Hyatt Place Tempe, Arizona – USA

I had arrived in Phoenix on the first of four countries I was visiting for a project.  My day had started at 03:35 UK time and I had flown via CDG and ATL; I was beginning to get tired.  The local time was almost 23:00 when my plane landed at Phoenix International Airport.

I had already cleared customs at Atlanta and my bag was out pretty quickly; all I had to do was find the shuttle bus.  There was a large section of one wall that had details of all the airport hotels along with the short code to use to call them from the courtesy phone.  All the airport hotels except the Hyatt Place Tempe.  Having spent far too long trying to get my iPhone to work (user error…) to call them direct I eventually went into the Delta luggage office.  I was lucky enough to find a soul who took pity on me and she allowed me to use her phone to call the hotel.  I was told to leave at exit 4 and cross the street and that the shuttle bus would be with me shortly.

‘Shortly’ turned out to be almost 20 minutes, but sure enough the bus turned up and I was on my way.

As a Hilton devotee, I wasn’t all that excited about staying here.  I had found a thread on Flyertalk that explained I could have status match with Hyatt and had followed that process some days earlier; I was a Diamond Gold Passport member and as this is the top tier of Gold Passport (Hyatt’s frequent guest programme), my expectations were high.

The ride from the airport only took about 10 minutes.  I tipped the driver and went in to reception.  The pictures on the website made the hotel look…different to what I could see.

I was expecting a large and luxurious ‘lounge’ where I could order snacks; instead there was a hotel lobby that seemed to have about as much atmosphere as a dr’s waiting room.  There wasn’t even a bar (!), only a couple of stools around a very small horseshoe shaped ‘pantry’ with one guest sipping a Bud.  Oh dear.

I was greeted by a slightly frosty ‘hostess’ who checked my details and gave me my special gift for being a Diamond member…a one time use coupon for a non alcoholic drink or a ‘snack item’ from the pantry.  This is worth 60 nights a year loyalty?  Complete nonsense.  Room key in hand I went up to the room…

The room was very spacious; there was a Queen bed near the window, which had a view over a parking yard and the desert, an ‘L’ shaped sofa-bed and a desk area.  There was also a small fridge and a sink with a counter top opposite the desk.  I plugged my in Mac and connected to the free Wi-Fi , then made a call home (they were getting up). I then crashed out.

In the morning I unpacked – badly.  There was a wardrobe beside the sink that had had room to hang my shirts and suit, and one drawer.  There was the mass of space in the room and yet nowhere to put my stuff!  What a waste!

Breakfast was cereal and plastic muffins that did not look good.  Filter Starbucks coffee was available free of charge which seemed to excite most guests.

The pool here was very small and did not look like somewhere I would want to swim in; I wouldn’t let my kids use it either – it looked dirty and was situated next to the car park.  There was a small gym here that had a couple of machines that would have done for a couple of workouts.

It was possible to order ‘snacks’ and wine / beer from the ‘host’ here but it was clear that the food was all microwaved; the hotel weren’t interested in convincing guests to eat with them.  I tried a few local eateries during my stay (all were accessed using the free shuttle bus); my favourite was Dave’s Electric Brewpub.  You can also check out our reviews of Cadillac Ranch, Thirsty Lion and a little drive away in Sedona, The Barking Frog Grille.

Staff here (initial frostiness aside) were friendly and helpful, and happy to recommend things to do / places to eat and drink in the local area.

Check-out was uneventful and the shuttle bus was ready and waiting at 6am on the morning of my departure to take me to the airport.

The hotel had a lot of large groups of school kids, which didn’t bother me however I suspect some rooms may have been a little noisy.  My opinion is that this is little more than a budget hotel which didn’t even have  a bar.  The hotel would be fine for a night before or after a flight, however I wouldn’t want to stay here again for business or pleasure.

Take some water with you (there is a Wal-Mart about 5 minutes drive away) as it is very expensive in the hotel.  Take some beer too and consider venturing outside for breakfast.  I was informed by reception that there is only one room type here and as such I don’t think any rooms are better then others.  There are some meeting rooms here although I wouldn’t take any of my clients here…

My advice – take a gamble and find something better with Hotwire!

Hotwire: 4-Star Hotels at 2 Star Prices; Save 50%

Hyatt Place Tempe, 413 West Rio Salado Parkway  Tempe, AZ 85281.  Website.

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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