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When booking our trip to Atlanta, I was looking at spending either two or three nights at The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown. I initially booked three, but later decided that switching hotels could make some sense, as I was putting a serious dent in our remaining Hilton points.

After shopping around, I decided that 6,000 Hyatt points plus $75 plus taxes at the Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta (which was actually branded as just the Hyatt Atlanta Midtown at the time) was a decent deal for our third night. It actually reduced the per night cost of our reservation at The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown for our first two nights, saving us 50,000 Hilton points. What sealed the deal for staying at the Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta was setting myself up to earn an additional free night from the 5 brand bonus after a couple other planned stays this year.

Cash rates started at $142 for our dates, but they are sometimes just a hair over $100. I thought about using all points, but I’ve been trying to save up my Ultimate Rewards points for a couple other upcoming trips.

Arriving at the Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta

After spending most of the day at the World of Coca Cola and the Center for Civil and Human Rights, we picked up our bags at our previous hotel and headed to the metro. The Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta is a few stops north of downtown and within easy walking distance from the metro station. It is also near Piedmont Park, where we spent the evening.

This was my first stay at a “vanilla” Hyatt hotel, and I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought my stay in Canberra last year was at a standard Hyatt brand hotel, but that property is actually under the Park Hyatt brand (SEE: Park Hyatt Canberra Review).

The lobby was deserted except the two agents at the front desk when we arrived. Although it isn’t a large property (11 floors, but not many rooms per floor), I was a bit surprised. Even when we came downstairs later and then arrived back from the park, I felt like we only ever saw 3-4 other guests. Check-in was obviously quick. I’d booked a standard double-double room, and that is what we were given. Discoverist status doesn’t get you much more than a bottle of water.

Standard Double Room

Our room was on the fifth floor. I had to use the facilities right after entering, and my son decided to hide before I emerged. He thinks I can’t see him.

The room is of a simple, modern style and upscale feel. The size is fairly typical for a standard hotel room. As long as it offers the typical Hyatt bed where I can get a good night’s rest, I’m happy.

It was good that it was just my son and I on this trip. I generally avoid places which don’t offer two queen beds as the standard setup for more than one bed; sharing a bed with either of the boys nearly always results in a sleepless night if it’s a double. Booking a king plus sofa bed is actually the preferred option when traveling with the two older kids, as my son and I have plenty of space and my pre-teen daughter gets her own bed.

 

The room had the standard desk and TV. There are outlets at the nightstand, but the alarm clock really only lets you use one.

After a day on our feet seeing the sights in the city, we spent most of an hour relaxing and reading in the armchairs before heading downstairs for a swim.

A high floor room with a view to the south toward downtown or east toward the park would probably be especially nice. Ours was down the street to the west.

There is a mini-fridge in the cabinets under the TV. I’m still glad to see this is a standard amenity is most U.S. hotels. Not having a mini-fridge was one of the most annoying aspects of our hotels stays when my wife and I visited Europe. Almost all the mini-bars either run a bit warmer, or they don’t offer enough space to store anything (or both).

The bathroom is large with a tub/shower combo with they typical Hyatt bath amenities you find at the Hyatt Place brand.

The sink featured a back-lit mirror, which I find to be more and more common at not just upscale hotels, but mid-scale brands like Hyatt House and Fairfield Inn & Suites. Honestly, the room is nice, but pretty much on par with the very new Fairfield Inn & Suites I stayed at for work in Virginia a few months ago. More often than not I find that “upscale” hotel amenities are just having to pay for breakfast and pay for parking.

Overall, the room was nice, functional and about what I expected it to be for the brand and price. Sleep quality wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for, though. I slept well for the first five hours, but then tossed and turned for the last hour or so until I saw that I wasn’t going to get any reasonable amount of shuteye before my alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. Early east coast departures are always rough, but and least they let us get back to California before noon.

Pool and fitness center

The Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta has a very nice saltwater pool that my son and I enjoyed immensely. We had the place to ourselves for most of an hour. The pool ranges from 3 to 5 feet in depth, Lnes are marked on the floor but no dividers.

I always prefer saltwater pools over traditional chlorinated pools as it is a whole lot less harsh on skin and eyes. It also doesn’t result in stiff, itchy hair if I forego a shower afterward. We had a great time splashing and playing. My kids really don’t seem to care what a hotel is like, as long as it has a decent pool. This seems to be universal (SEE: “All I want is a swimming pool and a waffle maker”).

The hotel also has a well equipped fitness center on the same level as the pool.

We didn’t spend any time in the fitness center, but I did get one of the other guests to come running out to the pool when I slipped and fell on the edge and tumbled back into the water. I was fine, but my leg ached quite badly the next day.

Restaurant and Bar

The Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta does have a bar and a restaurant that is open in the evenings called Fork & Juniper. I thought about heading back and eating at the hotel after spending some time in Peidmont Park, but we found a decent little mom-and-pop restaurant down the street that is cheaper. It was a fun southern cafe called The Flying Biscuit.

We didn’t have breakfast here either. Breakfast is offered every morning starting at 6:30, but I knew that we would be departing too early to eat at the property. Plus, as I am not a Hyatt Globalist, it would not have been free.

Piedmont Park

The Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta is in close proximity to Piedmont Park, a green-space to the east of midtown. Piedmont Park features a number of sports fields as well as the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The latter was originally on the agenda for the afternoon, but I axed it due to both timing and cost.

We had a nice walk around the lake and along the wetland trail, making a pit stop at the playground near the middle on the way back.

It was getting late in the evening by the time we headed back to the Hyatt Centric. I would have loved to explore more of Atlanta, but three days was all I’d budgeted. We’d have an early wake up call for our flight back to California in the morning!

Conclusion

The Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta is an affordable option in the city at only 12,000 Hyatt points per night. Depending on the demand, cash rates can also be quite reasonable. The week after our stay standard rooms are available for $112 before taxes, but I also saw them going for well into the $200s for other dates.

One final note on the name: our stay was in August, and I was not aware that the hotel would be re-branded from a “vanilla” Hyatt to a “lifestyle” Hyatt Centric. Given the location and character of the hotel, this seems like a reasonable enough move by Hyatt. You can read about the transition here.

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