One of the perks of being a hotel review writer is that hotels offer you deals — or free rooms — all the time. This is usually accompanied by pretty good service because everyone wants a good review.
I try to balance out the inherent bias of this setup by totally spying on hotel staff, peering around corners and taking notes like my hero, Harriet the Spy. I also strike up conversations the strangers at ice machines and the hallway or lobby.
Yes, I’m that lady, and I keep trying to talk to you because I want to find out if “regular” guests get the same treatment as I do. Usually the answer is yes, as far as I can discern. But recently I was a “regular” guest at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn, MI, and my stay kinda sucked.
The Room – Tiny, Dark and oh my God, is that Pizza on the Carpet?
I have a pretty broad tolerance for hotel rooms, but this one at the Dearborn Hyatt was small. It was cramped and crowded with two beds, two chairs, a desk, the tv/bureau thing, and the luggage stand. Lose a chair, let us breath a little!
The bathroom was tiny, and the handle on the sink was wonky, accidentally turning on the hot water way higher, hotter and faster than was safe. I did appreciate the extra sink and mirror outside of the bathroom, which made it easier to get ready. That’s also where they keep the single cup coffee maker, which was nice to have, but they only provided two tea bags — one caffeinated, one decaf.
I sort of feel lucky that we didn’t die in an electrical fire during the night. All of the outlets were strangely too loose for my computer, phone, and ipod chargers. As in, the plugs kept falling out of the outlets. Then the bedside light was broken. And then my traveling partner and I both had to pay $9.95 for wifi, which isn’t an electrical issue, but is surprising and annoying considering this is a business hotel. You’d think most of the guests would be traveling with laptops.
When I found chunks of dried up pizza on the floor, I was done. The room was terrible, and we didn’t have time wait around for a manager/housekeeping/fairy hotel godmother to come make it better, so we left to go meet friends at the lobby bar.
The Service – Mixed but Mostly Good
A room can be cleaned — or upgraded — if you’re staying long enough to bother complaining to management. The kind of service you get is a better indication of how good the property is. At this Hyatt, the service was mostly good. Our bellman was very friendly and helpful. The valet guys (who were in love with the Taurus SHO lent to us by Ford) were attentive and fast. The waitress in the bar was terrific.
On the other hand, the clerk at the front desk was vacant and unhelpful — checked out if you will.
Three out of four ain’t bad. But it’s not stellar, either.
No Mini-bar = No Cashews
My favorite Real Life Review hotel measurement was not available at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn. No mini-bar in the room, so no cashews. We can deduce from the pizza on the carpet that room service is available. Also, because the website says they have it.
Next time I’m in the Dearborn area, I’m going back to the Ritz, where I stayed earlier in the week. For about the same price, in the same area, I get amazing service, a nicer room, and that Hospitality Suite with the bottomless bowl of Reeses and Rolos. The only upside to the Hyatt is the big, modern lobby with a more happening bar. Which is nice, but not why I’m staying at a hotel. Sorry Hyatt!
Photos: Hyatt Regency Dearborn Hotel