Review: Hyatt Place Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
The brand new Hyatt Place Kelowna continues to mark Hyatt’s expansion in Canada. The Hyatt Place Kelowna recently opened adding a Hyatt presence to the summer vacation town of Kelowna, situated in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada. The Hyatt Place made for a great addition to the Kelowna hotel scene, offering a space to stay in contemporary new surroundings.
Review: Hyatt Place Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
“The Hyatt Place Hotel Kelowna offered Kelowna’s newest Hyatt Hotel in a competitive market”
Having qualified for an early elite status renewal with Marriott Titanium at 74 nights before the halfway point the year, I thought I would branch out and try some different hotel properties. I was previously a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond (today known as World of Hyatt Globalist) level member, but with only 11 Hyatt hotels in Canada, maintaining status with Hyatt is virtually impossible for my travel patterns. Still, it’s the first chain I go to outside of the usual Marriott properties and they have some terrific aspirational properties such as the Park Hyatt Maldives and the Park Hyatt Zanzibar that we’ve had the opportunity to enjoy.
The Hyatt Place Kelowna is one of the newest chain hotels in Kelowna and the first Hyatt property in this particular city. It also marked my first stay at a Hyatt Place branded hotel.
Planning and Getting There:
Hyatt Place Kelowna
1915 Enterprise Way, Kelowna, BC V1Y 9S9
The City of Kelowna has a lot of budget and intermediate hotel inventory and there are many competing brands which include the Four Points, the Hampton Inn, Clairon Inn and Suites, Super 8’s and the Fairfield Inn by Marriott all in this general category.
I reserved directly on the Hyatt Website and received a competitive rate that was inline with all the other properties. At the time of my stay, which was during the pandemic, many of the room categories were pricing at the same price point, so I selected and reserved a high floor room at the same price as a base level room.
Prior to arrival, I checked in through the World of Hyatt iPhone application and received a notification that my room was ready. I was also offered an upsell to a higher category room for $40, which I ended up declining. The upgrade rate was the same as the difference between the cash rate when I initially booked. Despite this, I thought this was a good innovative use of offering upgrades in advance, as there would be times where my travel needs would have changed from the time I had initially made the reservation.
As I mentioned earlier, the Hyatt Place Kelowna is a brand new property and new build in a 6 story low rise building. It is situated immediately next to the intersection of Enterprise and Spall, in Kelowna. It is situated off the main Highway 97 that runs through town, but is in sort of a no man’s land of commercial properties. While it’s conveniently located to everything by car, it’s not really near that is immediately or conveniently walkable on foot.
I arrived to the Hyatt Place by car and self parked out front. The property makes a great first impression as a modern and contemporary new building.
Arriving to the front desk, there were two reception hosts available. The check in was a little more cumbersome that I would have expected but exceptionally attentive, which was appreciated. The host was initially unable to find the reservation and I even received the “…I don’t seem to have a reservation for you…” comment… . After a few awkward minutes of typing, and my believing that the on line check in would immediately show on the hotel reservation computer, I volunteered the information relating to fact that I had completed an online check in, which greatly sped up the process.
After that was cleared up, I was proactively offered breakfast information; which was offered on a weeday between 6:30 AM – 9:30 AM. I was thanked for my World of Hyatt loyalty and also offered the opportunity to book a gym appointment. Arriving at 3:40 PM, I was able to select an upcoming 4 PM or 5 pm gym spot without any issue. A parking pass was issued as well. The parking fee was $12 CAD ($10 USD), consistent with it’s semi downtown location. There was no immediate free parking alternative available near the hotel. It’s perhaps worth noting that many of the other hotels in this price category in the Kelowna area offer free parking, so this may be a consideration if you’re on a longer stay.
Immediately off the lobby, was a flex space offering couches and computers for internet access.
It’s always nice to have access to space for working outside of a hotel room. It also makes the lobby location a little more engaging to be in, instead of just a functional area.
The Room: A High Floor King Bed, Plus Sofa Bed
I led myself up to the room. I was assigned #631, which was mid corridor. Being a new hotel, everything was in modern colours and design.
Entering into the room, my first impressions were that the room was fashionably designed. While the room was a standard 300sq foot size, the configuration worked well for both resting, working and sleeping.
The room was shaped in one long rectangle. The living area was separated into a sleeping / living space.
The Bedroom Space:
The room featured a king size bed. Hyatt Place hasn’t branded it’s beds like the business hotels like the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed or the Westin Heavenly Bed. Despite the bed being brand new, I found it a little soft for my firm liking. It was comfortable for relaxing, and I probably would have gotten used to it over time.
The bedroom area had an offset view of the flat screen TV, and a front on view of the upright armoire. The armoire was the sole storage for the room and there were no closets to hang clothes.
The last point about the bedroom is that I found that street noise was a little pronounced at certain times of the day, consistent with the hotel property being two major through fares and an intersection. If you happen to be a light sleeper, you may want to request a south facing room towards the rear of the property for a quieter experience.
The Cozy Corner Living Space:
The Hyatt Place has branded it’s couch and living space as “The Cozy Corner”. Indeed, it was a more inviting space than the usual lounger or chair found in any hotel room in this competitive class. The Cozy Corner embedded a sofa bed, along with a coffee table that could also double as a chair. The couch had the usual sofa bed firmness to it while you were sitting on it. Although not a suite, it was a more comfortable space than you’d typically get in a standard hotel room.
The Cozy Corner offered an angle view of the flat screen television. There was no one location in the hotel room where you could really watch the television straight on, as it was a shared television between the bedroom area and living area.
