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Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
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As much as I love going on long vacations to exotic destinations, I get just as excited for quick getaways close to home. I recently enjoyed a 2-night trip to Chicago, which is just 1 hour by plane from my hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, and I chose this hotel for a few reasons. Most importantly, I wanted to enjoy the Globalist status that I had earned a few months prior through a Bilt Rewards promotion. I also needed 1 more elite night to hit 60 nights to earn valuable Milestone Rewards. On top of that, the cost in points was really low, so it made the weekend easy on my (points) budget.
Let’s get into the details of my stay at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
Hyatt Regency Chicago is a Category 3 hotel, so I was able to book 2 nights for just 9,000 World of Hyatt points per night off-peak. The cash cost of the room would have been $247 per night. That works out to 2.7 cents per point in value — an excellent deal considering we value Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each.
I have Globalist status (finally), so I was excited to get free breakfasts during my stay. I knew my status would cover my mom and daughter, who were sharing my room, but I was traveling with 2 additional family members who didn’t have status, and I wanted them to be able to enjoy free breakfast, too.
The Hyatt Regency Chicago has a club lounge, and I had numerous Club Lounge Access Awards in my account. I booked their room using one of my awards to ensure they would get a complimentary breakfast. I could have done a Guest of Honor stay, but the Club Lounge Access Award was getting ready to expire, so I was happy to be able to use it.
Hyatt Regency Chicago began charging a daily destination fee of $25 per night on January 1, 2024. This fee is waived on award bookings for Hyatt Discoverist and Explorist members. It’s also waived on both award and paid stays for Globalists.
Had I booked this hotel with cash, I would have used The World of Hyatt Credit Card because it earns 4x points on Hyatt purchases. Plus, I always shoot to put $15,000 in spending on this card each calendar year to earn a Hyatt Category 1-4 free night certificate. On top of that, it earns 2 elite night credits for each $5,000 spent on the card, so that $15,000 in spending would also earn 6 elite night credits.
We arrived at the hotel mid-morning and were immediately greeted by a helpful woman who directed us to the second floor to check-in.
Hyatt Regency Chicago is a huge hotel, and it was quite busy when we were there in early December 2023. Thankfully, there was a dedicated check-in line for World of Hyatt elite members, so I didn’t have to wait at all.
The man who checked us in was very friendly and explained where we could find the club lounge along with where to have breakfast because it wasn’t in the lounge. He also proactively upgraded our rooms due to my Globalist status and ensured both rooms on my reservation were on the same floor.
Overall, it was a quick and easy check-in process.
As a Hyatt Globalist, I was able to take advantage of some awesome elite benefits.
I used the World of Hyatt elite check-in lane (which had no line) and got an automatic room upgrade. The hotel was undergoing some renovations and was very full, so I didn’t get a suite upgrade, but I appreciated getting an updated room with a great view.
Even though this hotel has a Regency Club, complimentary breakfast for Globalist members was served in the hotel’s main restaurant. I loved having access to the club during the day for snacks and drinks while still getting a full breakfast in the restaurant, as opposed to a continental breakfast in the lounge.
Other benefits Globalists are entitled to include:
Complimentary premium internet
Complimentary bottle of water daily
Priority access to available rooms when checking in early
I booked a base level 2 Queen Beds room with World of Hyatt points. At check-in, I was upgraded to a newly renovated 2 Queen Beds Lake View Premium room. The views were fantastic, and there was a chaise lounge in front of the window so we could enjoy them.
At 351 square feet, the room wasn’t enormous, but it had plenty of space for 3 people during this short trip.
The beds were very comfortable with plenty of pillows and crisp white linens.
There was a central nightstand between the beds with an alarm clock and phone. Plugs and USB outlets were located on the alarm clock, and additional plugs were available on the other sides of the beds.
Individual reading lights were located on both sides of each bed — these were very handy!
Opposite the beds was a TV and desk area with a coffee maker and a mini-fridge.
The coffee and tea selections were in line with what I have seen at other Hyatt hotels — including the dreaded powdered coffee creamer (yuck). Thankfully, there was fresh coffee available in the lounge, so it wasn’t a problem on this trip.
Next to the room’s front door was a full-length mirror, a safe, and an open closet. As someone who rarely uses hotel closets, I really like these open-concept closet areas. I can put away some clothes without feeling like it’s too much of a commitment!
