“The restaurant on the top floor closes at 9:00.” Wait. Come again? What domestic Hyatt Place has an actual restaurant, let alone a top-floor restaurant? Apparently the Hyatt Place Harrisonburg does. Why? I have no idea. But I think it’s cool.
Most Hyatt Place hotels within the U.S. are very cookie-cutter. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I appreciate the consistency. But the Hyatt Place Harrisonburg breaks the mold – in a good way. There are a couple other things I noticed about this domestic Hyatt Place hotel that prompted me to review it.
After driving the couple hours from Dulles International Airport, I pulled into the Hyatt Place Harrisonburg after dark. The hotel was lit up with red, white, and blue lights. I remember thinking, “man, they’re sure patriotic.” But by the time I’d gathered my luggage, the lights had changed colors. Before I’d made it inside, they’d changed again. It’s a cool feature of the hotel exterior, which I noticed looks different than most other Hyatt Place hotels I’ve stayed at.
Check-in was quick and easy. The Hyatt Place Harrisonburg lobby looked rather cozy, and the design was similar, yet noticeably different than other hotels in the portfolio. The bar, for one, was much nicer.
The lady at the front desk gave me a quick spiel about the hotel’s amenities. Tired, and just wanting to get to bed, I was mostly tuned out. But the mention of a top-floor restaurant stopped me cold. Wait. Repeat that part.
Yes, the Hyatt Place Harrisonburg sports an actual restaurant called The Ridge Room. It’s uncharacteristic of the brand, which is why it was a big deal to me. I knew I needed to check it out.
The Ridge Room
There were maybe a dozen people in the restaurant when I arrived. The inside portion of The Ridge Room could probably hold a maximum of 40 people. Given that it was a chilly October evening, no one was outdoors. There is an exterior section, which I am sure is fantastic in the summer.
I sat at the bar. The Ridge Room has a small, but decent menu of typical American food. The cocktail menu has some interesting offerings, with a focus on bourbon.
The bartender was an animated fellow, excellent at his job. He made an excellent cocktail and we carried on a conversation about this corner of the Blue Ridge.
The baked brie appetizer I ordered was well plated and a tasty choice to go along with the cocktail. I don’t know why I failed to take a photo of either. Let’s blame the long travel day.
Although my hunger was sated, my curiosity about the hotel was still piqued. The bartender humored my questions about Hyatt Place Harrisonburg. The property is relatively new — just two years old — and among those built after the brand revamp that began a few years ago. Even after this amount of time, the restaurant operation is still being dialed in. It made me curious if it’s part of a pilot program.
The hotel’s newness also explains the difference between a Hyatt Place Harrisonburg room and those of every other domestic property I’ve stayed at.
Hyatt Place Harrisonburg – Refreshed Room Style
The rooms at the Hyatt Place Harrisonburg are unlike any I’ve stayed at — at least within the U.S. The Hyatt Place Bogota is a cut above. Previously, I could tell whether I was staying at a “new” Hyatt Place versus and “old” Hyatt Place based on the furnishings. The room style and layout have more or less been consistent for years.
Not so in Harrisonburg. The room layout is markedly different, although it keeps some of the brand touches. It’s smaller, for starters. This is worrisome, as one of my favorite aspects of the Hyatt Place brand is their room capacity of five or six people. It’s also rare to be guaranteed a room with three beds (i.e. two queens and a sofa bed) — a consistent Hyatt Place feature.
On the flip side, I like the refreshed furnishings and layout. The desk, dresser, fridge area is compact, but works well. You still have a corner sofa, and a better TV than older Hyatt Place hotels. The charging port at the bed means you don’t have to hunt for an outlet (although most older Hyatt Place hotels have well-positioned plugs and USB ports in some of the clocks).
What is the room missing compared to the older hotels? Space. And the wet bar.
The bathroom design is better. It’s the same shower, but the bathroom is larger, and the sink is inside. I was pleased.
Given that the hotel is on the slope of a hill, some rooms have decent views of the Blue Ridge mountains. If only Home Depot and Walmart weren’t there.
The Hyatt Place Harrisonburg nailed the typical breakfast offered by the brand. There were eggs, sausage, potatoes, and, in this case, Canadian bacon. Yogurt, berries, other fruit, cereal, oatmeal, and bagels and pastries round out the offerings. It’s right in line with what you’d expect.
The breakfast seating area is a bit nicer than the older Hyatt Place properties as well. You have the same standard dishes, though. At least they’re not using styrofoam plates — an unfortunate offering at another Hyatt Place during a recent trip.
Other Hotel Amenities
In other aspects, the Hyatt Place Harrisonburg is like the other hotels in the brand. It offers an indoor heated pool and a 24/7 fitness center. There are also EV charging stations in the parking lot.
The lobby is a bit nicer than most other Hyatt Place hotels. The front desk area is smaller, and there are two seating alcoves across from the front desk. The bar is nicer, although I’m not sure why I’d come here in the evening for a drink with the Ridge Room available.
If you’re headed to this corner of Virginia, the Hyatt Place Harrisonburg is a solid choice. I’d gladly stay here again. But I’m not sure I’ll pass through anytime soon. I only picked it as a stopping point on the drive between Dulles and Blacksburg. I generally don’t fly into Dulles for my work travel to Virginia. But this time, the flight prices and timing both worked against me, so IAD it was.
Of all its features, the top-floor restaurant is the most intriguing. What do you think – is this aspect of the Hyatt Place Harrisonburg a cool feature? Or am I making a bigger deal about this than I ought to? I’m hopeful that Hyatt will roll this out to more Hyatt Place properties.