Hotel Review: Grand Hyatt San Francisco

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The Grand Hyatt San Francisco recently underwent a major renovation that included updating the guest rooms and completely redesigning the lobby. We stayed for three nights. Here is the skinny on this luxury hotel.

Location

The Grand Hyatt is located smack dab in the middle of Union Square, which is San Francisco’s main shopping district. From the hotel it is only a two-block walk to Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and many other major retailers. Take the cable car (a five-minute walk from the hotel) to explore Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, and the city’s other well-known attractions.

SF insider’s tip: Spend an afternoon at the Musee Mechanique, a large privately owned collection of antique arcade games and mechanized musical instruments. Admission is free and most machines are only 25 cents.

Check In

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The lobby has been ultra-modernized, with a small sitting area, the concierge desk, and the coffee bar. In place of a standard hotel reception area, there is an open space containing standing desks and laptops. The check-in process is less streamlined than the appearance—when we checked in, five front desk agents and one person (whose job seemed to be to help guests find the subtly marked reception area) were together serving one customer. However, although the process was a bit slow, the staff was unfailingly nice and helpful.

Rooms

The hotel has five room categories: Standard, View, Grand Club, Suite, and Business Plan. Our Standard room on the 19th floor was large and had a crisp, modern look, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a gorgeous city view, and all the amenities including a mini fridge and a safe. (Looking for the coffee maker? Check the cupboard under the television.) The beds are luxurious and the spacious desk provides a comfortable workspace.

A few quirks: Our bathroom had a sliding door that came to rest about an inch from the wall, promoting a level of intimacy not everyone might be comfortable with. Also, to guarantee your full share of hot water, wait to take your shower until after the morning rush.

Dining

San Francisco (Union Square in particular) is not known for its cheap tables. OneUP Restaurant, on the hotel’s mezzanine level, features limited American bistro fare. The restaurant received Wine Spectator’s 2013 Award of Excellence (the wine list comes to your table on an iPad), and the food is good, but the prices are steep. Instead, enjoy a happy hour beverage in the stylish OneUP Lounge and then ask a friendly concierge for a local restaurant recommendation—they have a printed list of favorites within walking distance and can also recommend some more budget-friendly tables (Sweet Woodruff, a casual chef’s counter, is only a few blocks away). Alternatively, grab an early dinner and retire to the lounge for live music Tuesday through Saturday.

Facilities

The conference facilities include an underground ballroom, exhibit space, conference theatre, and individual meeting rooms, as well as an event space on the 36th floor. The spaces are comfortable and well appointed (you can easily forget you’re underground), and the hotel provides unique and delicious breakfast buffets and boxed lunches. The event space is ideal for hosted evening receptions overlooking the city lights.

The fitness center on the 35th floor offers San Francisco’s best views for working out. The center is fully stocked with high-end cardio and weight machines, as well as medicine balls, jump ropes, and everything else you could possibly need. Complimentary headphones are available for personalized entertainment.

Overall, the Grand Hyatt San Francisco is an excellent example of the Hyatt brand, providing a luxurious stay in a great location. For the best price, don’t forget to book your stay with Hotel Engine.

Featured image by Michael Rivera [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons