Valencia isn't a city known for high end hotels, so in a town full of three star hotels, the three and a half star Hyatt is the place to be. It's located across the street from the Valencia Town Center, which is a beautiful shopping area (Mall? I never know what to call these things. I figure if Santa doesn't sit in the middle of it at Christmas, it's not a mall.) There's lots of great family restaurants (Red Robin, Johnny Rockets, TGIF, etc...) at Town Center, which is nice because the Hyatt only has one restaurant and it trends a little to the fancy side. There's also an IMAX theatre, a couple of bars, and an infinite amount of stores for my wife to spend money in. Fortunately it's also about a 2 minute drive from Magic Mountain, and the more time we spent there, the less time Lori had to go shopping. There's a free parking garage next to the hotel, or you can pay $12 to use valet.
The rooms themselves are fine. They use double beds instead of queens, which is a pet peeve of mine. It didn't matter so much this time as we had two rooms so everybody got their own, but I hate trying to share a double bed. The TV's were new and they get Disney Channel, HBO and all four of the ESPN channels (yes, those are the requirements for us to be truly happy). The only real complaint I have about the rooms was the tubs. The tub in the boys room wouldn't drain, and the tub in the girls room wouldn't hold water. There was probably a way to make this work, but it would have involved a lot of streaking up and down the hallway, so we just made do. I was told that the internet was a little spotty, but it worked perfectly for me so it gets top marks. Sorry kids, but it only matters if MY internet is working.
We had breakfast in the hotel restaurant both days. My wife and I had the buffet which was reasonable, although it doesn't compare to the Hyatt Orange County one. There was your standard sausage, bacon, eggs, hash browns and assorted pastries. On the second day my daughter got up in time to join us and she ordered pancakes off the menu. In hindsight this was the way to go, as her food came out almost as fast as if she had gone to the buffet, and it looked much better. I'm sure I would have felt silly doing it, but I would have asked for a smiley face of whipped cream on my pancakes too.
I know you're waiting for it, so let me tell you about the check out this morning. Again I got a front desk person who didn't seem too sure how the Hotwire stuff was billed, but fortunately the Hotel manager was in this morning, so he came to make sure everything was done properly. The two days breakfasts in the restaurant came off and the charges for the internet never made it to my bill, so I assume they are taken off automatically when your Diamond number is on your reservation. The "discussion" I referenced earlier came when I tried to pay for the tips that I had billed to the room or for the first nights parking when we used the valet. They wouldn't let me. The manager told me that everything was taken care of, and that they make enough money off the Diamond program that we shouldn't worry about it. While I'm happy to have the parking come off, I'm never sure if I like it or not when the hotel covers tips. Did the server really get their money? I guess I could always tip in cash, but I'm not always that organized. Our final bill came to $2 for an orange juice that my son had billed to our room.
I guess that means that we were a perfect three for three on this Hotwire stay. We didn't get the worst room in the hotel, the status benefits were honored even more than they had to be, and the billing was perfect. I'm not sure whether I attribute this success to Hotwire or to the Hyatt Valencia (I suspect the latter) but the important part is that I had a very good first experience using Hotwire for the first time. Considering the savings on the hotel, I'm sure I'll use it again in the future.