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).

 

United DOES care (on a trip when your in-flight entertainment doesn’t work)

My wife and I took United flight 1513 from Newark to San Francisco last Thursday afternoon and were pleasantly surprised by the outcome of an unfortunate situation that occurred with the in-flight entertainment (IFE) system.

Essentially, since United decided to remove many of their IFE systems from planes to save on costs. The physical hardware requires maintenance and fuel in order to keep it in the sky. Many airlines are going in this direction so you should always check in advance if you need to download an app or a movie to make sure you have something to watch on long flights (that is, if you want to – there are also these paper-based items called “books” I’ve heard are having a resurgence).

Anyway, for the vast majority of our flight the IFE system was inoperable. My wife and I like to watch movies together on airplanes and were disappointed (as, I’m sure were parents of small children…). I read a book and took a nap, then discovered with about 45 minutes left in the flight that the IFE was working again.

Throughout this situation, were kept fairly well apprised by the flight attendants that there was nothing they could do and that they were sorry for the delay. Toward the second half of the flight we heard a message explaining that they wanted to make it right with us and we should go to this website in order to get something for our troubles. In the end, we were offered a choice that – to me – is a no-brainer:

5000 miles is worth about $50-$75 with how they are often used, so I opted for the $100 e-certificate for the two of us. That means our next flights are discounted by a pretty substantial amount. Since the plane tickets, themselves, were about $110 each for us, I’m impressed that we were able to get these certificates.

Also, I’m curious to know United’s math on this situation. According to this seating chart of the plane that we used (I think it was this model of 777-200) there were 364 people on the plane, meaning $100 * 364 = $36,400 of extra cost for United. I am very impressed at both the speed and ease in which this all took place. This definitely makes me like them a bit more than I had before.

Kudos, United. Thanks for the money back.

Avis Preferred works! And the Coastside Inn in Half Moon Bay

While my experience in Costa Rica was not the best when it came to using a rental car from Avis, everything was just fine and dandy when I arrived in San Francisco!

I had organized the rental car ahead of time (as usual) and used my status as a teacher in the NYC Department of Education through RentalCarPerks.com to get a discount on the vehicle. For 48 hours use it only cost $75. Additionally, because I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card I declined to get the insurance policy since it provides me with primary collision coverage. It was wonderful to arrive at the airport and see my name on a list with my car waiting for us in parking space B16.

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I had booked our hotel through HotWire.com, something I don’t normally do because I like to know where I am going to be staying in advance. But, since there are not that many hotels in Half Moon Bay, CA it did not seem to matter. We got a great discount (about $30 cheaper) for each night and it came with free breakfast. Granted, it was not that good and we were going to get brunch from the wedding one of the days, but it was still a nice place.

The bed was comfortable enough and there was a full-size bathtub (something my fiancée appreciated immensely). There was Wi-Fi in the lobby area and ostensibly across the hotel, although we had no luck connecting to it. There happened to be both a microwave and a refrigerator in the room – something I do not see frequently at 2.5 star establishments.

Overall it was a nice stay and I would use that hotel again if need be.

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