Trip Review: Grand Hyatt San Francisco

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On my quasi-mileage run to San Francisco yesterday, I debated a fair amount on where to stay.  If this really were a real mileage run I either would have done a same-day turn and headed back home without a hotel stay, or would have likely stayed in a hotel much closer to the airport.  However, I really wanted to see at least a little bit of the city while I was there, so I opted for a hotel in the Union Square part of town.  I decided on the Grand Hyatt because it just underwent a major renovation, received plenty of good reviews, I would receive Diamond benefits while staying there, and it would put me at four Hyatt stays for the current promo that awards bonus points for every fourth Hyatt stay.  This is likely to be my last Hyatt stay before the promo ends on April 30th, so it made sense to get those 4,000 bonus points since I was just one stay away anyway.

This was my first time to San Francisco, but since this hotel is in such a great spot, it didn’t take time to learn how to get to a few different areas that I wanted to see.  It is literally a block away from the huge Macy’s and Union Square.  The hotel always had helpful staff outside who would open doors, hail cabs, give directions, etc.

When you walk inside the lobby it felt a bit dark, but still really elegant.  I had already checked in online and was upgraded to a Club Room.  The concierge helped me get to a duck tour I wanted to do (more on that tomorrow) that was going to start about 10 minutes after I arrived, by calling ahead to let them know I was on my way, and taking my bags to hold while I was gone (as I didn’t even have time to go up to my room first).  She was super helpful without being pushy or overbearing.

The room itself was very nice and high tech.  The shades and lights can be operated by pushing buttons on the wall.  The TV, alarm, phone, etc. are all brand new and very sleek.  The card reader to get into the room was also high tech.  You didn’t have to slide the card, just press it next to the reader and the door unlocks.  I can’t tell you how many times I have fumbled with the cards that slide while holding a kiddo and lots of bags.  This is much nicer!

I don’t know if it was just because I was very tired, but the bed was one of my favorites I have slept in.  Of course, I also love listening to the city noises at night, so that might have helped me get great sleep as well.  It reminds me of when I lived in Manhattan.  I will say, if you have children who are light sleepers, the city noises may be an issue.  I was on a very high floor and still had a fair amount of noise all night long, so take that into account.  Of course, that will likely be an issue at any downtown hotel.

The bathroom also looked very nice and updated.  I had no issues with water pressure or temperature.  I also liked that the room had two bathrobes.  It’s a small thing, but when traveling with my husband, I hate it when there is just one bathrobe (which is pretty common).

The Grand Club Lounge is located on the 32nd floor, and it also just underwent a full renovation.  The lounge is open 24 hours a day and serves breakfast in the morning during the week starting at 5:30AM, appetizers in the evening from about 5PM-7PM, and then dessert from about 7PM-9PM.  There is an honor bar that is $3 for wine or beer and $4 for mixed drinks.  I saw about three different types of wine, and a pretty varied selection of items to make mixed drinks.  I didn’t really pay attention to the beer selection on this trip.

On the night I was there, the appetizers were some grilled veggies, a stuffed pastry of some sort, and some cheeses and breads.  Everything I ate tasted very good, and I for sure got my money’s worth out of the $3 glass of wine.  😉

For breakfast they had assorted pastries, muffins, lox, bagels, cereal, fruit, and oatmeal out when I dined at the very early hour of 5:30AM.  They were still bringing some things out as I was leaving, so it is possible more items appeared later on.  They had various pitchers of juice you could have, or they had some pretty high quality juice in containers you could take with you.  I believe they also had little containers of yogurt you could take on the go as well.  I was very impressed with the atmosphere and food/drinks in the lounge.  It was a place I actually liked being and was sad to leave.

I did not get a chance to check out any other amenities at the hotel, like the gym, but hope to check them out whenever I am fortunate enough to return.  This hotel is a Category 5 hotel, which means it costs 18,000 Hyatt points (or 18,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points if you transfer them in) per night.  For the dates I checked, the hotel seemed to range from the mid-$100’s to the mid-$200’s per night.  Assuming that is the price range when you are looking to book your stay, it isn’t the best place to redeem points since your return per point wouldn’t be that fantastic.  However, if the rates are higher for the dates you want, or you just want to check out a very nice hotel and are short on cash, then it could be a decent points redemption option.  I very much enjoyed my brief stay here and hope to return for a longer stay in the future!  Heck, I could spend a couple more hours just stairing out of the windows.

Have you been to this hotel?  What did you think?

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  1. Been there twice since the remodel and once since the Grand Club remodel. I love the new lounge and the staff there is great. They are so attentive and really take care of you. The bedside shade and lights controls are great too!

  2. Yes, I’ve been there too — elegant and understated — very nice. I also stayed at a Grand Hyatt at a recent business trip to Irvine, and it was very nice as well. Call me crazy, but I still like Marriotts better. Big atriums, somewhat more colorful. Sometimes the Hyatts are a little monochromatic for my taste. But the service is always amazing and the rewards programs great as well. JMHO 🙂

  3. downtown is where some san franciscans work and shop but the neighborhoods are where we live. next time bring your family! tour a WWII submarine at Fisherman’s Wharf, walk along the SF Bay from Marina Green to the Civil War Fort at the base of the Golden Gate bridge, tour the murals at the Clarion Alley Mural Project, eat some amazing locally sourced italian food at Locanda, drink organic wine, go to a sing-along showing of Wizard of Oz at the Castro theater, visit the rescued seals at the Marine Mammal Center life is good here!

  4. My parents stayed here pre-renovation when they came for a visit a few years ago. The location really can’t be beat. So many hotels around Union Square are on the seedy/Tenderloin side of the Square (even the JW Marriott!), and I wouldn’t feel safe as a woman traveling alone if I stayed in one of those…and my small town parents wouldn’t either. This hotel is on the safer side of the square. I remember having to wait awhile for the elevators – I wonder if they improved them during the renovation. Come back to SF again soon!

    • @tassojunior, I think it depends on the property. I know some Hyatts that are super pet friendly. Hyatt Lost Pines comes to mind. I have taken my dog to Westins before, and I know LaQuinta is very pet-friendly. Did you have a bad Hyatt pet experience?

  5. I’m staying at this hotel right now and there is a dog in the next room. Yesterday I also saw a dog in the lobby at the Hyatt Regency SFO. Perhaps they are getting more pet friendly.

    Nice place. Great views from the Grand Club and my room. I wouldn’t mind visiting again. Aside from hearing the noises outside during the night and the White Ginger, everything here is fantastic.

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