Travel Review: Hyatt Regency Osaka

cq5dam.thumbnail.744.415I recently had the pleasure of staying four nights at the Hyatt Regency in Osaka, Japan.  I was greeted upon check-in by manager Jen Lee, who quickly demonstrated for us the true definition of hospitality.  She upgraded our room and provided us with ample information to get us started on planning our visit. She found us either on our way to breakfast or in the hotel lobby as we passed through every morning and made sure we had assistance planning out our daily activities and transportation. She spoke impeccable English with a slightly American accent and was extremely knowledgeable, professional, helpful, and friendly. Upon checkout, she provided us with a picture of ourselves taken in the hotel lobby, as well as a small gift for my daughter.

Jen introduced us to the hotel concierge who was able to assist us with buying tickets to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, provide comprehensive information on hotel shuttles and trains, and suggest several activities and shopping areas to enjoy.  The concierge also helped us purchase admission tickets and express passes to Universal Studios in advance, which was a huge help, since they sell out of express passes before the park opens each morning.

I took advantage of the fourth-night-free offer which included a daily breakfast buffet in the restaurant.  The buffet had a decent selection of both eastern and western style breakfast foods with a chef making eggs, waffles, and pancakes cooked to order. The food servers were extremely gracious and helpful.  My daughter enjoyed the creamy hot chocolate they brought her each morning.

The hotel website is well designed and easy to navigate. The maps and directions page lists several options for airport transportation. The area activities page outlines a number of things to enjoy in Osaka, and clicking on each activity provides detailed information about trains and prices. The hotel concierge can provide more options and specific information, as well as assist with admission tickets.

The one drawback is the location. The hotel isn’t within walking distance of downtown Osaka.  However, no hotel is within walking distance of everything there is to do in Osaka.  It’s a large sprawling city, much like Los Angeles. The Hyatt does provide a free shuttle every 30 minutes to the main Osaka train station in the heart of downtown Osaka, and they also provide a free shuttle once every morning with a return at night from Universal Studios.  There are some shops and a variety of good restaurants within walking distance at the ATC Hall and ferry terminal, conveniently located right next to the hotel.  The Nakafuto train station is a five-minute walk away, and the aquarium is a 15-minute train ride away. Most other attractions are significantly farther away, 30 minutes or more.

The hotel features a beautiful gym facility, an indoor lap pool, and an outdoor pool, which is open seasonally. The outdoor pool is in an odd spot, which requires guests to walk up several flights of stairs to access it. There is a small selection of spa services available and several nice restaurants on site.  The lobby restaurant hosts an afternoon high tea style service that looked delicious, though I didn’t have time to try it myself.

With sweeping views of the bay and downtown Osaka, the hotel rooms and amenities are lovely.  Keep in mind when booking that, like many Asian hotels, a double room means two single beds, not two full beds as in America, which makes it tight to stay in one room with kids. They provided both adult size and children’s size robes, kimonos, and slippers in the room.

The highlight of the hotel is definitely the service.  The staff are exceptional, and many speak flawless English in addition to other languages.  I felt as if my needs were anticipated along the way, and every staff member with whom I came into contact, from the bell desk to hotel management, was helpful and service-oriented.


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