Jun062014

Hotel Review: Florida Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront has a good downtown location beside the St. Johns River. The 19-story hotel has 968 guest rooms and convention space. There is a rooftop pool and hot tub. An attached parking garage offers free parking for hotel guests and $15 per night for others.

Hyatt Jacksonville

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront seen behind the Monument to the Great Fire of 1901.

My room was located on the 17th floor. The rate for a Saturday night was $99 normally, however, Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum and Diamond members have access to “My Elite Rate” for a 20% discount.

Hyatt My Elite Rate JAX

My Elite Rate at $79.20 is 20% discount on Hyatt Daily Rate.

Adding up the bonus points

Some frequent guests of Hyatt plan their weekend stays at hotels where the Club Lounge is closed. Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront club lounge is not open on weekends, As a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member I received 2,500 bonus points for the lounge being closed and a breakfast certificate for the lobby restaurant.

I also received 1,000 bonus points as a Diamond member Welcome Amenity.

So while my $79.20 rate earned only 396 base points for the stay, and 30% bonus points for a total 514 points, I received 3,500 additional bonus points as a Diamond member for the closed lounge and welcome amenity.

During periods of high demand access to the Regency Club or Grand Club lounge may not be available; therefore Diamond members will receive 2,500 bonus points per stay plus daily complimentary full breakfast inclusive of one entrée (or standard breakfast buffet), juice and coffee (tax, gratuity and service charges included) for each registered guest in the room, maximum four (4) people.

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member benefits

I earned 4,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points on a $90 hotel stay after tax. Buying 4,000 points from Hyatt Gold Passport costs $96, so this was a good value stay.

Room with a River View

The high floor balconywith a patio door allowed fresh air on what locals were calling an unusually cool day. Heavy rain showers had passed through the city a few hours before. The next day was the start of a weather phenomenon called an anticyclone weather pattern by meteorologists that gripped the southeast in cloudless skies and high temperatures in the mid-90s for early May over the next five days.

St Johns night

St. Johns River at night seen from Hyatt Regency Jacksonville room.

The rooftop pool in the early morning looked relaxing.

Hyatt JAX pool

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront rooftop pool.

Hyatt pool deck

Lounging on the pool deck for a few hours was an option if I wanted leisure, but my plan was to drive 40 miles south and visit St. Augustine, followed by driving north to Savannah, Georgia where my reservation at Andaz Savannah awaited me. Hotel Review: Andaz Savannah Suite (May 11, 2014)

The gym is also on the 19th floor with views of the riverfront looking west.

Hyatt fitness center

The restaurant in the hotel lobby offered a full buffet. The service was exceptional as the waiter seemed to read my mind and show up with the item I needed just as I desired it. I was impressed and kept thinking to myself that this young African American guy will be a general manager some day if he stays in the industry.

Final thoughts: There were several low cost hotel options in Jacksonville for a Saturday night stay. I had a reservation at Aloft Jacksonville Airport, a Category 1 Starwood Hotel for only 2,000 points per night. Then, I booked Marriott Jacksonville on a Best Rate Guarantee for $76.23 after tax.

I cancelled both of those reservations for the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville. I paid a higher rate at $90 after tax, but that was worth it considering the one night stay earned 4,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.

Crowne Plaza Jacksonville

View from Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront across the St. Johns River to the Crowne Plaza Jacksonville.

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is a Hyatt Gold Passport category 2 award for 8,000 points per award night.

Related post:

Jacksonville and the St. Johns River (May 4)

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

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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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Comments

  1. I stayed at this hotel last week. I did have a few issues with my stay but the new manager, Gino, was more than gracious. I will definitely stay here again. Make sure to try the Scallops with Saffron Risotto and Asparagus in the restaurant. Awesome!

  2. Ric, thanks for the review. It seems like a really nice place, but I would never stay there, for the reason you mentioned: “There were several low cost hotel options in Jacksonville for a Saturday night stay.”

    Jacksonville has to have the absolute cheapest weekend rates of anyplace I’ve ever stayed. There are a lot of options for cheaper, but still really nice, stays in Jacksonville.

  3. @Joseph N. – The place is a great deal for a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member since I pulled in 3,500 bonus points for a Saturday night stay. Those bonus points will not apply for a Hyatt Platinum or non-elite and that results in a completely different value analysis.

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