Panorama view from room in Hotel Martinez

Panorama view from room in Hotel Martinez

Background

For our summer holiday, in late July ’13, my wife and I ventured south to the Cotes d’Azur to visit the new Hyatt properties in Cannes and Nice as a part of a much longer European vacation. These properties were acquired by Hyatt only about 4 months earlier in the year, so it was a great sneak peak at what I suspect is soon to be the cornerstones of Hyatt’s European portfolio, given the properties locations, proximity to each other and the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris,  and the overall quality of the  properties.

Other Reviews to expect from this trip:

– Radisson Blu hotel Nice

– Palais de la Méditerranée (Hyatt Regency Nice)

– Fairmont Monte Carlo

– Radisson Blu Split Croatia

– Radisson Blu Dubrovnik Croatia

– Radisson Blu Helsinki Finland

– Radisson Blu Stockholm

Exterior of hotel at night

Exterior of hotel at night

To further the experience, we enrolled in the Gold Passport Diamond Status Challenge before the trip in order to secure room upgrades as well as free breakfasts and other perks that come along with Diamond status. Given that we had done the challenge solely for this trip, I made sure to track the separate benefits we received from Diamond, that we would not have otherwise had if we took the trip as Platinum members as we typically are (see CV section below)

CV (Cash Value) – Standard redemption

We used some of our Chase Ultimate Reward points from our Sapphire Preferred/Ink spending, transferring them to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. We ended up redeeming 22,000 points per night, for a two night stay.

The rack rates on the Hyatt website for an entry level Grande Queen room (which is what we were able to book with our points) was €320 ($422USD) per night or $844 USD for the stay.

So, the non-elite award redemption would yield you about $.019 per night. Not amazing but a valuable redemption overall. Basically on par with what I value Chase points at.

Incremental CV for Diamond Perks

As a Diamond Gold Passport (GP) member, we were able to secure the following additional benefits and related values (benefits are further discussed below):

– Upgrade to the Sea View Deluxe King room which was priced at €860 per night (€540 incremental value over standard room each night or €1080 for the stay)

– free breakfast for two (€40 per person, per day or €160 for entire stay)

– free Diamond happy hour (value depends on guest but we were able to get about €170 from this perk)

– free L’Oreal nail bar manicure for wife (not sure if this was a diamond perk or a hotel specific perk but I will factor it in here anyways – €20 value)

– free bottle of wine in room each night (€20 per day or €40 total)

– free wifi (not going to include this as CV as it is offered to platinum guests as well)

By tallying up the benefits from above, we were able to receive an extra €1470 (or $1944USD) in “value” from the Diamond status, for this stay.

Total CV – standard redemption + diamond perks

Total overall “value” received was $2788 for the entire stay ($844 + $1944 = $2788 USD) for 44,000 Hyatt points. This is an amazing redemption at $0.063 per point (although I would never pay full price for the room or other benefits)

Room

This room was unbelievably nice! It seemed to be newly renovated with a very high quality feel to the fixtures accompanied by an extremely comfortable bed.

Floor plan

Floor plan

Room #525

Room #525

Martinez room bed and window

Martinez room bed and window

Martinez desk area

Martinez desk area

Martinez bed and entry

Martinez bed and entry

The room had amazing views of the beach and the yachts on the Cotes d’Azur!

View from room

View from room

View from room

View from room

View from room

View from room

The bathroom was also excellent. Extremely spacious and well finished. It reminded me very much of our bathroom in the Ritz Carlton in Berlin, which we had just recently stayed at (review soon). His and her sinks, a spacious tub and separate toilet and shower rooms all made it great. Annick Goutal amenities and plenty of them, kept us showering about 4x per day!

Seperate toilet and shower rooms

Seperate toilet and shower rooms

Bathtub and robes/slippers

Bathtub and robes/slippers

Plenty of Annick Goutal amenities

Plenty of Annick Goutal amenities

His and hers sinks

His and hers sinks

IMG_5958

Shower and toilet rooms

Seperate room for toilet

Separate room for toilet

Amazing spacious shower with 2 heads (overhead rain or standard tilted)

Amazing spacious shower with 2 heads (overhead rain or standard tilted)

Service

Overall service was excellent. Probably the best I have ever experienced (ok, maybe a tie with the Park Hyatt Vendome). As we reflected on our stay, we noticed the following niceties which contributed to the overall service experience:

– We stepped not a foot into the front door of the hotel before our bags were grabbed and vanished out of sight. Of course, they were brought to our room seamlessly without having to tell anyone our name/room #/etc. While this is service I expect at a hotel like the Martinez, I still can’t explain how great this feels when done right and how cumbersome and awkward it can be when done incorrectly.

– Upon arrival at around 2pm, our room was not ready. The reception agent promptly apologized and offered to buy us a drink in the bar while we waited the 1hr until it was prepared. As an alternative, they made it clear there were other rooms which were ready, however, they recommended we wait for ours as it was “better”. We opted for the free drink and the “better” room. We were not in a hurry.

Reception

Reception

– The reception agent gave us the typical read through the diamond benefits and let us choose our points or in room amenity. We chose the points as I typically value those more than a fruit and nut basket.

