Review: Hyatt Regency JFK At Resorts World New York
In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved
As part of my review trip, I ended up having two nights in New York, after arriving from Paris and before departing for London. Now, any sane person would go into the city… but that’s not what I did. Instead I decided to stay at the Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World New York.
This 400-room hotel only opened in 2021, and has intrigued me endlessly. It’s in Queens, and it’s a casino hotel that doubles as an airport hotel, minus a shuttle. Curiosity got the best of me, and so I decided this was the perfect opportunity to check it out, especially since I was mainly just looking to sleep, work, and exercise.
Well, I have to say that for the most part this place really impressed me. It has excellent Globalist recognition, beautiful suites with Le Labo amenities, a great club lounge (well, by US standards), and friendly service.
Now, admittedly this hotel also has its quirks. It doesn’t have a restaurant on-site, and unless you want to gamble, there’s not a whole lot nearby.
Nonetheless this will be my new go-to option when overnighting at JFK, as it’s infinitely nicer than all the other JFK airport hotels (well, minus the TWA Hotel, though that’s priced much higher, and I’m also not a fan of supporting their nickel-and-diming practices, as much as it’s avgeek heaven).
Booking the Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World
The Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World is a Category 3 World of Hyatt property (though it will shortly become a Category 4 property). For my nights, the property was running 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night, and that’s how I booked. For context, I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, so to me 12,000 points are worth $180.
As a point of comparison, the cash rate would have been $250 including taxes & fees, so redeeming points seemed like the better value. Note that this hotel also has a $25 nightly destination fee (inclusions listed here), which is waived for all World of Hyatt members on award stays, and for Globalist members on all stays.
Even if you’re not a Hyatt loyalist, earning World of Hyatt points can be pretty easy. In addition to being able to earn World of Hyatt points with the World of Hyatt Credit Card (review) and World of Hyatt Business Credit Card (review), you can also transfer over points from Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World location
The Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World is located in Queens, about a 10-15 minute drive from JFK Airport. In an Uber or Lyft, the drive costs around $20-25 one-way.
On the one hand, I can’t understand why the hotel doesn’t have an airport shuttle, since I feel like that would make this hotel much more attractive with those overnighting near the airport (and the hotel seemed totally deserted to me, which makes me believe they don’t get many airport overnights).
On the other hand, I actually found the ridesharing situation to be preferable to a shuttle. Realistically speaking, JFK airport hotels with shuttles require you to first take the AirTrain to Federal Circle Station, and then you have to wait for a shuttle. Airport shuttles are notoriously unreliable, so you have to expect that you could easily be waiting half an hour for a shuttle to arrive (never mind how unpleasant weather can be in New York for much of the year).
So I don’t personally mind the property’s lack of a shuttle, since the time savings of ridesharing are significant compared to the typical wait for an airport shuttle.
Now, there’s almost nothing in the immediate area of the hotel, other than a massive parking lot and a horse racing track.
When you’re facing the building, the Hyatt Regency is to the left, and then the Resorts World casino is to the right.
Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World lobby & check-in
While there’s theoretically a way to directly access the Hyatt Regency from outside, that door was locked during my stay, so you enter through the main Resorts World entrance. As you’d expect, there’s a pretty grand entrance, with the casino straight ahead, and the entrance to the hotel to the left.
Once you walk down the hall to the Hyatt Regency, you’ll forget that you’re in a hotel connected to a casino.
The Hyatt Regency has a modern but generic lobby. The are plenty of sitting areas in the lobby, from comfortable chairs, to booths with tables.
My check-in experience was seamless. I was immediately helped, and was thanked for being a Globalist member, and informed that I had been upgraded to an executive suite. This hotel is great with proactive suite upgrades for elite members, and there’s quite a big pool of rooms to be upgraded to.
The front desk associate also familiarized me with the hours of the Regency Club, as well as the basics of the gym, both of which I’ll talk more about below.
The elevators leading to guest rooms were right across from reception. In the evenings there were security guards verifying room keys. I’m not sure why, exactly… perhaps that’s just standard for hotels connected to casinos.
Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World suite
I was assigned room 1015, an executive suite on the 10th floor (also the hotel’s top floor). My room was one of the first ones down the hall from the elevator, so it was always easy to go up and down.
Executive suites at the Hyatt Regency JFK are marketed as being 750 square feet, and include two full bathrooms, and a separate living room and bedroom. Inside the entrance to the room was a closet to the left, and then the first bathroom to the right.
This wasn’t just a half bath, but rather consisted of a sink, toilet, and walk-in shower.
Past that was the living room, which had a sofa (with one end having a daybed), a desk with a chair, and a wall-mounted TV.
Along the interior wall of the living room was a small bar area with a mini-fridge (which had two complimentary bottles of water) and a Keurig coffee machine.
Then the bedroom featured a very comfortable king size bed, two night stands (oddly without outlets installed), and a TV across from that. While not a Four Seasons, I found the room design to be thoughtful and interesting, between the wallpaper, the art, and some of the other small touches with the finishes.
The view, on the other hand, left a bit to be desired, as it mostly just faced a parking lot. On a clear day, though, you can see the New York City skyline in the distance.
Then off the bedroom was the main bathroom, which was huge. It had double sinks, a soaking tub, a walk-in shower, and a toilet.
Toiletries were from Le Labo, and were in individual containers. I’m guessing Le Labo amenities are just available in suites, but even so, I can’t remember the last time I stayed at an airport hotel with such high-end toiletries!
A few hours after checking in, I was delivered a welcome amenity, including sparkling water, Diet Pepsi, a cheese plate, nuts, and some sweets. I wasn’t expecting that!
