sojourneys


Rediscovering the Hyatt Regency Wichita
June 15, 2013, 9:07 pm
Filed under: hotels, Hyatt, resorts | Tags: , , ,

In June I had the opportunity to once again stay at the Hyatt Regency Wichita, which I had previously reviewed three times.  This most recent stay, with a complimentary upgrade to a corner room by a cheerful, prompt, and helpful front desk associate by the name of Beverley provided some new experiences.

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The lobby, designed to resemble an open, contemporary home, is welcoming and puts guests at ease.  Guests preferring more healthy, light fare or snacks can avail themselves of Perks Coffee and More, which in addition to salads, sandwiches, and pastry, also serves up a steaming cup of Starbucks Coffee.

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The corner guestroom with its muted, soft colors and lighting makes for a relaxing stay. The Hyatt bed, linens, and array of pillow options allow for a restful night–or a delightful siesta.  For bathroom amenities, Hyatt has switched from Portico Spa to KenetMD.  The shampoo and conditioner leave hair clean and supple, while the body lotion is easy to apply and absorbent.

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The best aspect of the corner room, with its abundant windows, however is the panoramic view of the Arkansas River, the Lawrence Dumont Stadium, the INTRUST Bank Arena, and surrounding attractions.

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The Westin O’Hare Hotel
June 14, 2013, 11:10 pm
Filed under: airports, Chicago, hotels, reviews, Westin | Tags: , , ,

One flight delay leads to another and a 30-hour delay in Hong Kong led to missing a connection in Chicago O’Hare.  That however provided an opportunity to sample the Westin O’Hare Hotel, ten minutes away by shuttle from the second busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft movements.

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While O’Hare has regularly won the crown of “Best Airport in America” as voted by readers of the U.S. edition of Business Traveler Magazine and Global Traveler Magazine, the Westin property that bears its namesake cannot be said to boast such accolades.  Don’t get me wrong, the Westin beds are comfortable, the rooms are spacious, and the Westin White Tea Aloe collection provides a soothing, harmonizing effect perfect for post-flight respite.  The decor of the hotel, from the lobby to the corridors to the guestrooms while contemporary, is soullessly undifferentiated and mass-produced, and is the reason why a growing group of travelers are turning away from large corporate hotels in favor of more intimate, bespoke boutique properties.

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The facilities from the lobby to the adequately equipped fitness room are laudably spacious for an airport hotel.  Guests would not feel claustrophobic despite the crowd, and a real strength of the hotel is the hassle-free access to O’Hare International Airport that is so vital for business travelers.



Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong

I am generally not one who likes to stay at an airport hotel, but a layover at the Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong recently–thanks to a 30-hour flight delay by United Airlines–proved surprising in some ways.

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The atrium lobby is expansive, offering guests a panoramic view of some of the property’s six restaurants and bars.

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For an airport hotel, the hotel offers a wide variety of recreational facilities.  There are two good sized pools–one indoor and the other outdoor.  The gym is also surprisingly spacious and well-appointed, with ample cardio machines, weight resistance equipment, and free weights.

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The guestroom, while functional, was small and bordering on spartan.  The wing I was assigned to was directly adjacent to the landing strip of the Hong Kong International Airport, but fortunately, the room was well insulated with no perceptible noise from planes making their landing at one of the world’s busiest hubs.

For layover passengers, the Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong, directly connected to the passenger terminal via an air-conditioned link bridge, offers a pleasant stay.  As a bonus, the property runs a regular shuttle to the Citygate outlet mall, which in addition to the bevvy of international brands at a discount, boasts a variety of restaurants and a grocery store.