I had a chance to try out the Hyatt Centric in Honolulu and my oh my, how disappointing it was.
Status Run/Mileage Run to Honolulu
For an end of the year mileage run, I took a very long way home on a business trip and flew from Houston to Honolulu. I stayed one night and then returned. For my troubles, I retained 1K status for next year, added about 8,000 miles to my account and had a chance to try out the Hyatt Centric Honolulu.
In the end, I wish I had just used a Same-Day Change and turned right back around.
The property is a high rise in the Waikiki area, though not on the beach. The hotel is converted from an office building and is generally unremarkable from the outside.
Phone: +1 808 237-1234
At checkin I was upgraded to a “City View King suite.” This is the type of suite listed as “open plan” which means “not really a suite.” Let’s see what others consider to be the definition of a suite.
(Hotel) Suite: A suite in a hotel or other public accommodation such as a cruise ship denotes, according to most dictionary definitions, connected rooms under one room number. Hotels may refer to suites as a class of accommodations with more space than a typical hotel room, but technically speaking there must be more than one room to constitute a true suite.
To Hyatt Centric Honolulu’s credit, there was a second room in 1202 but someone should let them know that the smaller room at the back away from the door should be the bedroom and not the sitting room. I am sure the shape of the building played some part in its design but the second room is useless and thus it’s not really a suite.
The bathroom was nice but missed a couple of items that could have advanced it above just ok. The shower had plenty of room but didn’t have a rain shower head. The toilet had a separate water closet, but the toilet didn’t have an Asian bidet seat which surprised based on the price point and number of visitors from abroad.
The desk was very shallow and forced me to take my two laptops to the bed because they couldn’t be opened at more than a 90-degree angle. There was just one unoccupied power plug at the desk either (how does that happen?) Next to the bed, outlets were also hard to come by, and those available meant only one device could be plugged in or USBs – not both.
The service was friendly, but the breakfast staff couldn’t keep the buffet items full or tables cleaned. I counted 23 tables (splitting out four tops) with three of them occupied, every single table including the one I type this from, was dirty and none in the process of being cleaned, just content with them dirty. Most of the food was dried out and stale or otherwise needed replenishment with more than an hour and a half left before breakfast ended. The selection was anaemic. It was above a Hyatt Place, but barely.
This should have been the area in which the hotel excelled. But when a Honolulu hotel can’t properly stock pineapple, it’s a lack of effort because it’s certainly not a lack of availability. Microwaved eggs, frozen potato hashbrowns, a bird indoors eating directly from the cereal dispenser and not a clean table in the room – there’s just no excuse.
The property features a narrow pool and deck area on the 9th-floor reception. I would imagine there’s room for 30 adults on the deck before people start just laying towels on the wood decking. There’s a hot tub at one end and you can barely see the ocean just a few blocks away. The hotel is in the Waikiki area, but not on Waikiki beach.
It’s nothing to write home about.
At $250 per night plus $33/night resort fee, the cash rate is at around the same price as the Regency and about 10-15% more expensive than the Hyatt Place. However, there are plenty of other hotels in the area that deliver more for less money or at least deliver more for the same amount of money. I won’t be back.
What’s My Gripe?
For my stay and other dates I quickly checked, the Hyatt Centric is the most expensive, the newest and most premium hotel from the chain in Honolulu. I arrived excited and happy to be there. I left annoyed and ripped off. I expected premium and received “Select Service.”
For what it’s worth, I search a dozen random dates in the near future and the long term and couldn’t find a single night where there was availability for award space. Come on, you’re telling me you’re already booked solid for Tuesday, October 13th, 2020? And Thursday, November 12th? And Wednesday, January 22nd? Feel free to post your Hyatt Centric Honolulu award night availability in the comments, otherwise, I am pretty confident that in yet another case of this hotel believing they are above their station and out of compliance with the program for availability.
I think what annoyed me the most is that it became clear that they were happy to tick the boxes but not interested in adding real value. The resort fee included a bunch of stuff I already received with my status but the others you’d need a decoder ring to enjoy. There’s beach equipment and GoPros available to borrow as part of the resort charge, lobby filter coffee, local and long-distance calls, and fish you can request in your room (Betta Fish Buddies.) They advertise they offer S’mores, but it’s only on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm. Even a Courtyard in Pennsylvania is going to offer that. Morning yoga is offered twice weekly, lei making on Sunday afternoons at 2 pm, and “Hurricane Popcorn” offered twice a week. Including refillable water bottles in your room with a water filtration station offered on just three of the floors is certainly not a benefit, and one I would never pay for. This is a junk fee and just one more insult to paying guests.
If the Hyatt Centric Honolulu wants to mail it in, that’s fine, it’s Hawaii and Waikiki beach – they will fill their hotel. But they shouldn’t act like this property is above what it is. It’s insulting to people who spend money and points. I should have stayed at the Sheraton.
Have you stayed in this property? Did you have a better or worse experience than I did? What do you think?