Kelley loved Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht. She specifically wanted me to mention how friendly the hotel staff were for our stay. They were so friendly when we were leaving that I considered asking the staffer to wheel Kelley’s luggage to the #197 airport express bus stop at Leidseplein while we talked. Seriously though, the staff at the hotel were exceptionally kind and welcoming to us.

Andaz Amsterdam Atrium

Andaz Amsterdam is a relatively new hotel for Amsterdam with its grand opening November 29, 2012. The former public library building on Prinsengracht is located in the historic canal district of Amsterdam in close proximity to Leidsestraat, one of the central shopping and entertainment districts of the city. The location is about as central as one can be in Amsterdam.

Andaz Ams entrance

The entrance to the Andaz is rather non-descript, except for the blue Andaz flag outside the hotel. One of the features of being in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the 17th century Amsterdam canal ring of the Prinsengracht is limited signage. Many of the buildings in the canal ring are 17th century houses. Hotel Pulitzer, a few blocks north on Prinsengracht is Starwood’s Luxury Collection Hotel designed from a series of historic houses. Andaz Amsterdam was redesigned from a more recently built public library that was open from 1977 to 2007.

The design elements of the public spaces and rooms are detailed on this page from Marcel Wanders, the hotel’s interior designer with high resolution photos. Check out the page for rationale on why each room features a fish head spoon.

Andaz FishSpoon

Andaz Amsterdam has 122 rooms. Our room 111 faced the Prinsengracht, almost directly over the hotel entrance.

Andaz view

A canal view is one of the most desirable locations in an Amsterdam hotel. Word of warning though. Much of the business traffic for hotel deliveries and waste management occurs in the morning hours when trucks deliver and pick-up at the least congested time of day on the narrow canal roads. I am typically awakened around 6 to 7am by trucks and canal street noise when staying in canal ring hotels of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam XXX

One of the Andaz Amsterdam hotel room features is the bathroom sink and vanity mirror in the center of the room. The toilet has its own door. The walk-in shower is a treat for people across the canal if the window curtains are open.

Andaz Shower room

This photo was taken by the room window. The plate on the shelf is glued down. There were about two dozen books in the room. The reflection of the fish spoon is seen on the shower mirror and the shower stall door is open to the left. The open white door is the toilet room.

Andaz toilet-2

A closet beside the toilet was large enough to store all our luggage inside.

Andaz doorknobs

The space is probably large enough to be made into a child’s bed space.

Andaz Closet

The Andaz bathroom toilet offered plenty of hands-free reading material.

Andaz toilet

The vanity area in the center of the floor allowed both of us to use the mirrors at the same time when seated on opposite sides.

Andaz 111

Zenology bath products were in the shower.

Andaz Shower

Books in the room would have kept us occupied for days if the weather had been lousy during our winter stay. Blue skies for the week kept us wandering the canals most of the daylight hours taking in the sights and sounds and beauty of Amsterdam.

Andaz 111 desk

The mini-bar at Andaz is free for guests, except for alcohol beverages. The minibar in Room 111 is a sliding cabinet under the desk. A Nespresso coffee maker is also on the desk. Kelley was astounded at the loudness of the Nespresso and Keurig coffee machines in the hotels during our trip. She would love a simple quiet drip coffee maker in the morning making coffee while I work on my laptop. Kelley does not drink coffee.

Breakfast at Andaz was complimentary for us with my Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond status. I went to the restaurant early to drink coffee while Kelley slept. My one complaint about the restaurant is coffee drinks were made to order while most diners had a pot of tea on their table. I would have preferred a pot of coffee. That may have been possible, but I did not ask.

Andaz Dining room

The dining room at Andaz has an open space design concept with grills and chefs working around one counter and food on an adjacent counter. The breakfast price was 20 EUR for buffet and 30 EUR for buffet and cooked to order menu items. The food was excellent.

Andaz Reception

Andaz Amsterdam has five room floors and the ground floor with reception, restaurant, bar and library.

Andaz bar

We were in the Andaz bar on a Sunday afternoon and on a couple of weekday nights. The place was generally doing good business. There is a 5 to 7pm wine reception in the library. The wine was good. No camera with me at the time and I don’t recall the vintages.

Andaz library

This was one of those hotel stays where I did not wander around the hotel checking out all the nooks and spaces. There is a courtyard that I entered once, but did not take any photos.

This Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht hotel stay was where we splurged on our Amsterdam trip by burning 20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night for the category 5 hotel before it increased to 25,000 points per night as a Hyatt category 6 reward on January 22, 2015.

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht hotel room rates typically start around 400 EUR per night.

