This Has To Be The Nicest “Limited Service” Hotel In The World?

There’s both a Hyatt Place and Hyatt House in the same building, the Hyatt Place Allentown / Lehigh Valley and Hyatt House Allentown / Lehigh Valley. They just opened last fall, and even uses the Hyatt Place exterior for both properties.

They share amenities like gym, pool, and bar (there’s an indoor pool). Unless you need the long-term stay kitchen stuff of a Hyatt House, pick whichever one is cheaper. You’ll note that the property can even be a good use of Hyatt points, here’s a nice ~ 3 cent per point redemption scenario.

What’s remarkable is the hotel restaurant, Westside Grill, a casual steak and seafood house with indoor and outdoor seating. These limited service hotels have a full service restaurant and the reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor are even pretty good.

According to the family that owns the property, “We wanted a place that served the kind of food we like to eat.” I imagine if you’re living in Eastern Pennsylvania, and you have money and experience in hospitality, at some point you say ‘there’s no decent place to eat, so I’m going to open one.’

It even has a proper premium wine list.

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner seven days a week, including offering Sunday brunch, and has a proper bar. They even have their own soda – the family that owns the hotel also purchased local “A Treat sode” out of near bankruptcy. They use it in cocktails and in desserts.

Too many Hyatt Place properties have abandoned their food and beverage programs, limited as they were, or even failed to start offering evening bar service again even though that’s just an extra duty for desk staff. Offerings are supposed to have returned but that doesn’t mean all have. Here’s a property with a real bar, real sit down dining, an indoor pool and gym – and that’s still classified as limited service. It looks clearly better than many Hyatt and Hyatt Regency properties.

I absolutely love this because I appreciate attention to detail, and owners and managers who care about their product. They’re not just turning out a lowest common denominator experience like so many hotels, doing the bare minimum required by a brand (and seeing what they can get away with even then). Is the experience something of a passion project, so maybe less replicable elsewhere? Maybe. And it’s not obvious whether it’ll maintain the high level quality, especially if family interest wanes. But for now, surely, this has to be the nicest Hyatt House, Hyatt Place, and even limited service hotel around?

And while hotel food is frequently quite bad, either an afterthought or an attempt to serve every possible palate that visits from around the country (and that isn’t choosing the restaurant because of the food, just happens to eat there because it’s where they’re staying) that doesn’t have to be the case. There are certainly good hotel restaurants.

Perhaps there are only a handful that really qualify in the U.S. Kimpton hotels used to focus on restaurants marketed to the local area more than to hotel guests, to the benefit of guests in my opinion.

Internationally having better restaurants inside of hotels is quite common. In India you’ll find outstanding restaurants in hotels (especially Chinese restaurants but also Middle Eastern), serving foreigners who can afford the ingredients and service. You may be more likely to find a great ethnic restaurant attached to a motel in the United States – the family has the land because they own and operate the property, and someone in the family can cook.

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