The Boutique Hotel Has Just Morphed Again: Hyatt’s All-Inclusive Andaz
By Gretchen Kelly
Single-minded road warriors have a new resource in Hyatt‘s brand new brand, the Andaz. Just opened in London‘s East End, the Andaz brand is boutique with a twist – like the original Sandals concept, Andaz is luring travelers with an all inclusive pricing concept, which makes it a good choice for solo business travelers who need a good night’s R & R, along with free laundry and clothes pressing and a nice deep bathtub with good amenities.
For one charge, customers get breakfast, free laundry and pressing, free movies (minus the adult channels), free water and juices in the mini bar and all local calls (minus cell phone numbers) free as well.
As long as you can keep your phone time to land lines, it’s a good deal. But stay away from those cell numbers. I made four calls to local associates on their local London cells and got handed a whopping $130 US dollar bill.
The style of the hotel is billed as “casual luxury,” which means there are decent amenities in the bathroom, nice linens and a small office adjacent to the bedroom. One of the biggest and most touted aspects of the hotel is the fact that there is no front desk. Staff mill around a table in the lobby and are all able to check in customers. Although the informality is nice, that translates into not being able to find a concierge when you need him or her because everyone is busy checking in guests.
Still, the service is fast and friendly and I got a load of shirts pressed in about a half an hour (a boon to travelers with limited space in their carry ons). The absence of expensive temptation in the mini bar is also a relief—and yes, there was Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean free on the flat screen hi-def, TV.
Hyatt plans to extend the concept to Andaz locations around the world, so if you like what you see in London and New York you can look forward to a mini vacation next time you book an Andaz for business. The chain will also honor Hyatt loyalty programs.
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