Related Loyalty traveler posts:

Words and pictures of Andaz Amsterdam (Feb 20, 2015)

Get lost walking Amsterdam canals (Feb 25, 2015)

#HyattAllIn promotion for 100,000 AA miles and 3 free nights at Ziva or Zilara all-inclusive resort is a Twitter sweepstakes running February 17 to 6pm CT March 10, 2015. Sweepstakes is open to residents of 48 states and D.C.

New York and Florida residents are excluded from this promotion.

To enter #HyattAllIn Twitter Sweepstakes:

In the Promotion, eligible entrants may enter by making a post from their Twitter account that contains

(i) contains the sponsor provided video or a link to the video (“Video”) and

(ii) the hashtags “#HyattAllIn” and “#HZEntry,” (“Required Hashtags”)

Limit of one entry per day.

Prizes: Three (3) Prize Winners, subject to verification, will receive a prize, which consists solely of: a trip for winner and one (1) guest to a Hyatt Ziva or Zilara property on Sponsor-approved dates that consists solely of one (1) room based on double occupancy) for three (3) nights for use only by winner and verified guest (ARV $1200) and one hundred thousand American Airlines AAdvantage miles (ARV $3,190). Winner must be or join American Airlines AAdvantage program in order to receive the miles. Total ARV of Prize: $4,390.

Prize must be redeemed within one year.

HyattAllIn video


Published on Feb 17, 2015

We sent three lucky couples on a once-in-a-lifetime getaway to the all inclusive Hyatt Zilara, and you could be next! Enter to win an unforgettable experience at Hyatt Zilara or Hyatt Ziva for you and a guest when you share this video on Twitter with #HyattAllIn and #HZEntry. Rules:
Explore all that Hyatt All Inclusive Resorts have to offer:

HyattAllIn entry

Hyatt Focus on High End Travelers

An interesting set of data points I found recently for Hyatt Hotels is an investor presentation PDF from November 2014.

Hyatt Hotels promotes itself to investors as 10 hotel brands in 573 hotels (as of Sep 2014) focused on high end travelers.

Luxury Market Segment brands comprise 21% of 573 hotels:

  • Park Hyatt 4% hotel portfolio with ADR $349.
  • Andaz 2%; ADR $294
  • Grand Hyatt 15%; ADR $241

Upper Upscale Market Segment brands comprise 53% of Hyatt globally:

  • Hyatt Regency 47%; ADR $176
  • Hyatt 6%; ADR $176

Upscale Market Segment brands are 24% of Hyatt Hotels globally:

  • Hyatt Place 19%; $113
  • Hyatt House 5%; $133

Other Market Segments

  • Hyatt Ziva and Zilara 1%; NA
  • Hyatt Residence Club 1%; NA

Geographic Distribution of Hyatt Hotels

Americas = 414 hotels (67% of rooms globally in USA; 5% in other Americas)

Europe/Africa/Middle East/Southwest Asia (India) = 68 hotels (7% hotel rooms globally in EMEA and 5% in Southwest Asia).

Asia Pacific = 65 hotels (16% hotel rooms globally).

For me, the weakness of Hyatt Gold Passport as a primary loyalty program is its small footprint in Europe.

My strategy has not changed much over the past decade for Hyatt and most other loyalty programs. Earn points on low rates in the USA and redeem points for high rates in major cities around the world. That is a winning strategy for my travels that keeps me loyal to Hyatt Hotels.

Grand Hyatt Suite-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt – my Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member suite upgrade December 2014

Yesterday, Hyatt Gold Passport’s Stay More Play More promotion press release made the rounds in the industry.

The headline captured my attention.

New Personalized Promotion Provides Even More Value to Hyatt Gold Passport® Members

I clicked on the article to learn how Hyatt Gold Passport members get even more value through the new personalized promotion?

Hyatt’s award-winning loyalty program, Hyatt Gold Passport, launches the Stay More Play More global promotion. Now, every visit to a Hyatt hotel puts loyalty members even closer to an exciting vacation, whether it is the warm, sandy beaches of Aruba or the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo. Beginning today, Hyatt Gold Passport members can register to reveal a personalized offer for an opportunity to earn thousands of bonus points on eligible stays.

I do not see anything in the press release explaining how a new personalized promotion provides even more value to Hyatt Gold Passport members. The promotion provides more value for Hyatt stays, but is there actually any ‘more’ value in a personalized promotion?

Hyatt Stay More Play More-2

Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More Play More registration page.

Loyalty Traveler – Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More Play More Jan 15 to April 30, 2015 registration (January 9, 2015).

What is a Hyatt Affiliated Hotel? Kind of like a Hyatt, but not quite Hyatt yet. You can earn points for a hotel stay, but reward stays with points are not yet available for booking.

