Hyatt Monterey invests $31 million in renovation

Peninsula Premier Admin

MONTEREY — While the hospitality industry continues to be hammered by the dramatic downturn in guest stays because of the COVID-19 pandemic, one hotel has just completed a $31 million renovation.

The Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa finished a top-to-bottom renovation it started to plan out roughly three years ago that includes back-end upgrades such as a new heating and air conditioning system, room redesigns and additional amenities throughout the hotel.

Hotel General Manager Kevin Ellis said Hyatt contracted with Gensler, a global architectural firm with an office in San Francisco, to create designs that reflect the region with “Craftsman” design — think Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most influential architects of the 20th century.

“One thing that was important in the design process was to highlight the natural beauty of our location,” Ellis said. “We did not try to create a space that overpowers the natural beauty. People come here to enjoy the outside. The new guestroom design has very clean, straight lines, understated, not ornate.”

Hyatt Monterey General Manager Kevin Ellis in one of the hotel’s newly redesigned room, (Courtesy Hyatt Monterey)

One of the ways this is achieved is through Gensler’s design that minimizes the transition from indoors to outdoors. For example, the redesign established a clear line of sight from the front entry to the golf course.

Gensler is known for designing major commercial properties, from hotels and casinos to airport transit centers and museums. Its design focus is creating spaces that allow consumers to feel safe during the pandemic and after the immediate COVID-19 crisis subsides.

“The biggest thing right now is this focus on health and wellness and making sure people feel safe and confident going back into hotels,” Tom Ito, a principal at Gensler, told the New York Times. “Anything that assures that now and in the long term is here to stay.”

Technology upgrades have been made, including a WiFi system that allows guests to access the hotel’s internet from anywhere on the 22-acre site.

“We’ve spent a quarter-million dollars on WiFi upgrades, including increasing bandwidth, more exterior access points and continuity across 22 acres,” Ellis said.

Each room has been outfitted with new televisions employing a system called StayCast, a joint venture between Samsung and a company called Sonifi. The system allows hotel guests to access their own accounts of streaming content such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube.

Several new features have been added, including its Central Coast Provisions, the hotel’s new market; and Sea Root Restaurant and Hearth, the hotel’s signature restaurant opening this spring.

Central Coast Provisions has more than a dozen different shops, including Lulu’s Chocolates and downtown Monterey’s Paris Bakery.

Hyatt purchased the old Mark Thomas Hotel in 1969 has since been home to visitors to the Naval Postgraduate School and fans of the Monterey Jazz Festival, located less than a mile from the hotel.

Contributed by local news sources

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