Thursday 29 March 2012

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Hyatt Place Herndon / Dulles Airport-East

You know what's important when arriving in a new city in the middle of the night? Knowing the name of your hotel. Not just an approximate name...the exact one. After our problems making our connection in Denver, we arrived at Washington's Dulles Airport around 2:30am, gathered our bags, and hopped in a cab. Unfortunately, my paperwork had been all shifted around when we were planning on staying in Denver for the night, so I was trying to tell the driver where we needed to go by memory. I staggered through a bunch of options..."The Hyatt Place Dulles", "The Hyatt Herndon", "The Hyatt Dulles Airport", until finally our taxi driver decided that he knew where we were going and we raced off into the night.

He didn't know where we were going.

I can't blame our driver for getting tired of listening to me mix up the names of the six Hyatt hotels that surround the Dulles airport, and I thank him for deciding that we looked like respectable enough people to drop us off at the fanciest of the Hyatts, the Hyatt Dulles. Unfortunately, as you can see from the title of this post, that's not where we were staying. This revelation occurred to me after our taxi roared away, when I turned to look at the hotel and thought to myself, "Geez, I've never seen a 15 story Hyatt Place before."

I still haven't.

Our thanks to the Front Desk Agent at the Hyatt Dulles who took the time to walk outside with us and point us to the Hyatt Place Herndon, which fortunately was just across the road and down a block or two. Nothing like a little 3am moonlight stroll pulling luggage through the streets of Virginia (Yes, I had to look that up. I had no idea where we were.) to finish your day off, but believe me with the finish line in sight, we were more than ready to get to our room. We rolled in to the lobby of our hotel at around 3:15am, grabbed our keys, and headed upstairs.

These are the moments that make me love Hyatt Place. I've never once walked into a Hyatt Place room and thought "Whoa! What a strange layout!" Every Hyatt Place we've ever stayed at has the exact same layout, and after as many nights as we've spent in them, it's like arriving back home. The kids all know which bed they're sleeping in, Lori knows exactly where she wants everything to go, and we all know how to hook our stuff up to the free Wi-Fi. It's a perfect late-night arrival hotel for us.

Sorry. Too tired to take the pictures when we arrived and the beds were made.

Of course the real reason we choose Hyatt Place is space. As a family of five, we can make do with a two queen room, but whenever the opportunity presents itself, we'd much rather have two beds and a pull out couch. This is what every Hyatt Place has, and it still leaves a bunch of floor space left over. The bathrooms are small, but there is a huge counter with a sink outside of it, allowing people to get ready without tying up the tub or toilet. Each room has a fridge and (can you hear my wife cheering?) coffee maker, but my favorite part about Hyatt Place rooms are the TV's.

Each Hyatt Place room comes with a 42" flat screen TV, which is nice, but my favorite part is the control panel. Hyatt has built a separate panel into the entertainment unit that the TV sits on, allowing you to hook up your iPads, computers, DVD players, and just about anything else you want, without having to fumble around behind the TV looking for input sockets. While sometimes Hyatt's TV channels are lacking (They very rarely have Disney channel. All hotels should have Disney Channel.), it's less of a problem when it's so simple to hook up our own equipment.

I can't think of an occasion when I've been disappointed by a stay at a Hyatt Place, and Hyatt Place Herndon wasn't the first. It was comfortable, quiet (at least until we arrived at 3am), and the staff were super-helpful in arranging transportation into D.C. for us the next morning. We slept through the free continental breakfast, but from the setup I saw when we arrived, it looked like it would be a pretty decent one. If I was headed back into Dulles, you can be assured that I'd stay at the hotel again, especially now that I've got the name of it memorized. Hyatt Place Herndon....Hyatt Place Herndon....Hyatt Place Herndon....