Review: Grand Hyatt Seattle

Jyaga okay (3/5)

Grand Hyatt Seattle

Nearest Airport : SEA (13 miles or 22 km away)
Neighbourhood : Downtown Seattle
Website :
Address : 721 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101 USA
Chain : Grand Hyatt

With plush rooms and a central location, the Grand Hyatt Seattle might be the perfect haven for a short getaway in Downtown Seattle. Opened in 2001, the 425-room hotel joined the Hyatt Regency Bellevue as the group’s second hotel in the Seattle area. Since then, it has been renovated once in 2014, to remain competitive with the many Hyatts that have sprung up in the city. However, despite being one of the city’s better-regarded upmarket hotels, there are still several drawbacks to the Grand Hyatt.

Booking Grand Hyatt Seattle

For this stay, I paid a nightly rate of USD 220 (tax inclusive), which is close to the standard rate you’d find at most Downtown Seattle hotels in the winter. Do note that on top of that, there is a mandatory daily destination fee of USD25 (tax exclusive), which in my opinion offers little to no benefit (more on that later). This destination fee might not be disclosed when booking through a third party, so do pay attention to the small print.


Located on Pine Street, the Grand Hyatt Seattle is within easy reach of downtown’s sights and entertainment venues. The iconic Pike Place Market is within walking distance of the hotel alongside the Westlake Center. You could also easily head to other places like the International District and the Space Needle via the nearby Westlake Center Station.

Pine Street

Arrival and Check-in

We took an easy Uber ride to the hotel and arrived at the Grand Hyatt at around 11.00. After unloading my bags, a friendly doorman appeared out of nowhere, offering to take care of our luggage. He motioned us to head inside, where we found a completely empty lobby…

Entrance at Grand Hyatt Seattle
Entrance at Grand Hyatt Seattle

Inside, we were welcomed by an elegant and well-kept lobby, which distracted me from the fact that the place looked like a ghost town. Apart from the one front desk agent at the reception, I was just surprised to see barely any other guests or staff members.

Lobby at Grand Hyatt Seattle

As soon as I headed to the reception, however, I was greeted by a friendly desk agent who quickly processed my check-in. After filling out a few forms and confirming my payment details, I was thankful to be given a room immediately. This is despite the hotel’s official check-in time being at 16.00 (it keeps getting pushed doesn’t it?).

Lobby at Grand Hyatt Seattle
Lobby at Grand Hyatt Seattle

We ended up getting a room on Level 21, which is relatively high given that the building only has 30 floors. As I made my way up, the hotel’s age began to show with the International-style design and the dark wooden tones covering the public areas. But hey, I’m glad it has aged elegantly. If only they could brighten up the corridors a bit more, however.

Lift lobby
Room corridor

Grand Double Room

The entry-level Grand Rooms are sized at a reasonably comfortable 380 sqft (35 sqm). These rooms feature either a king-sized bed or two double beds. On this stay, I was assigned a room with the latter category, equipped two beds.

Grand Room entrance


Much like the rest of the hotel, the Grand Room employs heavy use of wood and earthy tones, with little details inspired by the Pacific Northwest. The warm hues gives an interesting contrast to the cool and crisp view of Seattle in the winter. However, despite being last renovated in 2014, the room have begun to look a bit aged. This is possibly due to the dull colours of the wall and the ceiling, leaving the room feeling darker than it is.

Grand Room
Grand Room
View from the room

The room itself, however, is quite comfortable, with the plush pair of double beds being the focal point. As expected, the mattress was comfortably firm and the bedding soft and light. I also liked the automated window blinds, which elevates the feel of the room. This is controlled by a button over the bedside console.

Grand Room
Grand Room

Additionally, the room also has an armchair by the window, alongside a large desk with a roller chair. Across the beds is also the television, as well as a cool-looking wooden luggage rack, which theoretically doubles as a chair.

Grand Room
Desk in the Grand Room

Complimentary water is provided on the desk and replenished daily. In addition, there is also a Keurig coffee machine with disposable cups and a minibar inside the television console. While I don’t really love Keurigs, I do appreciate that they are simple enough to use in place of a kettle. The minibar was empty, however.

Complimentary water

Finally, by the entryway is the closet, which features a large rack, a clothing iron and ironing bench, a collapsible luggage rack, an umbrella, and a safety deposit box.



