received with expansive outdoor space. The property has only one type of true suite, an Executive, though during my stay this room type was occupied by the several weddings being held on-site during our stay.
Globalist suite upgrades are given based on availability at the time of check-in, though they can also be secured in advance using one of (4) Globalist Suite Upgrades, each of which is valid for up to seven nights each.
Globalist Breakfast Benefit
Globalist members of the World of Hyatt loyalty program are entitled to a breakfast which is usually offered in the hotel restaurant or by room service. However, “due to COVID”, Globalists are given a card for what is included from the in-lobby Starbucks.
The choices were so limited that I returned the card in favor of 500 bonus points. While sometimes “something is better than nothing”, this approach does more harm than good. If my family of three were to sit down in the restaurant and order breakfast, our bill would likely exceed $60 in total.
The hotel can’t help the limited Starbucks food items but going so far as to exclude specialty drinks (anything other than black coffee, espresso, or tea) reduces the breakfast benefit to around $5/person. That’s not really a comparable trade, and I struggle to understand how a hotel this far into the pandemic can’t make breakfast work when other hotels in the same metro area within the chain can.
The room was very large and could have been enough for a closed bedroom suite though the open floor plan worked well for our purposes. The Terrace was the show stopper. Window shades are automated (a slight nudge will activate the motor moving them open or closed) which was a nice touch.
The room featured a King-sized bed with reading lamps and large expansive windows revealing the surroundings on two sides of the building. As with our experience at virtually every Hyatt hotel, the bed was comfortable, linens were spotless, and reading lamps with ample plugs (both USB and standard) made charging peripherals easy.
Our particular room featured an ADA (handicap accessible shower.) The mirror had an inset clock which, at first glance, was very helpful to keep us moving on a timely schedule – until we realized that the time was incorrect by an odd number of minutes. The bathroom was clean but otherwise unremarkable
Opposite the bed is a large, flat-screen television at one end of the desk. The desk space is large enough for two laptops, has plenty of outlets for charging, and features drawers, some of which are occupied by the mini-fridge and pull-out tea table. I appreciated that the hotel did not use a triggered-fridge and didn’t stock the fridge, allowing us to bring our own drinks and snacks and store them.
One issue with the desk, coming from a person that often works with a TV on, was that there would be no way to watch the TV while working from the desk. I understand the logistical reasons that the desk fills in for so many other roles including a place for the TV, however, it is less than ideal for my personal preference.
To the opposite corner from the bed and next to the terrace, is a living or sitting area. This space included a coffee table, a couch (it may pull out to accommodate more guests, we didn’t give it a try) as well as a chair. This space separation is helpful to get away from the bed outside of sleeping times and offers a more relaxed environment for working too. Hosting others could take place in the same area, however, given the open plan design, guests are still essentially in your bedroom, even if it’s across the room and out of the way.
Outdoor space is at a premium on Bethesda row, but the Hyatt Regency offers several rooms with this feature. If I’m honest, the space was so big that it felt like it needed more furniture. I would have liked to see some variety in the outdoor furniture and I think the hotel is missing a trick by not better utilizing this space. My family would have paid more for our room to ensure one of these limited room types had there been more draw.
Nightly rates for the hotel range from $99-149 for a base room or 12,000 points. If you’re a World of Hyatt member, save your points as the value for using them is not good when offsetting such an affordable price point. However, the cash rates were a tremendous value for money during our stay.
For guests looking to enjoy the National Zoo or the sights, sounds, and tastes of Bethesda, the Hyatt Regency is a great value for money when paying cash. It has all of the hallmarks of a business hotel in the United States and it is convenient for both business travelers and tourists.
What do you think? Have you stayed at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda? How was your experience?
Stayed there in may. I lived a block away for 12 years and always wanted to see what it was like. Complete disappointment. I have Marriott platinum and Hilton diamond but no status at Hyatt so I received the bland standard room. Staff was completely unengaged. When I pointed out that their website promises benefits that they do not offer they used the standard COVID excuse. If you need to stay in Bethesda which is very convenient with metro for dc I recommend the Hilton Garden inn or residence inn but perhaps my experience there is better as I do have status at both. But no matter what the brand my experience in the past year is that the more basic hotels come closer to delivering during the pandemic. The more full service the hotel is it requires more staff which most do not have.
The Globalist breakfast of this property has always been weird. The World of Hyatt program terms specifically call out this property:
“For stays at Hyatt Regency Bethesda, Globalists will instead be provided with daily continental breakfast (tax and gratuity included”
The section above refers to “full breakfast” as a benefit for other properties.
To have the program’s terms edited for one property probably means, the owner made a fuss about giving “free” full breakfast.
@Brian G – Wow! Nice find in the trenches. How awful is the ownership of a property that they are literally the only Hyatt Regency in the world choosing not to comply and have to be called out by name.
lol! I wonder how ridiculous the management contract negotiations were for Hyatt to give the concession to the owner (Meridian Group).
Did a staycation at this hotel (HR Bethesda) early in the year. Was disappointed to find Globalist breakfast consisted of a Starbucks drink and one food item. (The voucher pictured looks like you could have gotten two items, a step up from what we received.)
Excellent catch in the fine print. I thought the cheap breakfast was only due to Covid, but the fine print shows it’s par for the course there.
That terrace sure could use a pressure-washing.