hyattplace

When I go on the road for seminars or photo shoots, I generally try to stay at Hilton Garden Inns (which is a less expensive boutique hotel chain run by Hilton). They’re all pretty new, so the hotels are nice and clean (that’s very important to me), and you get free breakfast, and free wireless, and they have a little 24-hour store where you can get toiletries, and snacks and stuff, and for the money, they’re really hard to beat.

At least I thought that until I stayed at a Hyatt Place the night before my Orlando Photoshop Down & Dirty seminar. That’s where I want to stay from now on.

Like the Hilton Garden Inn, the Hyatt Place is Hyatt’s lower priced boutique chain, but where the Garden Inn is kind of simple and homey, the Hyatt Place has a much more creative bent to it (it’s kind of like the “jetBlue” of hotels, and I totally mean that as a compliment).

For example, the layout of the hotel is very hip. It looks like something you’d see in New York or San Francisco costing lots more. They had a small Starbucks attached to the front desk, and it was open 24 hours (since it’s manned by the front desk staff late at night), and when you order a sandwich (even late at night), they serve it on a real plate—-heated if you like—and they served the whole thing up like you were in a restaurant, even though you take it back to your room.

My room was great. It really wasn’t much bigger than a standard sized room (see the image up top—courtesy of Hyatt Place, which totally doesn’t do the room justice), but the layout was really brilliant (it was like a Think Tank Photo bag. The same size, but somehow they made it feel much bigger).

Totally digging my suite-like room
They made the room seem like a suite, with a vertical half-wall separating the bedroom from the rest (but much nicer than an Embassy Suites room) with really cool furniture, which included a wall-mounted 45″ High-Def flat panel television. The TV was set up so you could plug anything (including HDMI) right into it; your iPod, your digital camera, your computer—-you name it. You could do a slide presentation right in your room.

It had a refrigerator, a wet bar, a work desk, a great roomy shower, lots of places to sit (it kind of had a big sectional so you could put your feet up, work, and watch TV). Plus, it was super clean.

It came with free Wireless everywhere, and the whole room was just set up very smartly, and it actually reminded me of a room at the “W” hotel, but it was roomier and at just a fraction of the cost. Also, the staff was really on the ball and went out of their to help me on several occasions.

You get free breakfast. They had a cool-looking restaurant downstairs, where you got your free breakfast, but I skipped it that morning to get over to the convention center early.

Price Matters
I did some checking to compare prices between the Hilton Garden Inn and the Hyatt Place, and they’re priced very comparably (in some cases, one was $10 to $12 bucks higher than the other, but it just depended on the city as to which one was a little higher than the other).

Anyway, I know this isn’t generally the kind of thing I blog about here, but you know when I learn about something really great, I can’t keep it to myself. I know a lot of you travel (and I know a lot of you travel to my seminars), and if you’re going to a city that has a Hyatt Place, you should give it a try—–if you’re a creative type (which if you read this blog, you are), you’ll totally dig it. (Here’s a link to their Website).

By the way, if you come to Tampa for my Lightroom seminar in November, they just opened one right by the airport (about 10 to 12 minutes from the convention center).