After more than 15 years of debate and planning and almost two years of construction during a pandemic, the new Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City is poised to open its 700 rooms and large meeting spaces in mid-October.
Residents and visitors have watched the glass-clad hotel at 170 S. West Temple, with its reflective exterior and curvilinear 26-story tower, rising on the city’s skyline since its January 2020 groundbreaking.
On Thursday, folks with the international Hyatt chain gave a sneak peek at some of the new luxury hotel’s stylish interior features and attractions, including an impressive lobby with Utah-themed art, three restaurants and a sixth-floor terrace offering sweeping views to future guests.
The $337 million hotel — built next to the Salt Palace Convention Center for seamless access — also boasts 31 separate meeting rooms, including a high-tech broadcast lounge and two massive ballrooms considered central to recruiting more large conventions to Utah’s capital.
“The Hyatt Regency is truly a game changer when it comes to attracting and retaining new conventions,” said Kaitlin Eskelson, president and CEO of Visit Salt Lake, a private nonprofit devoted to promoting Salt Lake County as a travel destination.
She said several large professional gatherings already have chosen Salt Lake City as their venue, swayed by the prospect of the new hotel and its amenities.
“It will be a huge draw,” Eskelson predicted, “for both leisure and business travelers visiting Salt Lake.”
This is the first Hyatt Regency to be built in the Beehive State, funded partly by $75 million in post-performance tax rebates to the hotel’s private developers, Atlanta-based Portman Holdings and St. George-headquartered DDRM.
At 23,015 square feet, the hotel’s marquee meeting room, the Regency Ballroom, features floor-to-ceiling windows, can accommodate up to 2,875 attendees and is Utah’s largest space of its kind outside the Salt Palace itself, according to the hotel’s general manager, Pina Purpero.
The hotel’s second-largest gathering area, known as its Salt Lake Ballroom, has 14,689 square feet and can handle up to 1,830 guests at a time. And the sixth-floor, open-air Sundance Terrace, at 7,400 square feet, will be a rooftop venue for up to 850 guests.
In terms of decor, Purpero said, “the hotel blends Salt Lake City’s eclectic style with modern design, tech-enabled conveniences and dynamic spaces.” Thirty-three of its rooms are luxury suites, she noted, with 180-degree views and features she called “modern and sleek.”
Other hotel amenities include an outdoor pool, fitness center, full business services and “touchless” room access via digital key.
Architects and designers tried to ensure the lobby, opening onto 200 South, “felt like Salt Lake City,” said Jarrod Finley, the hotel’s director of marketing and sales.
“Salt Lake is an outdoor, active community, and you’ll feel that vibe,” Finley said, with an open-design concept, earth tones, snow-inspired chandeliers and hexagonal-shape mirrors with motion sensors to make them light up as guests walk by the front desk.
Oregon-based artist Rachel Denny has been commissioned to create what she calls “domestic tributes” to populate the lobby, featuring life-size depictions of animals indigenous to Utah — including rabbits, foxes and stags — all wearing cable knit sweaters.
“Yes,” Finley added, “we will have animals in our lobby decked out in cable knit sweaters. It will be a pretty cool feature” — ideal, he added, for Instagram moments.
The Hyatt Regency will have three restaurants and a 24-hour market, adding to what one chef said was an ongoing “culinary renaissance” for fine dining in the city’s urban core.
Tyson Peterson, executive chef for what will be the hotel’s signature rooftop eatery, a rooftop restaurant called Mar | Muntanya, said it will highlight cuisine from northern Spain, with interpretations of authentic Basque and Catalan dishes. Located next to the Sundance Terrace, Peterson said, it “will bring an elevated and lively dining experience to Salt Lake City” in a beautifully designed, energetic and lively space.
“It’s a perfect date night location,” Peterson said, with a menu he called “sophisticated but approachable.”
The hotel’s lobby restaurant, called The Salt Republic, will be more of an American bistro. A third dining choice at the hotel’s lobby bar and lounge, dubbed Contribution, will be “the spot to meet up after a long day of meetings to enjoy cocktails and shareable plates,” said Ryan Olivas, executive chef for the hotel.
The Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City will also include The Market, Olivas said, a 24-hour spot for coffee, breakfast sandwiches, wines, local cheese and other grab-and-go fare.