The bathroom was small but modern and functional. There was a single sink, toilet, and a stand-up shower. Thankfully, no shower curtains!
I would have preferred a bit more counter space, but we got by just fine on this 2-night trip. There were a few bath amenities by the sink, including a full-sized body lotion.
In the shower, there were full-sized Pharmacopia bath products, which is what you’ll usually find in Hyatt Regency hotels.
Hyatt Regency Club
One of the reasons I booked this hotel, other than the fantastic off-peak price and great location, was the fact that it had an open club lounge, which is something that’s becoming harder to find these days.
The club lounge at the Hyatt Regency Chicago was fantastic. Located on the 35th floor, it was open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Breakfast was served in the hotel’s restaurant instead of the lounge. That means we got to enjoy beverages and snacks in the lounge and a complimentary full breakfast instead of the continental breakfast that’s usually found in lounges. Getting access to both a lounge and a full breakfast in a nice sit-down restaurant is the best of both worlds.
The Regency Club at Hyatt Regency Chicago offers excellent value for Globalists and those redeeming Club Access Awards. You’ll get access to beverages and snacks throughout the day, as well as light appetizers and a discounted bar in the evenings. Plus, you’ll get a complimentary breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, American Craft Kitchen & Bar.
There were lots of seating options, including couches, high-tops, and regular tables, and TVs were located throughout the lounge.
There was a large fridge that was available anytime the lounge was open. It contained juices, sodas, water, multiple types of milk, yogurt, and Jell-O.
In addition, there were 2 specialty coffee machines and a selection of teas and hot chocolate.
In the evenings, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the Regency Club bar was available. The club lounge attendants (who were so kind and helpful) served the drinks, which were charged to our room. Cocktails were $6, and a glass of wine or a beer was $5.
During the day, the lounge served snacks such as fruit, chips, granola bars, and cookies.
In the evenings, light appetizers were served, featuring hot options like soup and chicken tenders.
The spread also included roasted vegetables, raw veggies and dip, hummus and crackers, and bread.
If you’re not too picky of an eater, you can easily make a full dinner out of what’s served at the lounge. We were there on both nights of our stay. It worked out really well to not have to go out for dinner after a long day of sightseeing. Also, it’s hard to pass up free.
The Hyatt Regency Chicago has an excellent Regency Club Lounge that serves beverages and snacks throughout the day and appetizers in the evenings. You can get access by booking a club lounge access room, using a Club Lounge Access Award, or by having Hyatt Globalist status.
Food and Beverage
American Craft Kitchen & Bar
I have Hyatt Globalist status, and my traveling companions used a Club Access Award, so we all enjoyed complimentary breakfast at American Craft Kitchen & Bar each morning. This is the hotel’s main restaurant located in the lobby.
The extensive breakfast buffet served hot items, including eggs, bacon, waffles, and oatmeal.
Breakfast also featured a made-to-order omelet station.
Cold items included cereal, fruit, and pastries.
The pastry selection included a variety of muffins and croissants.
Of course, the donuts were my daughter’s favorite thing on the buffet.
In addition to the buffet, there was a full menu, which was also included in the Globalist (and Regency Club) breakfast benefit.
Globalists and those with club lounge access get a complimentary breakfast each morning at American Craft Kitchen & Bar at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
BIG Bar is aptly named as it’s home to the longest free-standing bar in North America. Located on the mezzanine level, this bar opens daily at 4 p.m.BIG Bar’s menu includes an extensive cocktail and beer list as well as appetizers, pizza, and sandwiches. There’s also a happy hour menu available between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Market Chicago, located on the first floor, serves Starbucks coffee and a selection of grab-and-go sandwiches and snack items. It’s open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Stetson’s Modern Steak and Sushi
Stetson’s Modern Steak and Sushi is the hotel’s upscale restaurant, located in the main lobby on the first floor. Open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, the menu offers a variety of steaks, sushi, and salads. The beverage menu consists of wine, cocktails, Japanese beer, and sake.
The service I received at the Hyatt Regency Chicago was excellent. From my check-in experience to the restaurant hosts and wait staff, everyone was friendly and helpful.
Hyatt Regency Chicago was the perfect choice for my 2-night Chicago weekend trip. It has a great location for exploring the city, and as a Category 3 property, the cost in points was incredibly reasonable. On top of that, it had a fantastic Regency Club, and anyone with club access got a complimentary breakfast in the hotel’s main restaurant.
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Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.