I’m taking a page out of Dan’s playbook and adding to the collection of random budget to mid-scale hotel reviews. Oh, wait. Hyatt Place is considered upscale, at least according to one source that categorizes hotels. That might not be how I’d categorize them, based on the services offered, but they are a solid brand. If you haven’t stayed at one yet, hopefully this will show you that they are a great choice (and typically cheap on the Hyatt award chart).
I’ve been out to western Virginia about eight times now for work. It has been enough that I’m finally starting to lose track. Each time, I think I’ve tried a new hotel. I mean, just look at my map of all my hotel stays and you’ll see what I mean:
Yeah…it screams loyalty. I basically jumped around to first complete a Marriott Platinum challenge, then to chase whatever promotion was offering the biggest bang for my buck and met the project budget. I stayed at the Hyatt Place Roanoke once or twice in 2018. Now that I’m back in town, I booked three nights there, as I am hoping to qualify for Hyatt Globalist this year.
Cash rates were right around $100 per night over the dates I booked. You can often find it for $90-95, but rates can also creep up over $120 when busy. Alternatively, you can use a mere 5,000 Hyatt points to stay at the Hyatt Place Roanoke, as it is a Category 1 property.
Arriving at the Hyatt Place Roanoke
I drove up from Greensboro, NC this trip, even though the Hyatt Place Roanoke is about 5 minutes from ROA airport. The justification was the $250 in airfare savings, and I got to fly Delta instead of American or United. The Hyatt Place is also located near Valley View Mall and a bunch of other stores, but not actually in a store, like this Holiday Inn Express purportedly was.
Upon arrival, I was asked if I was with Family Dollar. I said no. Is this a standard check-in question? Should I be with Family Dollar? What will it get me?
While I pondered this, I handed over my ID and new World of Hyatt Visa. This wasn’t the same card on my account, and the lady must have been new, as she had no idea how to change the payment method. But this was easily solved after the other front desk agent was freed up, and I was soon on my way up to my room.
Hyatt Place Standard King Room
Hyatt Place hotels have a pretty standard layout, and the Hyatt Place Roanoke is no different. You enter into the living area, which usually consists of a sectional and end table.
Across from this is the desk. One of the notes on the wall indicated the new breakfast policy: free breakfast is only offered to World of Hyatt members who book direct.
Behind the desk against the hallway wall is another counter with the in-room coffee, mini-fridge, and a wet bar.
The sofa turns into an extra bed, if needed. The fact that you can book a room with two beds and a sofa bed for six people makes Hyatt Place one of my favorite brands for family travel (SEE: 5 best hotel chains for families of 5).
I’ve stayed at five Hyatt Place properties, and this layout has been consistent at all but one of them. The television is in the middle of the room and can swivel slightly toward either the couch or the bed, depending from where you want to watch it.
The bed is beyond a partial wall that gives a sense of division between the living and sleeping spaces, although the room falls very much short of a true suite.
The bathroom sink is across from the bed and exterior to the toilet and shower. There is also a closet in the corner.
The other thing I love about Hyatt Place hotels is that they have just a nice shower. No tub.
Overall, it is a layout I like, and a bit different than the standard bathroom at the entry plus a single rectangular space with one or two beds. I appreciate the consistency within the brand.
Hyatt Place Roanoke Breakfast
The breakfast offered at the Hyatt Place Roanoke is pretty standard from what I remember of other Hyatt Place hotels. Since I’d booked directly with Hyatt, it was also free. I’m still not sure how they police this, and no one has ever clarified the new policy with me at check-in, even just to mention that “breakfast is included for you at no charge as a World of Hyatt member”, or something like that. I honestly wonder if some Hyatt Place hotels don’t even bother worrying about the policy change, as it is kinda a hassle. No one really polices the breakfast area.
Breakfast options consist of plenty of fruit, yogurt, and hot options including eggs, sausage and potatoes. Hyatt Place offers Seattle’s
Best Worst Coffee. This is about my only gripe. It was terrible each day, and I’m generally not too particular about coffee. There are a couple coffee options nearby close to Valley View Mall, including Starbucks.
There are seats spread across the lobby. Breakfast was generally quiet, but I was there pretty early each day. I can imagine it could get interesting with a full hotels, as there are a limited number of seats available.
The Hyatt Place Roanoke also has a pool, a necessary amenity when you have kids (SEE: “All I want is a swimming pool and a waffle maker”). I typically don’t find myself using it at all when I travel for work. Sadly, I’m usually up in my room reviewing documents or answering emails (or blogging or attending to other side ventures) before passing out.
The Hyatt Place Roanoke also has a bar. I honestly cannot recall if this is standard. Maybe I never noticed it before. It’s tiny, though, with all of four seats. And it’s not my thing, so that is probably why I haven’t paid attention.
Local western Virginia area
There are definitely things to do in the area, although I have had precious little time to do anything besides work while I’ve been out here. I got to visit Monticello last summer up in Charlottesville after a meeting, but other than that, I really haven’t done much. Roanoke itself has a few nice restaurants, but it isn’t really a city I would consider just wandering.
The highlight of the area is almost certainly McAfee Knob, one of the most hiked points of the Appalachian Trail. The trail-head is maybe 20 minutes from town, and it makes a great day trip. Or so everyone tells me. I have yet to hike it. There is some other great hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains which I hope to get to eventually, if I keep heading out here.
Aside from that, there is also Natural Bridge a short drive to the north. This natural limestone bridge along the James River was once owned by Thomas Jefferson and is now a state park. If you want to venture even further, consider driving up to scenic Staunton and enjoying this historic town. It’s my favorite by far of all that I’ve visited in western Virginia.
If you’re headed to Virginia’s Blue, the Hyatt Place Roanoke is a great chain hotel pick. It is a consistent brand experience, and inexpensive if you’re using points. Roanoke itself may not be the most scenic spot, but it is near enough other things that it is a great launching point for exploring southwestern Virginia.