On a recent ski trip I experienced more travel interruptions than I think I’ve ever had on any trip. My original plan was to fly from Memphis to Steamboat Springs, Colorado (HDN) via DFW on American (AA) on a Friday late in February. Things changed late the Wednesday before I was scheduled to leave when AA canceled the first leg of my trip and re-booked me for Sunday. Not wanting to miss out on my vacation, I managed to get the MEM-DFW leg rescheduled for Thursday night where I’d spend the night in the DFW Airport area and then take the second leg of my flight as scheduled on Friday.
I had a free night certificate from my World of Hyatt card that was good for a category 1-4 hotel. While I did not receive any exceptional value by using this certificate, I have a number of similar certificates from various credit cards so I was happy to be able to use it. I did look into staying at the Grand Hyatt DFW, which is accessible from the inter-terminal train (SkyLink) but they did not have any rooms available on points and that property is a category 5, so I couldn’t have used my free night certificate anyway.
I’d previously stayed at the Hyatt Place DFW and had absolutely no complaints so this time I thought I’d try the Hyatt House in the area since I knew both limited-service properties included breakfast. What I hadn’t considered until after I’d booked is that for the Hyatt House, at least, the complimentary shuttle, originally shut down due to COVID, had not yet been restarted. As the hotel is only 8 miles from the airport I didn’t think it would be difficult to get a ride.
My flight was two hours late leaving Memphis and it was nearly 10 PM by the time I arrived at DFW airport. When I went to the ride-share area and called for an Uber, my request went unanswered. When I called for a Lyft, surge pricing was apparently turned on and it would have been in the $55-60 range including tip. I ended up going to the taxi stand and waiting 30 minutes or more. Even then it cost me $40-45 including tip for the one-way ride to the hotel. Next time you can be sure I will check on the shuttle first!
Once I arrived at the hotel I was warmly welcomed by Philip, the front desk associate who recognized my Discoverist status and gave me two bottles of water. My room was, of course, ready for me and I was also able to get a small packet of toothpaste, which was helpful. Knowing I’d be spending the night I’d brought my toothbrush but hadn’t wanted to try to take toothpaste through TSA. I also made arrangements to have a taxi pick me up at 8 AM. Though my flight wasn’t until 10:30 AM, I thought it wise to build in some cushion and I was glad I did. The next morning the taxi was notified in plenty of time but a second call was necessary and the taxi did not arrive until about 8:20 AM. Fortunately I’d built in enough time and my flight was from Terminal D which has TSA PreCheck. (Here’s your reminder that Terminal B still does not have a PreCheck lane so you may be better off entering the airport via another Terminal if lines are long. The DFW website has a page indicating how long it’s taking folks to get through security in each terminal.)
The hotel is comprised of a number of small buildings. The central building with the front desk, breakfast and bar areas, gym and laundry room are located very close to the property’s entrance. There are also guest rooms on the second floor of this building. The other guest rooms are in separate buildings of 8 rooms each: two floors, each containing two units facing the parking lot and and another four units facing the mutual courtyard, where the pool and patio is located. My room faced the parking lot, which was perfectly fine since I was only there for one night.
When I arrived, I was a bit surprised to see I’d been assigned a Two Bedroom King/King Suite. I’d assumed I’d be given a one bedroom unit but as I look at the hotel’s website it seems they have a lot of two bedroom units. At any rate it was all the space one person could possibly need.
The front (well, only) door opens directly into the living room. The kitchen is to the back and the bedrooms are on either side. The living room had a sleeper sofa in front of window with the TV sitting on a cabinet on its right.
The dining table had only two chairs and was right next to the TV. The TV could be swiveled so it could be seen from anywhere in the room.
An easy chair and the desk were were on the left side of the room as one enters and the unit’s thermostat was between the two. The desk contained a land-line phone, as did each of the two bedrooms, but none of them worked. A note about the thermostat: it was quite a chilly night when I arrived and the thermostat showed the current room temp in the upper-50sF. I turned the heat on and set it to 68F. The heat ran all night and the room was only about 61F some six hours later. While I was quite cozy under my blankets during the night, it was a bit of a rude awakening in the morning. I was eventually advised to change the setting from Heat to Emergency and that seemed to do the trick. But I never would have used the emergency setting otherwise.
