Review: Hyatt Centric Fishman’s Wharf San Francisco

My wife and I spent one night at the Hyatt Centric Fishman’s Wharf in San Francisco before a wedding this past weekend and were pleasantly surprised. We booked the hotel on points and had two options to choose from:

I easily chose the King Bed since it meant more space in the room itself. Overall, the room was great – the bed was comfortable, there was enough space for us to put all of our luggage, have space for seating, a bathtub large enough to lie in, and more. There were many connections for charging both USB and regular powered devices as well. I would like to give special kudos to the staff who let us stay past our check-out time when we needed some extra time.

The location was also excellent: within walking distance of the wharf, Ghirardelli square, and more. It was a great stay, even if it it was short. See some photos below (we arrived late at night, which is why the pictures are dark).

 

Review: Hyatt at the Bellevue Philadelphia

Last weekend my wife and I had the opportunity to stay at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia, an historic hotel in Center City that dates back to its original luxury in 1904. It opened decades ago as a lavish set of rooms used by 15 presidents and famous people of all sorts. After some hard times and changes in ownership, it has been well-renovated and currently has over 700 guest rooms and 55 suites, and has access to a world-renowned exercise facility called the Sporting Club.

If you want to stay at this hotel you can either spend upwards of $300 per night or you can do what we did: transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points and redeem for 15,000 points per night, earning over 2 cents/point (a great award value according to the Points Guy).

The room was quite spacious, with a very comfortable bed, well-sized bathroom (although a slightly smaller bathtub than we are used to), with a small mini-fridge, tea/coffee making materials, and even came with an air filter. It turns out we were given a hypo-allergenic room without even asking for it. It was very well received.

Because of the hypo-allergenic nature of the room, the bathroom was also filled with non-scented, high-quality toiletries. My wife was so excited that we didn’t have to worry about strange smells affecting her asthma!

The odd thing about the hotel is that there is a large courtyard/atrium area in the middle that some of the rooms face. It gives the sense of having an outside-facing room, without the actual outside-facing window. Also, it meant that we did not look over the city, unfortunately. I imagine you could spend more money and have a nicer view.

Our stay was overall quite pleasant with one notable exception: the temperature in our room was incredibly cold when we went to sleep and it took about an hour to resolve the issue. For some reason our heater was not pushing out warmer air, so we asked for extra blankets. It turned out that even though there are hundreds of rooms at the hotel, due to two weddings they were completely full and had no extra blankets. When we finally realized it was the heater at fault, the engineer came and fixed the situation within 10 minutes, and then we were able to get to sleep. As they were very professional, the next morning the woman at the front desk told me that they were crediting 10,000 points back to my account (essentially giving us around $200 back). I am glad she offered without being prompted – that is a very classy institution.

In summary, we are definitely going to return to this hotel when we have another opportunity. It was very comfortable, centrally located, and had very kind employees, despite the heat/blanket issue.

 

 

 

It’s been a while; trying to post more often

I know it has been a while but when you get bogged down with other work it takes some time to get back in the habit of blogging. So, here it goes again.

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Here are some important news items that have taken place recently:

  1. Many bloggers are pointing out that Chase has a special 50,000 point bonus promotion right now. Since the norm is 40,000 that is a 25% increase! With an extra 10,000 points you could get a hotel stay at a lower-tier hotel in Hyatt or IHG; or you could transfer those points to Southwest for a free one-way ticket on one of their cheaper routes. It’s incredible what you can do with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. If you would like to be referred for one of these cards, let me know!
  2. I received an email today from the Starwood Preferred Guest program announcing that Marriott is to acquire Starwood hotels, so the programs will be merging in the future. Some speculate this could be horrible since SPG points are worth more than Marriott, but others say it could remain a separate entity. Only time will tell the outcome for frequent travelers.
  3. A little bit older is news that Hyatt is finally allowing award redemptions for Points + Cash, allowing you to spread your points a bit farther. Oftentimes these redemptions are cheaper per point even with the cash purchase. So, if you can spend some cash on a hotel to extend your points, go for it!

That’s all I’ve got for now.