One of the many hotels I’ve wanted to visit in India was the Hyatt Regency Dehradun, which opened in April 2022. This year, in the annual update of hotel categories for Hyatt, the hotel got a swift upgrade from Category 1 to 2, meaning more points were needed. So, before the new requirements kicked in, I booked some nights at this hotel.
Booking the Hyatt Regency Dehradun
I decided to spend a weekend at the hotel out of my two reservations made here. While standard rooms here go on for INR 15,000 (USD 183) per night ex taxes, I figured at 5000 World of Hyatt points a night; it would be a great idea to visit this hotel in the valley of Dehradun. Dehradun has special ties to our family, with my wife having spent much of her academic life there, at Welham. So, we always look for opportunities to go back and visit.
Arriving at Hyatt Regency Dehradun
Hyatt Regency Dehradun is set beyond Dehradun on your way to Mussoorie, in a place which is at least 10 kilometres away from Dehradun and even more if you’d like to get into the parts of the city which are maybe touristy. The hotel is set on a 4.25-acre plot adjacent to the Malsi Forest, and they claim to be the largest luxury hotel in the state of Uttarakhand.
Instead of taking a flight to Dehradun, we decided to drive from Delhi on this occasion to arrive at Dehradun. While it is usually a six- to seven-hour drive, thanks to one wrong turn, we took the longer route and eventually arrived at the hotel nine hours after we departed from Delhi. But if you are arriving by plane, Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport is about 75 minutes away.
The last mile approach for the hotel could be clearer, with insufficient clear signage. One is directed down a certain alley, and the street forks out from there. As luck would have it, without any signage, we headed down the wrong street first (Google Maps said so!) before coming back up and heading down the other road.
We arrived at the hotel a bit late in the day and closer to the hotel’s 3 PM check-in time compared to our intended arrival time of about noon. The hotel had called a couple of days before check on our arrival plans and if we needed transportation from their end. Somewhere during the day, the hotel upgraded us to the Regency Suite, which I could see in the app before arrival.
The hotel, on the outside, is just another grey building. It could have been white or another colour, so I am sure the designers had a good reason to make it grey. It made the hotel look more like a city hotel than a destination in the hills.
The lobby of the hotel was minimalist and chic.
In the mornings, the hotel has a rotating lineup of artists who perform in the lobby during breakfast hours.
At the time of our arrival, many people were being processed. However, they were expecting us at the check-in desk and swiftly checked our identity documents and made me sign the registration form. A welcome drink made of Buransh flower syrup was also presented during the process.
We were told about all the inclusions, such as the lounge and breakfast, and then, an associate from the bell desk assisted us to the room.
Hyatt Regency Dehradun’s Regency Suite
The hotel stands seven floors tall, and we were assigned a suite on the fifth floor at the back of the hotel. The first impression stays with you once you walk into the massive green panoramic sights that you can look out of two of the walls/windows.
The hotel has 263 rooms, with some Club rooms also getting a balcony. Most rooms and suites are, however, without a balcony.
As you look left, there is a queen-sized bed in the room, a solo couch and a daybed on the sides of the bed. Here is a zoomed-out image of the room.
The bed had a lovely welcoming message from housekeeping.
If you keep the windows open, as we do, you could get a nice green view in the morning.
The couch was a good place to sit, zone out, or read a book.
The usual array of switches, a USB A and a standard power outlet, were by the bedposts.
A divider was in the suite to segregate a small living area and a big sleeping area. On the wall of the divider, there was a TV and some shelves.
In one corner, there was a study table.
The living area was small but had a magnanimous view of the sprawling greens outside.
There was an amenity waiting to welcome us, which had a fruit platter, a cheese board, a bottle of wine and some treats. Many people I know who’ve visited the property have also been welcomed with this magnanimity. So the hotel does all it can to welcome and honour its Globalist members. Looking out from this wall-to-wall window, we could see the extended backyard of the hotel and the hills in their glory.
As you enter the room, one section is a closet and wardrobe.
On the other side was a massive shower area with a tub, shower chamber, basin and so on.
The hotel uses Pharmacopia toiletries, just like other Hyatt Regency hotels worldwide. The citrus range and the Argan Oil collection were placed around the suite.
The hotel placed glass water bottles for drinking water in the room rather than plastic ones, which was a welcome touch. However, housekeeping could have been better, with no turndown service on either of the evenings, and even on the second day, when they came in to service the room, they forgot to place towels in the room.
You can check out a full room tour that I posted on Instagram here.
Hyatt Regency Dehradun Regency Club
The hotel has a full-blown Regency Club lounge on the seventh floor, where you can grab a hot or cold beverage all day. However, between 5 – 7 pm, the lounge also offered a happy hour, where snacks were made available apart from a limited selection of free drinks.
The evening affair has two vegetarian hot snacks and one fish or chicken. Besides, there were fruits, cheese, salad components and other items for grazing.
There were also some desserts, which looked good, but we never tried.
The hotel offered a selection of beverages and cocktails every evening, apart from wine and beer.
The staff were attentive and tried walking around and mingling with the guests. This included the Front Office Manager as well.
However, not all was under control all the time. HR Dehradun is a pet-friendly hotel, which means your pets can also check in with you into your room (at a charge, of course). However, they are not allowed in public spaces, such as where other guests can be inconvenienced due to them. A guest, however, insisted on bringing her pet dog to the lounge and fed the dog there, and the staff couldn’t do much about it while offering a meek resistance to this incident while other guests looked on.
