Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Our Anniversary Staycation: The Awesomeness of the Hyatt Regency Bellevue

I am not usually a fan of cutesy portmanteaus: frenemy, vaguebooking, they kind of drive me crazy. There is one exception to this rule: Staycation. A staycation can come in several forms. It can simply mean taking some time off and staying home, but my favorite kind of staycation is the kind where you play tourist in your own town. Super-Dad and I recently had a chance to have a very luxurious staycation to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary. 

We headed over to Bellevue, WA, a short 15 minute drive from our Seattle house. Bellevue is where is Super-Dad grew up, and there was a time not that long ago that taking any kind of trip to Bellevue would have been laughable. It was known for it’s giant shopping mall and wealthy suburbanites, but that’s about it. In the past few years, Bellevue has had a geek renaissance. Microsoft has a huge presence there, T-Mobile is there, Valve (and Steam) are headquartered there. Expedia, Clearwire, Bungie, 5th Cell - all have Bellevue offices. It’s the age of the geek, and Bellevue is the place to be. No longer just Seattle’s dorky neighbor, it’s become a destination all on it’s own. We set out to experience it like tourists, and we had our expectations blown away. 

A particular quirk of downtown Bellevue is that many of the buildings are connected. You never have to leave the indoors and you can even cross streets using a series of skybridges. I had been to the Hyatt Regency Bellevue’s lobby before on a couple of occasions. It opens to a retail area on the lower floor where I’ve met clients for a coffee meeting. I also attended a fantastic event all about holiday tech hosted by the people over at Techlicious in one of the hotel’s spacious meeting spaces. During that event, the Hyatt Regency Bellevue showed off some of it’s cool tech (which I will highlight later), food, rooms and service. It was also at that event that I was gifted a night’s stay at the hotel. 

An anniversary card signed by the hotel staff!
I contacted the hotel a few days before we were planning on visiting to let them know that I would be coming, that I wanted to write it up as a part of this staycation piece, and that Super-Dad and I would be using the opportunity to celebrate our 15th Wedding Anniversary. From that point on, we felt like rock stars. The hotel sent us maps,info on local hot spots and information about making our reservation at the hotel’s restaurant, Eques (not only for hotel guests, it’s one of the most popular brunches in Bellevue).

When we arrived, we were delighted to find that we were upgraded to the Kemper Suite, a gorgeous huge suite on the top floor. The room was awesome. Standing in the middle of two seating areas, a dining table that seats 8 and a kitchenette, we decided that when we renew our wedding vows in a few years we will throw a dinner party in the Kemper suite! There was a big TV, and a desktop computer ready to access the internet. Hyatt did a beautiful job of making a room that was both business friendly and luxe. We would have been as comfortable hosting a meeting as we were celebrating a weekend away.

The bedroom had an amazing king poster bed with some of the nicest linens we’ve ever experienced. Seriously, after staying there, Super-Dad suggested that we get new sheets for our king-sized bed, the flannel and t-shirt knit sheets are no longer cutting it. The Kemper Suite has a big soaking tub that is positioned kind of halfway in the bathroom and halfway into the bedroom which was fun because it gave me a view of the TV while I soaked. 

I have a real problem with people who greedily snatch up all the hotel toiletries upon leaving a room. Like, how many tiny bottles of shampoo could you possibly need? It has always seemed so greedy and unnecessary to me - until now. The Hyatt Regency stocks KenetMD bath products, and I’m only a little embarrassed to admit that we pocketed them all. I fell in LOVE with a minty pulse point oil that I swear has given me a little extra pep and patience when I need it. Super-Dad loved a combo linen/facial mist that had a light, spicy (cardamom maybe?) scent. I think we are going to have to go back and stay another night, because we’re both running low.

I could go on and on….we visited the Regency Club for some hors d'oeuvres and a cocktail, lounged some more in our room with a bottle of Hyatt’s exclusive Canvas wine, and enjoyed an early morning room service breakfast (before hitting up the Regency Club again for our mid-morning snack, before hitting up Eques for brunch -we legit ate like Hobbits on this trip). But I know the readers of this blog, and you want to know geeky details. 

What sets the Hyatt Regency Bellevue apart for geeks? It’s at this point that I have to mention the bedroom TV. Super-Dad and I love to settle into bed and watch TV. We have a 42 inch TV in our home bedroom (yes, we know it’s not ideal for sleep hygiene), so we were a bit disappointed that there was no television in the bedroom. As I was about to get into the bath, Super-Dad noticed a remote on the footboard of the bed. It only had buttons for up and down. SD pushed the up button and lo and behold, a TV rose out of the bottom of the bed - turns out it was a motorized TV console positioned to look like a footboard. The TV rotated in all directions, allowing us to watch in the tub, on the sofa facing the bed and in the bed. The TV WAS A TRANSFORMER, you guys! This was probably our favorite part of the room, because we are dorks.

Another favorite feature? Text based concierge. You can text the front desk to ask questions, have toiletries delivered, and arrange transportation or entertainment. The key cards are RFID enabled, so after that bottle of red we didn’t have to worry about sticking key cards in slots the right way, you just touch the key to the door. The lobby has two huge Surface coffee tables. We played a little piano and had a game of chess while hanging out in the lobby.

In case you can’t tell, we love, love, loved staying at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. It’s right in the middle of everything (look for upcoming stories on the food we ate at John Howie Steak and the games we played at Lucky Strike - both within walking distance). Not only was it great for a relaxing couples’ weekend, but with a pool, the fun coffee tables, and the almost continuous availability of snacks in the Regency club, our kids would be totally at home as well.

I also want to take this opportunity to give a shout out the amazing staff. Every single person we dealt with from check in to check out seemed genuinely excited to work with us. It’s was a real delight to work with such competent, lovely people and it made our stay even more delightful.

If you would like to stay at the Hyatt Regency you can find them online here.


  1. Hey that’s fantastic! I haven’t heard about motorized TV console. I am very impressed after knowing about this motorized TV console. I would love to book that vow renewal location for my wedding anniversary celebration. Thanks for the details!

  2. Congrats.. Hope your celebrate many more anniversary with us..
    Hoverboard Price In India


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