The Concourse Hotel Los Angeles International Airport is a Hyatt Affiliated hotel.

Hyatt Concourse LAX

This hotel was the Radisson LAX for years and last summer changed branding by signing to Hyatt Hotels. The remodeling of the property into the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles Airport is projected to still be another year in early 2016.

In the meantime, The Concourse at Los Angeles Airport is bookable on Hyatt websites. There is no points option yet for reward nights. The hotel is not categorized and trying a points award search returns this message:

The special offer/rate you have selected is unavailable during the dates you have selected, or it is not offered at this property. Below is a list of rates available during your requested dates.

The Concourse at Los Angeles Airport seems to have low rates next month relative to other major hotel chains for LAX on weeknights.

Hyatt Concourse AAA rates 2-15

Concourse Los Angeles Airport – Hyatt Affiliated Hotel

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

  • $117 AAA
  • $129 rack
  • $139 Parking Package

Compare this to other hotel rates around LAX for same date.

Westin LAX $197

Four Points LAX $99

Marriott LAX $219

Hyatt Place LAX/El Segundo $197

Hyatt House Los Angeles/El Segundo $216

The Concourse LAX is a bargain right now for Hyatt points earners.

Garden Event Space Redesign

The Concourse Hotel LAX is in the news this week with a press release update on a redesigned lawn event space to be completed by May 15, 2015. The hotel is located closest to Los Angeles Airport terminals, one block from Terminal 1. Hotel shuttle is scheduled for every 10 minutes.

The announcement for an events lawn capable of handling 750 guests indicates this hotel will be an active conference and events hotel for LAX.

The PR piece highlights the hotel’s environmental design. “The hotel is a local leader in sustainable business practices, with a platinum-level Green Seal certification and four-key California Green Lodging certification.”

Recent reviews on TripAdvisor are highly mixed. My reading indicates the hotel needs a remodel.

Have you stayed at The Concourse Hotel recently? Please warn us if we should wait to stay at the hotel. Hopefully, let us know this is a place to try for the cheap rates.

Expect far higher prices when this hotel becomes Hyatt Regency Los Angeles Airport.

Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More, Play More Jan 15 to April 30, 2015 registration is now open. The offers are targeted and you need to login to see your specific offer.

My specific offer is up to 30,000 bonus points for 20 nights.

Points + Cash award stays count as eligible stays and Mlife properties in Las Vegas count this time.

Hyatt Stay More Play More

Here are other Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More Play More offers I have seen mentioned on FlyerTalk. There appear to be five iterations of the promotion.

  • 2,000 bonus points after next stay.
  • 5,000 bonus points after 2 stays
  • 10 nights for 20,000 points
  • 20 nights for 50,000 bonus points (my offer shown in image above)
  • 5 nights = 5,000 bonus points; 10 nights = 15,000; 15 Nights = 30,000 points; 20 Nights + 15,000 Points = 45,000 bonus points;
    25 Nights + 20,000 Points = 65,000

All in all, I view this promotion as one geared primarily for Diamond members who maintain a pace of 50 to 60 nights per year.

Not as good an offer for those who qualify for Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond on 25 stays comprised of mostly 1-night stays.

Basically, Hyatt Gold Passport has settled into their own kind of Marriott MegaBonus recurring promotion with these Stay More, Play More promotions. Good stuff for business travelers who prefer Hyatt and can readily meet the thresholds. Not as enticing for members who need to put out $2,000 to $3,000 to reach 20 nights in the next ten weeks.

Old timers: Remember the days when Hyatt stays at nearly every hotel offered 1,000 to 2,500 bonus points (so called G bonuses) in addition to the promotion offers of bonus points or free nights?

Diamond benefits of free breakfast and suite upgrades make Hyatt Gold Passport a good program for top elite members. Hyatt dropping the “My Elite Rate’ 20% discount in 2015 for Platinum and Diamond members is a real blow for the less frequent Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum member. Supposedly the elimination of My Elite Rate will allow expansion of Hyatt Points + Cash rates.

Hyatt Gold Passport seems like a program that has focused its promotions this past year to incentivize frequent guests to go all in for 25 stays or 50 nights to reach Diamond elite status.


Stay More Play More Terms and Conditions (for my targeted offer of 20 nights for 50,000 bonus points).

You must receive this offer from Hyatt and register by April 30, 2015. All Eligible Nights under this offer must occur from January 15, 2015 through April 30, 2015 (“Offer Period”).

You will receive 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after you complete five Eligible Nights, an additional 10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after you complete ten Eligible Nights, an additional 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after you complete fifteen Eligible Nights, and an additional 20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after you complete twenty Eligible Nights during the Offer Period.

