One of the first hotels we ever stayed at using our welcome bonus from the Hyatt chase credit card was the Hyatt Escala Lodge (now Centric) in Park City, Utah. Our recent trip marks the 3rd stay at this property and we’ve seen it both before, during and after its transition to a Centric. Our last stay was so excellent, we were a little surprised to see some of the changes that negatively impacted our experience. We’ll be sure to cover all the highs and lows in this review for your reading pleasure.
Park City and Canyons Mountain resorts combined to become one of the largest ski resorts in the Americas just a few years ago. The Hyatt Centric is located on the Canyons resort side, approximately a 15-20 minute drive from the downtown Park City main street. This is worth noting as you will not be “strolling” into town for dinner. The hotel does offer an evening shuttle every hour starting 5pm through 10pm.
The hotel is located at the base of Canyons mountain and has a lift directly outside the ski valet on the 2nd floor. This is a huge plus, as long as there’s snow. We have stayed at the hotel once when there was not enough snow in December. If you travel in February, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to ski in ski out. If you are there in a low snow year or too early in the season, you will need to take the shuttle to the Canyons base lift.
Lobby & Check in experience: 4/5
The lobby at the Hyatt Centric Park City is beautiful and grandiose, with a large fireplace and ample seating. To the right is the restaurant and the takeout counter and to the left is the check in and reception area. There are charging ports in all the furniture, which is a great addition to the lobby area.
The check in, however, was nothing spectacular. The woman checking us in seemed very confused, stressed and overwhelmed and I assumed she was new. When I asked how long she’d worked here, she told me two years, so not sure what the issue was. They didn’t offer a welcome beverage, nor did they welcome us as Explorists. We did arrive a bit early and our room was not yet ready so we took our skis upstairs and went straight to the ski hill for a few runs before check in.
One change that we noticed right away was they no longer served cider or cookies in the lobby. We loved this fun little perk on our last stay and were sad to see that change.
We booked a room on 25,000 Hyatt points (Category 6). This booking gets you into the lowest available room type at most properties. Since we were visiting on a last minute booking over President’s Day Weekend, we were booked into an ADA king room. I was pleasantly surprised when they honored my request for a standard King, instead of an ADA room. No one returned any of my emails, so I assumed they would leave us in the ADA.
The room was spacious, complete with a fireplace, desk and spacious bathroom. Room 401A did have a different configuration than most standard rooms, though. It did not have a balcony. While this is absolutely fine during the winter, it’s worth noting if you’re traveling in the summer months. For this time of year, we appreciated the extra space in the room without the balcony.
The bed has USB ports built into the headboard, which was super convenient for us and all our devices. One odd thing we experienced was the fact that we had 4 different types of pillows- all terribly uncomfortable. The bedding in general was not particularly luxurious or fresh-feeling.
One thing to mention here is that when the property was converted to a Centric four years ago, they did a “renovation”, or what I’d call a “refresh”. They changed out much of the furniture and added a new coat of paint, but they did not get deeper than the facade. The bathroom still holds the Escala insignia and has travertine tiles, while the beds, with fresh frames, have the same mattress and what feels like the same bedding. The room looks great from the outside, but if you go beyond the surface, you do see some of the cracks.
Overall, the rooms are very nice, but as we usually find with many Hyatt hotels, make sure you bring ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper.
The Hyatt Centric has all the makings of a perfect Ski vacation. The ski valet is a great option if you ski or snowboard and you’re able to rent gear directly from them if required. They keep your skis and you keep your boots.
There is a comfortable pool and two hot tubs located on the ground floor of the property, with men and women’s locker rooms complete with a steam and sauna. While the locker rooms and gym are nothing to write home about, it’s a great treat to end your ski day with a nice soak in the hot tub.
As mentioned earlier, the hotel does offer a free shuttle. During the daytime hours, the shuttle goes to the Canyons Village down the road from the hotel. Starting at 5pm, the shuttle goes every hour to Main Street in Park City to service the dinner hours for guests. The shuttle is convenient, timely and free.
The only thing missing from this property is a spa. If you’re looking for a post-ski-massage, you may need to consider going to a day spa or other hotel.
The property offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in their main restaurant: Escala Provisions Company. There’s also takeout available at the deli counter in the lobby. The property offers room-service-ish..more on that in a second.
We have had breakfast and dinner in the restaurant and our experiences were mixes. While the food is excellent and the portions are massive, the service is mediocre at best. The waiters are somewhat unaware of allergy concerns and unable to answer questions related to allergies. This is critical if you have dietary restrictions or allergies so I would expect the staff to be well versed in what they serve. Also, we had a late dinner and before we even got our appetizers, the staff turned on all the lights and set up the breakfast tableware. It was a bit disruptive and awkward as we felt like we were getting rushed out of there.
The hotel does offer a sort-of “room service”, but really it’s just take out from the deli downstairs. I would recommend ordering pizza from a local restaurant, rather than overpaying for takeout from the lobby.
The dining experience is certainly not five stars, but if you don’t want to leave the property, know that the food is great- the service is just not.
The service at the Hyatt Centric has always been so-so. From the odd check in experience, to the frankly poor service at the restaurant to the lack of care that went into the housekeeping, we can’t consider the service to be particularly “good” or consistent. As with many mountain towns, we see inconsistency across the board.
I will say we encountered one front desk agent who was genuinely kind, interested in us and even provided Max with a little birthday gift of beer and a smores kit. We found that to be such a nice touch and it was totally surprising considering the other service experiences we had.
Housekeeping was a bit sloppy, with the mismatched pillows and lacking amenities in the bathroom. It seems that they may be overwhelmed or poorly trained, but we have experienced this inconsistency on every stay at this particular Hyatt.
We love the updates the Hyatt Centric did from the transition, even if it was just on the surface. The increase in charging ports everywhere, to the updated bed frames and chairs, we love that style. It’s cozy, yet modern. The fireplaces add an additional lodgy feel to every room. The lobby, too, is comfortable and has a great mountain feel with the fireplace in the center.
We do hope to see a full scale renovation to the fixtures and bathrooms in the future, but the recent “refresh” did a great deal to update the feel of the property.
Overall, we still love this Hyatt property. The location is unbeatable for the points price (even if it increase from a category 4 four years ago) and the spacious rooms are excellent for skim bums like us. While the service could be greatly improved to elevate the property to a higher standard, it’s easy to look beyond it and enjoy the ski valet and amenities they offer.