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Hyatt Regency Chicago [In-Depth Hotel Review]

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Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

Senior Content Contributor and News Editor

Countries Visited: 28U.S. States Visited: 29

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...
Edited by: Jessica Merritt
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Jessica Merritt

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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
& Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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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.

Booking

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.

Hot Tip:

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.

If you don’t have the World of Hyatt card, other good options would be the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or American Express® Green Card, both of which earn 3x points on all travel purchases.

Location

Hyatt Regency Chicago exterior
The Hyatt Regency Chicago is centrally located downtown on the river.

The Hyatt Regency Chicago is a huge riverfront hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago. Just blocks from Millennium Park, Navy Pier, and the Magnificent Mile, this hotel’s location is perfect for exploring all of Chicago’s best sights and attractions.

We flew into Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) and grabbed an Uber to get to the hotel. The ride took about 30 minutes and cost ~$70 for the 5 of us in an UberXL. I was able to use all of my Uber credits from The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card to help cover the cost.

Checking In

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 lobby staircase
The 2-story open lobby is quite dramatic.

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.

Hyatt Regency Chicago elite check in desk
There was a separate check-in area for World of Hyatt elite members.

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.

Elite Benefits

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
  • Late checkout upon request
  • Complimentary parking on free night awards

Room

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.

View from our room at Hyatt Regency Chicago
Looking out onto the river and lake.

At 351 square feet, the room wasn’t enormous, but it had plenty of space for 3 people during this short trip.

Hyatt Regency Chicago renovated room
Our room was big enough for 3 people.

The beds were very comfortable with plenty of pillows and crisp white linens.

Hyatt Regency Chicago 2 queen beds premium lake view
Our room had 2 queen beds.

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.

Hyatt Regency Chicago nightstand
There was a nightstand between the beds.

Individual reading lights were located on both sides of each bed — these were very handy!

Hyatt Regency Chicago bedside reading light
These reading lights were very useful.

Opposite the beds was a TV and desk area with a coffee maker and a mini-fridge.

Hyatt Regency Chicago tv and desk area
There was a desk and TV across from the beds.

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.

Coffee maker in room at Hyatt Regency Chicago
The in-room coffee maker.

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!

Hyatt Regency Chicago room entryway
There was an open-concept closet at the entrance to the room.

Bathroom

The bathroom was small but modern and functional. There was a single sink, toilet, and a stand-up shower. Thankfully, no shower curtains!

Hyatt Regency Chicago bathroom wtih shower
The bathroom was small but modern.

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.

Hyatt Regency Chicago bathroom sink
There were a few amenities next to the sink.

In the shower, there were full-sized Pharmacopia bath products, which is what you’ll usually find in Hyatt Regency hotels.

Hyatt Regency Chicago Pharmacopia bath products
There were Pharmacopia bath products in the shower.

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.

Hyatt Regency Chicago Regency Club beverages
I enjoyed the Regency Club on the hotel’s 35th floor.

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.

Bottom Line:

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.

Hyatt Regency Chicago club lounge sitting area
The back of the lounge was quite cozy with couches and a TV.
Hyatt Regency Chicago club lounge
There was plenty of seating 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.

Hyatt Regency Chicago club lounge beverages
We could stop by the lounge to grab a drink to go.

In addition, there were 2 specialty coffee machines and a selection of teas and hot chocolate.

Hyatt Regency Chicago club lounge coffee machine
Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate were available anytime.

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.

Hyatt Regency Chicago club lounge bar
Cocktails, wine, and beer were available in the evenings.

During the day, the lounge served snacks such as fruit, chips, granola bars, and cookies.

Regency Club snacks at Hyatt Regency Chicago
These homemade granola bars were delicious.

In the evenings, light appetizers were served, featuring hot options like soup and chicken tenders.

Dinner buffet at Regency Club Hyatt Regency Chicago
Evening appetizers at the club lounge.

The spread also included roasted vegetables, raw veggies and dip, hummus and crackers, and bread.

Regency Club dinner vegetables Hyatt Regency Chicago
Veggies on the evening buffet.

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.

Dinner at Hyatt Regency Chicago Regency Club
You can make a meal out of what’s offered at the club lounge.
Bottom Line:

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

Hyatt Regency Chicago American Craft Kitchen
American Craft Kitchen & Bar is located in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

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.

Open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

The extensive breakfast buffet served hot items, including eggs, bacon, waffles, and oatmeal.

Hyatt Regency Chicago American Craft Kitchen breakfast buffet
Hot items on the breakfast buffet.

Breakfast also featured a made-to-order omelet station.

Hyatt Regency Chicago American Craft Kitchen breakfast buffet omelet station
The made-to-order omelet station at the breakfast buffet.

Cold items included cereal, fruit, and pastries.

Hyatt Regency Chicago American Craft Kitchen breakfast buffet cereal
Cold cereals on the breakfast buffet.

The pastry selection included a variety of muffins and croissants.

Hyatt Regency Chicago American Craft Kitchen breakfast buffet pastries
Pastries on the breakfast buffet.

Of course, the donuts were my daughter’s favorite thing on the buffet.

Hyatt Regency Chicago American Craft Kitchen breakfast buffet donuts
The donut display was quite unique.

In addition to the buffet, there was a full menu, which was also included in the Globalist (and Regency Club) breakfast benefit.

Hyatt Regency Chicago American Craft Kitchen breakfast
We ordered hash browns, avocado toast, and poached eggs to share.
Hot Tip:

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

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

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.

Market Chicago at Hyatt Regency Chicago
Market Chicago offered grab-and-go food and drinks.

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.

Stetsons Modern Steak and Sushi at Hyatt Regency Chicago
Stetson’s Modern Steak and Sushi is an upscale restaurant and bar.

Service

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

The information regarding The World of Hyatt Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the American Express® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

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For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Hyatt Regency Chicago downtown?

Yes, the Hyatt Regency Chicago is located at 151 East Wacker Drive, in the heart of downtown Chicago.

Is the Hyatt Regency Chicago close to the Magnificent Mile?

Yes! The Hyatt Regency Chicago is located just across the river from the south end of the Magnificent Mile, which runs along Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

What time is checkout at the Hyatt Regency Chicago?

Check-out time at the Hyatt Regency Chicago is at noon. Late checkout is often available for Hyatt Discoverists, Explorists, and Globalists.

How far is the Hyatt Regency Chicago from O'Hare Airport?

Hyatt Regency Chicago is about 18 miles from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). The drive can take 25 minutes or more, depending on traffic.

How far is the Hyatt Regency Chicago from Midway Airport?

Hyatt Regency Chicago is just under 13 miles from Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW). The drive can take 25 minutes or more, depending on traffic.

How far is Hyatt Regency Chicago from Navy Pier?

Hyatt Regency Chicago is just under 1 mile from the Navy Pier. It takes 20 minutes or less to walk there.

Does the Hyatt Regency Chicago have a pool?

No, there’s not a pool at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

What is the Hyatt Regency Chicago check-in time?

Check-in time at the Hyatt Regency Chicago is 3 p.m. It may be possible to check in earlier depending on the hotel’s occupancy.

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About Katie Seemann

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.

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