A maximum 50,000 bonus points may be earned, regardless of the number of nights completed during the Offer Period.

Play More Stay More Frequently Asked Questions

Stay More Play More Frequently Asked Questions

What are the registration dates for the promotion?
January 12 through April 30, 2015.

What are the qualifying stay dates for the promotion?
January 15 through April 30, 2015.

How do I participate in the promotion?
You must be a Hyatt Gold Passport member. There are two ways to participate:
• Register directly from an email communication you might have received
• Enter your Hyatt Gold Passport membership number when visiting to find out what your exclusive offer is and register.

I am a new Hyatt Gold Passport member. Is there an offer I can participate in?
Yes, all members are eligible to participate in this promotion. When visiting, enter your Hyatt Gold Passport membership number to be served an offer to register for.

Are there specific offers for Hyatt Credit Cardmembers?
There are no offers specific to a Hyatt Credit Cardmember. Hyatt Credit Cardmembers can participate by entering their Hyatt Gold Passport membership number when visiting to be served an offer to register for.

What is considered an Eligible Rate?
For the purpose of this Promotion, an “Eligible Rate” shall be defined as any hotel published room rate, including, but not limited to, rates found on, the Hyatt Daily Rate, volume, AAA, senior citizen rates, and Points + Cash awards. “Ineligible Rates” are discounted rates, including, but not limited to, any free night stays, Internet wholesale rates (such as,, etc.), traditional wholesale rates (such as GOGO Worldwide Vacations, Pleasant Holidays, etc.), airline crew rates, airline employee rates, travel agency employee rates, Club at the Hyatt discount certificate stays, Hyatt employee or employee family discount rates, airline interrupted-trip vouchers or contracted rooms (a contracted room is a room that has been reserved pursuant to a written and executed agreement between a hotel and a corporation, government agency or individual for a negotiated room rate in exchange for an agreed upon number of rooms to be rented for an extended period of time). Hyatt may modify this at any time. See for the current terms.

Are there any restrictions on the form of payment in order to participate in this promotion?
Most forms of payment are accepted as long as the guest is a registered guest and paying an eligible rate. If a guest room is charged back to a master account the room night will not be considered eligible and will not count toward the stay/night criteria associated with the offer the member is participating in.

What hotels are participating in this promotion?
This promotion is valid for all eligible stays/eligible nights at Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. In addition, all M life Eligible Nights at participating M life resorts will be counted toward this promotion. An M life Eligible Night is any night of an M life Eligible Stay (i) where payment is made directly to a participating MGM Resorts International property, (ii) any stay booked through, or (iii) through a Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Center, excluding free night awards. See complete terms and conditions on for a list of participating M life hotels.

Will I receive Hyatt Gold Passport base points for my stay in addition to the offer?
Yes, as a Hyatt Gold Passport member, you will still earn the standard five (5) points per eligible dollar spent. Platinum or Diamond members will still earn their tier bonus.

Does it matter if I choose points or miles for my stay in order to earn in the promotion?
No. You can choose to earn points or miles for your base earning.

If I pay for more than one room, will I receive bonus points for all rooms?
Bonus points will be earned for one room per member, per stay regardless of the number of paid rooms.

For the purpose of this offer, an “Eligible Night” is defined as any night where a member is paying an Eligible Rate, as defined in the terms and conditions of Hyatt Gold Passport. Hyatt Gold Passport members will only receive Eligible Night credit for their room, regardless of the number of rooms paid.

You must provide your Hyatt Gold Passport membership number at the time of check-in and choose points or miles for your stay. Hyatt Gold Passport will automatically track Eligible Nights when you provide your Hyatt Gold Passport membership number. Please allow two to three weeks after your stay for bonus points to be posted to your Hyatt Gold Passport account.

There are 21 Hyatt Hotels in India. Hyatt Gold Passport currently has a promotion offer for Hyatt Hotels India 2,500 bonus points per stay to March 31, 2015. Use Special Offer Code INDIA at time of reservation.

Boarding Area Blogger Ajay Awtaney covers India in his Live from a Lounge blog and has reviewed several of the 21 Hyatt Hotels in India. He states in his article that rates are not different for 2,500 bonus points INDIA special offer.

This was the case for Hyatt Amritsar when I checked rates, however, there was a lower rate for a date I checked at Hyatt Raipur.

Hyatt Raipur India rate

Hyatt Business Plan rate is the default rate for Hyatt Raipur when checking INDIA special offer rates for Friday January 23. The rate comes out to 5,871 INR after 10% luxury tax and 7.42% Service Fee. That is $93.79 USD.