The kitchen was galley-style with the sink, dishwasher, microwave and fridge on one side and the stove and other cabinets on the other with a coffee machine on the counter. As I wasn’t dining in the room I didn’t check to see what types of pots and pans were available; I only used a glass for some water. I did find that the light switch for the kitchen was oddly placed and had to hunt a bit to find it.
I chose to sleep in the bedroom on the left for no reason other than it was the one closest to the door. This bedroom area was actually smaller than the other bedroom but it had a bigger closet, a bigger sink area and a walk-in shower vs. the tub shower in the other bedroom. Neither of those things was a big deal to me but since I didn’t arrive until after 11 PM all I wanted was a good night’s sleep.
In each room, the bathroom sink is outside the room with the toilet and shower. It was nice that the sink was on one side of the vanity as that meant more counter space for toiletries and the provided hair dryer.
The shower stall did have a small step in the back corner, which is greatly appreciate when shaving your legs. There now needs to be a similar shelf higher up the wall that could hold a can of shave gel and a razor! As I was only staying one night this wasn’t really an issue for me but it’s something I’ve noticed most places I’ve stayed lately: where am I supposed to hang a wet washcloth? Typically when I first enter the room they’re stacked on top of towels hanging on the racks. But once I’ve used them, then what? I don’t want to put a wet washcloth on the towel I’m hoping will dry out. There need to be racks or hooks or something within the shower area to hang these on. Same question applies for swimsuits – where could they be hung to dry out without dripping all over the floor?
The other bedroom was a bit larger but still had only a two-drawer cabinet for the TV to sit on. I guess the assumption is that folks staying here for extended periods will have more items to hang than to put in drawers? I don’t know but it sure doesn’t seem like a lot of storage space.
The room looked and felt a bit worn. I mentioned that none of the phones worked which meant I had to use my cell phone to call the front desk. Some of the drawers in the cabinets were either difficult to close or didn’t close properly at all. The windows all had blackout shades behind the curtains but the blackout shades didn’t fit properly against the window and allowed light in. To be clear this didn’t really matter to me too much because the window in the bedroom I was using was set back in the building and didn’t receive early morning sun. But when the curtains don’t fit against the windows properly, it means that it is possible for someone outside to see in. As a single female traveler this is never a good feeling.
Breakfast begins at 6:30 AM. There’s a self-serve area for coffee and tea. The breakfast bar itself has cereal – both pre-packaged and loose – yogurt, milk, pre-packaged pastries, three hot dishes which were, I believe, scrambled eggs, pork sausage and hash browns (though it might have been bacon). The seating area used for breakfast is the same area as the bar in the evenings.
The hotel has a small gym of its own, located in the main building. It’s fairly well-equipped for a limited-service hotel. However if you need more equipment, you can take your Hyatt confirmation email and your ID across the street to LA Fitness and work out there for no additional charge. That’s a nice touch.
The coin-op laundry is also located in the main building, just down the hall from the gym. It has two stackable washers and dryers as well as some full-sized machines though not all of them were in working order during my visit.
The pool is located just behind the main building. It’s pretty small but had several lounge chairs around it. There’s also a patio with tables and chairs as well as a cabana area with a grill. This wasn’t the place to be in February but I expect during more moderate weather it could be quite nice to sit out here and eat breakfast or dinner.
While there were still lots of “keep 6 feet apart” stickers on the floor in the breakfast area and there were plexiglass dividers between the front desk staff and customers, I think the only masks I saw in evidence were on the lady watching over the breakfast bar and some other guests. As my stay was in late February 2022, COVID was hopefully winding down and mask mandates were lifted in many places the next month.
In the end
While at least some of the rooms could use a refresh, the hotel was pretty much what I was expecting. What I didn’t expect – and it was my own fault for not checking – was the lack of a free airport shuttle. That’s the only thing that would prevent me from staying here again when I need to overnight at DFW.