Talk about attention to detail. Maybe a decade ago, a Hyatt front desk associate at a property I frequented noted in my World of Hyatt profile that I like Diet Coke and sparkling water, so it’s always impressive if a hotel goes into your profile to view that, and then customizes your amenity accordingly.
Wi-Fi in the room was fast and free, and daily housekeeping was offered. I also want to mention that the hotel felt really clean, from the rooms to the public spaces. You know how sometimes you stay at a hotel and you know your room was cleaned, but it still doesn’t feel very clean? Well, that wasn’t the case here.
What a treat to stay here as a Globalist, between the excellent proactive upgrades, plus the nice room design.
Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World club lounge
As a Globalist member I had access to the Regency Club at the Hyatt Regency JFK. Guests can also purchase access to this for $40 per person per day, and if you’re staying here you may want to, because the hotel doesn’t have any restaurants (which I find to be odd, though you can dine next door at the casino).
The Regency Club is located on the lobby level, just down the hall from reception and to the left.
The Regency Club can be accessed 24/7, and has a variety of seating options, including dining tables, couches, and more.
The Regency Club also has a computer and printer, in case you have a need for that during your stay.
Throughout the day there were sinfully delicious and massive packaged cookies available for guests to grab. Honestly, it should be illegal to just have these sitting around, because they’ll really test your self restraint.
You can also help yourself to a selection of drinks from the coffee machine (I found the Farmer Brothers coffee to just be “meh”) any hour of the day or night.
There are also a variety of non-alcohlic drinks, ranging from juice, to Red Bull, to soda, to water. For a US club lounge, I found the all-day drink selection to be above average.
In the evenings, the Regency Club had a happy hour from 5PM until 8PM, including complimentary snacks and alcoholic drinks (that’s noteworthy, since most “basic” club lounges in the US just have an honor bar, where you have pay for drinks).
I was impressed by the selection, as there was a legitimately good salad bar, cold cuts, and a selection of bread.
There were three hot dishes which rotated nightly. One night the options included smoky gouda arancini, beef wellington, macaroni & cheese wedges. Okay, that’s not exactly the healthiest selection, but that’s what the salad bar is for. 😉
Then there were a variety of desserts, including cookies, cupcakes, and little chocolate bites.
Lastly, there was a selection of complimentary cocktails, all of which came in cans and bottles. This included beer, canned Cutwater cocktails (lima margarita and tiki rum mai tai), and canned Dark Horse wine (pinot grigio and pinot noir).
I’ve gotta say, the canned wine was surprisingly drinkable. And since it’s served in a 12 ounce can, you’re basically committed to enjoying 2.4 servings of wine at a time. 😉
In the mornings breakfast was served in the Regency Club from 6:30AM until 10AM. This included a variety of cold cuts, cheese, fruit, and veggies.
There was also a selection of bread and pastries, as well as cereal.
There were rotating hot dishes, which one morning included pancakes filled with blueberries, cheese omelets, hash browns, and pork and chicken sausages.
Obviously this doesn’t hold a candle to a Ritz-Carlton club lounge or many top international club lounges, but for a domestic Hyatt Regency lounge I was extremely impressed.
I also appreciated how there was relaxing classical music playing in the background in the club, as so many lounges seem to have TV on at a loud volume, which to me is the worst kind of background noise.
Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World grab & go market
The Hyatt Regency JFK doesn’t have a restaurant, but rather just has a grab & go market in the lobby, which is open daily from 6AM until 2AM. Here you can purchase coffee, and a variety of other drinks and both fresh and packaged snacks.
Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World gym
The Hyatt Regency JFK has a gym on the second floor, which can be accessed by guests 24/7. The gym was a good size, with a solid variety of cardio and weight equipment. There was no one else in the gym both times that I used it.
Resorts World New York features & amenities
As you can see above, there’s nothing about the Hyatt Regency JFK that will make you feel like you’re staying in a casino hotel. It’s rather odd to me that the hotel doesn’t have any restaurants, but rather just has the club lounge and the grab & go market.
Resorts World does have some dining options, which you can read about here. I didn’t take any pictures, since casino security staff can be weird about picture taking. For what it’s worth, Sugar Factory is the main restaurant, and that’s currently closed, for whatever reason. There was also a burger joint and noodle place, so there are some decent places to eat, but don’t expect to have a Las Vegas-style selection.
I like this hotel, but don’t understand the economics
I enjoyed my stay at the Hyatt Regency JFK, and would return in a heartbeat if I needed an overnight near the airport. However, I can’t really figure out the economics of this property, and I couldn’t help but notice that the hotel seemed eerily quiet during my stay.
Is this intended to be a casino hotel? If so, is there sufficient demand for a casino in Queens to fill a 400-room hotel, even on the weekends? Is this supposed to be an airport hotel? If so, why isn’t there a shuttle?
Like I said, I actually didn’t mind the lack of a shuttle, given how inefficiently they often operate. However, for a vast majority of travelers, that’s a deal-breaker when booking an airport hotel. I get that operating an airport shuttle isn’t cheap, but I imagine it would increase the nightly demand for rooms by the dozens. Unless the hotel actually already has high occupancy (which my experience doesn’t reflect), then it seems like they should invest in a shuttle service.
Anyway, those are just my unsolicited two cents, in case the hotel isn’t doing as well as the owners had hoped, and they’re wondering why.
The Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World is a surprisingly delightful hotel. It has friendly staff, great elite recognition, huge and nicely appointed suites, an above average club lounge, Le Labo toiletries, and it’s only a 10-15 minute drive from JFK. The hotel is attached to a casino, but you wouldn’t know it when you’re inside the hotel.
The downside to this property is the lack of dining outlets, aside from a grab & go market and the club lounge. If you want to eat anything substantial, you’ll have to venture into the casino.
What’s your take on the Hyatt Regency JFK?