Hyatt Regency San Francisco: Kid memories from the hotel odyssey

Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, California, Embarcadero, waterfront

When I was in grade school, during one of our many trips to San Francisco, I remember seeing a tiered half-pyramid hotel on the Embarcadero.  It looked like something from ancient Egypt but with a completely modern concrete façade.  Inside, the highest indoor space I had ever seen dazzled me.  There was a metal sculpture fountain with changing colored lights, corridors of rooms high above and an open restaurant and bar.  All of it was so novel and cool, I thought that all hotels would look like this in the future.

Apparently, filmmakers thought so too.  The Hyatt Regency has starred in quite a few City-set movies – The Towering Infermo and Time After Time, among others.  But what was once cool in 1973 now just looks a little dark, tired and dated.  Even though the hotel has made the necessary renovations to appeal to a new generation of travelers, some oddities in the hotel remain.

Hyatt Regency anachronisms

For instance, the spherical sculpture that impressed me as a kid looks a little lost in the cavernous space of the 18-story atrium.  The same could apply to a disproportionally empty space occupies about a third of the atrium’s floor, as well as that open-air restaurant from its old days.  Of course, it’s suitably updated, but it’s most defining feature is the multi-screen display of different sporting events.

Hyatt Regency, San Francisco
The Regency’s pseudo-futuristic sculpture in its cavernous atrium, in this case as a wedding venue (photo courtesy of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts)

These complaints aside, we still enjoyed our two-day stay here, ostensibly to pick up JRS from her summer art program at the Academy of Art University.  We enjoyed an upgraded balcony view room, at the very top floor and just one below the Regency Club.

(BTW, I apologize for not including my photos here.  A lot of them were fuzzy and dark, and mostly unusable.  So I’ve included three from the Hyatt site here. Two from RAS’s smartphone are below though)

The rotating restaurant, reborn

Back in the 1970s, this was one many revolving restaurants so popular for the time.  I guess there aren’t many of those now, because plenty of diners got nauseous from the subtle but impactful circular movement.  Either that, or it was from the food, or both.

Because of the good graces of a staff member who advised us not to take pictures, we took a quick tour around the Club.  But RAS couldn’t resist, so that’s why there’s one surreptitious one below (sshhh).  It’s open to the Hyatt’s Explorist and Globalist members, or if you want to shell out $75 to $100 for your stay if you haven’t gotten to those levels yet.  The hotel will charge an additional $35 for any guests you may wish to bring.

Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, California, Embarcadero, waterfront
RAS’s secret photo of the Embarcadero and Bay Bridge from the Regency Club, San Francisco
And now to our little corner…

Our room offered a jaw-dropping view of the San Francisco skyline and the Embarcadero and a firm but giving bed.  The only issue I had with it was its awkward layout.

It kind of looked like this:

Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, California, Embarcadero, waterfront
A striking resemblance to the room we stayed in at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco (photo courtesy of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts)

With RAS’s selfie/view from our room:

RAS's secret photo of the Embarcadero from the Hyatt Club, San Francisco

The entryway was mouse-size, so narrow that two people could pass by each with difficulty.  To the left was a triangular-shaped walk-in closet that could barely accommodate one person’s belongings.  That would be fine, if there were some drawers in the room to store clothes, but there weren’t any.  When JRS joined us, her rollaway only fit at the foot of our bed, between it and the balcony.

If you want to stay at the Hyatt Regency, consider waiting for a discount or package special.  Or contact me at Soulful Adventures Travel, my agency site, and I’ll snag you a fantastic deal 🙂





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