Review: Kyushu Karnival – Grand Hyatt Fukuoka

Introduction
Cathay Pacific The Cabin Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
KA 380 HKG – FUK 333 J
Grand Hyatt Fukuoka
Seikai Beppu
Dining at Seikai Beppu
Exploring Beppu
Hoteiya Yufu City
Dining at Hoteiya Yufu City
Exploring Yufuin
Lounge Fukuoka Fukuoka
KA 381 FUK – HKG 333 J

Ranking: Location 5/5 Service 5/5 Modernity 4/5 Little things 4/5 Meals 3/5 Overall 4/5

Our family decided to stay in Fukuoka for a night so our parents could go shopping. We decided to stay in a more western hotel before heading off to truly Japanese territory (if you know what I mean), and there were a lot of options.

We decided on the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka in the area, given that the local Japanese hotels in the area all seemed like budget hotels. Yes, I did overlook many hotels, I later realised (such as Royal Park THE Fukuoka, Hotel Nikko Fukuoka, Il Palazzo Fukuoka and With The Style Fukuoka),

This was the first hotel I had ever booked alone, and I immediately made a mistake by pulling out a non-refundable breakfast-less fare. We had to upgrade ourselves to a club room so we could have breakfast in the hotel (as we had access to a club lounge) – it just wasn’t worth it paying separately for the hotel buffet.

The hotel cost us about HK$3350. While that’s much more than what I’d like to pay for the Hyatt, it wasn’t astronomical. Also, they were out of standard twin/club twin rooms, so we went for the club king.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Rate

The Grand Hyatt Fukuoka is a Category 3 property, which means it’d cost us 17,000 points for the same room. That’s a great value, and I’d use points in a heartbeat given I had enough (I don’t own Hyatt Gold Passport points or even an account, for those wondering).

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Points Rate

Fukuoka sure has a nice airport – it’s the first one I’ve seen where they tell you why your flight is delayed.

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Fukuoka International Airport Terminal Baggage Claim

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Fukuoka International Airport Terminal FIDS

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Fukuoka International Airport Terminal Arrival Hall

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Fukuoka International Airport Terminal Arrival Hall

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Fukuoka International Airport Terminal Arrival Hall FIDS Delay Causes

We rented a car from Hertz, which required bussing over to the Domestic Terminal and walking to an adjacent building. Next time we’ll choose a car rental that we don’t have to use a terminal interchange for.

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Fukuoka Airport Road between International and Domestic Terminal

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Fukuoka Domestic Airport Terminal Exterior

The Grand Hyatt Fukuoka’s building is next to the Canal City mall, near the entertainment district of Fukuoka. However the two buildings have their own entrances, and the Grand Hyatt’s was quite nice but nothing special.

The Grand Hyatt’s building was also old and rundown.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Exterior by day

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Exterior by day

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka entrance by day

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Exterior by night

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Exterior by night

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka entrance by night

The lobby was nice and spacious, a little too spacious (we couldn’t see the check-in desks). It’s worth nothing that bellmen were non-existent during our stay, which wasn’t that much of a problem but is still a touch that is noticeably lacking.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka lobby

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka lobby

There were ceiling-to-floor windows facing the water cannons at Canal City.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka lobby

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka lobby

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka lobby

At the hotel there are individual check-in desks where you can check in. Interestingly though we were club members (given that we were staying in a club room) we weren’t directed to the lounge, but instead to the priority check-in desk normally reserved for Hyatt Gold Passport elite members. There was a seat at each check-in desk, which could be wider, but was already a nice touch.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka check-in desks

Check-in was really quick, and we were reminded of the fact that we had access to the club lounge. Our family was assigned rooms 934 and 936, and my mother and sister took 934 whilst my dad and I took room 936. (The family travelling with us were assigned rooms 931 and 939.)

We were escorted by an associate to our rooms. It’s not like the associate told us anything, but he was still polite, smiled at us whenever we looked at him (as is the norm in Japan) and brought us quickly to our rooms.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka hallway

One thing I noticed were the hallway “dead ends” that they created on the other side of the lifts, and I don’t know why they did that.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka hallway “dead ends”

Our room was at the very end of the hallway. I’m pretty sure that if you add up the number of miles/kilometres/light years we walked as we traveled up and down the hallway, you’d get the distance from Fukuoka to Beppu.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka room entrance

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka floorplan

Grand Hyatt Fukuoka
Check-in: Saturday, August 2, 2014
Room Type: Club King
Room Number: 936
Stay duration: 1 night
Check-out: Sunday, August 3, 2014

My first impression of the room was the excellent blend between Japanese and Western decoration, and also how spacious it was. The room featured an entryway, a very comfortable bed, lots of luggage areas, an ergonomic chair with a desk, a flatscreen TV with teapot/teacup displays underneath and adjustable reading lights/other lighting. (My first impression of the room was how dark it was – there was a panel where all the lights were controlled, but it took a lot of fiddling around to notice that the lights were adjustable and not this dim.)

