Review: The Wellem Dusseldorf, Hyatt Unbound Collection

Review: The Wellem Dusseldorf, Hyatt Unbound Collection

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NAME: The Wellem, Hyatt Unbound Collection
LOCATION: Dusseldorf, Germany
DATE: June 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The Wellem Dusseldorf is a physically gorgeous hotel in a 100+ year old courthouse with huge rooms that have kitchenettes and washing machines. Still, something feels off about this property.
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Dusseldorf is one of my favorite cities in Germany, and I’ve only ever stayed at the Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf, because I really love that property. I like the location, the rooms, the views, the service, the Globalist recognition, etc.

In the name of trying something new, this time around we checked out The Wellem, which is the other Hyatt property in the city, with 102 rooms and suites. The Wellem belongs to Hyatt’s Unbound Collection, which is Hyatt’s collection of independent upscale hotels.

Rather bizarrely, the hotel used to be a Hyatt House, which I can’t wrap my head around, as that branding makes no sense to me (Hyatt House is a limited service brand, similar to Hyatt Place, except rooms have kitchenettes).

So, what do I make of The Wellem? It has a central location, huge rooms, washing machines in each room (an AMAZING amenity), friendly service, and it’s in a jaw-droppingly gorgeous historic building. The building that the hotel is in was first built back in 1913, and was initially a courthouse.

The Wellem Dusseldorf entrance
The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby

The problem, to me, is that something just feels off about the property. Even though the hotel was sold out during our stay, the public areas felt totally dead, and like they weren’t properly utilized. I feel like the public spaces have so much potential, yet something’s just not working right.

Booking The Wellem Dusseldorf

The Wellem is a Category 4 World of Hyatt property, meaning that a standard room free night redemption costs 12,000-18,000 points per night. Our nights had “standard” pricing, so our three night stay cost 15,000 points per night.

Personally I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, just as a point of reference, so that means we paid the equivalent of ~$225 per night.

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.

The cash rate for our stay would have been 335 Euro per night, so redeeming points was the better deal here. This hotel is consistently priced higher than the Hyatt Regency when paying cash, but the points requirements are the same.

The Wellem Dusseldorf location

The Wellem is located right in the heart of Dusseldorf. You’re just steps from the Altstadt, Königsallee, the Rhine, museums, and lots of great restaurants. You’re also about a 15 minute drive from Dusseldorf Airport (DUS).

I will say that I personally prefer the location of the Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf, as it’s located in MedienHafen, an up and coming area with lots of new business developments. I suspect most will prefer this location, but I love the MedienHafen area, and on top of that enjoy the walk along the river from the Hyatt Regency to the Altstadt.

The Wellem Dusseldorf exterior

The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby & check-in

I’ll let the pictures of the hotel’s lobby speak mostly for themselves, because seriously, how pretty is this?

The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby
The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby
The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby
The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby ceiling

The lobby has endless seating on both the ground level and one level up.

The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby seating
The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby seating
The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby seating
The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby seating
The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby seating
The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby seating

The issue is that the hotel does nothing with this space. It’s all just seating with nothing to do. There are dozens and dozens of seats, but no one sits anywhere. Ever. It’s just dead. You feel like you’re walking into a closed museum.

It’s my understanding that the hotel used to have a lounge of sorts for all guests, with complimentary soft drinks and snacks throughout the day. However, that has been eliminated.

The lobby does have a piano, and for a couple of hours per day there’s a guy there who plays out. Even so, almost no one ever hung out in public spaces, and I almost felt bad for the fact that the guy was playing for no one. Let me once again remind everyone that the hotel was at capacity during our stay, and in general Dusseldorf feels very alive again in terms of how busy venues are.

The Wellem Dusseldorf lobby piano

Anyway, reception is at the very end of the lobby, and our check-in process was quick and efficient. The associate checking us in was friendly, thanked me for being a Globalist, and explained we had been upgraded to a studio suite. She also said that we’d receive complimentary breakfast on account of my Globalist status.

The Wellem Dusseldorf reception
The Wellem Dusseldorf reception seating

The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite

The studio suite is the hotel’s standard suite (so this is also what a confirmed suite upgrade would get you). Specifically, we were assigned room 208, which was one level up from reception.

The Wellem Dusseldorf hallway

Given the unique building the hotel is in, even rooms in the same category can be very different sizes. For example, studio suites are marketed as being 46-69 square meters (~495-743 square feet). The room was essentially like a junior suite, in the sense that there was a living area and bedroom, but no doors between the two areas.

The first thing we noticed was how high the ceilings were. Rooms at the hotel have four meter (~13 feet) high ceilings, which you don’t often find in hotels. Just inside the entrance to the room was a half bath, as well as a room with a washing machine (I wish we’d see this more often as a hotel amenity). The hotel offered complimentary detergent at reception.

The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite entryway
The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite half bath
The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite washing machine

Further in was the living room, which had a couch, a dining table with two chairs, and a counter with some high-top seating. I loved the amount of personality the room had, from the wallpaper, to all the splashes of color.

The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite living area
The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite living area
The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite living room

The kitchenette featured a dishwasher, a fridge, and lots of plates, silverware, etc. There was also a coffee machine and kettle.

