After spending three days in Taipei, where we stayed at the Grand Hyatt, my son and I enjoyed a day in Xiamen, China during a purposefully planned layover of just under 24 hours. Back in November we used China’s transit without visa to be able to stay in Beijing for nearly 6 days. Here we were using a much more common 24-hour transit visa, which allowed us to visit the city where we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Xiamen Wuyuanwan.
Xiamen is a Chinese “second city” that Conde Nast Traveler dubbed China’s next “up and coming” destination. Unlike Shanghai or Beijing which see a substantial number of international visitors, Xiamen isn’t a typical pick for traveler’s coming from outside China’s borders. They do have a smattering of international hotels, though, including the Hyatt Regency Xiamen Wuyuanwan. The Hyatt is very new, just opening its doors a few years ago.
The Hyatt Regency Xiamen is a Category 1 property and is the only Hyatt option in the city. You can book a standard room for 5,000 points, a club room for 7,000 points, or a suite for 8,000 points. I had opted for the club room booking, which would let us enjoy breakfast in the lounge. Cash rates for standard rooms during our dates were right around $100 including taxes. Club rooms were going for about $135, giving me nearly 2 cents per Hyatt point for the redemption. The Hyatt award stay would also continue to keep me on track for achieving Hyatt Globalist for $0 out of pocket.
Arrival in Xiamen
The Hyatt Regency Xiamen Wuyuanwan is located in the business district of the same name on the east side of Xiamen Island. It’s a 10-15 minute taxi ride from Xiamen Gaoqi Airport. We caught a taxi from the airport to the hotel, which was I was assisted in hailing. Do not expect anyone to speak English in Xiamen. I had the name of the Hyatt Regency written down (well, printed and pasted) in a notebook to be able to provide the driver.
It’s always a bit freaky taking a taxi or Uber at night in an unfamiliar place. During the daylight, I generally find it easy enough to get my bearings, having studied Google Maps extensively before we travel. But at night it’s almost completely impossible for me to track where we are headed, and it unnerves me. But it was an easy and quick ride. We arrived at the hotel around 10:15 PM after landing at XMN at just 9:15 PM flying Xiamen Airlines 737 economy.
The Hyatt Regency Xiamen has a beautiful lobby. Check-in took a little while, as passports need to be scanned and they even checked for my transit visa. The agent manning the front desk spoke English, but with a thick accent. I had to have her repeat questions and details. We were given a club room on the 22nd floor.
Our Room Mishap
When we arrived I immediately noticed how unbearably hot the room was. The thermostat was showing a temperature of 27 degrees Celsius, but was set to 21.5 degrees. The fan was on and in cooling mode, but nothing seemed to be changing. It is possible the hotel had just kicked it on, but this did not bode well.
I called down to the desk and they said they would alert the engineer. At 10:20 PM at night, this is not the desired solution. We just wanted to get to sleep as soon as possible, and a new room would have been a much faster solution. When ten minutes passed with no change, I called again and asked to switch rooms, as we just wanted to be able to get to bed.
In the interim, we took a look around our room. A standard club room at the Hyatt Regency Xiamen is of decent size, about 480 square feet. There are chairs by the window, as well as a table for two.
The standard bathroom is very nice, with both a tub and a shower.
Overall, it is a nice room, and I expected that we would be given one basically identical to it when we were re-roomed.
The engineer showed up before the staff with the new room key did. He started examining the climate control. The lady from the desk arrived a few minutes later with a new key and escorted us to our new room.
Hyatt Regency Xiamen Twin Deluxe Room
We were moved to a deluxe room on the top floor with two twin beds. It was definitely an upgrade, featuring a living area and an even bigger bathroom. A bit of a bummer we were only here the one night.
I liked the layout a lot better, with the beds facing the windows and living area.
The installation of universal power outlets in new hotels is something I greatly appreciate. There is even a separate 5V USB charging port. The light controls for the entire room are also there beside the bed.
The living room area of the deluxe room is very nice as well. It’s no suite, but it uses the space nicely.
