It is always sad when a one of supposedly the best Park Hyatt locations let you down service wise. This is just what happened at the Park Hyatt Shanghai. The hardware is excellent, but the service is very inconsistent and sometime borderline terrible.
Yes. I know. This is China and you shouldn’t expect the same level of service as from hotels in other parts of Asia and in Europe. I have heard that line so many times from my friends. Also, the hoteliers always complain how difficult it is for them to employ competent staff. But, I am not buying any of that. You train the staff or hire competent ones, and pay and treat them well enough, so that they stay. Shouldn’t be more complicated than that.
Unfortunately I don’t have the usual number of photos, but I happened to leave my camera to a taxi on my way back to the airport in Shanghai before I had uploaded them.
Depending where you need to be in Shanghai the location may or may not work for you. I know that I probably should use the underground, but the taxis are generally so cheap, unless they try to scam you, that it is really the transportation that I tend to use in Shanghai.
From the airport I took the Maglev train to the station near to the city. Then I took a taxi from there, that turned out to be a scam one, but luckily I knew how much the meter should be from the station to the hotel, and paid based on that, and not what was shown on the meter.
This is where everything started to ravel. I had an early morning flight in from Apia via Auckland. I had informed the hotel about my early arrival. If it hadn’t suited them, I would have just booked an InterContinental hotel where I have guaranteed 8AM check in as a Royal Ambassador member.
When I arrived the taxi parked on the side of the road. He “missed” the entrance on purpose. Anyway, I wasn’t traveling too heavily so I just walked towards the entrance with my black 22 roller board and computer bag.
I was waving trying to get the bell boys attention so that they could take my bag and escort me to the lobby. It took a while before I was able to get one, and he only took me to the elevator and left my bag there.
So, I was rolling with my bag from the entrance elevators to the front desk. The first question was if I was checking out. Why would I be checking out when I am coming from the elevators that don’t have quest room access with my carry on bags? I promptly replied that I would like to know where the Diamond check in area at this hotel is. Other lady just said that the check in time is at 2PM.
This was absolutely ridiculous and no hotel should operate like this. I had arranged an early check in and they didn’t even bother typing my name to their reservation system to see my reservation. At this point, I politely asked them to get a manager on duty to help me and went to sit down on the chairs by the windows.
The front desk manager was polite and noted that I had come a bit earlier than what was indicated. Yeas, I was. The flight landed early, didn’t have to wait for the Maglev train, and just took a taxi from the station to the hotel. I just told him that if this early check in is a problem I don’t mind just booking another hotel and they can just cancel the reservation I had at the Park Hyatt.
The manager went on his way while I was doing some emails. He came back shortly telling that the room was ready.
This was a very beautiful corner room that almost felt like a junior or studio suite. Per Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond upgrade benefits hotels are not required to upgrade Diamond members beyond best available room. I believe that this was probably very close to the best, although it was only on the 84th floor. BTW I don’t think that the floor itself makes a huge difference because due to the weather you can hardly see anything besides some smog/cloud on this level. The view could actually be better on much lower floors.
Fitness Center / Pool
Here my service problems continued. Came to the right floor and asked where the fitness center was. The guy directed me to the fitness center, but he should have realized that I need to go and change to the gym attire first as I was carrying shoes and work gear. I just walked back to the “reception” and asked where the lockers are. They were entirely the other way.
The fitness center was nice as one should expect from a Park Hyatt. I was the alone for an hours. That’s good.
On my way to the locker rooms I decided to take a picture of the pool using my cell phone. The same guy came and said that one shouldn’t take photos here. There was nobody in the entire area so there was no excuse for this no photos nonsense.
Breakfast was one of the better ones in the Hyatt chain. I ordered eggs benedict with smoked salmon sauce on the side from the menu. It came almost as I had ordered it.
The breakfast selection was nice, but the service at times bit too much. I was up rather early so there was way too many servers compared to guests. I like good service but not when five people are looking at me when I am eating.
Again a problem spot. I needed to buy a new SIM card as the previous one that I had for China was purchased in Lhasa, and it would be better to have a “local” one. The concierge couldn’t really understand a word that I was saying. I was able to get a hold off of a western associate that was able to explain my request to the concierge. I then had an employee escorting me to the China Mobile office nearby and get me a local SIM card for data access that I needed. But this whole process was way too complicated.
Diamond Amenity & Welcome Letter
Not sure what is the standard Diamond amenity at this Park Hyatt. All that I got was five pearls. No welcome letter.
Early Arrival Continental Breakfast
As the hotel had noted my early arrival, I had nice selection of pastries and orange juice waiting for me when I finally got to my room. This was very nice touch.
After Stay Satisfaction Survey
You do get these quite often after staying at international properties. I gave them less than stellar score due to the numerous problems I had. I also noted the problems in the written in sections of the survey.
I was really surprised that the following day I received an email from the property. No. It actually came from the survey company and the reply to-address had been changed to some executive assistant at the property. The content of the email was partly mail merged from the comments that I had left.
If they had had look at the record of my stay, they would have quickly noticed the problems that I had and what I had reported. I find this kind of “automatic” responses very amateurish for supposedly one of the flagship Hyatt property.
It is a very nice property hardware wise, but you need to lower your service expectations to the same or lower level than your average domestic US Hyatt.