In a nutshell: during summer 2021 when nightly rates were high, both the Hyatt House and Hyatt Place Anchorage made great value award stays. Both properties delivered on their typical brand amenities. The Hyatt Place has a bit more Alaska character than the Hyatt House, and I was in for a surprise upgrade as well at that property. Either are a good choice in terms of location, assuming you have a rental car.
Summer 2021 was a summer of Alaska travel. I met multiple people who said that Alaska was as far “abroad” as they could get, as they were unwilling to travel internationally. Even though cruise sailings weren’t bringing people to Alaska yet, there was quite the summer crowd in July. Hotel rates were high, and car rental prices were even higher, due to a short supply.
The trip would not have been possible without saving some money on hotel, and I was able to book both the Hyatt House and Hyatt Place Anchorage using a combination of free night certificates and Hyatt points. Both are Category 3 properties, requiring 12,00 points per night. Rates at both hotels were well over $200 per night, giving me at least 1.7 cents per point where I did use points.
Arriving in Anchorage
Alaska is the land of the midnight sun. I arrived late in the evening in Anchorage, yet walked to the curb of Ted Stevens Airport with plenty of light. I caught the shuttle to the Hyatt House, opting to explore Anchorage for a couple days and reduce the total number of days I would rent a car.
The Hyatt House shuttle serves another hotel as well. I don’t recall which. It might be the Hyatt Place down the street, but I don’t think so. The two Anchorage Hyatt hotels are about a quarter mile apart. Both are located in the midtown area, in reasonable proximity to the airport. Anchorage has quite a bit of sprawl for a city of its size.
Hyatt House Anchorage – The Standard Room
Hyatt House has long been once of my favorite brands, whether traveling with my wife, kids, or solo. We may or may not use the kitchen on a given trip. But the rooms are guaranteed to have a better layout than your standard cookie cutter chain hotel. The bedroom is usually fully separated from the living area. In the cases where it’s not, the design gives clear separation between the spaces.
While there are den guestrooms and studio suites at the Hyatt House Anchorage, I was given a one bedroom kitchen suite, which is a true suite. If you need to fit more than 2 people, the living room contains a sleeper sofa. You could easily fit a family of 4-5 in the room.
The bathroom does not include a tub. This is my preference, but I know this is a deal breaker for some. The shower is nice and large.
The full kitchen is what sets Hyatt House apart from every other brand within the portfolio. If you’re not familiar with the brand, Hyatt House like Marriott’s Residence Inn, Hilton’s Homewood Suites, or IHG’s Staybridge Suites. I would say that Hyatt House has a leg up on the competition in terms of quality. My favorite Hyatt House is the one near the Seattle Space Needle, where I spent a couple nights with one of my sons on a trip back in 2019. Feels like forever ago now.
Anyway, the kitchen includes everything you need to easily and comfortably cook for yourself. The Hyatt House kitchen includes a full-size fridge, microwave, stovetop, and dishwasher. You also have a small sink, which makes me even more glad for the dishwasher in this case. The cupboards and drawers are stocked with everything you need to cook: a couple pans, cooking utensils, and dishes and silverware for 3-4 in this case.
The only thing that is really lacking is the table/island. Hyatt has it double as the desk, so there is one desk chair opposite two stools. It would be nicer if they set up up for four and dropped the desk chair.
I do have to say, even though it’s in the middle of a typical suburban shopping center neighborhood, the mountains in the distance do not disappoint. I couldn’t wait to get out hiking.
Hyatt House Breakfast
Both Hyatt House and Hyatt Place offer free breakfast as an amenity as long as you book directly through Hyatt. I’d hoped Alaska would be back to normal, but, alas, the breakfast wasn’t the same buffet. The Hyatt House Anchorage breakfast had an assortment of prepackaged items and fruit. But…you could ask for their hot breakfast. They just needed to make you a box.
Overall, the Hyatt House Anchorage delivers on the quality I’ve come to expect from the brand, the COVID-19-style breakfast notwithstanding.
On to the Hyatt Place
After a few glorious days hiking in Chugach State Park and visiting Whittier, among other things, I returned to Anchorage for my final night before flying back to California. This time I opted for the Hyatt Place, to compare it to their sister property down the street. It’s next to an Office Depot. How fitting is that for you manufactured spending aficionados?
I immediately liked the Hyatt Place Anchorage more than the Hyatt House. It has a bit more Alaska character to it. I appreciate any and all attempts chain hotels make to give their property a local feel. The Hyatt Place lobby was very inviting.
Rather than head down the street, I decided to just eat dinner here. Over 25 miles of hiking and walking in just a few days will do that to you. The Hyatt Place offers a full restaurant and bar, and dinner was actually decent.
What Is This Suite??
The surprise was the enormous suite the hotel booked me into. This is not your typical Hyatt Place room. Located at the end of the floor, it offered a full living room, dining area, bedroom, and trimmed down kitchen area. I’ve never seen a Hyatt Place room like it.
Like the Hyatt House, the Hyatt Place Anchorage only offers a shower. This is pretty typical of the brand. The bathroom in the one bedroom suite is large and does offer a double sink.
Given the space, it would be super easy to add a stovetop and cookware and turn this into a complete, functioning kitchen. Then again, it would be directly competing against the Hyatt House down the road where you can know you’ll be getting a kitchen.
The view here isn’t as nice as the Hyatt House.
I was impressed by the large suite offered at the Hyatt Place Anchorage. I’d heard a rumor about another Hyatt Place hotel (not this one) actually having a couple suites. The typical choices are between the standard one king or two queen room. The brand doesn’t typically offer more than that. Nice to see there are some more unique properties out there.
Excellent Hyatt Service, Per Usual
It is rather hysterical that the Hyatt House down the road opted to not have a breakfast buffet, while the Hyatt Place Anchorage does offer a hot buffet. An attendant does have to plate the items for you, but this is better than eating out of a box.
The staff I interacted with at the Hyatt Place were excellent, both those from the previous evening and in the morning. The lady at the front desk laughed when I offered her the bear mace I’d purchased. It’s not something you can take on a plane, and at $30-50 per canister, it’s not cheap. I bet a lot of it is left in the state after being purchased by visitors.
I had to drop my rental car off, so I asked if the shuttle driver could pick me up at GoNorth Car & RV Rentals. It’s right along the road heading to Ted Stevens International Airport. This was no problem at all. I appreciate the small accommodations hotels are able to make.
Final Thoughts on the Anchorage Hyatt Properties
Both the Hyatt House and Hyatt Place Anchorage deliver on their brand expectations. If I had to pick one for a future trip, I’d likely opt for the Hyatt Place, unless cooking at the hotel was part of the plan. Then I’d certainly pick the Hyatt House for the extended stay amenities. Given the expensive nature of travel in Alaska, I was glad to save several hundred dollars by using points and certificates for the stays. The trip was fairly cheap overall (my Delta ticket was booked using just 8,000 SkyMiles), with the bulk of the cost being the rental car.
Did you travel to Alaska in summer 2021?