The Carara marble bathroom is located across the closet and features an oversized bathtub with a separate shower booth. Apart from the orange vanity wall, the bathroom has aged better than the room, eliciting a sleek and elegant feel. There is even a dimmer switch, which allows for a cosier or potentially more intimate atmosphere.

Grand Room bathroom
Grand Room bathroom

I was happy to find that the water temperature and pressure to be excellent. Although the addition of a rain shower would have been nice, it wasn’t too necessary given the great existing water pressure.

Shower booth

As is standard with most Grand Hyatts, Balmain-branded amenities are provisioned in the bathroom. These come in large refillable containers affixed to the shower wall. While they were rather good quality, I did find myself disliking their waxy fragrance, which reminds me of the Byredo Blanche you’d find at InterContinental.

Balmain amenities
Balmain soap bar


Business Center

A very small business centre is available in the lobby. Located next to the side entrance, the facility is accessible at any time with a keycard. However, with just two seats and a small printing facility, it is nothing to get excited about.

Business centre at Grand Hyatt Seattle

Health Club

The Grand Hyatt features a Health Club on Level 4 which is open for guests 24 hours a day. The club features both a fitness centre and a wellness facility that includes a jacuzzi, a steam room, and a sauna. While the fitness centre itself is open all day, the jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna are only open from 06.00 to 24.00.

Entrance to the Health Club
Fitness centre
Fitness centre

I was impressed by the array of equipment available at the fitness centre, which I found to be modern and well-kept. There was a near complete choice of cardio equipment and weights, which you’d find in a premium gymnasium. Very nice!

Cardio equipment
Exercise balls and rollers
Weights and weight machines
Weights and weight machines
Towels, water dispenser, and earbuds

Tucked towards the back of the health club is the enclosed wellness area, housing the jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room. While I found the facility to be well-kept, I did find that the area smelled a bit musty perhaps due to the steam room.

Steam room

Lobby items

In addition to the Ruth Christie Steakhouse, the hotel also has a Starbucks outlet located on the lobby level. Curiously, there is also a pizza-vending machine, which I’ve never seen before. Although I was curious about it, I never ended up trying it out during my stay.

Starbucks Coffee and pizza vending machine

Destination fee

A daily, mandatory destination fee of USD25 is levied on all cash stays at the Grand Hyatt Seattle (the exception being Hyatt Globalist guests). This destination fee covers a range of seemingly pointless benefits, in addition to other things you’d expect from an upmarket hotel. For instance, ‘In-room Keurig setup with coffee & tea’ and ‘Up to 4 bottled waters daily upon request’ are listed as benefits. Really? The full coverage of the fee is illustrated by the following menu.

Although the hotel has four dining outlets, the food and beverage credit only applies to In-Room Dining and the Lobby Bar (the latter isn’t even advertised on the hotel’s website). Laughably, a single coffee pot costs USD 12 (tax and 20% service charge exclusive), stacked with a USD 5 delivery charge. You can’t even use this credit for breakfast at Ruth Christie or the grab-and-go NYC Deli. How ridiculous is that?

Fitness center

While the Grand Hyatt isn’t the exception when it comes to destination fees, it would have been nice had it been useful. For instance, the nearby Westin Seattle offers a daily USD 25 food and beverage credit and USD 10 Uber credit…


Despite the hotel’s supposedly upmarket nature, I was surprised to see the public areas devoid of staff. While the reception was often manned by a person or two, the lobby was otherwise eerily empty barring the occasional presence of a porter or the doorman. Furthermore, note that housekeeping service is only provided every other day unless requested. While the staff members were generally friendly, I’ve never seen such a limited-service, full-service hotel. And yes, I’m aware of the irony. It just felt to me that the hotel never really recovered from the pandemic.


Although the property has the makings of a nice, upmarket hotel, it falls short from being anything ‘grand’. The hotel gets near perfect marks for its rooms, fitness and location. However, given the absurd destination fee offerings and the limited services, the hotel was far from great. If it weren’t for the plush-looking (yet outdated) room, I could have mistaken this place for a Travelodge! As such, I definitely wouldn’t call the Grand Hyatt Seattle a luxury hotel, as its website so claims.

Read more from this trip here!

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