Some of you who have been reading Miles For Family for a while know how much I love Hyatt. Hyatt has been good to me! Leana and I duked it out over Hyatt vs. IHG, and after a disappointing stay at another chain I wished I had just booked with Hyatt.
On my most recent nearly two-week trip to California and Colorado, I stayed at three different Hyatt hotels. While two of them were great, I was very disappointed with my stay at Hyatt House at Anaheim Resort.
Last year when my daughter and I visited Disneyland, we stayed at the nearby Hyatt Regency Orange County. We loved it! (See my review here). For this trip, the Hyatt House tempted me because of its new construction and closer proximity to the parks. Plus, the rooms were quite large with full kitchens.
Hyatt House at Anaheim Resort gets excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, 4.5 out of 5 stars. I booked a room with two queen beds and a sofa bed for my family of five using a Points + Cash rate of 6000 points + $75.
Before I get into the issues I had, I’ll highlight some of the positives of the hotel.
Hyatt House at Anaheim resort has only been open a year. Its location at the corner of Harbor and Katella is ideal for families visiting Disneyland. It’s about a two-block walk to the main entrance of the parks on a very pedestrian-friendly street. The walk took us about 15 minutes, but that included waiting several minutes at the light at Harbor and Katella.
A Starbucks and Walgreens are adjacent to the hotel downstairs. IHOP is next door, and there are several restaurants across the street.
Just a short walk down Katella is Anaheim Garden Walk, which was a nice shopping district with several full service restaurants.
Pool and Gym
The hotel has an outdoor heated saltwater pool and hot tub. There were plenty of chairs and towels each time we went.
Since we had been walking at the parks all day, we did not use the gym. However, it looked new and nice.
The hotel was actually quite large, so the breakfast buffet area was the largest I have seen. There were a ton of tables:
The buffet itself had two identical sides with cereal, eggs, bacon, oatmeal, waffles, bread, etc.
The staff was good about keeping the buffet stocked and cleaning the tables so other guests could find a seat.
Our issues started at check-in. We had taken a late afternoon flight from Dallas so that my husband could work that day. We arrived at the hotel at 8:45 p.m., but to our kids it was 10:45 p.m. and we were all tired. I left my family to sit in the lobby chairs while I checked in and got our room keys.
After I gave my name, the front desk attendant said, “So we have you in a room with two queen beds.” And then I added, “AAAAAAND a sofa bed.”
“No, your room doesn’t have a sofa bed. Just two queen beds.”
“Hmmm….I booked a room with two queen beds and a sofa bed.”
“No, it looks like you booked a handicap accessible room, and those rooms don’t have sofa beds.”
I didn’t remember booking a handicap accessible room, but the desk attendant insisted I had. Regardless, my email confirmation said the room had two queen beds and a sofa bed.
I pulled out my phone to show my email confirmation, but unfortunately I couldn’t get a signal.
The front desk attendant told me not to worry, because the room had an extra large L-shaped sofa that could be used for sleeping. She called to have someone bring up sheets for the sofa. Perfect! My 13-year-old was the one who would be on that.
As usual, I had my family wait outside for a minute while I snapped some photos of our room before the kids cluttered it with all of their stuffed animals. When I walked in, I thought there must be a mistake.
The room I booked was supposed to be 535 square feet with a divided living room area and a full kitchen. The room I walked into was nothing like that. It looked nothing like the photo of the room I booked online.
It had two queen beds, but the extra large L-shaped sofa was not there. Instead, there was a small chaise lounge next to the window.
And, there was no full kitchen. There was a microwave and a mini-fridge.
My family came inside, and I told them not to unpack because I think we got the wrong room. Clearly, my son could not fit on this “extra large” sofa.
Sit tight, family, I’ll return to the front desk and get this straightened out.
Back to the Front Desk
I was starting to become agitated at this point. We were tired and just wanted to get some sleep.
I returned to the front desk and told the attendants (two of them now) that I must have been given the wrong room. It did not have a large L-shaped sofa.
One of the attendants started saying that yes indeed, it did have a large sofa. So I pulled out my phone and showed him my photo of it.