The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite kitchenette
The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite dishwasher
The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite fridge
The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite in-room coffee

Off the living room was a small balcony with one chair, overlooking the hotel’s courtyard.

The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite balcony
The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite balcony view

There was a partial wall separating the two areas of the room, with a 42″ TV on each side of the wall. There was then a king size bed, which was pretty comfortable.

The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite bedroom
The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite bedroom

Next to the bed was a vanity with a stool and mirror.

The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite vanity

Then there was the bathroom, which had a walk-in shower, a toilet, and a sink.

The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite bathroom
The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite bathroom

Toiletries were from Lamand, and were customized for Andreas Quartier (the area the hotel is in).

The Wellem Dusseldorf studio suite toiletries

Shortly after checking in, we were brought a welcome amenity consisting of some nuts, as well as some cheese and grapes. I thought that was a nice touch.

The Wellem Dusseldorf welcome amenity

The room had Wi-Fi, which was fast and free. Perhaps most importantly, air conditioning worked well. This can be an issue in many parts of Germany, and was especially handy during this stay, as it was 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) on our last day.

What an awesome room, from the amount of space it offered, to the high ceilings, to the design, to the washing machine.

The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast

Breakfast at The Wellem is served at Pitti Cucina Italiana, the hotel’s Italian restaurant. Breakfast is served from 7AM until 10:30AM on weekdays, and from 8AM until 11:30AM on weekends. The restaurant as such is pretty.

The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast restaurant
The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast restaurant

Breakfast consists primarily of a buffet, which I’d say was very good by German standards. There were two separate buffet areas. One room had cold cuts, cheese, salad, veggies, bread, sweets, hardboiled eggs, and sausage.

The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast buffet
The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast buffet
The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast buffet
The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast buffet
The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast buffet
The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast buffet
The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast buffet

Another room had cereal, yogurt, fruit, muesli, and fresh juices.

The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast buffet
The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast buffet
The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast buffet
The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast buffet
The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast buffet

I was delighted to see the restaurant’s coffee menu, and that they had proper barista-made drinks. I had a delicious cappuccino.

The Wellem Dusseldorf coffee menu
The Wellem Dusseldorf cappuccino

In addition to that, there was a small menu you could order off of, with things like omelets, pancakes, waffles, etc.

The Wellem Dusseldorf breakfast menu

I ordered a veggie omelet each morning, which I enjoyed.

The Wellem Dusseldorf omelet

As far as the breakfast experience otherwise goes, the first morning there was almost no one at breakfast, while the second morning the restaurant was so full that we could only get a table in overflow seating. The second day it was tough to get any service — the servers were friendly, but two people wasn’t enough for the number of people.

The Wellem Dusseldorf The Wellem Bar

The Wellem Bar is located in the lobby on the ground floor. Given how spectacular the lobby is, this space doesn’t really do much to take advantage of that, as it has no views of the large open space.

The Wellem Bar Dusseldorf
The Wellem Bar Dusseldorf

There were also a few seats outside right at the entrance of the hotel, where you could order drinks as well.

The Wellem Bar Dusseldorf outdoor seating

The Wellem Dusseldorf MASH (Modern American Steak House)

Our first night we ended up having dinner at MASH (Modern American Steak House), one of the hotel’s restaurant. You can find the menu here. It wasn’t initially our intent to dine here, but a series of circumstances lead to that.

We were going to go to Bar Olio (one of our favorites in the city), but we walked there and found it to be closed without notice for the evening. Then because our checked bags were delayed, Ford only had shorts, and some restaurants in Germany are weird about dress codes.

After unsuccessfully trying to get a table at several other restaurants, we just gave up, and got a table outside at MASH. There was only one other table occupied at 8PM on a Thursday evening, which probably should have been a sign.

The Wellem Dusseldorf MASH indoor seating
The Wellem Dusseldorf MASH outdoor seating

There was only one guy working there, who did just about everything, and he was super nice, but it all felt a bit disorganized. First Ford tried to order a negroni, which was the first cocktail on the menu, and they didn’t have that. So we ordered aperol spritzes instead, which weren’t particularly generous pours.

The Wellem Dusseldorf MASH drink

For starters, we ordered the tuna tartare and a salad. It seems that the restaurant is working with limited ingredients, because the tuna tartare essentially came with a very similar salad as a side.

The Wellem Dusseldorf MASH starters

For the main, I tried to order the one vegetarian option, risotto. They were out of that as well. Since neither of us wanted a proper steak, we instead ordered burgers, which were okay.

The Wellem Dusseldorf MASH main course

The whole experience was just strange. The chef came out after the meal to proudly see how we were enjoying the meal, as you might experience at a fine dining restaurant. While I can appreciate the intent, it’s a bit odd when you just have an okay burger, and the things you wanted to order weren’t available.

The Wellem Dusseldorf gym

The Wellem has a gym on the basement level, open 24/7. We used the gym twice, and found it to be pretty nice, with a good selection of cardio and weight equipment.

