Note: Part two of this review can be found here.
The Hyatt Regency Osaka has a reputation for being isolated from the main attractions of the city. But, instead of a liability, I find the location to be one of this hotels greatest assets, making it the closest thing that Hyatt has to an actual “resort” in Japan (Hyatt Regency Hakone‘s full name not withstanding).
If traveling by train to Osaka, you will most likely arrive in Shin Osaka via the Shinkansen bullet train, then take a short five minute transfer on the Kyoto Line to Osaka station. Upon arrival, make sure that you exit from the Sakurabashi Exit: anywhere else, and you will have a very difficult time finding the shuttle bus to the hotel. But from here, it’s just two quick right turns to the underpass where various hotels shuttle bus services operate. Once every thirty minutes, this bus will arrive:
Upon departure, you’ll have about 25 minutes to enjoy the scenery and various hotel advertisements inside the bus.
Although the ride feels like it goes on forever, you do eventually reach the hotel.
The inconvenient location is the sole reason that a facility of this quality is available as a Category 2 award reservation. For just 8000 points a night (or better still, 4000 points + $50 a night), this out-sized palatial palace awaits:
Until a couple years ago, Hyatt Regency Osaka had a traditional club lounge on the 26th floor. Now there is no more dedicated club lounge concierge service, so check-in is done on the first floor lobby even for Diamond/Globalist members. But beyond that, there is now a smorgasbord of elite services that I believe outclass those of a traditional Regency club lounge:
- In lieu of club lounge breakfast, a full breakfast buffet is served in The Cafe restaurant for your entire party.
- After breakfast, drinks and light refreshments are served free of charge in The Lobby Lounge.
- From the evening, The Lobby Lounge hosts evening cocktails and canapes.
- Throughout the day, the old 26th floor lounge serves as an unmanned relaxation space offering free coffee, tea, and cookies
If you will become one of the brave new Explorists in World of Hyatt, you should consider Hyatt Regency Osaka a prime option for the use of one of your four Club Room Upgrade suites.
On this stay I used a suite upgrade to upgrade a Points + Cash reservation to a Regency Suite Twin, which I wanted to stay in to show my readers what a great value this suite upgrade is. However, the hotel took things a little too far this time, and upgraded me further still to a Diplomat Suite Twin. This suite was so fancy that it deserves a separate post dedicated to it in the future. Here are a couple of my favorite photos for the time being:
After an hour or so of staring in awe at my room, it was time to check out The Bay Lounge & Bar.
I wanted to be sure to save room for the The Lobby Lounge evening canapes, so I enjoyed these tasty tiny burgers with my 28th floor scenery:
The Food and Beverage manager pointed out that the view is far nicer looking at Osaka from afar than the other way around. I’m inclined to agree! The adjoining ballrooms hosted a very popular New Years Party, and the manager was gracious enough to give me a tour of these facilities as well.
The Lobby Lounge ends regular business operations in the evening, transforming into a traditional club lounge evening experience for elite members and club room guests. In regards to the all-important question “Can you make a meal out of it?”, the answer is an unqualified “Yes!”
On your way back to the elevator, be sure to stop inside the oddly named Business Center. What other business center have you ever seen with its own Foosball table?
After all the food that you just consumed, you may consider working off some of those calories in the pool and gym. The fine folks at the Hyatt Regency Osaka thought that you might consider this, and thus completed a full renewal of their gym facilities just last year. They’re quite proud of it, and rightly so!
The indoor pool is a little…less new. But it’s still good quality for a Regency, and unlike the Hyatt Regency Tokyo there are proper bathing and sauna facilities on the premises (not pictured).
Since you’ve come this far, please check out the beautiful views and peaceful quiet of the 26th floor unmanned club lounge as well.
In Part 2, we’ll discuss breakfast, hotel restaurants, afternoon services, the surrounding area, and my favorite unadvertised benefit of them all.