After bidding farewell to the Westin Chosun in Seoul, Mrs. Selfish and I boarded the 5am airport bus for Incheon Airport. Two flights and 9 hours later we arrived in Fukuoka Airport, Japan!
When looking at Japan, Mrs. Selfish and I knew we wanted to spend the majority of our time split between Kyoto and Tokyo, and about a week in less visited areas of Japan.
After further research, we determined we’d spend 2 nights in Kurukawa Onsen Town – a charming town on the southern island of Kyushu. The most direct way there involved flying into Fukouka for a one night stay.
Within moments of hitting the city, I knew we’d made a big mistake. Fukouka is an amazing city, worthy of at least a few days of exploration, and is considered by some to be the food capital of Japan.
And the Grand Hyatt is no slouch either. Coming in as a category 3 hotel, the Grand Hyatt cost us a paltry 12,000 Hyatt points – which I transferred from our Ultimate Rewards pool.
Getting There & Checkin
Upon landing, Mrs. Selfish and I hailed the closest cab and 1400 yen and 20 minutes later (~$14) we arrived at the Grand Hyatt!
The Grand Hyatt is located near the dead center of town, and is part of the awesome Canal City Hakata shopping center, which to date has the best ramen we’ve ever eaten.
Since Mrs. Selfish and I had already booked 5 nights in the Park Hyatt Tokyo, she decided to sign up for Hyatt’s Diamond Member challenge. Unlike the Marriott’s “Taste of Platinum” challenge, Hyatt only gives you 60 days from the moment you sign up, and can only be undertaken once in a lifetime.
As a diamond member, your benefits include: late checkout (up to 4pm), a welcome gift, lounge access, breakfast, a room upgrade (subject to availability), and 30% bonus points.
The Check-in process was very pleasant. Since Mrs. Selfish was a diamond member, we were escorted to the club on the 5th floor to get our room key. We were also upgraded to a Club King room, which I confirmed over email prior to our arrival.
The room was nice, if a little small, which is typical for Japan hotels. As a welcome gift we received a small bag of home-made cookies, which we immediately devoured.
While the bedroom was a little sparse, the bathroom was pretty fancy, and came with one of the swankier sinks I’ve ever seen.
The Lounge & Breakfast
The highlight of the Grand Hyatt is without a doubt, their club lounge. Located on top of the 5th floor, it sits in the middle of a little rooftop garden, though sadly the view is only of the mall next door.
We arrived just in time for their afternoon tea service, and were amazed by their massive selection of teas and pastries.
Their Happy Hour was generous as well, containing a decent spread and a collection of Japanese beers. They were even playing classic American movies!
Since Mrs. Selfish and I hadn’t watched television for over 4 months, we ended up catching the second half of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” There’s something really surreal about watching Mickey Roonie’s racist Japanese impression while drinking a Kirin in Japan.
Breakfast was excellent as well. Mrs. Selfish and I ordered the eggs & sausage to fill up before our 2 hour bus ride. The Grand Hyatt also had a nice selection of breakfast cereals, fruit, meats, and baked goods.
I would recommend staying at the Grand Hyatt Fukouka, but only if you can get access to the lounge. While the rooms were nice, they were frankly a little cramped for the price point. Since the Club King room retails at 31,000 yen ($302), you’re essentially getting a value of $.0251 per point for your 12,000 Hyatt points.
If you’re interested in learning more about Hyatt’s Diamond Challenge you can read more here at Loyalty Lobby’s excellent write up, though again I’d only undertake the challenge if you have enough Hyatt stays coming up to make it worth your while.