As I recently wrote about, we’re living in hotels at the moment. We’ve been staying primarily at Hyatts, both because Hyatt consistently treats me well as a Globalist member, and also because I’m working my way towards lifetime Globalist status.
A few months ago I stayed at a Thompson property (which is part of the Hyatt portfolio) for the first time, and I’ve been seeking them out ever since. I think Thompson might just be my new favorite upscale hotel brand, and in this post I wanted to share why.
What are Thompson Hotels?
Thompson is intended to be an upper-upscale boutique lifestyle brand, which Hyatt describes as follows:
Expect a passion for design. An obsession with detail. And a joy for creating dining and nightlife destinations that complement our local scenes with inspired luxury, boutique hotel rooms and suites to stay the night.
Hyatt acquired Two Roads Hospitality back in 2018, and as part of that Hyatt took over brands like Alila and Thompson. Looking at Hyatt’s portfolio big picture, I’d view Thompson as being roughly on par with Andaz, while it’s a notch below Alila and Park Hyatt, which are Hyatt’s luxury brands.
Currently Thompson has 11 hotels in nine cities, all in the United States and Mexico. Most hotels are simply called “Thompson” and then the name of the city, though the brand also has a few properties that are branded differently, like Gild Hall, The Beekman, and The Cape.
It’s a small collection of hotels, but it’s growing at a fast pace. It’s my understanding that developers are especially keen to open more Thompsons, and that it’s one of Hyatt’s most requested brands in that regard. So expect many more Thompsons to open over time.
Why I love Thompson Hotels
I’ll have full reviews of several Thompson properties soon, but in this post I wanted to talk about why I like the brand overall. In late 2020 I stayed at the Thompson Dallas for several weeks and loved it, and subsequently I’ve stayed at a couple more of them.
While coronavirus has impacted our ability to fully enjoy the amenities that hotels offer (like indoor restaurants and bars), let me share big-picture why I like the Thompson brand so much, in no particular order:
Legitimately nice decor
Thompsons are consistently furnished and decorated in a tasteful and practical way, including both public spaces and rooms. I love the fact that the public spaces differ between locations, so each feels unique, rather than cookie-cutter.
Thompson Dallas lobby
Thompson Nashville lobby
Meanwhile I love the fact that room design is consistent, so that you know exactly what to expect.
Thompson Dallas suite
Thompson Dallas suite
Thompson Nashville suite
Thompson Nashville suite
Thompson Nashville suite
Great food & beverage outlets
While most hotel food & beverage outlets are borderline depressing, Thompson Hotels seem to have a focus on making these venues popular with locals. I feel like all hotel brands talk about how they want to be a hub for locals, but few actually accomplish that, since it’s hard to make a hotel restaurant cool.
This is an area where Thompson really shines, as the food & beverage venues at all the properties were truly phenomenal and packed with locals, despite coronavirus.
Now, admittedly we didn’t fully get to enjoy them because we were trying to be safe (so we specifically avoided them when they were busy), but it’s at least good to know in general that these venues are popular, because presumably that will still be the case post-coronavirus. Let me just give an example of the venues at the Thompson Nashville, which are pretty representative of what we found at other properties:
- There’s an awesome restaurant in the lobby (Marsh House), which has some charm
- There’s a rooftop bar (LA Jackson) with outdoor seating and a great view of the Nashville skyline
- There’s a legitimately great coffee shop (Killbrew) in the lobby
Restaurant at the Thompson Nashville
Rooftop bar at the Thompson Nashville
Coffee shop at the Thompson Nashville
Usually good restaurants also means a good Globalist breakfast, so that’s nice…
Breakfast at the Thompson Dallas
Extremely dog friendly
Winston gives Thompson two thumbs up, which is quite an endorsement coming from him. Given that we’re living in hotels full time with Winston, hotel pet friendliness is a major consideration. Not all hotels are pet friendly, and pet cleaning fees can also differ between hotels, and add up quickly.
Winston approves of Thompson
Thompson has to be one of the most pet-friendly brands out there:
- All Thompson properties are pet-friendly
- Several Thompson properties (including in Dallas and Nashville) don’t even charge a cleaning fee for pets, which is almost unheard of
- Not only do they not charge extra for pets, but they even offer pet amenities, including a bed, a bowl, and some treats (I’ve paid $200+ fees at some hotels and they still offered nothing for my pet)
A nice welcome amenity for Winston at the Thompson Dallas
Thompson gets that the way to a human’s heart is through their dog, so thank you Thompson, and please never change.
Winston can confirm that Thompson beds are very comfortable
This might sound silly, but I also appreciate that Thompson isn’t obnoxiously dog friendly, which is to say that the brand isn’t promoting how pet friendly it is everywhere. For example, Kimpton is known for being the most pet friendly hotel brand, and as a result there are often dozens of dogs staying at them.
Winston isn’t a huge fan of other dogs (he wants humans all to himself), so he likes how low-key pet friendly Thompson properties are.
Participates in World of Hyatt
I’d probably love Thompson if it belonged to any major hotel group, but the fact that it’s a Hyatt is a massive plus. Why? World of Hyatt Globalist is the best top-tier hotel status, and Hyatt simply does a great job with taking care of guests.
We’ve had nothing but great service at Thompsons (particularly at the Dallas property), and when you combine that with the excellent elite recognition, the ability to use suite upgrade awards, etc., that’s a combination that can’t be beat.
How does Thompson compare to Andaz?
Hyatt has 15 brands, and I’d say that in general Andaz and Thompson are the most comparable in terms of their rates, the general property profiles/sizes, and the types of customers they’re going after. Which of the two brands do I prefer? Definitely Thompson, and here’s why:
- Andaz is an inconsistent brand; while the Andaz Tokyo is excellent and a legitimate luxury hotel, the Andaz San Diego and Andaz Savannah are kind of just mediocre, so there doesn’t seem to be much brand consistency
- I find Thompson decor to be much more tasteful and consistent, and I feel like the brand actually has a consistent design theme, which is surprisingly rare among hotel groups
- Thompson properties tend to have better food & beverage outlets
To those who have stayed at Andaz and Thompson properties, I’d love to hear which you guys prefer.
I’ve been so delighted with my stays at Thompson Hotels so far, and I think it’s my new favorite upscale brand.
We’re currently choosing hotels based on which offer the best living arrangements, rather than where we want to be, and that’s a great reason for us to pick out Thompsons — the properties are beautifully designed, are extremely pet friendly, and have great food & beverage outlets. Add in the fact that Thompson is part of Hyatt, and I couldn’t ask for much more.
If you’ve stayed at a Thompson before, what was your experience like? And which other Thompsons are worth checking out?