Review: Grand Hyatt SFO (Amazing Airport Hotel)

Review: Grand Hyatt SFO (Amazing Airport Hotel)

NAME: Grand Hyatt at SFO
LOCATION: San Francisco, California, US
DATE: May 2021
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Wow! Even though a few facilities were not open at the time of my stay, this is one of the best airports in the world.
42

During my recent trip with my mom to California, I had the pleasure of spending a night at the Grand Hyatt SFO. We were arriving late at night on United, and planned to drive the next morning to Big Sur.

The Grand Hyatt SFO opened in 2019, and it isn’t your run of the mill airport hotel — this hotel is absolutely incredible, and easily one of my two favorite airport hotels in the world (with the other being the TWA Hotel).

If you’re an aviation geek you have to put this hotel on your bucket list, regardless of whether you plan to fly out of the airport. I’m not even kidding when I say that I would vacation at this hotel for an extended period of time (however, I’m not sure Ford would fully share my enthusiasm for plane spotting for days on end).

Booking the Grand Hyatt SFO

I paid cash for our stay at the Grand Hyatt SFO — the rate was ~$180 for our one night stay, which seemed reasonable. Obviously that more reasonably pricing is due to the pandemic, because pre-pandemic this hotel was regularly significantly more expensive than that.

The Grand Hyatt is a Category 5 World of Hyatt property, meaning that a free night here costs 20,000 World of Hyatt points, which is steep. I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, so redeeming points here would be the equivalent of paying ~$300 per night, by my valuation. In this case paying cash for the stay was the better value by far.

Grand Hyatt SFO location

You know what they say about hotels — location, location, location (okay, for airport hotels I’d say it’s about plane spotting, plane spotting, plane spotting, but fortunately this hotel hits it out of the park in both regards).

The Grand Hyatt is the only hotel at SFO that’s accessible directly with the AirTrain. The hotel has its own station, giving you a direct rail link to all SFO terminals, the rental car center, and more. You really can’t beat the convenience of this, given how inconsistent hotel shuttles can be.

For context, here’s an SFO AirTrain map:

When you arrive at the Grand Hyatt AirTrain station you just take the escalator down a level.

Grand Hyatt SFO AirTrain station


Grand Hyatt SFO AirTrain station

You’ll then find yourself on the fourth floor, and if you turn left you’ll be in the lobby.


Grand Hyatt SFO AirTrain station

By the way, if you are arriving by car, there’s also a ground floor entrance.

Grand Hyatt SFO ground floor lobby


Grand Hyatt SFO ground floor lobby

Grand Hyatt SFO check-in & lobby

The Grand Hyatt SFO’s lobby is simply gorgeous, and will make you forget you’re at an airport hotel (well, except for the amazing views of planes, which will remind you’re at an airport — what an awesome combination).

The reception desk was just inside the entrance, and our check-in process was quick. I was thanked for being a Globalist member, and was informed we had been upgraded to a corner suite. While most of the hotel’s restaurants and the Grand Club are currently closed, we were given a voucher for Twin Crafts Market for breakfast, since that’s the hotel’s 24/7 food & beverage outlet right now.


Grand Hyatt SFO reception

Seriously, how pretty is this lobby?!


Grand Hyatt SFO lobby


Grand Hyatt SFO lobby


Grand Hyatt SFO lobby


Grand Hyatt SFO lobby


Grand Hyatt SFO lobby


Grand Hyatt SFO lobby

Within a few minutes we had keys in hand, and headed to the elevators to access our room.

Grand Hyatt SFO elevators

Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite

We were assigned room 1002, a corner suite on the 10th floor (the hotel has a total of 12 floors).


Grand Hyatt SFO hallway


Grand Hyatt SFO room exterior

Inside the entrance was a small foyer and then a living room, which featured a loveseat, a coffee table with stool, a desk with a chair, a bench, a TV, and a minibar.


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite entryway


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite living area


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite living area


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite desk

The minibar area had a coffee machine, kettle, complimentary still and sparkling water in reusable bottles, and a mini-fridge.