The workers seemed surprised by the size of it. I don’t think they realized that it wasn’t the typical cozy corner sofa.
One of the attendants said that it was indeed a sofa sleeper. I said, “Oh, my mistake, I thought you said it didn’t turn into a sofa bed. So it does?”
“No, it doesn’t, but Hyatt considers that a sofa sleeper.”
Ummmm….it’s about the size of a toddler bed! No way!
I asked for a rollaway, but was told that it was against Hyatt’s corporate policy to have rollaway beds. Say what? We have slept on rollaways at several Hyatt hotels.
I told them that neither of my sons could even fit on that chaise lounge because they were too tall. They suggested that we move the leather foot stools to the end of the sofa to accommodate their height. Well, the leather foot stools were not the same height or width as the chaise lounge, so that seemed weird and uncomfortable.
The hotel was sold out for the next four nights. One attendant told me that this same mix-up happened to another family of five earlier in the evening, but there is nothing they can do about it.
I asked to speak to a manger. There was no manager on duty. I left my name and cell phone number to be contacted by a manager in the morning.
I went back upstairs. My family and I discussed the possibility of moving to another nearby hotel. However, I wasn’t sure if I would get a refund on this reservation. Plus, my kids were just so tired and wanted to sleep.
So, we decided that my daughter would sleep on the chaise lounge (since she could barely fit). My sons refuse to share a bed, so that meant that one of them would have to sleep with me. Just what every teenage boy wants to do.
Resolving the Issue
My family was able to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. I wasn’t laughing.
What bothered me most was how the front desk seemed to place the blame on me. And nobody working seemed to be empowered to solve the situation.
I booked a handicap accessible room. Ok, that part is on me, and it wasn’t intentional. However, the description on the website of the room I booked did not match the actual room we received. And had the description and photos been accurate, my family would have comfortably fit in the room.
That night, I sent a photo and tweet to @HyattConcierge. Hyatt responded that a manager would follow-up with me in the morning. I told my husband I was starting to feel like Ann Coulter (who famously tweeted about Delta a few weeks ago).
The next morning, we ate breakfast and went to Disneyland. We returned to the hotel in the early evening after dinner. I didn’t have any messages on my cell phone or on our room phone.
I replied back to Hyatt Concierge on Twitter that night that I had not heard from a manager. Hyatt said that a manager had called my room during the day but we didn’t answer. Of course we didn’t, because we were at the park. The manager didn’t leave a message.
On our third day, a front-desk manager called my cell phone. He apologized for the mix-up and admitted that the photos and the room description on the website are inaccurate. He said he had been trying to get Hyatt to change them for the past year, unsuccessfully. The manager gave me 12,000 Hyatt points for our inconvenience, which is enough points to book another night at that hotel.
After our trip, I returned to the hotel’s website and noticed that the room description and photos had changed to reflect only two beds and no kitchen. Well, at least my complaints helped change that.
What Could Hyatt Have Done Differently? What Would You Do Differently?
The thing is, my family has always been pretty flexible about sleeping arrangements as a family of five. Most hotel rooms are made for families of four, not five.
The difference is that in the past, if we knew the room didn’t have an extra bed, we brought our own inflatable mattress. Or, we made sure that the hotel could provide a rollaway bed. I did neither of these things because I had specifically booked a room large enough for my entire family.
The hotel’s management’s reaction was “too little, too late”, in my opinion. In retrospect, I wished that Hyatt would have moved our reservation to the nearby Hyatt Place or Hyatt Regency on the first night we arrived when our room type could not be accommodated. Sure, it would have been a pain, but we all would have been comfortable.
Based on our experience, I can’t in good faith recommend this hotel. There are plenty of other good choices near Disneyland.
This ordeal was a good reminder for me to not let something like this ruin our vacation. I was very frustrated with our experience, but I wasn’t going to allow it to dictate the tone of our trip.
Readers, what would you have done in this situation? Have you ever received a room “downgrade”?
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Nancy is a contributing writer for Miles For Family. She enjoys traveling to the beach and is a big fan of Disney. Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids.