In a nutshell: the Hyatt Place Bogota is the nicest property within the brand at which I’ve stayed. The hotel is upscale, and the rooms are very comfortable. Due to COVID-19, I booked it for a very good rate. Breakfast could use a little improvement. Otherwise, I have no complaints about the hotel.
However, I noticed that there is also a Hyatt Place. I ultimately decided to split my four nights in the Colombian capital between the two properties, saving 24,000 World of Hyatt points and spending just $114 out of pocket. I booked my Hyatt Place Bogota stay as the first two nights of the trip.
It ultimately came down to the excellent rate offered by the Hyatt Place Bogota. I prefer to use points for my hotel stays, which I do 75% of the time or more. But when the rate is just $57.60 per night after taxes, it is difficult to argue using points. If I had, I would have gotten just 1.1 cents per point, which is an awful Hyatt redemption.
Arrival at the Hyatt Place Bogotá
My flight from Atlanta arrived around 7:30 PM into Bogotá. Given how little travel abroad there is currently, I made it through immigration quickly. I detail my experience entering Colombia during COVID-19 in this post. The Hyatt Place Bogota is about a 10-15 minute Uber or Taxi ride from the airport, located off the main Avenida El Dorado that runs between the airport and downtown. Note that Uber pickups at the airport like to use the parking lot (at least according to my driver) due to police and taxi presence. The Uber situation in Colombia has been an ongoing source of tension, as the taxi drivers contend the service is unlawful.
My ride was comfortable, far more comfortable than any taxi I took, which is one general upside to Uber. Plus, I had much better conversations with my Uber drivers on the whole (including one regarding U.S. politics…fun!). I arrived at the Hyatt Place Bogota just after 8:00 PM.
The Hyatt Place Bogota performed COVID-19 sanitization procedures when I arrived. The security staff scanned my temperature and noted down my name and the time. He also sanitized the exterior of my bags using a spray. I was also asked to use the hand sanitizer. The hotel is definitely up on their COVID-19 measures.
I was impressed by the style of the hotel when I arrived in the second floor lobby. It certainly isn’t luxury, but it is a step above pretty much every Hyatt Place I’ve stayed at within the U.S. Check-in took a little longer than normal, as I had to fill out a form, provide my passport, and pay for the room up front. The front desk agent let me know the breakfast hours.
He’d also let me know that they’d upgraded me to a high-floor room with a nice view of the city.
Standard King Room – High Floor View
My first observation was that the rooms at the Hyatt Place Bogota are much smaller than rooms at Hyatt Place hotels in the U.S. One of the reasons I really like the Hyatt Place brand is the consistency offered by their properties. Almost every U.S. hotel at which I’ve stayed has the same room layout, and they are fairly spacious. The Hyatt Place Bogota offers a more typical compact hotel room design. This might also be influenced by the business traveler focus of the hotel, as the Agora Bogotá Convention Center is less than a block away.
Like the typical U.S. Hyatt Place rooms, some of the king room couches include a sleeper sofa, which is awesome. The ability to fit 5-6 people in two-queen Hyatt Place rooms is one of my favorite brand features. You’d be lucky to sleep three in this room, however.
The hotel staff had kindly handwritten a card and provided a welcome gift. This was definitely a first at a Hyatt Place property. The hotel definitely made me feel welcomed as a Globalist guest.
Several things on the desk (and in other places in the room) had strips of paper signifying that they’d been cleaned well. I’m not sure how much of this is any different from their previous cleaning procedures and is just a psychological measure for guests. But that’s my cynical side speaking. The only real difference is the plastic packaged pen and paper pad. The room also includes a mini-fridge under the TV to the side of the desk.
The king room bathroom is compact but nice. Like most Hyatt place rooms, it has a tile shower and no tub.
One of the best features of the room is the view. The city looked nice at night, but I was greeted with a lovely view the next day. This is looking across the city to the southwest.
Overall, I liked the room. It was smaller than any other Hyatt Place room in which I’ve stayed, but still very comfortable and had everything one would expect.
Hyatt Place Bogota Breakfast and Dinner
The Hyatt Place offers food 24/7 at their “market” by the front desk. They also offer a breakfast and dinner menu, as well as drinks from the bar in the evening. Things are different during COVID-19, but not substantially so. Breakfast starts at 6:30 AM on weekdays and 7:00 on weekends.