The Wellem Dusseldorf gym
The Wellem Dusseldorf gym
The Wellem Dusseldorf gym

Bottom line

The Wellem Dusseldorf is a physically stunning hotel, in a 100+ year old courthouse with a beautiful lobby. The hotel offers large and nicely appointed rooms with washing machines, and it couldn’t have a more central location. Breakfast at the hotel is excellent as well.

All that being said, I can’t make sense of this hotel. First of all, I can’t make sense of why this was ever a Hyatt House. Yes, the rooms have kitchenettes, but this isn’t otherwise a limited service and generic property. Even with the rebranding, the hotel seems to be suffering with giving this place a pulse.

There’s so much unrealized potential in this hotel, yet I find the current state of it to just be kind of sad. Every time you walk into or out of the hotel, you feel like you’re entering a closed museum. That’s not going to bother everyone, but it does take some of the fun out of a stay for me. It’s a good hotel, I just feel like it could be so much better with a different vision.

Still, this is in many ways a great hotel, and I’m sure others will enjoy staying here. Personally I continue to love the Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf, and this stay reaffirms that that’s the property for me. It’s consistently cheaper too when paying cash, so that’s all the better.

Maybe I’d have a more favorable impression of this place if I didn’t like the Hyatt Regency so much (one could even say too much, because it’s not actually that special, it just works for me and feels like home).

What do you make of The Wellem Dusseldorf?

Conversations (11)
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  1. Joseph Story Guest

    He is nitpicking. He would complain if the sitting areas were crowded. Ben, most people like a empty, chill lobby, especially when there is a pandemic occurring.

  2. Len Guest

    I have stayed at this hotel on more than one occasion before the rebranding and found it to be a great stay. Sure, the layout of the common areas makes it so that you always feel like you are alone, but at the same time I felt as if I was in a museum all to myself and quite enjoyed wandering around seeing the architecture as well as the art displays and decoration/design elements.

    The...

    I have stayed at this hotel on more than one occasion before the rebranding and found it to be a great stay. Sure, the layout of the common areas makes it so that you always feel like you are alone, but at the same time I felt as if I was in a museum all to myself and quite enjoyed wandering around seeing the architecture as well as the art displays and decoration/design elements.

    The rooms are very spacious feeling, in part because of the high ceilings, and perfectly appointed and designed, with thought put into the artistic and design aspects. Also, my experience has been that these are the most comfortable bed that I have ever slept in, quite honestly So much so that after my first stay, I contacted Hyatt to ask about the mattress brand!

  3. Michael_FFM New Member

    I was in the Wellem in the year it opened as a Hyatt Place, and as much as I felt a big disconnect between the use of very good materials and furniture vs a normal Hyatt Place, I found it in a weird way made sense, as the Building appeared to be some kind of mixed use between serviced apartments and the room allotment used for the Hyatt Place. The (lack of) service was in...

    I was in the Wellem in the year it opened as a Hyatt Place, and as much as I felt a big disconnect between the use of very good materials and furniture vs a normal Hyatt Place, I found it in a weird way made sense, as the Building appeared to be some kind of mixed use between serviced apartments and the room allotment used for the Hyatt Place. The (lack of) service was in line with that, as it had minimal services and minimal staff. The breakfast was also much less nice.
    Current cash prices are too high in my view, I would only book it on points.

  4. Super Member

    Do you think there was some kind of large coordinated group staying at the hotel if the first morning was empty and second was full? Could explain why they were all off doing something else instead of some people using the facilities.

  5. Charles Guest

    Is there a clothes dryer in the room?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Charles -- There's not, so you'll have to air dry (which is my preference anyway, personally).

    2. Josh Greenberg Guest

      The washing machine is a combo washer/dryer!

    3. Raksiam Guest

      It's been my experience that the drying function of those combo machines is usually not too great. So I run a couple of drying cycles and then end up hanging everything up

  6. Ethan Guest

    Say what you want about Marriott, but they do have a brand for any hotel style. Element, Residence Inn (London one is great!), Executive Apartment etc

  7. DTS Guest

    Not quite sure what restaurants in Germany are weird about their dress code. Were you intending to one of the Michelin starred restaurants in Düsseldorf?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ DTS -- We planned our stop in DUS pretty last minute, so had no plans to do anything too fancy, but the city does have some great restaurants.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Joseph Story Guest

He is nitpicking. He would complain if the sitting areas were crowded. Ben, most people like a empty, chill lobby, especially when there is a pandemic occurring.

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Len Guest

I have stayed at this hotel on more than one occasion before the rebranding and found it to be a great stay. Sure, the layout of the common areas makes it so that you always feel like you are alone, but at the same time I felt as if I was in a museum all to myself and quite enjoyed wandering around seeing the architecture as well as the art displays and decoration/design elements. The rooms are very spacious feeling, in part because of the high ceilings, and perfectly appointed and designed, with thought put into the artistic and design aspects. Also, my experience has been that these are the most comfortable bed that I have ever slept in, quite honestly So much so that after my first stay, I contacted Hyatt to ask about the mattress brand!

0
Raksiam Guest

It's been my experience that the drying function of those combo machines is usually not too great. So I run a couple of drying cycles and then end up hanging everything up

0
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