Hyatt Regency Saipan: Caring for people
For the past 41 years, Hyatt Regency Saipan has provided nothing but top-of-the-line service to its guests and patrons, and a care that has been lovingly extended not just to its own staff, but also to the entire CNMI community.
From weddings to baptisms, brunches at Kili Café & Terrace to fine dining at Giovanni’s, or simply just spending a night and lounging by the pool, everyone on island has their own Hyatt story to share.
For Hyatt Regency Saipan general manager Nick Nishikawa, his story began 13-and-a-half years ago. Admittedly, his first impression is that the hotel is old—the buildings, the rooms, and the design—and that renovations have to be made to make it at par with Hyatt hotels worldwide. At that time, with a lease up in the air, the hotel has to focus on what they do best—providing quality service.
Despite many years of hardships that had affected tourism on island, the Lehman shock in 2008, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, the back-to-back super typhoons in 2015 and 2018, and now, the COVID-19 pandemic, Hyatt Regency Saipan has steadfastly provided top-of-the line service to all of its guests.
“I have been in this industry for 39 years,” Nishikawa said. “Our passion is to take care of the customers daily. Even though we are an old hotel, we have to be clean. We have to offer good service. We know the weak points and the strong points of this hotel, so once we get the 40 years new lease, and of course, with the renovations, this hotel is going to be fantastic.”
Next year will be exciting for Hyatt Regency Saipan as they welcome yet another 40 years in the CNMI. With a new lease comes new facilities, new rooms, new restaurants, new concept, to meet the Hyatt Regency standard known all across the world.
Nishikawa anticipates planning for the new hotel to start by the second half of next year, beginning with the Hyatt design team coming to assess the buildings and current facilities.
And while everyone waits in anticipation for what the hotel will be in the next 40 years, one thing is for sure: Right now, we can still expect the same high quality guest service that the hotel staff has been providing these past four decades, which Nishikawa refers to as the Hyatt Regency Saipan’s strongest point.
It is all about the guest experience.
“We have one Japanese guest who has been here from Day 1. He still comes twice or three times a year. As long as we have these guests, we have to be here to serve them. Even new guests, we need to take care of them so they become repeat customers, [so they] continue to come here.”
Aside from a new look for the Hyatt Regency Saipan, Nishikawa also expressed optimism on the prospect of more international hotel brands opening on island.
“We have more than a thousand Hyatt hotels in the world. Beside us, we have the Intercontinental Crowne Plaza IHG. One [international brand] hotel can do only this much, but two hotels can do more to present [the CNMI] in the world market which, I think, is good for this island,” he added.
“Each [hotel] operator has marketing money to promote overseas. It used to be only us using this marketing money throughout the world, but now, [with] IHG, I am sure they will use those marketing money to promote this destination, Saipan, more.”
Saipan, with the rest of the Northern Mariana Islands, is a tropical paradise boasting crystal clear pristine waters, colorful marine life, a rich culture, and the warmest people.
“I like Saipan. Saipan has a good nature. The people here are very friendly. It’s very resort-[friendly], it’s a small island. I have been to many places, and Saipan is exactly the right place for retirement, to relax, enjoy, play golf, and get into marine sports.”
According to Nishikawa, every two weeks, there is a hotel opening somewhere in the world. Customers would stay in these brand new hotels, and then come to Saipan, check in at the Hyatt, and would say, “Is this Hyatt?” Looking at the old facility, they compare, he added.
But, things are looking up for the Hyatt Regency Saipan. With their new 40-year lease beginning on the first day of January 2022, everyone at the Hyatt is excited.
“On behalf of the owner, I want to say thank you so much to the people of the CNMI and Saipan who have been supporting this hotel in the past 40 years. Without their support, the Hyatt will not be here. So, we look forward to another 40 years here and I hope that people continue to give us support.”
Hyatt Regency Saipan will be celebrating its 41st anniversary with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, a prelude to welcoming 40 more years of dedicated quality service to their guests, their staff, and the CNMI community.