Hyatt Regency Dehradun Dining
The Hyatt Regency Dehradun has more than one dining experience, but their main restaurant is called Range and is adjacent to the lobby area. There is a rooftop restaurant which is due to open. Apart from this, there is in-room dining made available.
We were tired the first evening and wanted to tuck in early. So, we ordered some pizza via room service and tuned in for some Mr Bean. The pizza was delicious and delivered in good time to the room.
The following day, we tried out Range, the restaurant where breakfast was served.
The restaurant served an assortment of items, including cold cuts, cereal, sausages, and eggs, North Indian breakfast items such as poori with sabzi/chana, South Indian items such as idli, vada and so on during breakfast hours, which last till 11 AM. There were also live counters for waffles/pancakes, bakery items, eggs and dosa.
There was also an assortment of juices, although someone decided there should be no orange juice, so there was none of the most popular breakfast juice in the mix, at least on one day.
Another counter was serving up Maggi noodles one day (and it had switched to avocado toast the next morning). Either this counter was too popular, or Maggi takes more than 2 minutes to make now because it took a full 35-40 minutes after placing a request at the counter for the item to arrive at our table (and checking in on them twice).
There was another counter which served up a local delicacy every day. It was good to try out, but I couldn’t get the head or tail of what it was because no one explained it. Storytelling is everything.
Coming to the restaurant’s service, the service staff working were uninspired and/or unchecked. On the first day, the restaurant was over 80 pax busy for breakfast at a time, and the team was moving around as if busy, but they were not doing anything. We arrived to request a table for breakfast, and the hostess, just without saying a word, handed us over to another hostess to find us a table.
No one asked us if we needed anything when we were at the restaurant or bothered to clear the plates. This, incidentally, when we were sitting pretty close to the place where they stack up the dishes in the middle of the restaurant, two people were continuously hovering around but not doing anything. The body language went across all the people on the floor, with waitstaff, chefs, and everyone pretending to be busy but not being busy.
Another very interesting thing which sounded like people did not talk to each other at the restaurant or in other parts of the hotel was the water situation on the tables. While the hotel has invested in providing RO-filtered water in reusable glass bottles in all the rooms, they are still using small plastic bottles at the restaurant. You are either choosing convenience or you are choosing to be environmentally sensitive, but you cannot walk both the streets, right?
It took me 40 minutes of waving at people even to get me to serve some water in a glass, and by then, I was just so irritated that I left. However, to their credit, I mentioned this attitude to the hotel’s senior management in the lobby, and the next day, I was showered with extra attention. Umm.
The food was good—nothing extraordinary or standout, but nothing terrible. Service needs a lot of work, on the other hand, though.
Hyatt Regency Dehradun Pool and Gym
The Hyatt Regency did a good thing with its design, putting up its spa, pool and gym on the top floor instead of somewhere in the basement or the first floor. The Gym looked well equipped, although, with just 60 hours at the hotel, I never managed to use it (not to forget, I forgot to bring my shoes). It is open at all hours of the day but shut during the night.
The pool had an exceedingly lovely location on the rooftop of the hotel.
There is also a nice rooftop pool bar.
But again, some guests couldn’t care less for the hygiene and larger interest of other guests, and hence they brought their pet dog and made him sit on a table, on which someone else would perhaps eat or drink later in the day. Such a put-off.
Hyatt Regency Dehradun amenities
Some of the other interesting hotel amenities included a bike stand, although I need to figure out how far you can head out with a bike.
One of the other good-to-know things was that the hotel would offer to get your car washed in the morning if you so asked of them. We used this one of the days.
On the second level is a kids’ play area called Camp Hyatt. Children between 3-12 can access this area, although the charges were not made clear to us when we swung by.
I am still trying to understand who is the target market for this hotel. It is a dull and boring big hotel building at the end of Dehradun. Wishing to be away from the city but ends up being halfway to Mussoorie. It would be an excellent spot for a wedding or an office offsite (MICE events), but if you are just by yourself hoping to be vacationing here, there is nothing for you to do. And we overheard people mentioning this to hotel staff.
This is in stark comparison with some of the other luxury hotels in the region, such as the JW Marriott Mussoorie, which is 40% the size but has done itself up amazingly well. There are also many activities on offer there for kids, for guests overall and many restaurants to try out. I’ve stayed on the property for 4-5 nights there and feel like I can skip stepping out often.
As for the staff, some were amazing, but many still needed to find their connection with the guests and with the hotel as a whole. I tell many hoteliers I run into over my travels, “Anyone can build a hotel, but getting the hospitality right is the tough part.” This hotel really did great on the hard product, but the soft product needs soul-searching.
The Hyatt Regency Dehradun is a one-year-old hotel situated between Dehradun and Mussoorie. It is a large-format convention hotel with some amazing views through the rooms and the rooftop areas, but in terms of service, it was more a miss than a hit. Luxury is more than just about creating the most over-the-top amenities but about minor details, which this hotel misses. For instance, the airflow in the couch section of the suite is negligible. If you’re visiting, drive in with a car because otherwise, you won’t be able to get out of here often, which could be the difference between a good stay and a great stay here.
Have you been to the Hyatt Regency Dehradun? What has been your experience with this hotel?
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