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On a recent trip to Virginia, I stayed at the Hyatt House Sterling/Dulles Airport-North after a late flight into the D.C. area. I’d be driving west the next day, so it was a quick sleep-eat-go sort of stay.
It has been a while since I’ve stayed at a Hyatt House, and I was very much looking forward to the stay. My one previous stay with the brand was in Portland for one night before my wife and I met my in-laws for a couple days in the area. The Hyatt House Portland was brand new at the time, and we had a wonderful stay. My expectations were that the Hyatt House Sterling/Dulles Airport-North would be the same.
The stay was for work, and I booked it at a rate of $89 before taxes, which I consider very reasonable for a Hyatt House. The hotel is Category 1 Hyatt, making it a great award option as well.
Arriving at the hotel
My flight was a late arrival anyway, but I didn’t make it in before midnight, when the hotel shuttle stops running. I called at literally 11:59 to talk to the front desk as soon as the seatbelt light went off, and she informed me that the shuttle had stopped. Even if I would have made it in on time, the hike through Dulles Airport probably still would have done me in. Uber it was.
The hotel was dead when I arrived. The lady at the front desk was polite enough, but I could tell she was also tired and ready to be done. I could sympathize. All I wanted to do was head up to my room and collapse into bed.
Studio King Suite
If you’re unfamiliar with the Hyatt House brand, let me explain what it’s all about. The rooms are generally much more spacious than the standard hotel room, laid out nicely, and offer a full kitchen. The kitchen part is what makes them one of my wife’s and my favorite brands. Obviously, not everyone wants to cook while on vacation. But we often do, and having a full kitchen is amazing (SEE: The complete beginner’s guide to cooking in a hotel room).
A studio king suite at the Hyatt House Sterling/Dulles Airport-North is definitely spacious. The kitchen, living area, bedroom and bathroom are all connected together and wrap around as you walk through the room. Different than the other Hyatt House, but a nice layout.
The king bed was comfortable, but I was less than impressed with the pillows. They were the slightly smaller, squarish style that I generally don’t prefer. I still didn’t sleep as well as I generally do at a decent hotel.
The bathroom is nice enough. The sink is located outside the actual bath, and it was the one part of the room I had issues with. It didn’t drain well. I shaved in the morning, and left a bunch of hair for housekeeping. I mentioned the issue to the front desk on departure, and he said he’d have maintenance take a look.
The shower was one of those “modern” half glass-style that I dislike. While I didn’t get water all over the floor quite as badly as the last time I stayed at a hotel with one of these, some still left the shower. I really don’t understand this design. It baffles me. Maybe it’s easier to keep clean? At least the shower was large, the pressure good, and the temperature great.
I examined the kitchen the next morning, seeing how well it was stocked. The kitchen at the Hyatt House Sterling/Dulles Airport-North is a bit different layout than the one we stayed at in Portland, but it is just as nice.
With a full wet bar, microwave, toaster and stovetop, you can make yourself right at home. There is also in-room coffee, of course. But that’s pretty standard.
I checked out the cupboards to see how well stocked the kitchen is. There were mugs and glassware for four, plus glass cooking bowls.
On the other side, there were plates for the same number.
Plenty of silverware and utensils, including a spatula, spoon, corkscrew and knives.
Plenty of cookware.
Especially considering that the stovetop itself only has two burners.
Underneath the sink are extra paper towels, as well as both dish soap and dishwashing pods.
There is even a full size fridge. This might be helpful for a family staying several days, but it is probably overkill, especially for a hotel near an airport.
The only drawback to booking a family in the room is the table. The table also functions as the desk in this Hyatt House, and there are only two chairs. If you book four people in the room, you won’t be able to all eat around the table.
Overall, the kitchen space is great. You really can’t ask for better in a hotel. The only way to really improve on this would be to book a stay in an actual apartment. I did have to chuckle that the Hyatt House Sterling/Dulles Airport-North has the same exact wall art as the Hyatt House Portland/Downtown.
The living area was nice, but I didn’t have time to really use it. The sofa contains a bed as well, if you need bedding for additional people.
I didn’t examine the TV, but I would assume it is on a swivel. Otherwise, it won’t be at a viewable at a good angle from either the living room *or* the bed.
My final stop was the closet. Even it is spacious.
While it is a different layout than the studio suite my wife and I stayed in during our last Hyatt House stay, the room at the Hyatt House Sterling was just as nice, and nearly as spacious. I’d happily book a stay here with kids, although an actual one bedroom suite might be preferable. We’d definitely also opt for two beds.
Breakfast at the Hyatt House Sterling/Dulles Airport-North
When I arrived down for breakfast after sleeping in quite late, it was a complete madhouse. Remind me not to show up late on a Sunday. I generally try to avoid the breakfast rush at a hotel, but I failed miserably this time.
The first thing that caught my eye was the lack of the square white plates. I thought these were supposed to be the standard issue for Hyatt House breakfast. Instead, there were black plastic plates. Major downgrade, but at least we weren’t using styrofoam.
Second thing noted was the lack of forks. Third thing noted was the generally state of the breakfast area. Here it is once it had been cleaned up a bit.
Sure, there were dozens of people who had just plated their food, but the breakfast area really needed a bit of attention. Some items were running low, and others were messy.
I got a plate of french toast, a single sausage, and some potatoes, all of which I ate with a spoon. I know, total first world problem. But not what you’d expect at a hotel. Before I sat down, I filled out an omelette card, figuring it’d be ready when I finished with the other items.
Ten minutes later, I was done, and my omelette wasn’t even in any of the pans being cooked. It took nearly another 10 minutes for me to finally get it. I understand a small wait, as it is cooked to order, but the guy only had two pans, and way too many orders for this to be a great system. I’m normally done with breakfast in 10-12 minutes, tops. A real restaurant may be able to get away with a 20-minute wait. Not a hotel buffet. You can see the tiny omelette station past the pillar in the photo.
Breakfast was a bit disappointing, I have to say. Our last Hyatt House stay offered a stellar breakfast, and I’d expected that to be par for the course.
Other amenities and facilities
The Hyatt House Sterling/Dulles Airport-North has a small market where you can buy various food items and other sundries.
The WiFi was a reasonable speed. I didn’t try streaming, though. I didn’t have any problems doing basic web surfing and viewing social media.
The hotel also offers a workout room and an outdoor pool. You can also grab a drink or bite to eat at the H BAR during the evenings.
Maybe it was my expectations going into the stay, but I didn’t feel like the Hyatt House Sterling/Dulles Airport-North quite nailed it. The room was great, and exactly what I expected. But breakfast left me wondering whether things have gone downhill. Or maybe it is just this Hyatt House.
It’s possible Hyatt has allowed the brand to implement some general cost-cutting measures, such as swapping out real dishes for the plastic plates. The food options also seemed a bit cheaper. The omelette station was good, but took forever. Overall, this resulted in a breakfast that didn’t feel as nice as at the Hyatt House Portland. Hopefully this is just a single case and not the state of the entire brand.
What do you think of Hyatt House hotels? Was my stay at the Hyatt House Sterling/Dulles Airport-North pretty typical?
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