When I checked rates without the INDIA special offer code, there was a lower seasonal rate available 3,600 INR for the same Hyatt King room.

Yet, Ajay was correct about the rates not being higher. The image above shows what I saw on my computer when I selected Hyatt Raipur through the INDIA webpage. Look at the dark arrow on the right next to the Hyatt Rate Types. Click the arrow and the Seasonal Rate pops up.

Hyatt Raipur seasonal rate

Hyatt Raipur Seasonal Rate is 3,600 INR without breakfast included. Complimentary breakfast is a benefit for Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members. No need to pay a higher rate, unless you want to take advantage of dry cleaning benefit with Business Class rate.

Hyatt Raipur King room is 3,600 INR + luxury tax and service fee = 4,227 INR.


When INDIA was not in the special offer code, the Seasonal Promotion rate stated 1,000 bonus points in the Rate Rules. This Seasonal Promotion rate states it is for bookings by January 24 for stays by January 31.

The rate rules text changed and no mention of 1,000 bonus points when checking the Seasonal Promotion rate using INDIA. Hyatt Gold Passport members should get 2,500 bonus points when booking Hyatt Hotels in India using the special rate code INDIA.

India looks like a good place for a Hyatt Diamond Challenge. You might want to book the breakfast rate until your status comes in.

Terms & Conditions

Offer valid for reservations booked by March 31, 2015 for stays actualised from December 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015 at all Hyatt hotels in India. All hotel reservations are subject to availability and must be made in advance. Offer may not be combined with other promotional offers. Consecutive reservations will count as one stay. Guest must request offer code INDIA at time of reservation and check-in to receive bonus points. Hyatt Gold Passport members must choose points for their stay and pay an Eligible Rate, as defined in the Hyatt Gold Passport terms and conditions. Only one 2,500 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus may be earned per member, per stay, regardless of the number of rooms booked. This promotion is subject to the terms and conditions of Hyatt Gold Passport. Please allow 4-6 weeks after travel is completed for Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points to be credited to your account. Promotional blackout periods may apply due to seasonal periods or special events, and normal arrival/departure restrictions apply. Hyatt reserves the right to alter or withdraw this program at any time without notice. Hyatt Hotels & Resorts® encompasses hotels managed, franchised or leased by subsidiaries and affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. The trademarks Hyatt®, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts®, Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt Gold Passport®, and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. © 2014 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.

After our Andaz San Diego hotel stay, we moved over to the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. While I had no preconceived notions of Andaz, the Manchester Grand Hyatt is a place I know by reputation after the bitter California Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage legislation passed in November 2008, which ruled gay marriage unconstitutional. One of the financial backers of California Proposition 8 was San Diego real estate developer Doug Manchester for whom the Grand Hyatt hotel is named. The LGBT led boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego hotel was a major issue in 2009 and 2010. Doug Manchester sold the Manchester Grand Hyatt in 2011 for $570 million.

Grand Hyatt San Diego-1

Manchester Grand Hyatt with two hotel towers and 1,625 rooms. Seaport Tower (2003) on left and Harbor Tower (1998) on right

Manchester Grand Hyatt is the second largest hotel in California at 1,625 rooms in the older 1992 Harbor Tower (40 floors and 875 rooms) and newer 2003 Seaport Tower (34 floors and 750 rooms). Hilton San Francisco is the only hotel in California with more rooms.

Harbor Tower at 497 feet is the tallest building on the waterfront in California and the third tallest building in San Diego. Seaport Tower is 446 feet.

Grand Hyatt San Diego-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt seen from San Diego Bay cruise.

Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel Reservation

Christmas week was one of the lowest rates of the year for the hotel. I booked a standard room at $111.20 using Hyatt’s ‘My Elite Rate’ for a 20% discount on the low $139 regular Hyatt rate. ‘My Elite Rate’ was a promotional Hyatt offer for 20% off BAR for Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum and Diamond members. Nearly every reservation I made with Hyatt in 2014 used this promotional rate. The rate has been discontinued for 2015.

Then I used a Diamond Suite Upgrade certificate for the stay and received a confirmed Conference Suite which had a $122 upgrade value based on the eStandby Upgrade offers after I booked the initial reservation.

Grand Hyatt eStandby Suites

Hyatt eStandby Upgrade offers

Parking is $30 per day for self-parking with in and out privileges.

Grand Hyatt Conference suite-1

Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite

There was plenty of space in the conference suite for my family to visit and enjoy the room space and view.

Grand Hyatt Suite-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite

The 8th floor seemed low in the 40 floor building until we went to the 33rd floor Grand Club lounge and decided the pool view was better from my room than the upper floors.

