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Trip Report Index:
- She Said “Yes!”
- Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill
- 36 Hours in London
- American Airlines Business Class – London to Chicago
Emily Jablon: Daraius booked me on a flight to visit him in London for the weekend. He asked me to take Friday off and travel by myself to London, and we’d fly back together on Sunday.
At first I did not want to go because of the long travel times (~10 hour journey each way), but Daraius insisted, and I had a hunch that he had something special planned, so I went.
Daraius: The Prime Meridan in London was the best place for me to propose to Emily.
Even better, I would be saving on miles and getting the hotel for free, since I had a work trip in London.
If I returned on Friday (i.e. when my work trip ended), my company would have to pay $2,500 more than if I flew back on Sunday. So I stayed over the weekend and the company covered my hotel costs for Friday and Saturday night because they would save money that way.
This was great and I booked Friday and Saturday night at the Hyatt Regency Churchill in London at my corporate rate. Since I was a Hyatt Diamond Elite (Hyatt’s highest published status level), I could also use one of the 4 suite upgrade certificates to upgrade the room.
I earned Hyatt’s Diamond status by going on the StarMegaDO3 which was much easier than having 25 separate stays or 50 nights which is usually required to earn Hyatt Diamond Elite status.
So I wrote to the hotel, and explained that I was going to propose to Emily on Saturday and could they give me a better suite than the regular Regency Suite? They upgraded me to the Regency Executive Suite.
Now, I don’t know if they did this because they found my blog (it is easy to google my name and find the blog, but I don’t mention my blog in any email I write to hotels or airlines) or if they usually are so accommodating. But it was a nice gesture on their part!
The Hyatt Churchill was in the heart of the West end and was close to lots of dinner and theater. Since we were in London for only a day, saving time was very important.
The Hyatt Churchill is a category 6 hotel which requires 22,000 Hyatt points for a free night. The regular room rate ranges from ~$300 to $600 so this could be a good use of points especially during the London Olympics when rates in London will be very high.
Emily Jablon: I left on Friday morning because I had a late night class on Thursday which I couldn’t miss. When I arrived to London, Daraius was waiting with a big bouquet of flowers, a sandwich, and some special treats like chocolate covered peanuts and chocolate mousse. He is always so thoughtful!
Daraius: I finished my work trip in Birmingham (~2 hours away) in the afternoon and drove directly to Heathrow airport to return the rental car.
I then went to Heathrow Terminal 3 and had a 4 hour wait until Emily’s flight arrived at 10:40 pm. I bought some sandwiches, flowers and peanuts which Emily likes in case she was hungry.
She squealed when I gave her the flowers, so it was worth every cent I paid (even though I didn’t earn any miles for them).
When we reached the hotel there was no one at the reception desk, but someone soon appeared.
Emily Jablon: We took a cab to our hotel, where we were upgraded to the suite. When we arrived, we saw that our hotel room had 2 separate wings. I heard hotel rooms in London are very small, so I was pleasantly surprised. One wing had the bedroom.
The other wing had the living area complete with a couch, table, writing desk, and chair. There was also a balcony off of the living room.
Daraius: The hotel room wasn’t enormous – about 625 sq. feet, but since this was bigger than my 1st apartment and was in the heart of London’s West End which has sky high property prices, it was pretty nice. We also had a decent view of the courtyard outside.
The bedroom was a bit small, but the bed was King size.
The closet had 2 bathrobes (one of us probably had the other bathrobe on) and 2 pairs of slippers. I always get frustrated when hotels leave only 1 pair of slippers in a hotel room, because I have to go barefoot or unpack my own slippers when Emily and I travel together.
The main bathroom was VERY small. But the amenities were Molton Brown.
I felt cramped in the shower!
The half bath helped us save time in the morning because I could shave there while Emily was getting ready.
Emily Jablon: The hotel staff left us chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, and a thank you note for staying with them. The strawberries were delicious and we finished them quickly!
We arrived at about midnight, so we went to bed and got up at 8 am the next morning.
Daraius: I had let the hotel know that this was a very special occasion so they left us a bottle of Champagne (Basserat de Bellefon), fruits, and chocolate covered strawberries on the table in the living room. There was also a note from a manager.
We were so tired from working and traveling that we went straight to bed without opening the Champagne.
A small-ish desk.
There was also a minibar.
And a very small balcony.
The balcony overlooked Portman Square.
Emily Jablon: On Saturday morning, we had breakfast in the hotel lounge, and then we took the tube (metro) to Greenwich, where Daraius had a special surprise for me.
The lounge was quite large and comfortable.
Daraius: The lounge had a nice selection of 4 to 5 different cheeses.
And some cold cuts too!
There were different types of bread, breakfast cereal, and fruits as well.
The bread selection.
Breakfast cereal & fruit.
In the evening, the lounge served snacks and hot appetizers.
The menu included drinks.
I loved the pate.
Drinks were available throughout the day.
Crisps (chips) and dip.
Cheese and fruits.
And some desserts.
There was a big fish too!
We went out for dinner, but checked out the rest of the hotel when we got back.
Emily in the lobby.
The lobby wasn’t grand, but it was tastefully decorated.
There was even a fireplace!
Bottom Line: We had a very pleasant stay and would certainly stay at the Hyatt Churchill again because of its very central location in London. But it is expensive at 22,000 Hyatt points a night.