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite minibar setup


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite in-room coffee

Then there was a door leading into the bedroom, which had a super-comfy king size bed, along with a TV and a daybed.


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite bedroom


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite bedroom


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite bedroom

On the daybed was a pair of binoculars and a plane spotting guide. DID I MENTION HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS HOTEL?!


Grand Hyatt SFO plane spotter guide


Grand Hyatt SFO plane spotter guide

The attention to detail in this hotel impressed me to no end. Beyond all the avgeek stuff, there was pillow mist on the bed. Like, that’s super minor, but also not something you’d usually find at an airport hotel.


Grand Hyatt SFO pillow mist

Then there was a massive bathroom with double sinks, a soaking tub, a partitioned off Japanese toilet (we’re talking motion-activated and heated seats), and a walk-in shower.


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite bathroom


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite bathroom


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite toilet


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite shower

Toiletries were in reusable bottles from Pharmacopia.


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite toiletries

By the way, that bathtub has airport views!


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite bathtub

Again, the attention to detail was amazing — they had special towels just for makeup.


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite towels

It was late at night when we arrived, so my mom and I went to sleep almost immediately. When we woke up the next morning we were treated to a glorious sunrise overlooking the international terminal at SFO. Talk about a room with a view!


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite view


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite view


Grand Hyatt SFO corner suite view

I couldn’t get over how amazing the views were. Unfortunately this was also a sad reminder of how much international travel has declined. There was barely any traffic, while ordinarily you’d have a countless number of wide body aircraft pulling into gates here. You can bet I’ll be coming back once international travel recovers, while of course streaming ATC audio.

Grand Hyatt SFO Twin Crafts Market

Twin Crafts Market is the Grand Hyatt’s 24/7 market, located on the lobby level. This is a pretty versatile dining space, in the sense that they have grab-n-go options, they also have freshly prepared hot meals, and ordinarily there would also be a bar, but that was closed due to the pandemic.

Grand Hyatt SFO Twin Crafts Market


Grand Hyatt SFO Twin Crafts Market


Grand Hyatt SFO Twin Crafts Market


Grand Hyatt SFO Twin Crafts Market


Grand Hyatt SFO Twin Crafts Market


Grand Hyatt SFO Twin Crafts Market

There was plenty of seating that was available, ranging from comfortable couches to communal tables. Again, I thought the design was awesome — look at the art, the lighting, the seating, etc.


Grand Hyatt SFO Twin Crafts Market seating


Grand Hyatt SFO Twin Crafts Market seating


Grand Hyatt SFO Twin Crafts Market seating


Grand Hyatt SFO Twin Crafts Market seating

We had been given a voucher for a complimentary breakfast item and non-alcoholic beverage per person.

Grand Hyatt SFO Globalist breakfast voucher

My mom and I both ordered lattes to drink.

Grand Hyatt SFO breakfast

I ordered a veggie omelet, which came with breakfast potatoes and toast, while my mom had a smoked salmon bagel, both of which were excellent.


Grand Hyatt SFO breakfast


Grand Hyatt SFO breakfast

Here’s the in-room dining menu, which is essentially what’s available at the market, but it can be delivered to your room:

Grand Hyatt SFO gym

The Grand Hyatt SFO’s gym is on the first floor, and it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen at an airport hotel. It had an excellent variety of both cardio and weights.


Grand Hyatt SFO gym


Grand Hyatt SFO gym


Grand Hyatt SFO gym


Grand Hyatt SFO gym

Bottom line

The Grand Hyatt SFO is simply a spectacular hotel, and one of the best airport hotels in the world. As an avgeek you absolutely have to put this hotel on your bucket list.

There’s so much to love about this hotel — the location is unbeatable, the design will make you feel like you’re not at an airport hotel, and then the views will remind you that you’re at the best airport hotel. 😉

I can’t wait to return here when all of the facilities are open (like the restaurants and Grand Club, which I’ve heard good things about), and most importantly when the international terminal is bustling again with more flights, which will really allow for more plane spotting.

