March 23, 2015

Quick Pics: Loews Minneapolis Hotel

Here is another quick pics post. This one is sent in by a friend who recently stayed at the Loews Minneapolis Hotel.


















In a nutshell, my friend said that he liked the hotel, that the location was good, but the service wasn't anything special. Anyway, he said he would stay there again the next time he finds himself in the city because he believes there are no other better options.

- End of friend's statement - :-)

I actually also just stayed at a Loews property (in downtown Chicago) and will post my review of the same later this week.

A great week ahead to everyone and enjoy the wonderful Spring weather out...


March 16, 2015

Hotel Review: Hyatt Place Madison (Wisconsin)

This review has been long overdue. I won a free night certificate from a Hyatt Place promo last year and decided to use it to go on a mini-getaway. The closest property they had where we would feel like we were on vacation was the one in Madison, Wisconsin. It was a two hour and a half drive from Chicago and people have been saying that it is really pretty up there at the peak of Fall. And it was (check my post about it here).

Anyway, just a quick note on that Hyatt Place promo. They ran a promo to celebrate their 200 locations by giving away 200 free night certificates last August 2014...

Image from Hyatt Place
I, luckily, won one of the certificates after having entered the contest numerous times. This was my entry that won....

Image from Twitter. Photo from Myself. Hihi.

Image from Twitter

And here is the free night certificate...


Not bad, right?

So without much further ado...


Check-In

Check-in was quick and uneventful -- which is always good. The check-in staff was pleasant and efficient and we were on our way to our room after a couple of minutes.

Here are some photos of the lobby...




The Room

The room was huge and was compartmentalized into different areas, which is Hyatt Place's signature lay-out/look.

Right through the door is the living area...



Past it is the sleeping area...





To the left of the entrance, across from the living area is the mini-bar and work area...




And past it, across the sleeping area, is the shower area...





Now this is where I felt the layout sort of failed. I don't like the fact that the sink was exposed to the room and how the shower and toilet were cramped into a tiny dark corner. I am not sure if this was the standard throughout this property but I checked other Hyatt Place's and they seem to have more standard bathrooms

There is a tiny closet located in this area, where the iron & board is also kept...


Other than the awkward shower and sink layout and the dated look of the room (which makes it feel like any other mid-range hotel room in America), everything else like (again) its size, its condition, and how it was spotless was all good. Oh, I forgot to mention that the water pressure in the shower was kind of poor and Wi-Fi is free :-)

Other Amenities

Hyatt Place offers its guests free breakfast off its lobby area...




The offerings were good for a quick bite and they also served juice and coffee, too.

There was a small business center...


A tiny but clean gym...






And a (again) small but clean indoor pool...




There is also parking for the guests but I forgot now if there was a fee or if it was free, sorry.

Around the Area

The hotel is really close to the State Capitol,...


...the University of Wisconsin campus, and the surrounding commercial area with all of the food choices you may think of (that includes a very good Nepalese restaurant that you should try when you find yourself in the city)...


Bottomline

All in all, I liked my stay at the Hyatt Place in Madison. The hotel is clean and in good condition, the location is great, the staff are pleasant and helpful, and there is not really a lot to complain about.

It is actually a surprise to me that (as of this writing) this property ranks #20 (of 60 something) on TripAdvisor. Most of the properties in the area are in the same category so I wonder what makes them so much better than this property -- given how I thought that the Hyatt Place Madison was already considerably good.

With that said, though, even if I would stay there again -- I'd probably check out another property the next time I am back just to see what makes them rank higher than this hotel.
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