May222010

Hyatt San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf

The view flying over San Francisco is one of the best views I recall. Of course I expected to be busted for snapping photos after the flight announcement to turn off electronics. I was the jerk for this United Airlines flight who was busted for too much carry-on luggage and the boarding area UA employee at SEA refused to let me board until I consolidated my luggage. I pulled on my sweatshirt and jacket and shoved my glasses into the computer bag as other passengers with slim suitcases and bags made me look like a first-time traveler. I seriously did not want to spend $25 to check my bag.

Golden Gate Bridge, Presidio, and Golden Gate Park view

After a week in the 40s in Seattle, the warmth of San Francisco sun had me stuffing my sweatshirt and coat back in my carry-on bag immediately upon exiting the airport while waiting for a shuttle to the Marriott Airport hotel. The Westin San Francisco Airport hotel shuttle came first so I hopped on that and figured I could walk across the street to the Marriott. Kelley refused to drive into the airport so we planned a rendezvous at an airport hotel before driving into the city for a $98 night at the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf.

I felt like a VIP after immediately finding free unmetered parking a few blocks away from the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf on North Point Street to leave the car until noon the next day. Kelley hates walking up to a hotel after rolling her luggage a few blocks, but I hate spending $50 to park my car at a hotel when I can park for free and roll my luggage a few blocks.

And I was greeted as a VIP at the Hyatt San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf.

Room 545 – Presidential Suite.

A massage chair in the bedroom was never so welcome a sight! Kelley jumped in the chair for a 20 minute massage before I had even finished surveying the living room of the Presidential Suite. The sunlight reflecting off Coit Tower and the downtown skyscrapers captivated my eyes. This view blows away any room I have had at the Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf.

The living room had a large screen TV with Bose surround sound system. An eclectic collection of DVDs like The Rock, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Joy Luck Club, Dirty Harry, Interview with the Vampire, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner had me confounded until I realized they all have San Francisco settings. I liked the swiveling space chairs, but Kelley did not find them that comfortable.

Ground coffee in containers was a first for me. There was a wine refrigerator and a second empty refrigerator in the living room.

The bathroom was well-equipped, however, the scale only read “error” and Kelley was disappointed that the spa tub jets worked only intermittently with a malfunctioning wall switch. The large bathroom had impossibly diffuse lighting for decent cosmetic work.

The shower water pressure worked great.

I would really like to know the rationale for choosing the room art. The living room had some absurdly existentialist piece of art with aboriginal peoples carrying a dead 20-foot python or boa with overlaying text about a woman sitting in her apartment unaware of her phone number or something and the other portion of the picture looked like numbered bloody pigeons to me. The art kind of freaked me out and made me desire some Golden Gate Bridge kitsch that wouldn’t give me bad dreams.

 

I wanted to try the neighborhood Irish pub-Indian restaurant I had stumbled across in December, but considering the extravagant complimentary upgrade, we decided to eat in-house at the sports bar-restaurant Knuckles in the Hyatt. The menu seemed limited to me, although Kelley had a nice salmon meal. The staff was overtly friendly and talkative.

Canadians at an adjacent booth had their own tv screen and they were cheering on one of their national hockey teams in a losing effort. Leaving the restaurant Kelley walks over to them and says “Go Sharks!” and the next thing I know I am hit with some food item like an olive or cherry tomato. Kelley stayed and bantered with the party for a minute. I stepped around the corner – out of their line of fire.

The Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf is a five story building. The best views of San Francisco are on the Taylor Street side. The hotel is two blocks from the water and the Bay views are limited.

The lobby is one of the areas that could probably use a redesign to improve traffic flow. The registration desk at the entrance of the hotel created problems a couple of times while we were there. Guests line up in front of the desk and once there are five or six guests and luggage, then the line extending across the narrowest part of the lobby impedes the cross traffic for the restaurant and concierge desk to the right of the entrance and the elevators to the left of the entrance.

A nice feature for tourists is a laundry room for guests in the hotel.

The hotel has an outdoor pool and spa tub on the third floor. This property is the only Hyatt of the three in San Francisco (Grand Hyatt Union Square, Hyatt Regency at the Embarcadero) with a swimming pool.

Fisherman’s Wharf is a nice walking area for good views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, and Golden Gate Bridge. North Beach is just a ten minute walk away from the Bay and downtown Union Square is accessible by a $5 cable car ride, $2 on the bus, or a 30 minute walk. I guess most tourists would probably take a taxi around the city. I have a taxi phobia.

Leaving San Francisco we stopped on 34th Street, the road below the Legion of Honor Museum where the Lincoln Golf Course crosses the road and has a wonderful view of the Golden Gate.

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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