I began a last-minute booking/planning back in November 2017 – that’s when I decided to book us on a trip to the East Coast. The plan was to fly from Los Angeles to Philadelphia, get a rental and drive to Washington DC, spend a few days in DC, and spend the New Year in New York City.
As always, I wanted to book using my points. We had free nights that we could use by using our points (free nights with Hyatt and points with our Chase Ultimate Rewards). The Grand Hyatt Washington happens to be a Category 4, meaning if free night awards were available, then we could use our free night’s stay. It took a little bit of booking coordination on my end, but it all worked out in the end. I booked us on a standard double room (a room with 2 beds).
I made an effort to reach out to the hotel weeks before our trip. I was not given any promises. So on the day that we arrived in Philadelphia, we picked up our rental, drove around Philly for a bit, stopped at Independence Hall to see the Liberty Bell, grabbed Philly Cheesesteak, and then we made our way to Washington DC (it was about a three-hour drive).
It was already past 3pm when I received an email from the Grand Hyatt Washington. I was rewarded with a Presidential Suite PLUS another standard room for our use. We were so thrilled to say the least.
Which credit card got us this free stay at the Hyatt?
It was our World of Hyatt credit card that got us our free stay at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Nancy and I have 2 separate Hyatt cards that offer anniversary free nights, and this hotel happened to be a Category 4 and we were able to redeem our free nights here. We also used our points earned with our Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred – the Ultimate Rewards points have a great value when booking Hyatt using Chase’s Travel Portal.
We had no idea what to expect. The room, at the time of our arrival around 5pm, was not yet ready. Only the regular standard room was ready. So we hung out there for a bit, it was a corner room with one king bed. It was around 6pm when we were advised that our suite was ready, and were in for a treat. It was massive. There were double doors for the entry, a little foyer, and a powder room.
Then there was a living room, a sitting area with a TV, an office with a desk and credenza, a dining room, a bar, and little kitchen.
On the far right was the master suite, a roomy suite with a walk in closet, vanity, and a humongous, brightly lit bathroom.
What was not to love. After flying on the redeye, and driving from Philly to DC, this was really a great way to start our winter getaway on the East Coast.
The Club Lounge
Since we were on the 12th floor’s Presidential Suite, we were given full access to the Club Lounge.
Visiting the Club Lounge became ritual for us. We were there for breakfast, and then we’d explore the city, and made sure that we came back for the evening’s cocktails and happy hour. The food and drinks selection were fantastic.
What’s even greater was the service from their staff, that made it quite worthwhile for us to visit this lounge. It wasn’t the most spacious of all lounges, but it was roomy enough for the guests who were given access to the lounge.
Staying at the Grand Hyatt meant that we were close enough to the National Mall, to Chinatown, and to many restaurants and shopping. On our first full day, we decided to take our time by walking from the hotel towards the White House. We spent most of our day exploring one side of the National Mall. Nancy and I were here a few years ago, and it was great to finally bring all our kids to such a historic place in our country. I will write a separate entry about our visit to the National Mall
Grand Hyatt was home
Since we had access to the Club Lounge, the food that they served kept us full. The hotel also surprised us with more gifts over the next few evenings, from chocolate covered strawberries, to an array of drinks. We just kept getting surprised day in and day out.
We enjoyed our stay so much that we chose not to venture out so much in the evening. There were a couple of nights when we just decided to order Chinese takeout and ate the food in our suite.
It was clear that we enjoyed our stay, every moment spent at the Grand Hyatt was simply unforgettable and we can’t wait to return. To the Grand Hyatt Washington staff, a heartfelt thanks from my family.
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In the meantime, if you want to learn more details how to earn points using bonuses provided by credit cards, click here for my Top Travel Credit Cards.