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King entryway

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King sofa

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King luggage area

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King desk and chair

Interestingly I find most Hyatt beds to look similar, and the difference rests on the actual softness of the bed. This bed was one of the softer ones and the pillows were in the perfect texture. My dad and I each had to put a pillow in the middle as a “border” so no one crossed that line and the king acted as two twins. 😆

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King bed

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King flatscreen TV

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King teapot/teacup display

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King foldout table from teapot/teacup display

The hotel information, excluding the welcome letter, was in Japanese, so I couldn’t understand.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King information

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King notepad and paper

The minibar was well stocked, but not free. 😦

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King minibar

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King bed with reading lights and bracket lights brightened

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King nightstand

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Japanese Screen (behind it was the shower)

While I didn’t use the Missing Must-Haves service, it included things that could make a hotel stay pretty good, and most of these were free.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Missing Must-Haves sheet

The bathroom was even nicer than the room, and featured a separate shower with a stool and a soaking tub, a Category 2 toilet, a glass sink and a flatscreen TV behind the toilet seat (and presumably best seen from the bathtub). Part of the mirror was heated, and that’s presumably designed by the Grand Hyatt for people to see their reflection in the mirror after a nice shower/bath (neither the shower nor the bath were fully enclosed – I’d say it was slightly awkward in design, though nothing unergonomic). That’s a nice touch, but the heated area was a touch too high.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King bathroom

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King bathroom

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King bathroom sink

I said how useless the stools in the showers were (in a good way), but it turns out that both ryokans we stayed at afterwards had stools in the shower area, so I guess it’s a Japanese tradition. (That said, I still don’t get it, but at least I know that the Grand Hyatt is not being random but is actually trying to reflect local Japanese culture.)

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King bathroom

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom Stool

The shower itself felt spacious, so I had no problem with the fact that staying in the shower for too long heated up the rest of the bathroom as well, as the bedroom and bathroom, unlike the W Santiago, were partitioned. Unfortunately, like the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, the bathroom was lockless.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King bathroom door handle

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom Shower

The shower controls were intuitive enough, even if the water pressure was just adequate.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom Shower Controls

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom Shower

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom Soaking Tub

There was also a stool in front of the amenities given that was woven in bamboo, supposedly, again, to make it Japanese. Nice touch.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom Makeup Stool

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom Toilet

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom Toilet Bidet Controls

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom Amenities

The towels were just okay, and on the scratchy side.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom Towels

The amenities were June Jacobs branded, which I didn’t have problems with. In fact, I kind of liked it.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom June Jacobs Amenities

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom June Jacobs Amenities

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King Bathroom June Jacobs Amenities

The view was of Canal City and of Kyushu’s biggest MUJI store, which wasn’t that much to speak of. At least I prefer this over a red light district…(both 931 and 939 faced the red light district but my friends did not report any squishy sounds or moaning throughout the night).

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King view

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King view

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King view

The room also provided a safe and slippers (including cute little lamb ones), but that was really all.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King safe

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King little lamb slippers

Overall I found the room very well decorated and substantial for our stay, and the designers tried hard to reflect that this was Japan (by adding features like the Japanese screen, the bathroom stool etc).

In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, we only visited the pool, which had a heated jacuzzi along with the pool. The pool is a paid pool, and is plenty expensive at ~HK$145, but was free for all Grand Club/Suite guests.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka pool

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka jacuzzi

As Club King guests we also got access to the Grand Club. It was designed really nicely, and was probably the highlight of the hotel.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Grand Club

There was some seating to make the lounge look good, and some actually comfortable seating by the side.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Grand Club

We were only there for breakfast. The breakfast spread was really mediocre, and the only appealing items were Japanese style tofu.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Grand Club breakfast spread

I had a latte, which was presented really nicely though was only okay.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Grand Club breakfast spread latte

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Grand Club bathroom

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Grand Club bathroom

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Grand Club bathroom

The service at the hotel was really good. The front desk manager remembered us every time we came in (except for the day we left Kyushu when we were passing the hotel to go to Canal City, but that’s acceptable), and gave us an awesome food recommendation where the service was spectacular.

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Recommended Restaurant Hakata Kira Barbecue

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Recommended Restaurant Hakata Kira Horse Meat

Bottom line on Grand Hyatt Fukuoka

Overall this was a hotel that would be a great value on points, and it was reflective of Japanese culture (kind of warmed me up for what I would be getting the next four nights), and was nice and comfortable.

Ultimately there are better options and I wouldn’t pay the revenue rate, but if I start earning Hyatt Gold Passport points, I’d definitely come again.

It’s also worth nothing that Fukuoka is a great city. It’s old, but vibrant and dynamic while having a “relaxing” feel to it. I’d return.

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Canal City

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IWATAYA Mall Fukuoka

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