– As mentioned above, we were able to get upgraded to a Deluxe King Sea View room. See the “room” discussion above.

– While we chose the points amenity as opposed to the in-room amenity, we still received a bottle of red wine each night in our room with a card saying with the compliments of management. Not sure why we got this but I thoroughly enjoyed this nonetheless.

Wine in room every day

Wine in room every day

– Diamond happy hour: As this property was acquired to be a Grand Hyatt, the hotel is currently in the process of implementing the Club room. In the absence of this, for our stay, management invited us down to the bar between 5pm – 7pm for free drinks. Upon arrival in the bar, I was given a small placard with the available drinks on it. I focused most of my efforts on the Tattinger champagne that was included on the list, at €22 per glass on the menu, I knew this was the best bet to get my highest value! They also served a few little snacks, mostly nuts and olives but also these amazing variety of chips made from sweet potato, bananas and regular potato.

Diamond happy hour side #1

Diamond happy hour side #1

Diamond Happy Hour side #2

Diamond Happy Hour side #2

Tattinger Rose (ordered off menu) and the snacks

Tattinger Rose (ordered off menu) and the snacks

– The concierge was excellent. Great recommendations right off the cuff and my favorite was that they were not shy to pick up the phone and make a reservation immediately without being prompted, etc. In my opinion, a good concierge is one that will do everything without asking. Mainly because I feel a bit high maintenance when I have to ask them 20 questions, so it makes me feel comfortable as a guest when they do things unprompted.

This was very evident one afternoon when I asked if they had beach towels we could take with us on a walk, in case we were inclined to stop off for a dip in the Côte d’Azur. The concierge told me initially that we can just grab the towels from our room. I paused only about one second before he took a look at my wife and I, noticing that we were already on our way out the door and probably didn’t want to be bothered to go back up to the room. Within 3 seconds he picked up the phone, called housekeeping and asked them to bring some towels down. A perfect example of me as a guest receiving high quality service without having to ask and sound like a lazy/pretentious guest 🙂

Concierge

Concierge

– The housekeeping service was very nice as well. On our second day, we arrived back into our room with a heart made of (fake) rose petals on the bed. Not something I had pre-arranged, but a nice touch.

Heart of (fake) rose petals on bed during cleaning service

Heart of (fake) rose petals on bed during cleaning service

The turndown service was great as well with nice feet pads put down on either side of the bed, and bottles of Evian water next to the bed.

They did not draw the curtains however, I would suspect it’s because the view is so excellent, even at night, coupled with the fact that there were automatic curtains with a button next to the bed.

– Finally, while checking in, we were offered a certificate for a free nail painting for my wife at the L’Oreal nail bar that was in the lobby. I can’t say that I fully understood why they offered this (if it was for all guests or just diamond) but my wife seemed to enjoy it. From what I have been told, it was not a full manicure, rather a “light manicure” and a painting. Either way, this was on my wife’s to-do list anyways, so I count it as value add and great service to offer.

Restaurants and common spaces

Breakfast was offered in the Le Relais restaurant until 11am or in your room until 12pm. Both options were free of course given our diamond GP member status.

The breakfast was buffet style and included all the usual suspects, bread station, fruit station, meat/cheese station, hot made to order egg dish station, etc. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking for the breakfast.

Breakfast area

Breakfast area

Juice station

Juice station

Bread station

Bread station

Breakfast pastry station

Breakfast pastry station

Hot food station

Hot food station

Breakfast cold cuts

Breakfast cold cuts

Omlette station

Omelet station

Fruits and yogurts

Fruits and yogurts

Indoor breakfast area

Indoor breakfast area

My breakfast selection

My breakfast selection

We didn’t check out the other restaurants mainly because there are so many good ones nearby and the Le Palme d’Or in the hotel is a 2 Michelin star rated restaurant at about €200 per person.

Common spaces were nice and upscale, rounding off the overall experience.

Lobby #1

Lobby #1

Lobby #2

Lobby #2

Hallways

Hallways

Poolside (also breakfast areas)

Poolside (also breakfast areas)

Elevator bank

Elevator bank

Staircase

Staircase

Lobby #3

Lobby #3

The largest disappointment by far from the experience was the fee to use both the pool area and the beach club.  I do not have the exact figures in front of me, however, it was something like 36EUR to reserve a beach club lounger for the day and 20EUR for the pool.

This type of arrangement is fairly common in this area in France (they also charged for pool chairs at the Radisson Blu in Nice, FR, however, not at the Hyatt Regency Nice). As a ‘paying’ hotel guest, I would not expect to pay to lay by the pool (maybe the beach club fee is OK).

Due to the price of these facilities, we did not use them.  Instead, we went to a nearby beach club for 3EUR per chair (much easier to swallow).

(Paid) pool area

(Paid) pool area

Pool area (from above)

Pool area (from above)

Beach club

Beach club

Snob Factor – 100%

This property is designed for the rich and famous and it shows through in all aspects. The service is unparalleled and you will not receive much more high end experience for your points anywhere else (at least that I have been to so far)

Stay Snobby,

PS

Advertisements