The table featured a tea set. I’m not sure if they actually expect you to use it, or if it is simply for decorative purposes.
With a table, additional power outlets, and plenty of space, a deluxe room at the Hyatt Regency Xiamen is a real winner.
The in-room coffee consisted of a machine that uses these small pods. I have been glad that the coffee offered in the few hotels in Asia I’e visited has been an actual coffee machine rather than instant Nescafe like some 4-star and 5-star hotels in Europe.
Our room provided views of Xiamen. What struck me most was the sharp contrast between old and new buildings. There are many apartment buildings beyond the elevated road that are so markedly different than the dilapidated buildings in the foreground close to the hotel. The latter barely look livable. Even crazier is that there is a lovely gated apartment complex encircled by a ring of shops across the street from the hotel, and the hotel itself is part of a brand new mixed-use development.
I’d thought the bathroom in our original room was nice, but a deluxe room offers an even nicer one!
It is very large, offering both a large tub and a shower.
Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about our room. Rooms at the Hyatt Regency Xiamen offer plenty of space, universal power outlets, and a very pleasant and modern aesthetic in this modern hotel.
The Regency Club at the Hyatt Regency Xiaen Wuyuanwan was closed during our stay. This had not been explained prior to our stay, and I am not even sure why it was closed. The doors were chained shut. I’d spent 7,000 Hyatt points for club access, and the hotel simply let us eat in the downstairs restaurant in lieu of lounge access.
It was a fine trade. The breakfast spread at the Hyatt Regency Xiamen is excellent. It is one of the top hotel breakfasts I’ve ever had. From zucchini crepes to fresh egg orders to dim sum, the hotel has plenty of options.
There are plenty of both Chinese and western options. The Chinese options include rice, noodles, congee, and a number of other hot dishes including beef and tofu. There were steamer baskets of dumplings that just said “local specialty”. The oddest item of all (at least to me) was the crispy tofu skin wrapped water chestnut.
There is an extensive array of pastries, along with salad and cold cuts if you’re looking for either a lighter or quicker breakfast. Or if noodles and meat are too heavy of a start for your day. The hotel also offers a variety of juices and a fruit selection.
Don’t fear if you need a more American breakfast. There are a number of breakfast meats included sausage, ham and bacon. The boiled eggs are also beautifully arranged.
The Hyatt Regency Xiamen truly offers one of the most excellent breakfast spreads I’ve ever seen.
I’m not sure what the occupancy was like, but there were very few people in the breakfast area when we were there. If you’re traveling with kids, there is even a kids play area in one corner!
Other Hotel Features
The Hyatt Regency Xiamen Wuyuanwan is connected to a convention center space, and it is also located in close proximity to a shopping development. The whole area (aside from the rundown area between the hotel and the elevated busway) is extremely new.
I had to explore the area in the morning, as my son woke up throwing up. The Hyatt Regency Xiamen was unable to provide any ibuprofen or other medicine, and the small bottle that I typically carry in my backpack wound up missing. I ended up finding a pharmacy about a 15-minute walk away after memorizing the word for ibuprofen: 布洛芬.
A lot of water and the pain reliever helped. He ended up sleeping much of the morning, but was feeling well enough a little before lunch that we were able to still head out and see some of Xiamen.
The Hyatt Regency Xiamen Wuyuanwan has both a lovely swimming pool and a fitness area. I’d considered just chilling at the hotel and enjoying the pool, but I felt like we would really miss out if we didn’t use the planned layover to sightsee. A half day in Xiamen doesn’t let you see much, though. Our adventure went a bit sideways, too. More on our day in this Chinese city in another post.
On the whole, we had an excellent, if brief, stay at the Hyatt Regency Xiamen Wuyaunwan. The A/C issues the first night were a bit annoying, but the hotel stepped up and re-roomed us to much nicer accommodations. It was a bummer the lounge was closed, but the excellent breakfast spread more than made up for it. While a bout of sickness may have thrown a wrench in our plans, it was nice to have a comfortable hotel room in which to rest and recover.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever make it back to Xiamen, but it would the Hyatt Regency Xiamen will likely be my pick again.