After a two hour AirBerlin flight from Munich, on which I was seated in the bulkhead next to the most annoying mother-daughter who talked THE ENTIRE DURATION OF THE FLIGHT, I landed at Thessaloniki Airport. It was a beautiful day and after grabbing my bag, I headed to the arrivals area. I had booked a Points + Cash award at the nearby Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki, which provides a free shuttle service for guests.
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When I couldn’t spot it or find someone nearby to point me in the right direction, I called the hotel. I was informed that I was in fact waiting in the right area (across from the parking lot) and that the driver would come find me. A couple of minutes later a man in a suit walked towards me, with a sign bearing my name. He explained that he had waited for me in the arrivals area. I hadn’t seen him there, probably because I wasn’t expecting a private car service. I certainly wasn’t looking out for a driver holding a sign with my name on it. The car, a black Mercedes, was parked very close by and around 15 minutes later we were at the hotel.
I had heard great things about the Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki, but had very low expectations for a one night stay at an airport hotel. I didn’t realize this was essentially a luxury resort that would surpass all of my expectations. We pulled up and right away, I was impressed. From the exterior, the place looks spectacular. The lobby had a distinct Park Hyatt vibe and it wouldn’t surprise me if at some point in the future it was rebranded as such.
I had booked this stay under my brother’s Gold Passport account, since he has Hyatt Diamond status. Usually, Guest of Honor benefits don’t extend to Points + Cash bookings but in this case I made the booking using his account and added my name to the reservation. The agent checking me in acknowledged my Diamond benefits and informed me that she had upgraded me to an Executive Suite for my one-night stay. I figured an Executive Suite was more of a junior suite, like the one I was upgraded to at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco a few years ago. That’s usually as good as it gets with Hyatt without a Diamond Suite Night Award Upgrade.
My room was located on the lobby level, a good five mile walk from the front desk. It took forever to get there – seriously, they should consider installing a moving walkway. Past the lobby was the gift shop and an ATM machine. There was plenty of seating from which guests could enjoy the amazing views of the resort grounds from the large windows.
The hotel wasn’t deserted by any means, but it did appear that way from the quiet hallways. The only people I saw that first day were a group of pageant contestants walking around. If it wasn’t for the sashes they wore, I would have assumed it was an escort convention. Or an Irina Shayk look-alike-contest.
Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki Executive Suite
I was pretty shocked when I walked in and discovered a massive suite with a living room, dining area, two bathrooms and a huge balcony with seating for six!
The Executive Suite was absolutely stunning. With natural light spilling into the space through the massive balcony doors, it was gorgeous and tranquil. There were two couches and two additional chairs in the living room, one located in a perfect reading nook by the window. Across from that was a desk, and behind that was the dining area with a Nespresso machine. On the dining room table was a welcome note from the manager.
On the table behind the couch was a bottle of wine, water, and a bowl of fruit. I don’t drink alcohol, but the fruit and water were appreciated. The room service prices at the Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki are astronomical, so if you don’t plan on leaving the resort, I’d consider requesting food as your Diamond amenity. In my case, I requested points as my amenity, so I got both. The only down side of the welcome gift is there is no cool place to store it – there is no fridge, other than the mini bar which doesn’t have enough space.
The bedroom was separated from the living room by double doors and featured a King sized bed, a flatscreen tv, and plush furniture throughout. I always like when hotel beds have actual headboards instead of an oversized piece of fabric-covered wood mounted against the wall.
For such a large room, the closet was pretty small. But I guess when you have this much space, there are other places to store your things.
Past the closet was the bathroom, which featured a large bathtub in the middle, a double sink to the left, and a large shower and the toilet to the right.
The bathroom was stocked with lots of towels and Korres bath products by the bathtub. Korres isn’t my favorite brand, but when I checked into the Ibis Hotel Calais a few days later, I really came to appreciate any kind of amenities provided by hotels. The bathroom also had a sound system that allowed you to listen to whatever was playing on the tv.
On the opposite end of the bedroom was the door leading to the large balcony. I think this was probably the highlight of the room, as it was a great place to enjoy the lovely weather and serene atmosphere.
Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki Shuttle Service
The Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki operates a free shuttle service to the airport, city center as well as the Mediterranean Cosmos shopping mall. I was moving to The Met Hotel in the city center the following night, so I headed to the lobby to check out the schedule.
While I was reading it, the concierge, whose desk was nearby, walked over and asked if he could answer any questions. I asked for some clarification about where exactly the shuttle was going and he was very helpful. He also told me the mall shuttle was leaving soon if I was interested in checking out “the second largest shopping mall in Greece.” He then asked if I had seen the gym yet (was that a hint?). He pointed towards the stairs and said I could find it on the lower level, straight ahead.
The Gym at Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki
The gym is located on the ground level and features lots of workout equipment and a gorgeous pool. There were lots of people there at the time, so I couldn’t really take a photo of the gym equipment without invading everyone’s privacy.
Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki Diamond Breakfast
Hyatt Diamond members get free breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki, which is served at the Ambrosia Restaurant.
This was one of the most impressive breakfast buffets I’ve ever seen. Not only was the space visually stunning, but the food selection was extensive and almost over the top. There was one area devoted to hot items (eggs, baked beans, quiche, etc.), a station for bread, fruits, cereal/granola, a juice bar, a separate meat and cheese spread and, this being Greece, a table featuring nothing but yogurt and honey.
After having breakfast at Ambrosia, it become clear to me that grocery stores around the country are screwing us over with what they label as “Greek yogurt.” Greek yogurt is not clumpy, tart, or tasteless – it’s delicious, creamy, and unlike anything you’ll find on a store shelf. I’m not a yogurt person, but I realized the appeal of having yogurt for breakfast every morning.
The staff was friendly and helpful, though service was a little slow at breakfast. At one point the waitress disappeared and I had to wait a good 15 minutes before I could order a frappe to go. Maybe it had to do with the early hour and the fact that there were just three tables occupied at the time.
One thing you should look out for when dining outside are the birds – they’re all over the place and lying in wait until you leave the table so they can pounce on your leftovers.
Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki Gym and Grounds
With a frappe in hand, I took a walk around the grounds. It was dark and cloudy outside, though still warm and a bit humid. There’s a gorgeous waterfall flowing from the top of the restaurant, which provides a peaceful setting all around.
It was still fairly early in the morning, so the massive pool across from the waterfall was deserted.
The resort grounds were absolutely gorgeous, even in this grim weather. George from Travel Blogger Buzz described this place as “an oasis in the midst of chaos” and I don’t think that does it justice. It’s just an oasis, irrespective of its location. If I were to return to Thessaloniki, I would gladly stay at the Hyatt Regency just for the ambiance alone. Now that it’s dropped to a Category 2 hotel, requiring just 8,000 points per night, it’s an even better value. I was sad to leave this place and really do hope to come back some day. The Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki is a great resort, with fantastic staff, an incredible breakfast buffet, and while I can’t vouch for all of their rooms, the Executive Suite sure was nice.
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