Monday, August 12, 2013

Hyatt Place Long Island/East End

Hotel Stay Detail 
Hotel: Hyatt Place Long Island/East End 
Dates: July 7-9, 2013 
Rate Paid: 8,000 Gold Passport Points/night
Regular Room Rate: $249/night (incl. tax) 
Total $ Benefit: $490
Point Redemption: 3.1 cents/pt 

We got back to NYC last Friday night after spending a few days out in Long Island's Montauk. The first day (Wednesday), we had perfectly sunny skies, so we went to Kirk Park Beach.

Parking: We picked this beach by accident, but it worked out well for us because Kirk Park Beach is one of the only Montauk beaches that doesn't require a parking permit. Other beaches require a $375 annual parking permit if you're a non-resident.

Sun & Sand: While my mother wanted to get some sun before our friend's wedding in Colorado, I preferred running around the sand with my father. When I was a young baby, I actually hated the feel of grainy sand between my toes and screamed whenever my parents put me down. But now, I was so much more mature. That was until, I decided to lean over and fill my mouth full of the stuff. Apparently, it's a lot more fun to play with than to eat.

Surf: The Atlantic was ... freezing refreshing. It was only about 80 degrees out so it wasn't as if we needed to run into the cold water, but my Asian dad wanted me to get used to being out of my comfort zone so we went in often. Tough love indeed!

Drive Home: The way to our hotel in Riverhead was on Highway 27 which was backed up with traffic heading into East Hampton. It literally took about 2 hours to drive 40 miles. It was OK though, since we weren't missing out on much back at the hotel and the surrounding area.

Hyatt Place Long Island/East End 
The Hyatt Place Long Island/East End wasn't one of my favorite places, but it served its purpose - a clean safe place to sleep with a few basic amenities (cable TV, wifi, swimming pool). The lobby and common areas were exactly as we expected. In fact, it was better than the Hyatt Place in Boise, ID that we stayed 15 days at a few months ago. We were offered our Hyatt Diamond amenity choice (my father picked 500 Hyatt points) and given the code for the WiFi. We weren't offered a late checkout though, but my father could just ask for it later. Overall, check in was smooth and efficient.

However, the room itself was less than perfect. In general, it could have used some better housekeeping. When we arrived, we found some sand and stray hairs in the shower floor (not ours). After a more thorough inspection, my mother removed the bedspread which was a bit smellier than we had hoped. But no traces of bed bugs so we were fine for a few nights.

That being said, the rest of the room was clean and functional. My father had a desk area with plenty of lights and electrical outlets for his gadgets. My mother had her 42" flat screen television where she could watch Master Chef from the bed. And I had my empty mini-fridge to store my snacks...and an ice bucket to play with.

Best of all, we were going swimming in the indoor pool downstairs, but not before I was going to chow down on my PB&J less than 30 minutes before swimming. Yes, you hear that correctly. I like to live dangerously.

The next morning, we had free breakfast downstairs and head out for the day.

When we came back Thursday night, we called downstairs for a 4PM checkout on Friday afternoon. However, we were told that we'd have to call back in the morning when housekeeping was available to confirm they'd have enough time to clean the room before the next guests checked in. Despite wanting to pull the Hyatt Diamond status card, my father just hung up and agreed to call back.

The next morning, we called as we were told and they were able to give us until 2PM (even though we had Diamond status). While a 2PM checkout would at first appear moderately helpful, it actually wasn't enough time to really do anything during the day because we wouldn't be able to go somewhere and still get back in time by 2PM to check out. So thanks, but no thanks Hyatt Place. We just packed up and checked out at 12PM.

Overall Thoughts
The Hyatt Place brand is focused on moderate business travelers and families looking for a place to sleep at night. The functionality comes to the forefront (free hot breakfasts, free wifi, free parking), but when everything's free, you usually get what you pay for. The breakfast was fine (scrambled eggs, sausages, oatmeal, cereal, fruit) but the wifi was horribly slow and even shut off completely late at night (after 11:30PM).

For 8,000 Hyatt points a night, it wasn't a huge cost, but I would shudder to even consider paying more than $80 per night to stay here (vs. the current $249 rate).

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