Sunday, May 9, 2010

BELLEVUE, WA: The Hyatt Regency

I watched this Hyatt Regency being built when I lived in the Seattle area a number of years ago but, being a local, never actually stayed there. Now I realize what I was missing. The Hyatt Regency is a great property with great service at a great location.

Seattle Hotel ReviewDowntown Bellevue is more a business and commercial area than a tourist destination but, whatever your reason for being there, you'll find the Hyatt Regency's location quite convenient. It's very close to shopping, art galleries, Microsoft Visitors Center, a number of fine restaurants and many familiar chains. The location also offers easy access to the I-405 freeway as well as the S.R. 520 and I-90 floating bridges that lead across Lake Washington to Seattle. It's also within easy driving distance of Chateau Ste. Michele and other local wineries.

Service is excellent; every staff member we encountered was pleasant, polite, and helpful. Our room in the Cascade Tower was very nice and equipped with all the amenities we expect today including flat-screen TV, work station, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, and bathrobes. Our room faced east; many west-facing rooms offer views of Lake Washington and the Seattle skyline beyond.

The Cascade Tower (to the north) was finished in the late '80s and was the property's first building. Rooms in this tower have obviously been kept up-to-date, but soundproofing between rooms could be better. If that's a particular sensitivity, request a room in the brand-new Olympic Tower to the south.

The hotel also has a large conference center which can mean lots of activity, as was the case during the weekend we stayed there. Despite the large number of squealing teenagers involved in a dance workshop and competition, the hotel was very good at containing the cacophony to the lobby and the meeting floors.

Garage self-parking is quite reasonable at $16 per week night; parking is complimentary on weekends. Valet parking is also available.

During our weekend stay, we enjoyed dining at two nearby restaurants. Daniel's Broiler on the 21st floor of the adjoining office tower is a great place to watch the sun set while enjoying drinks and nibbles or dinner. Dinner is fairly pricey, though the food is very good. On the ground floor, across the driveway from the hotel entrance, is Joey's Bellevue. Food at Joey's is also very good though the atmosphere is more casual than at Daniel's (in fact, it was downright frenetic in the lounge during happy hour), and offers more modest pricing. Unfortunately the hotel's on-site restaurant, The Twisted Cork, is currently only open for breakfast.

All things considered, I would say the Hyatt Regency Bellevue's Four-Diamond designation is well-deserved. We were certainly not disappointed!

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