My twin babies recently turned 4 months old, which has been really wonderful for so many reasons. Unfortunately, we have not navigated traveling with them yet and so in lieu of longer, far away trips I’ve booked a series of one-night stays close to home for a little daddy staycation sans kids (thank you Jason!) and an opportunity to review some hotels in the Bay Area. First up, is the Grand Hyatt at SFO.
Booking this stay
For the stay, I booked directly using the World of Hyatt app to secure my one-night reservation for a Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt SFO. There was a phenomenal offer for one of their premium suites, a Grand Suite, for $300 cash + 9,000 World of Hyatt Points. Hyatt upgrades with points often provide some of the most lucrative and best value for point redemptions. In this case, this was a “premium suite upgrade.” One can also typically use 6000 points for a “standard suite” upgrade. I also happened to have just over 9k Hyatt points to burn, perfect.
Arrival and location
One of the best things about the Grand Hyatt SFO is its location because it is actually at SFO. It’s the same exit as the airport, which is about a 20-30 minute drive from San Francisco depending on where you are in the city. If you’re staying at the hotel after arriving at SFO, you would take the airport tram and there is a designated stop for the Grand Hyatt. The tram runs about every 4 minutes from 4am to 11pm and reduces to only one tram from 11pm-4am.
I arrived shortly at 1pm, and was greeted by a valet outside (it’s $40 per night for valet service, which was less expensive than taking an Uber from the city both directions). After the valet took my keys, he told me to take the elevators to the 4th floor for check in. I always find hotels with split elevators a tad confusing and when you exit the elevators on the 4th floor, you first see the market, the lunch spot, a lounge and then finally the front desk check-in. This is also where you can the tower elevators to all the rooms are accessed. The layout seemed backwards to me arriving by car, but the check-in desk is the first thing that greets you if you arrive by airport tram, which is how I assume most guests are getting to the hotel.
The check-in agent was friendly, and kindly let me know my room was ready and she’d waive the early check-in fee, because I was a World of Hyatt Member. As always, I asked if any upgrades were available but she said no.
I was assigned room 720, which was right off the elevators and not on one of the highest floors. That was a bit surprising to me because it is one of their highest category suites. The room itself was great – large and well designed. It had a separate living room with a mini bar, sofa, and half bath. The bedroom had a king-size bed, wardrobe and double vanity sink bathroom. The toilet was a toilet, which I loved.
The coolest feature of the room was that it looked right onto the international terminal. An AvGeek’s dream view from bed! However, I was really hoping to get into a room with a bathtub that overlooked the airport. After all, my staycation plan was to soak in a tub and plane spot with champagne all afternoon!
A big shoutout to Ravi at the front desk who was really helpful accommodating my move to a room with a tub that overlooked the airport. Don’t ask, don’t get!
I actually liked the corner suite a lot better even though it was technically a downgrade from the Grand Suite because it was smaller in size. The grand suite was bigger, but the corner suite was one floor higher and at the end of the hallway, so it was much quieter than the location of my first room. It also had a lot more floor-to-ceiling windows and the coveted bathtub overlooking the airport. It was so cool!
Ravi coordinated with Hyatt to reimburse the points difference between a regular suite and a grand suite, which I really appreciated.
I think it’s important to point out when hotels make an effort to step up their game in terms of technology and thoughtful design, and I think this hotel executed on those two things really well. In the room, there were wireless charging pads, binoculars for plane spotting, a ton of under lighting both under the beds and in the bathroom, toto toilets, USB outlets all over, and Yale lock cameras instead of old school peep holes.
The hotel itself still feels very new (it opened in 2019) and has a clean, fresh design. It would definitely be a calming space to walk into after any length flight. On the ground level, which is the main entrance of the hotel if you’re arriving by car, is also where the gym is located. It was a lot larger than I expected, with 2 peloton bikes and a ton of equipment. Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a picture of it!
On the 2nd floor are the conference rooms and ballroom.
On the 3rd floor is Quail & Crane, the hotel’s breakfast and dinner restaurant. The elevator sign also said this is where the Grand Lounge is located, but I wasn’t given any information about a club lounge being open or available.
On the 4th floor is the grab-and-go market, the lunch restaurant and check-in/lobby area. As I mentioned earlier, this is the floor where the entrance is located if you’re arriving via the airport tram.
Food and beverage
There are several eateries on property depending on what type of meal you’re looking for. Here is how Hyatt described them in my pre-arrival email:
- Quail + Crane Restaurant | Open from 6:00am to 11:00am for breakfast; 5pm to 10:30pm for dinner daily. Reservations are recommended.
- Twin Crafts Bar | Open daily from 4:30PM to 11PM.
- Twin Crafts Market | Open 24 hours daily, and for added convenience, we also offer “Market to-go” delivery directly to your room.
I tried Quail & Crane, the main restaurant, for dinner and wasn’t impressed. The menu seemingly had an option for every type of eater (meat, fish, chicken, vegetarian, etc), but the food was pretty bland. I ordered the iceberg wedge salad and porcini crusted monkfish, which I picked up and brought back to my room.
The location of this hotel can’t be beat. I dread having to take airport shuttles when staying at airport hotels (especially early in the morning), so I love how easy it is to access SFO from this hotel.
Service was phenomenal – everyone I interacted with was friendly and helpful.
Noise – I am a tired twin dad, so maybe I was sleeping soundly my first night away from the babies but even during the day I was shocked at how quiet it was in my room. And my room was close to some big planes that I would say I could hear a hum when their engines started up after pushing back.
The food offering is my only negative. The food wasn’t that tasty and they didn’t seem to offer traditional room service for any meals, but rather to-go style room service from a select menu from the market. For food from Quail & Crane, I called to place my order and went down to pick it up once it was ready.
There might not be a lot of use cases for me to stay at this hotel again given I live so close to the airport, but I would absolutely recommend it to travelers flying in/out of SFO.