Grand Hyatt 8th floor view

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite pool view

Pool deck on 4th floor connects the two towers of Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Grand Hyatt suite pantry

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite pantry

The Grand Hyatt Conference Suite offered an additional bathroom and pantry with refrigerator and sink. The bathrooms were the one area for improvement. They are the original small size standard bathrooms with shower in tub.

Grand Hyatt bathroom

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite bathroom

The bedroom was standard with two Queen beds.

Grand Hyatt beds

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 838 Harbor Tower bedroom.

Both rooms had large 46-inch TVs.

Grand Hyatt bedroom tv

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 838 Harbor Tower Conference Suite bedroom

One of my favorite features of the room was a San Diego map print with different streets and sections of the city marked out in words.

San Diego Map

San Diego in art words

The expansive suite view provided hours of entertainment for me looking at the big city and San Diego Bay at night.

Grand Hyatt City Lights

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite view at night

Seaport Village by night and USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier by day.

USS Ronald Reagan

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite view of USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.

Manchester Grand Hyatt Public Spaces

Manchester Grand Hyatt is a grand hotel. The place was filled with navy midshipmen in town for the Navy-San Diego State bowl game. Navy won in a 17-16 final. My floor was one of the party central locations in the hotel.

Grand Hyatt SD lobby

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego lobby

Large wall paintings of pastoral country settings were a calm contrast to the energy in the hotel.

Grand Hyatt lobby-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego lobby

There are two sets of elevators for the Harbor Tower with one set for floors 1-28 and a second set for higher floors. This meant we had to go down from the 8th floor to the other set of elevators to reach the Grand Hyatt Lounge on Floor 33. There is also Top of the Hyatt on Floor 40, voted the best bar in San Diego for its views.

Grand Hyatt lounge

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club lounge on Floor 33 Harbor Tower

The lounge was open all day for drinks and food. The usual foods for breakfast including smoked salmon and a cappuccino machine. In the evening there were scallops wrapped in bacon and other items. Honor bar beer at $3 is one of the lower priced lounges I have seen. Main complaint about the lounge were the number of children and toddlers present. My photos were shot at 7am. At 9:30am and 6pm there was hardly a seat to be found. Occupancy limit is 180+ if I recall the sign correctly.

Grand Hyatt Club Lounge      Grand Hyatt lounge-2

The height of the Grand Club Lounge on Floor 33 is nearly the height of the 34 floor Seaport tower.

Grand Hyatt Seaport Tower

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club lounge on Floor 33 view to Seaport Tower

Swimming Pools

The pool area is a standout feature of Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. All elevators go to Floor 4 for the elevated rooftop pool deck between the two hotel room towers.

Grand Hyatt pool atrium

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego 4th floor pool deck

The pool had pool hours, however, the pool deck did not seem to be closed down as evidenced by a large group of Navy football game victory revelers hitting the pool deck at 2am. There were still swimmers in the pool after 9pm at night and the hot tubs were in use by 6am.

There is an adults-only pool on Floor 3 of Harbor Tower, however the floor was being remodeled during our stay.

Grand Hyatt pool fire pit

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego 4th floor pool deck

View of Coronado and Point Loma from the pool deck are the kind of desirable views that let you know San Diego is a seaport city. Hot tubs flanked both sides of the fire pit. Surfboard seat backs are a nice SoCal touch to the décor. Rock music was playing low on the pool sound system before 7am.

Grand Hyatt pool-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego 4th floor pool deck

Everything about the Manchester Grand Hyatt seemed California beach bum laid back in a formal luxury hotel resort setting.

The location of Manchester Grand Hyatt on the San Diego Bay waterfront is near several main tourist attractions like Seaport Village, San Diego Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego harbor cruises and the USS Midway museum for places within walking distance. Andaz San Diego is about one mile away into the city with no water views. Both Andaz and Manchester Grand Hyatt are Hyatt Gold Passport category 5 hotels at 20,000 points per night. Hyatt Regency Mission Bay San Diego is category 4, however, Mission Bay is several miles from downtown San Diego and a completely different experience in my opinion. I like the Mission Bay and Pacific Beach area of San Diego near SeaWorld and it is probably more family-friendly in terms of activities with children. Downtown San Diego is a heavy party scene.

The location of the Grand Hyatt on the waterfront makes it a preferable location to Andaz San Diego in my opinion. You can walk to the Gaslamp area around PETCO Stadium via the embarcadero marina waterfront, past the Marriott Marquis and San Diego Convention Center to the Hilton Bayfront where there is a pedestrian bridge across the light rail tracks to PETCO and Gaslamp.

Grand Hyatt ship view

View across Seaport Village shopping and restaurants as military ship sails in. Seen from Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Room 834 view of San Diego Bay.

