72,000 square feet of meeting space, plus a huge exhibit hall
Warm service despite hotel's behemoth size
Free Wi-Fi throughout
No pool or spa
City view rooms overlook chains stores, not the nearby bay
Pricey valet parking
Gracious service makes the towering, austere 804-room Hyatt Regency feel almost cozy. The big-for-San-Francisco rooms -- all renovated in 2014 -- feature 42-inch flat-screen HDTVs, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, iHome alarm clocks, and wonderfully comfortable Hyatt Grand beds. This is largely a business hotel, though its location near the scenic Embarcadero and bustling commercial artery of Market Street is convenient for leisure travelers exploring the city. , four blocks away, offers hipper rooms and a more happening restaurant, for similar rates.
The gargantuan Hyatt Regency claims to have the world's biggest hotel lobby
A towering, accordion-shaped structure built in 1972, the 804-room Hyatt Regency is an imposing study in contemporary design. The dimly lit 17-story lobby atrium awes with its 42,000 cubic square feet of sheer space, which is anchored by a massive spherical metal sculpture. The largest hotel lobby in the world (according to Hyatt), the atrium resembles a concrete honeycomb buzzing with glass elevators and laptop-strapped guests. The cavernous framework is quintessential modern-via-1970s-standards, but a 2015 renovation brought the soaring space into this century, with cute seating pods, plenty of outlets and USB ports, and a light installation behind the concierge desk depicting the Bay Area from outer space. A digital concierge is available for when the actual concierge is not (late at night or during rush hour). Due to its location in the Financial District, 24-hour business center, and glut of meeting space, the Hyatt attracts a largely corporate clientele.
In business-centric Financial District, a few blocks from Union Square, Bay Bridge, and the picturesque Embarcadero promenade
On the eastern edge of San Francisco's sterile, skyscraper-dense Financial District, the hotel is near a number of waterside attractions and boasts easy access to public transportation, including ferries to Oakland, Sausalito, and Alameda. Restaurant options in the immediate area are mostly of the chain variety, and nightlife is minimal. For more interesting culinary options, stroll 10 minutes to the Embarcadero's Ferry Building market, a foodie paradise chockablock with high-end food purveyors and host to a renowned thrice-weekly farmers' market.
One-minute walk to Market Street (San Francisco's main artery) and a wealth of public transportation options, including the California Street cable car on the same block as the hotel
Two-minute walk to Embarcadero Center, featuring sculptures by Jean Dubuffet and Armand Vaillancourt
Three-minute walk to the Embarcadero and Ferry Building
10-minute drive (or 20-minute walk) to Union Square
Spacious, with insanely cushy beds -- but not all rooms have the hotel's touted scenic views
Standard rooms with either one king bed or two full beds make up the bulk of the Hyatt's 804 room inventory. At 385 square feet, both King and Double standard rooms are big by San Francisco standards. A select few standard rooms have partial bay views, but most have views of city streets. To guarantee a scenic vista rather than an unspectacular bird's eye view of a 7-Eleven, book a Bay View King or Bay View Balcony, which come with furnished 80-square-feet balconies. Regency Club Rooms, located on the hotel's upper floors, also promise killer views of the bay. (Regency Club Rooms come with access to the Regency Club lounge, which serves breakfast in the morning, small bites and desserts at night, and snacks and drinks all day.)
All 804 rooms were renovated in 2014 and feature 42-inch flat-screen HDTVs with Chromecast, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, iHome alarm clocks, and HoMedics sound machines. Decor is generic, with the exception of the large modern upholstered headboards behind the wonderfully comfortable Hyatt Grand beds. Desks come with USB ports and multiple outlets, and there are also an armchair, ottoman, and side table.
Bathrooms have an open anteroom with a single-sink countertop and wide back-lit mirror. The toilet and shower/tub are located in a separate, enclosed (and very tiny) room. KenetMD toiletries are provided, as are robes, slippers, and ironing equipment. Wi-Fi is free is all rooms, and babyproofing is available on request. Rollaway beds and cribs are free (though rollaways aren't allowed in rooms with two beds).
24-hour gym and business center, on-site eatery and marketplace
Guests have to weave through the lobby, restaurant area, and the potential conference crowd to access the Hyatt's awkwardly located fitness center, but they'll be rewarded with a free, 24-hour gym that's well equipped with ellipticals, cross-trainers, bikes, resistance bands, foam rollers, kettle balls, mats, and Swiss balls. Concierge can provide maps of local running and walking trails, as well as book in-room massages from off-site facility for a fee (there is no on-site spa).
Like the gym, the business center is accessible 24 hours a day with a room key. It features computer stations, black-and-white and color printers, and a Xerox machine. Hyatt's meeting space totals 72,000 square feet, which covers 39 flexible conference rooms and a ballroom. Note that Wi-Fi is not free in meeting rooms.
Dishes at the lobby restaurant Eclipse Kitchen & Bar (renovated in 2016) run the gamut from local cheese boards and local fish tacos to potstickers and charred beef satay, but there are surprisingly few vegetarian options. The Market, a grab-and-go market with a few tables and chairs, is open from early in the morning until late at night. It offers pre-packaged and hot meals, as well as wine, beer, and coffee. Guests can order any menu item from the Market for room delivery for a small additional fee.
The top-floor Regency Club (available only to guests staying in more expensive Regency Club Rooms) has unobstructed 360-degree views of the bay, massage chairs, an honor bar, and a daily cocktail and hors d'oeuvre reception, plus all-inclusive breakfast buffet.