Conversations (42)
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  1. Vickie M

    Stayed here before flying out last October and was obsessed. True avgeek paradise.

  2. eric

    nice hotel. had great views from the marriott but his one looks nicer. Will check it out next time in SFO

  3. dee

    Great Hotel..I have stayed there 4 times 2 before Covid when you could eat in a restaurant in Calif!! and sadly 2 after ..Such a sad difference as it was fun to sit at the restaurant and plane spot or sit at the very nice lobby.... Hope Calif gets it together soon and lets you eat inside the airport during one visit the Delta SC had just started to allow eating inside but No alcohol before that it had small takeout to the gate items..Insane regulations

  4. Phillip

    Looks almost as good as the Crowne Plaza Changi, which is my personal favourite airport hotel and a Crowne Plaza like no other! Pillow mist and all...

  5. Taylor

    Ben - Great review! Have you ever stayed at the Renaissance Concourse ATL? Excellent plane spotting from the balconies in all rooms on the side of the hotel that faces the runway

  6. Quo Vadis?

    Being able to plane spot from a hotel sounds like fun. And I'm sure SFO gets a lot of long-haul aircraft from the Far East (and South Pacific), so probably an exciting mix to see. I've never been one to buy a camera with telephoto lens, but in this case it would be for a worthy cause.

    Sounds like a great hotel, will definitely put this Grand Hyatt (and at DFW) on my list if/when...

    Being able to plane spot from a hotel sounds like fun. And I'm sure SFO gets a lot of long-haul aircraft from the Far East (and South Pacific), so probably an exciting mix to see. I've never been one to buy a camera with telephoto lens, but in this case it would be for a worthy cause.

    Sounds like a great hotel, will definitely put this Grand Hyatt (and at DFW) on my list if/when traveling via those airports in the future.

    Did a cheap, poor-man's version staying at Hyatt Regency Dulles over the weekend. The HR there has nice views of the airport from the top floors, although IAD is at least a mile away.

  7. Tortuga

    So you're saying you liked it better than the LHR Hyatt Place? Pshaw! /s

    You'll have to let us know how your car rental experience went this time. I'm planning on taking my mom to Ventana Big Sur, so I'll pretty much be duplicating your trip. I am excited to see your write-up!

  8. Ale

    Been there twice, once before Covid (and the club lounge breakfast was excellent) and once in Covid time. Both times they upgraded me to a similar corner suite as Glob. Definitely the best airport hotel I have been in, better that GH DFW being so new and as convenient. Now, about staying there when visiting SanFran, I would not do it. I had late night flights getting in from the East Coast and so it...

    Been there twice, once before Covid (and the club lounge breakfast was excellent) and once in Covid time. Both times they upgraded me to a similar corner suite as Glob. Definitely the best airport hotel I have been in, better that GH DFW being so new and as convenient. Now, about staying there when visiting SanFran, I would not do it. I had late night flights getting in from the East Coast and so it made sense for me resting and renting a car the next day. In the city I stayed at the Kabuki, HR (old and tired) and Hyatt Centric Fisherman Wharf. My preference goes to Kabuki.

  9. pez

    Ben, have you stayed at the Radisson Blu Sheremetyevo in Moscow? It's a little rough around the edges but the avgeek perspective can't be beat! (Well, except by the TWA Hotel.)

  10. Timo

    Stayed there overnight in Jan 2020 on our way to Singapore and agree with others that the restaurant was quiet good. Being January, it was slow and we were upgraded to the same suite but different floor. The runway views are incredible. I do enjoy the DFW GH but it doesn't have water views like SFO. My only complaint is no rooftop pool. But I lived in SF for 8 years and it's not really...