The views are good from both sides of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Grand Hyatt lounge Mexico view

View from 33rd floor Grand Club lounge to Coronado Peninsula and Mexico in the south

You can even see to Mexico from some room locations or the Harbor Tower 33rd floor Grand Lounge.

Grand Hyatt San Diego clock

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Clock Est. 1992

Loyalty Traveler related posts:

Hotel Review Andaz San Diego (Dec 28, 2014)

Cool San Diego in Warm December (Dec 26, 2014)

Old Town San Diego for history and food (Dec 30, 2013)

Coronado Beach in a Dry December (Dec 27, 2013) San Diego area beaches.

There were no preconceived opinions going into Andaz San Diego. I did not read any hotel reviews of the property prior to our stay. I had eaten breakfast at a restaurant in the San Diego Gaslamp District during the Christmas holidays 2013, so I had a general idea of the downtown city area. Gaslamp is party zone central for the San Diego visitor with many bars, restaurants and hotels.

Andaz San Diego ext-2

The Gaslamp at night is a street parking challenge. We found several spots to park on the street near the hotel at metered spots free from 6pm to 8am, but 3am Tuesday morning was a street cleaning day and this was Monday evening. There were streets with Monday, Wednesday, Friday 3am ‘No Parking’ restrictions, but they did not have the empty spaces at 9:00pm on a Monday night. Valet parking is $40 at Andaz San Diego. ACE Parking two blocks away on 6th and E Street has a $15 daily maximum. I parked two blocks away in the garage.

Andaz San Diego ext-3

The Andaz receptionists were welcoming at check-in. We were offered beverages, including wine. My focus was on the hotel details. One female receptionist escorted us to our second floor room and pulled the luggage cart. It was a short pull. While I noticed she had a difficult time, and I lent a hand to the effort, Kelley told me afterwards she was wearing thin high heels while trying to gain floor traction to move the luggage cart across the carpet.

Andaz carpet

The hotel offered a room rate during the Christmas week far below the $200+ per night average. I booked the soon-to-cease-in-2015 Hyatt ‘My Elite Rate’ King bed room for $104 and upgraded the stay with a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member suite upgrade certificate. Sounds impressively expensive, however, my post-reservation confirmation eStandby Upgrade offer placed a $55 per night value on the Andaz Suite upgrade.

Andaz San Diego eStandby Upgrade

Knowing what I now know, the city view upgrade for $30 is a good investment. Otherwise your view is the ‘open atrium’, which might be preferable for quieter sleep, but no views unless you are into voyeurism or exhibitionism.

Andaz 229 view

I dubbed the interior room locations as the ‘Hyatt Hole’. Andaz San Diego has 159 rooms including something like 17 suites. This was a disappointing suite location in room 229 to be booked into for a hotel that was relatively empty during our stay.

Hyatt Hole view   Andaz suite view from bed

If I got down on my knees beside the couch, I saw the blue sky of a sunny day. When I looked out the window from the bedroom, I saw the hotel infrastructure pipes.

Andaz Suite

The Andaz San Diego Suite is 515 sq. ft. of room space in a junior suite room design with a partial divider wall, open on both sides, separating the bed from the living room.

Andaz suite divider wall

This is one of those times when I write my hotel room description from memory and then look for a clarifying photo only to realize that I never snapped the room image I want for the article. The photo above is the Andaz San Diego suite divider seen from the bedroom side looking to the gray-tile bathroom and the mini-bar counter near front door. To the right, out of view, is the right side opening between the bedroom and living room couches and desk located on the opposite side of the divider. I didn’t even photograph the desk on the other side of the divider.

Andaz San Diego suite couches

There are wall mounted TVs on both sides of the divider and we had a problem with the remote affecting both TVs simultaneously when we had both TVs on. Change channel on one TV and the channel changed on other TV.

The night before we stayed at Holiday Inn Express Port Hueneme and I commented that the room had so much space for extra furniture. The HIX standard room was probably within 5% of the same square footage as the Andaz Suite. I felt the space was too crowded at Andaz with little room to move between the two couches, large center table, desk chair and desk.

Andaz San Diego mini-bar

Potato chips and two granola bars were complimentary in the mini-bar snack basket. Sparkling water and soda in refrigerator are free. Touch one of those big alcohol bottles and Andaz San Diego parking fees look like a bargain on the hotel folio.

Andaz mini-bar

Coffees and teas for the Keurig machine are free too.