In terms of room amenities, the room featured two bottles of white and red Mission Hill Reserve Okanagan wine available for purchase at $40 CAD ($33 USD). While this retails for about $28 CAD ($23 USD) at home, Mission Hill is quite a mainstream label. This might be a great opportunity for the hotel to stock a boutique wine label given the terrific wine area that is the Okanagan Region. In addition to the wine, there was also a small refrigerator that was empty.
The room also featured in room coffee and tea, featuring Tazo tea and proper glassware, which was a large bonus for the Hyatt Place. You don’t always get to see proper glassware in this particular class of hotels as many competitors go with the low rent plastic cello wrapped cups.
The room offered a wardrobe for clothes. It featured the usual iron, luggage rack and in room safe amenities.
As with new rooms, the footprint of the room itself felt about 10% smaller than a standard room. There is something of an advantage for staying in new hotels, but I find it comes at a bit of a cost on room size and you tend to give up space on the size of the room.
The Bathroom was a modern styled bathroom with a single vanity. It offered a stand up shower with no bathtub option.
The soaps were Barney Kenet MD branded, which was a brand I wasn’t immediately familiar with in Canada. Nevertheless, they were perfectly functional, without being over the top.
A Room with a View:
My Room had a view of the Kelowna area. It was a decidedly urban view, overlooking a business complex that featured chiropractic and lawyer offices, in addition to a small scale pharmacy.
For those that are interested, the floor layout of the property is as follows. There appear to be very few suites at this property, with only one per floor in the top right corner.
Around the Hotel:
The Hyatt Place is an intermediate category hotel. As a result, it doesn’t offer a whole lot of on property features and experiences. Despite this, I made the most of my stay by checking out what the hotel had to offer.
The hotel gym:
The hotel offers a gym. During my stay, the gym access was by appointment through the front desk as a result of the pandemic. The gym offered modern Lifecycle treadmills and a proper free weight area for one. Another plus was that the gym was on the ground floor and had daylight windows. Unlike some gyms in basements, this one had terrific light.
The hotel gym was deserted the entire time that I was on the property, and I didn’t see any other guests.
The hotel offered an indoor pool. Like the gym, the pool was on a reservation basis during my visit as a result of the pandemic.
There was also a small hot tub, that could seat a few people.
The pool was immediately situated on the ground level. Large windows would have offered a view to the street, but they were covered by marketing materials that faced outwards. The pool offered an assist lift feature, which is something that I don’t always see in hotel properties. Much like the gym, the pool was completely deserted on my stay.
Food and Beverage:
The Hyatt Place Kelowna operates a restaurant called The Placery during the evening hours between 4:00 PM – 9:30 PM. It also doubles as the breakfast bar location. The Placery was nicely designed and surprisingly large. The Placery offered seating in different rooms, so it avoided that large scale cafeteria breakfast hall feel that comes with some properties. I personally really liked the space, and wouldn’t hesitate to come back for a happy hour.
The Breakfast Bar:
The Hyatt Place hotel offers an included breakfast, as do many of its competitors in this particular price point. Todays’ breakfast was in a fashionable and stylish breakfast area. Despite pandemic styled seating, there was lots of space available along with the daily globe and mail newspaper offered to guests.
There were several breakfast items available for collection. There was a wide selection of orange, apple, and cranberry juice. There were packaged cereals and fruit and yoghurt containers with granola, which looked appealing.
There was also a made to order breakfast available for order. Today’s feature was scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns. Unfortunately, there was no toast available today at the self service breakfast bar, and bread was made available through bagels available at individual wrapped toaster.
The Breakfast Bar and The Placery offered a small outdoor patio. The patio was north facing, so it didn’t get any sun. However, it’s always nice to have an outdoor option when it comes to hotel dining. This is especially important in a hot climate like Kelowna where it’s frequently warm through the summer months.
Nearby the Hotel:
The hotel does not have many things that are immediately walkable from the property. Most of the dining options are a short car drive away. Nearby the hotel is the Orchard Park mall which is a day time mall featuring a Milestones’s restaurant. There are also doesn’t of restaurants along the main Kelowna thorough fare Highway 97. I ended up eating off property. As a result, I wouldn’t rate this as being one of the hotel’s better features.
I had stopped by earlier during my stay to get a late check out to 12 PM (from the usual standard 11 AM). This was handled without any issue or complaint. When it came time to leave, my check out was handled without any issue. The bill was processed electronically and my Hyatt World of Hyatt points posted within 24 hours.
Several days later, I happened to complete a Hyatt survey about my stay experience. I mentioned the issue surrounding the slight delay in check in- more as a minor mention but I wasn’t really expecting the hotel to take it too seriously. To my surprise, the hotel actually reached out with a personal email within the day; a strong commitment to making it right. I was really impressed by this, as I’ve had some challenges getting hotels to make things right with reservations in the past. I applaud the Hyatt Kelowna Place for efforts to make it right.
The Bottom Line: The Hyatt Place Kelowna
The Hyatt Place Kelowna is a reasonable newer hotel that has a new build features to it, in addition to being a Hyatt property. While there are some advantages to a new build, it comes at the cost of a slightly smaller room. The property was new, although for a hotel of this type, parking should be free similar to competitors in its range. Lastly, the hotel is not immediately near any useful amenties such as quality restaurants that are within walkable distance, unlike many of its competitors. Despite this, Hyatt loyalists will surely find this property well worth their time as it offers a nice contemporary space, along with all the expected hotel amenties centrally located within Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. The customer service levels were also better than expected.