    Stayed there overnight in Jan 2020 on our way to Singapore and agree with others that the restaurant was quiet good. Being January, it was slow and we were upgraded to the same suite but different floor. The runway views are incredible. I do enjoy the DFW GH but it doesn't have water views like SFO. My only complaint is no rooftop pool. But I lived in SF for 8 years and it's not really a city for pools with all the fog and cool weather. Maybe a rooftop with 8 Jacuzzis would be nice!!

  11. Brian

    I stayed there a few weeks ago. The common areas have a Cathay Pacific The Pier First Class Lounge vibe.

  12. Jason

    Hurt me a bit when you called the Nespresso a "coffee machine". ;-)

  13. James S

    The food prices look very reasonable, but I agree that a single item is stingy for $180 a night.

    "still and sparkling water in reusable bottles" like the shampoo dispensers, this is also a local law - no plastic water bottles at SFO

  14. Kevin

    Wow lucky, this has to be the nicest hotel within close vicinity to SF. You really can’t beat that $180 price! I feel like this can be a great hotel for a family who’s on a budget visiting SF. One can easily hop onto BART and be in downtown in a short time.... although I’m not sure right now is the best time to visit SF. I think by Sept SF will be bustling again.

  15. ptahcha

    I just had a quick overnight stay there 2 weekends ago, and have to agree that this is probably the best hotel in the SFO area, not to mention the convenience.

    It's worthy to point out that there are some amenities that are suite-specific and not available in other rooms:

    * The Toto toilet with heated seats
    * Sparkling water - only still bottled water in regular rooms
    * Mouthwash
    * Pillow...

    I just had a quick overnight stay there 2 weekends ago, and have to agree that this is probably the best hotel in the SFO area, not to mention the convenience.

    It's worthy to point out that there are some amenities that are suite-specific and not available in other rooms:

    * The Toto toilet with heated seats
    * Sparkling water - only still bottled water in regular rooms
    * Mouthwash
    * Pillow mist

    One nice detail is the Qi-wireless charger built-in with the alarm clock. The alarm clock also has 2 USB slots available.

    The only thing annoying about the room are the lights that are turned on by sensors underneath the bed and in the bathroom - can't figure out how to turn them off.

  16. happy reader

    just switched to this from the marriott AND got > 2 cents/point value in redemption...thanks!

  17. cariverga

    @Ben I've been to San Francisco, I know it's shamelessly expensive, and won't be back, there's always a personal choice. However, shamelessly expensive hotels gotta treat their elite guests especially well, in my opinion. What's more, this is a violation of the published Globalist benefits, so i am not sure why you are not calling the hotel out...

  18. Jon

    Funny - we stayed in the exact same room (1002) in December (and also came from Ventana). We had an issue with the shower leaking water into the toilet area in this room. Made a point to let the hotel know on check-out (as everything else about the hotel was so on-the-mark). I presume they fixed the issue since you didn’t mention it?

    Agree with you, this is a great hotel but was very sad though to see all the gates deserted.

  19. Stvr

    The makeup towel is ubiquitous at even 2* hotels as it stops guests from ruining towels. To me it actually comes across as cheap.

  20. Duane

    I only see one bed. Do you share a bed when you travel with your mother? I've stayed in hotel rooms with my mom, but there were always two beds.

    1. Ben

      @ Duane -- Yes, I shared a bed with my mom (and for that matter don't have a problem sharing a bed with anyone, in a non-weird way). All suites at the Grand Hyatt have a king bed, and at Alila all rooms have one bed (as far as I know).

  21. S

    @Jake, I'm pretty sure Lucky has stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn at T2 before and reviewed it. It is a very decent hotel and the ease of access can not be beaten. I think the Hilton T4 is nicer, but since I've stayed in LHR after a morning flight from the east coast and head out to mainland Europe the next morning, the T2 Hilton Garden Inn is 100x more convenient to avoid the waits for the train at LHR between 2 and 4.

  22. tuotuo

    You should do another post with all the pictures of planes and the airport you took from your room.

    1. Ben

      @ tuotuo -- That would be a very sad post, because there were barely any planes. I saw a few JetBlue aircraft and a Delta A321. Sad times for aviation, and all the more reason to return.