I really liked the aesthetic of the dining area. There was both a small “lounge” area along with more typical dining tables.
Breakfast was quite a bit different than the typical Hyatt Place offering in the U.S. For one, the buffet was not operating, but that was expected during the COVID-19 pandemic. You had to scan the QR code for the menu. The breakfast options were slightly different depending whether you were there on a weekday or weekend. I ordered the combo of eggs, fruit, and bread each day, plus a coffee. Breakfast is complimentary as a World of Hyatt member booked with an eligible rate (i.e through Hyatt and not a 3rd party).
Breakfast was decent. It would have been nice to have options that included sausage or bacon, or something besides eggs and fruit. They did have some that included oatmeal, but even with half a dozen “combos,” things felt really limited.
I ate dinner at the hotel on my second evening in the city. This lead to a funny encounter with the one staff manning both the front desk and waiting in the restaurant. After approaching the desk and asking (in Spanish) if the restaurant was open for dinner, I headed over and sat down.
He came over moments later and asked whether I guest at the hotel. I replied yes. He then said he hadn’t seen me and had been there most of the day. I said I’d arrived the previous evening and had been out seeing Bogotá all day. The next question was expected: where are you from? The United States, of course! His surprise was evident.
Clearly, he couldn’t place me based on my accent. This is one travel win I always enjoy, even if it does feed the ego. I’ve done my utmost to practice the gringo out of my Spanish pronunciation.
We ended up having a great conversation for over 15 minutes after he brought me a glass of wine. I love hearing the perspective of people in other countries on the COVID-19 pandemic and travel. We talked about the current Bogotá restrictions, the atrociously low occupancy at the Hyatt Place, and how much he loves the Grand Hyatt (he used to work there).
I did ultimately enjoy my shrimp rice in addition to the conversation. The dinner menu at the Hyatt Place Bogota is limited, but were still a few options that sounded appealing.
The Hyatt Place Bogota does not have a pool, but they do have a reasonably nice fitness center. The hotel website says this is unavailable, but my room key still worked to access it, and there was no signage saying that it was not to be used during the pandemic. I’m not sure if this is a hotel choice or mandated restriction, as I’ve been to other hotels that have just increased sanitary measures.
I also peeked in the door of the top-floor meeting room. The space offers wonderful views of Bogotá through floor-to-ceiling windows.
You can expect plenty of COVID-19 measures at the hotel. Besides the temperature checks and bag sanitization on arrival, you’ll also have your temperature checked when you return (as long as the staff are there). Face coverings are required, and there are sanitizer stations in various locations, including in the elevator. The elevators also have the typical social distancing circles and are limited to no more than 4 guests,.
Regarding the COVID-19 measure: you can actually be tested on-site at the Hyatt Place Bogota for COVID-19. This is not complimentary, but it is certainly convenient, especially if you need to be tested in order to return to the United States.
Getting Around Bogotá
There isn’t much very close to the Hyatt Place Bogota, unless you’re in town for a convention. In that case, it’s extremely conveniently located. If you’re here to visit the historic city and tour the museums and old town, you’ll want to take either a taxi or Uber to La Candelaria. Both are cheap and convenient. I didn’t try to figure out the bus system since you can take Uber everywhere for $3-4 and takes just 10-15 minutes to get most places.
Some of the places I really enjoyed include:
- Monserrate – Hilltop church with wonderful views of Bogota
- El Museo de Oro
- Wandering La Candelaria – Consider taking a free walking tour
- Museo de Independencia
- Day trip to Cascada La Chorrera
Hyatt Place Bogota Review: Final Thoughts
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at the Hyatt Place Bogota. It is an excellent value, especially now with far less travel during the COVID-19 pandemic at rock-bottom cash rates. The hotel has all the amenities you can generally expect from the brand, and besides the sanitary measures, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of difference than when the hotel was operating normally.
The hotel did open its doors at an extremely bad time. They had several good months from October 2019 into early 2020, but then travel obviously took a nose dive. Still, assuming things normalize, it will likely be a popular business hotel in Bogotá given its proximity to the convention center.