Andaz coffee box       DSC_0107

The bathroom is large. Visibility from the bathroom sink area to other room windows was wide open with the hotel room curtains open.

bathroom sink

There is a sliding door to the bathroom for privacy. The shower stall in the suite offered more privacy than the standard room. The primary complaint about the Andaz San Diego hotel rooms are the Deluxe room glass showers visible in the bedroom offer no privacy. Some reviewers call the standard room an upgrade from the Andaz Suite. I guess it is all about the sort of visual perspective you want while staying at the hotel. Andaz San Diego makes some sexiest hotels lists for its open shower bathroom design.

Andaz shower

After staying at the hotel, I read a hotel report on FlyerTalk where someone commented on the hole in the shower door for the towel. Water splashes off your body and out the hole. I didn’t notice, but Kelley commented on that happening to her. We both noticed uneven shower tiles on the floor.

King Bed

Haunted Andaz?

The bed was comfortable, but I had one freaky-ass dream in that bed. I rarely have nightmares, but that first night in this bed in San Diego, I dreamed someone else was in the bed with Kelley and me. Kelley woke me up from the nightmare as I was physically kicking her off the bed. I had a couple of good dreams after that, but the nightmare is the one I remember vividly.

I wondered what this hotel building used to be? I was unable to find the building’s history in my web search.

RoofTop 600

The party scene at Andaz San Diego is legendary from its former branding as The Ivy. There was no scene happening during our stay. Good thing too as I have read many reviews by hotel guests turned off by the lobby being overrun by 20-somethings, wall vibrating music disrupting sleep and burly bouncers questioning you at every step.

RoofTop600 sounds like a Vegas bar at night with exclusive guests, roped off areas and bottle service for tables. The place is considered one of the top rooftop venues in Gaslamp.


The space around the bar is pretty small. There are several lounge couches and a fire pit.

Andaz San Diego pool

The pool is a great spot to stand around in a bikini for photographs. I saw some sexy photos taken at the hotel in hotel reviews. Kelley said the pool reminded her of W San Francisco with its maximum 3.5 ft. depth. Fingers touch the pool bottom if you try to swim.

RoofTop600 seating

Breakfast dining was on the roof with a few tables set up.

Rooftop 600 dining

There are full pool cabanas with TV and such.

Andaz cabana

People mention the great rooftop view in the nightclub reviews. I did not think there was much to see, unless you take joy in looking over the roof to the crowd on the sidewalk below waiting to get into the Andaz.

Andaz far above

But, the sidewalk club crowd is only a description I picked up from the experiences I read in other reviews. The only crowd on the sidewalks during our pre-Christmas stay were the homeless residents waiting for the Salvation Army to open in the morning across the street from the Andaz San Diego.

Andaz Rooftop600 view

Another aspect of the rooftop scene that also resembles Las Vegas are the pool hours from 6am –7pm. The night club scene takes over for the evening.

There is a small fitness center on the rooftop level.

Andaz Fitness Center

The basement level was being remodeled during our stay. The basement space is apparently another part of the nightclub scene at Andaz San Diego.

Andaz Basement

The lobby offered computer terminals and little else.

Andaz SD lobby

I was happy to experience Andaz San Diego on an ultra-low room rate. There was nothing really wrong with the hotel. There was not much that I found inspiring about the hotel either. We relocated to the Manchester Grand Hyatt mega-hotel on the San Diego waterfront and for me that hotel stay was a much more satisfying hotel experience.


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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The next Hyatt promotion is Stay More Play More from January 15 to April 30, 2015. Check your email around January 12 for details. That’s it. No more details. The blogosphere is alight with light information.

I received the January Hyatt promotion notice in my Hyatt Gold Passport Account Summary email. The email also reminded me to redeem my four Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member suite upgrades.

Worked on spending those Hyatt suite certificates this week. Two suite upgrades redeemed for upcoming hotel stays where I invoked the soon-to-be-no-more 20% discount “My Elite Rate” for rock bottom hotel rates that I upgraded to suite level. After mostly no hotel restaurant breakfast stays in London last month as Club Carlson Gold, Kelley is going to enjoy the relaxing start in Hyatt with morning breakfast at the hotel restaurant as Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond.

My only Hyatt points the past few months were mobile app bonuses and 2,000 bonus points on three stays. I was not targeted for the big 50,000 points offer, but that is fine since I have been in redemption mode this season with 170,000 Club Carlson points and 216,000 Choice Privileges points redeemed for my four weeks in Europe since September.

I plan to be in spend mode for the next few months to earn hotel points for international stays in 2015. It might be a good time for Hyatt to offer me a big bonus opportunity. In another three weeks I’ll check for my Hyatt Stay More Play More promotion offer.

Nothing to do now, except enjoy Hyatt suite upgrades, hotel restaurant breakfast and wait until January.

Hyatt 2015Q1 offer

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