  23. Mark F

    I am surprised by the reusable soap and shampoo dispensers at a higher level hotel and how much more accepting you (and most people) find them, when they were initially such a deal breaker.

    I have preferred the dispensers to individual toiletries, so I am glad they are showing up at higher end properties.

    1. Ben

      @ Mark F -- I believe this is actually a law in California?
      https://onemileatatime.com/california-bans-individual-hotel-toiletries/

  24. Ryan

    A Category 5 is 20,000 points per night...

    1. Ben

      @ Ryan -- My mistake, thanks. Fixed.

  25. Abidjan

    Wow, I'm impressed. Attention to detail, start to finish. Love a good airport hotel. Now on my list.

  26. cariverga

    It's remarkable how the perception of "reasonable" varies, depending on what country you are in. 180 USD for an airport hotel, with no lounge alternative being offered, and one(!) food item plus one(!) drink for breakfast. Goodness... If I were reviewing it, I'd say it's awfully overpriced and the Globalist recognition is beyond poor. So glad I don't live in the U.S. :))

    1. Ben

      @ cariverga -- Clearly you haven't been to San Francisco before...

  27. Jake

    Looks amazing! Next time you're at LHR, you should try the Hilton Garden Inn there. It's right in the middle between terminal 2 and 3, has rooms with a runway view, and also has a terrace at the top where you can plane spot and look over the whole airport.

    1. Ben

      @ Jake -- Have stayed there and it was a fairly nice hotel. Unfortunately was only there for a quick overnight, so didn't have a chance to check out the terrace, but will have to do that next time.

  28. Roberto

    @Sel, D. The GH SFO is better than the GH DFW IMO, but not by much. I stayed at SFO on the opening week, and the food & drink menu kills the DFW location. The plane spotting views are better at SFO hands down. I will give GH DFW some credit on the upgrade department, as I’ve gotten 2 Presidential suites out of the 3 times I’ve stayed there.

  29. David

    Room 1002 is what I stayed in! Really nice view of the A gates of the international terminal and of the apron. I remember all that activity even late evening pre-pandemic. Agree, it's a very nice hotel. You may be interested to know that the GM was formerly at Andaz West Hollywood.

  30. J

    Would you stay here vs a downtown San Francisco hotel if you were visiting San Francisco for tourism? Seems like a great hotel and worth the drive downtown vs staying in a not so nice hotel in the city.

    1. Ben

      @ J -- I'm not sure that's worth the detour ultimately. If it were me (and I realize I have a lot of flexibility, since I can work from anywhere), I'd spend a couple of days here doing nothing but plane spotting, and then spend some time in the city.

  31. Sel, D.

    How does it compare to Grand Hyatt DFW for you? I know you didn’t get a crazy corner suite there, but the gym/spa is better IMO and the rooftop pool is a nice touch. Also staying IN the D Terminal is more convenient. Surely hard to beat the tarmac bay view though. Thoughts?

    1. Ben

      @ Sel, D. -- The Grand Hyatt DFW is my other favorite airport hotel in the US, though I do prefer the new SFO property. I liked the views more, and I thought the interior felt a lot more luxurious. However, the Grand Hyatt DFW is also phenomenal.

  32. S

    Looks great. Definitely nicer than the Hyatt Regency down the road, but that hotel lets you walk along the bay which is awesome because you can see the planes landing right next to you on 28L/R.

    TWA Hotel looks OK to me, I just don't really like the style. The bathroom in particular looks like what you'd find in an ER. Grand Hyatt DFW is the best airport hotel I've been to so far.

  33. Joe1293

    Grand Club and Resturant are fantastic definitely try it next time you return. Your report sums it all up! Excellent Grand Hyatt Hotel!

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Aviv

How's the plane noise?

Vickie M

Stayed here before flying out last October and was obsessed. True avgeek paradise.

eric

nice hotel. had great views from the marriott but his one looks nicer. Will check it out next time in SFO

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