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Review: A Standard Room at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco

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TO THE POINT: The Grand Hyatt San Francisco is a great base for exploring the city on foot, but there were a few service snags during our stay. The pros: a very convenient location steps from Union Square. The cons: An understaffed check-in desk and Grand Club lounge, very basic rooms.

TPG Points & Miles Editor Sarah Silbert shares her experience staying in a standard room at the centrally located Grand Hyatt San Francisco.

After spending a long weekend in Napa, where I enjoyed a great stay at the Andaz, I headed to San Francisco for a quick family get-together. My mom and I stayed at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco, which boasts a very convenient location just around the corner from Union Square.

Booking

The Grand Hyatt San Francisco is a Category 5 property, so free nights start at 20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for a standard room or 32,000 for a suite.

As the last night of this stay was more expensive than the first three, this seemed like a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of the Citi Prestige card’s 4th Night Free benefit. As with the Andaz Napa, Citi contacted Hyatt and merged two reservations — one at a standard rate for the first three nights and a second for the last night at the Diamond guaranteed rate — in order for this stay to be eligible for a credit. Here’s how the cost was broken down:

Total for the Stay: $1,376.82
4th Night Credit (including taxes): $660.06
Total for the Stay with 4th Night Credit Applied: $716.76

In this case, the 4th Night Free credit ended up taking 48% off the price of the booking, which is fantastic! (However, it’s important to note that Citi will adjust the way it processes this credit in July 2017, at which point the rebate will be based on an average of the four nights and will not include taxes.)

Check-In

When I arrived in the early afternoon on a Saturday, there was a short line at check-in. It seemed like there were plenty of staff in the lobby, but only one person was working the desk… it wasn’t clear if the other staff members were working in some other capacity or were just avoiding helping the other guests.

Reception never seemed to be fully staffed during our stay.
Reception never seemed to be fully staffed during our stay.

It ended up taking more than 15 minutes to finally get our room key, but when we did reach the desk, the agent was friendly. We asked about an upgrade but no suites were available — we did manage to score a standard room on a high floor (albeit without views of Union Square).

The Room, Part 1

The first room was comfortable enough, but there were a few issues. First, the sliding wooden door that separated the bathroom from the rest of the space kept getting stuck off its hinge. It was definitely possible to open and close with some effort, but it was annoying, and far from ideal if you have to get up in the middle of the night.

The first room had a faulty bathroom door.
The first room had a faulty bathroom door.

Second, the room had one large bed rather than two double beds. This was partially my fault; I didn’t ask ahead of time for two beds, and since my mom wasn’t joining me until the next day, I figured I could try my luck at switching rooms once she arrived. Ultimately, after notifying the front desk about the sliding door issue, I was moved to the same standard-type room with two beds, and on a higher floor.

The first room had a King bed.
The first room had a King bed.

I did get a nice Hyatt Diamond welcome amenity of sparkling wine and a cheese plate during my brief stay in the first room.

A welcome gift of sparkling wine plus cheese and crackers.
A welcome gift of sparkling wine with cheese and crackers.

The Room, Part 2

Our second room had a properly working door, and like the previous one, offered a nice view of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel and its Starlight Room, which was lit up with red and twinkly lights at night.

There was a small seating area by the window, perfect for gazing out at the Starlight Room.
There was a small seating area by the window, perfect for gazing out at the Starlight Room.

Overall, it was pretty bare-bones.

The standard room was fine for getting a good night's sleep, but it wasn't especially luxurious or roomy.
The standard room was fine for getting a good night’s sleep, but it wasn’t especially luxurious or roomy.

In addition to the two beds, there was a TV, a safe, a small closet, a desk and a small bathroom. All the essentials, but nothing more.

Another view of the room — the bathroom was to the left by the front door.
Another view of the room — the bathroom was to the left by the front door.

I liked the June Jacobs amenities in the bathroom because of their fresh cucumber and green tea scent — these products definitely won’t offend the noses of sensitive, allergy-prone guests.

I liked the June Jacobs toiletries.
I liked the June Jacobs toiletries.

My mom and I had plenty of plans during our stay, so we didn’t spend a ton of time in the room. It was comfortable enough for sleeping and getting ready, but I would have preferred a more spacious set-up and larger beds.

The room fits the bill if you'll be spending most of your time out exploring the city.
The room fits the bill if you’ll be spending most of your time out exploring the city.

Other Amenities

As a Hyatt Diamond member, I was entitled to free breakfast at the Grand Club lounge. Since it’s on a very high floor, we were able to enjoy great views of the city — when it’s quiet, it’s also a great place to hang out.

Unfortunately, it was extremely busy the one morning I went. It took a while to find seats, and the lounge was understaffed so none of the free tables had been cleaned.

The Grand Club wasn't in great shape when I stopped by for breakfast.
The Grand Club wasn’t in great shape when I stopped by for breakfast.

The buffet-style selection was in need of replenishment, too.

Due to the chaotic scene in the club lounge, several breakfast items weren't available.
Due to the chaotic scene in the Club Lounge, several breakfast items weren’t available.

Still, it’s probably worth a visit to this floor for the views alone. You’ll get a great vantage point of the city, including Coit Tower and the bay behind it. Speaking of which, I absolutely recommend braving the nearly 400 stairs up to this landmark — it’s a great workout and you’re rewarded with beautiful views both along the way and at the very top.

The Club Lounge offered great views of the city.
The Club Lounge offered great views of the city below.

After having issues with the first room and a very poor experience in the Club Lounge, I requested to have the rest of our breakfasts at the main restaurant. This isn’t a regular Diamond perk, unfortunately, but the manager who processed the room change made a note on our reservation — breakfast at the restaurant was a big step up from the lounge.

Bottom Line

While there were a few snags, like a ridiculously slow-moving check-in line and the first room that needed some work, plus an understaffed and overcrowded lounge, overall the Grand Hyatt San Francisco was an acceptable hotel choice for our trip. Its central location made exploring Union Square easy, and we were never far from a great bar or restaurant.

The standard room was bare-bones, but not every stay has to be about luxury — especially if you won’t be spending too much downtime at the hotel. I don’t know if I’d book another stay here considering the variety of other accommodation options in this city, but if a great location and basic amenities are your top priority, I’d recommend checking out this Grand Hyatt.

Have you stayed at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco? Share your experience in the comments below!

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