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Hyatt’s two new London Stratford hotels are open

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Back in October we exclusively revealed that Crown Plaza The City – for many people, the best IHG Rewards hotel in London – was defecting to Hyatt. It will become Hyatt Regency London Blackfriars soon, albeit that the opening date has slipped from the planned 1st March.

Two more IHG properties in London have also now officially joined Hyatt after a soft refurbishment.

This is a very similar arrangement to what we saw in Manchester, when the new Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites switched to Hyatt after just a year.

Hyatt House London Stratford

Holiday Inn Stratford City – which we reviewed here back in 2013 when it was £20 per night – has become the 225 room Hyatt Regency London Stratford.

Staybridge Suites Stratford City, which is in the same building, has become Hyatt House London Stratford. This has 127 rooms. A Hyatt House room is pictured below.

These are the two hotels which are part of the Westfield shopping centre. Just a few seconds from Stratford tube and overground station, they are well connected for most of London. Stratford will also have a Crossrail link to Heathrow very soon.

Within walking distance, you have Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which includes the London Aquatics Centre and West Ham’s London Stadium. The O2 and Excel are also easily reachable.

What I don’t understand is the use of the Hyatt Regency brand. Whilst I liked Holiday Inn Stratford City, it is light years away from Crowne Plaza The City in terms of quality and facilities. Putting the Hyatt Regency brand on both of these hotels is arguably a mistake.

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Comments (58)

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  • the_real_a says:

    I spent three months in Malaysia pre-covid, and managed to travel around quite a bit. Lovely country, nice food very easy to travel around. Very inexpensive.

  • Pangolin says:

    Malaysia is as good as it gets in terms of value for full-service and luxury hotels.

    I stayed at the IC in KUL and it was fantastic. I booked a Club Room as Ambassador with a 2-for-1 and got upgraded to the Royal Suite – a gargantuan room (more like set of rooms) with a jacuzzi./whirlpool. The lounge experience was definitely well above the usual Hilton, which can be more like being in a zoo and fighting over nibbles (ofc it’s IHG so I had to pay but that’s also why the lounge can be higher standard).

    The other options in Bonvoy and Hilton also look very good in value terms. I would definitely have gone back if it wasn’t for the pandemic.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Some people cannot grasp the concept of cost of living or purchasing power.
      These hotels are expensive in local terms, which appears to be ‘good value’ for you.
      It’s like saying Malaysia is good value for food because a Big Mac costs just £1.80

      • Pangolin says:

        Err.. I lived in Asia for a year so I do understand the concept of PPP and relative valuations. But thanks for teaching me about the Big Mac Index and how to suck eggs.

        People may not realise it but Malaysia (especially KL) provides better bang-per-buck at the high end than in most countries that people might regard as cheaper (eg SEA). But don’t take my word for it, ask Rob too.

        • numpty says:

          Agreed. A quick look at rankings on TripAdv is confusing as so many top rated and high end hotels are fighting it out for position. KL is the only place where i seriously considered staying in the Ritz Carlton (ended up in The Westin (suite) as it was a slightly shorter walk!). Also had a great stay in a Club room at Traders not long after it opened, still one of my favourite stays.

          In terms of purchasing power there is a big wealth gap in Malaysia, especially evident in KL and Penang. Amongst all the nice cars and luxury condos, shop workers start on about 10 MYR per hour (<£2 per hr), although a decent hawker lunch costs 5 MYR upwards (and is very tasty).

          • Pangolin says:

            You’ve got Alila Bangsar KL at $90 on a Hyatt Prive rate but I’ve seen it at $70. St R prices below $200/nt (can be $150). RC, FS and MO there are also amongst the most affordable on the planet.

            As Canadian travel/points blogger, Prince of Travel, says: ‘Kuala Lumpur is one of the world’s best “sweet spots” for luxury hotels at exceedingly affordable prices.’

        • numpty says:

          I did a mattress run once at the HI Glenmarie (no longer a IHG hotel) – due to status they upgraded me to a huge suite (with ropey aircon). It was such a good room I ended up staying in it. At check out the reservation manager gave me her business card and asked for feedback!

      • John says:

        That’s irrelevant because this is about comparing destinations for someone with a medium-to-high purchasing power in the UK.

        And yes, for UK residents who want to travel but are less wealthy, Malaysia is also good value precisely because a Big Mac costs the equivalent of £1.80 – although for 10 ringgit there are better things to eat than Big Macs.

        • Pangolin says:

          You’re missing the point. I’m not comparing Malaysia with the UK, I’m comparing it with other places in Asia. I already clarified this earlier in the thread. IMO it has the best value overall for high end properties of anywhere in Asia (taking service levels into account also). I’m specifically referring to the high end here (as was Rob), rather than talking about low tier.

          The fact that Malaysia is cheaper than the U.K. is so obvious that I didn’t feel the need to point that out explicitly.

        • Pangolin says:

          And just to add, I don’t even live in the UK. I live in an Eastern European country that is much poorer than Britain, so I’m not writing this from the perspective of a well-heeled UK tourist who is shocked to discover that Johnny Foreigner pays lower prices for the same things.

          If we talk about cost of living, then just about every country on the planet is cheaper than Britain, so it goes without saying that your pounds will go further in most places abroad.

  • Lady London says:

    Hyatt Regency…really? I don’t think those Straford hotels, well-rated as they were in IHG, can possibly be the quality of, say, the Churchill Hotel near Selfridges, which I believe may be about the right standard.

    Surprised they didn’t make the Staybridge a Hyatt Place, would have thought it about the right level and facilities.

    • Rob says:

      I know. Churchill, Blackfriars …. and a converted Holiday Inn in a shopping centre in East London?

      • Sam says:

        Intercon in the O2 is also in East London…the problem with Hyatt is that there is a lack of midrange brand to fit this property, if not branding it as a HR. (‘Hyatt’ is gradually abandoned, the only other possible alternative would have been Hyatt Centric but I guess the owner would want a more well known brand to distinguish from the adjoining Hyatt House).

        It’s interesting we are bringing up HR Churchill Place; just looking at Nobu Portman right across the street you’d also argue that the Nobu in Shoreditch is of lower quality, be it facilities, neighbourhood or room rate.

        If anything, it’s the Churchill place that should have been upgraded to a GR. If Westfield is willing to pay a premium to make their hotel a HR, who are we to say no?

        • Rob says:

          It is Hyatt’s job to say no, because anyone staying in Stratford won’t be rushing to try The Churchill or Blackfriars after the experience! I agree, however, there there weren’t a lot of options. Personally I’d have used Hyatt Place but I can imagine the owners pushing back. In reality I bet the new Hyatt Place in Aldgate is nicer than Stratford.

          I like Nobu Shoreditch – it’s an amazing bit of architecture and people who stay there know what they are getting. I’d be more worried that Portman Square has no Nobu ‘zing’ – I’m going there for a party next month so I will find out.

  • Jen says:

    Any chance BA will reopen the KUL route? Currently no direct PE with MAS 🙁

    • Alex says:

      Hoping for this too! It was always popular pre pandemic

    • numpty says:

      I had high hopes for this, but after recent visit to KL not so sure. MAS have a busy schedule already, and QR flying twice per day. KLIA was empty on my visit, almost all the shops closed.

      Speaking to friends and family there they had no plans for any visits to the UK in short term – they’ve watched how we handled covid and are happy to holiday in Asia, and wait till next year – so that reduces a lot of the demand. COVID taken very seriously – compliance with mask usage was 99% (spotted a few Europeans not wearing), indoors and outdoors. Security guards check your covid app on entry to shopping malls, even saw security guards posted to multi storey car park entrance to check status before getting passed ticket barrier!

      • Jen says:

        I am Malaysian. Plenty of demand from friends who want to fly PE, although my own parents, being elderly and vulnerable, won’t be making the trip. But yes, there is definitely a shock from friends and family how UK has handled COVID and most don’t really venture outdoors while here, most visits are made to see friends/family. Seeing Europeans without their mask at the time where masks are mandatory definitely outraged the public, doesn’t really help the perception in SEA that foreigners refuse to play by the rules when they are in SEA.

    • Marcw says:

      Don’t you think UK market is already covered by MAS + ME3 + Turkish?
      Malaysia may be a beautiful and affordable country but overall I think it’s not as attractive as neighbouring countries.
      A lot of people travel to places they like to visit, not because luxury hotels are cheap-ish.

      • Jen says:

        No, since pre pandemic BA flights were always full. A lot of people like direct flights. I’m Malaysian. There is a huge student population here who travel back and forth, and their families. The student population generally come from wealthy families, they wouldn’t be able to send their children to the UK to study with double school fees if they weren’t. It isn’t always about leisure travel! That being said, leisure travel to the UK might slow simply because no more VAT refunds. My friends and family travel to Europe for that now.

        • Jon says:

          “leisure travel to the UK might slow simply because no more VAT refunds.”

          Can Bicester Village survive, I wonder? 😉

      • Jon says:

        I’ve often thought Virgin should operate to Kuala Lumpur, especially now that BA has pulled out and MH is the only direct option. I think Virgin could be a useful addition to the route – different vibe, alternative to One World etc. Slightly surprised they haven’t moved (at least some of) their Hong Kong flights to KL given the situation there, but I imagine it may not be straightforward to do. Or could it work as a fifth-freedom LHR-HKG-KUL-HKG-LHR maybe? Or LHR-KUL-HKG-KUL-LHR, although that’s presumably longer.

  • Nicky says:

    Bits: In May I have a domestic internal from Newcastle, connecting to Heathrow to fly to the USA. If (which is a probability) they cancel my domestic flight, as they are cancelling Newcastle flights every day, will I be entitled to Compensation (if cancelled within 14 days of Departure) AND what it will cost to travel down the day before, stay in a hotel and park for 10 days? The domestic is on the same ticket as the USA connection. Can anyone advise?

  • Sam says:

    The Hyatt regency Stratford has undergone a refurbishment and upgrade before the rebrand. It really doesn’t matter even if it was a travelodge in the past the fact that it can meet the standard to be a HR now is what it matters.

    • Rob says:

      Have you been to this hotel? It is in the middle of an East End shopping centre and IIRC has no ground floor space – you go in and take a lift to reception. There’s not a huge amount up there except rooms.

      Under no scenario, in a million years, can it compare with Crowne Plaza The City / Regency Blackfriars (the dominant big hotel in the Square Mile) or The Churchill, which is a major events venue, has a world famous Italian restaurant, is a five star and is in the heart of the West End.

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