Aug052008

Hyatt Regency San Francisco experience

The weather was once again fabulous when I stayed in San Francisco this past weekend at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero.  I had planned on going to San Francisco.  I had not planned on staying at the Hyatt Regency. 

I kept going back and forth on a Starwood stay at the Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf on their $149 Summer Value special or the Westin Market which dropped to $159 (the Summer Value special rate was higher at $169).  I currently have a Stays Count Double promotion offer from SPG.  Then, there was the Kimpton Hotels special offer for a free night after 3 stays and their hotels were as low as $109/night using the special offer rate.  I decided against Kimpton Hotels because technically the special offer rate at $109 for the Harbor Court Hotel should not be combinable with the free night after 3 stays promotion.

Then, the day before my hotel stay I receive a special offer email from Hyatt Hotels.  Apparently, they miss me so badly since I haven’t visited them for a while that they gave me an offer too good to refuse.  I reached Diamond elite status during my March Madness Tax Stimulus Hotel Hop around the San Francisco Bay area a few months ago.  The email was an offer for a free night at any Hyatt in the world if I completed a stay by late September. 

Why wait?

I booked the Hyatt Regency San Francisco at the Embarcadero a few hours before heading up to the City.  I asked my wife if we had to choose between a remodeled room without a balcony or an older room with a balcony, which one would she want?  She picked the balcony and it is good I asked because I would have gone for the upgraded room.  I wanted the opportunity to take better photos of that TV screen embedded in the bathroom mirror.

We received a balcony room with great views of the Bay and even a view of Coit Tower from the corner of the room.  The room was not the upgraded rooms, but it was located on the 15th floor.  The remodeled rooms are on Floors 16 and 17 and since my wife did not know what she was missing, all was well.

The Regency Club was an experience like a cruise ship.  There seemed to always be a food service going on and the 360 degree views from the floor to ceiling glass windows at the top of the hotel provide one of the best scenic seats in the City.

San Francisco Hyatt Regency Club view of Bay Bridge

The 5-8pm evening reception was called the Fisherman’s Wharf selection and featured a couple of kinds of baked fish, vegetables and salad.  Alcohol is self-service, but not complimentary.  Beer $3, Wine $4, cocktails $5 and the guest fills out a card and deposits it in a box for room charges.  We ate some of the food and headed out to meet people at the Starlight Room on top of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, a Kimpton Hotel (and $139/night). 

 

Back at the Hyatt Regency, we arrived just for the tail end of the 8-10pm dessert hours.  There were only a couple of guests present and the German chocolate cake had hardly been touched.  The cake melted in my mouth and I needed will power to stop at two slices.  My sister asked me if it was as good as our mother’s cakes.  I have to confess – yes.

The next morning I was up at the lounge at 7am and accessed the internet on one of the two computers in the Club.  The Regency Club has free wireless access for guests.  A couple of hours later we ate from the breakfast spread of bagels and breads, smoked salmon, fruits and cereals.

There were far too many noisy toddlers in the Regency Club to make breakfast relaxing.  Twenty minutes in the two massage chairs helped relieve the tension.  You can even check out an i-pod from the concierge for your time in the lounge.  And the morning sun was so bright.

In retrospect, I received a 1,000 point bonus for my stay as a Hyatt Diamond member gift, complimentary internet, three meals, a massage, and in a week or two I will have a free night credit for any Hyatt hotel in the world (actually, the  Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego and Hyatt Regency Paris Madeleine are excluded from the offer).

A Category 5 Hyatt property costs 18,000 points for a free night.  I hadn’t planned to stay at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco last weekend since so many wonderful hotel loyalty bonus offers are available at the moment, but Hyatt trumped them all with their targeted pay for one night and get one night free offer.

I had a wonderful hotel stay and earned the equivalent of nearly 20,000 points.  I have until the end of the year to redeem my free night.  And if plans for international travel or a high value redemption like New York City does not pan out, I can always go eight miles down the road and stay at the Hyatt Highlands Inn, a category 5 hotel in Carmel Highlands for my free night. 

 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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