The Compensation Clinic is in San Francisco today where I recently had another unsatisfactory Hyatt stay at the HYATT Park Central in Downtown SF.
The reason why I wanted to stay at this hotel is that I still need the HYATT badge for the next free night and this property was just recently flagged as a Hyatt hotel.
When it came up in the search for hotels in San Francisco I was surprised but given my recent experience with Hyatt in Seattle I decided to call reservations to ask if this hotel in fact offers all services. I was told yes and had the agent reserve the Hyatt Member rate.
The rate wasn’t cheap, $178.84 (weird amount) and I was at SFO Airport so the UBER came on top of it all which is roughly $60 per way depending on the pricing of the hour.
Arriving at the hotel it was already bad news as there were “Under Construction” signs all over. The hotel also didn’t have any suites or other upgraded rooms and to top it all off no breakfast either.
Instead this was presented as the breakfast Grab & Go area:
Remember I specifically asked the Hyatt representative when I called if the hotel would be full service and this was confirmed.
I decided to call customer service because I was beyond annoyed at this point going all the way here from the airport for my one day stay. I didn’t have anything specific to do in SF, I just flew there because of my award ticket on Lufthansa that was available ex SFO.
After talking to a customer service manager with Hyatt they apologized and acknowledged the lack of proper notice in the hotel data set concerning Covid cutbacks. Mind you, other hotels in the area such as the Westin St. Francis do serve breakfast in the dining room.
The manager offered the following:
- 20,000 points compensation (one free night for this category)
- $120 reimbursement in cash refunded on my credit card for the UBER to/from Downtown
- Rebooking to the Grand Hyatt SFO or Grand Hyatt Downtown for which I could use the points (I selected to just pay a cash rate)
Points were posted immediately, the $120 took roughly two weeks to show up on my Amex:
I didn’t know Hyatt corporate has the ability to just transfer money to someones credit card as compensation/reimbursement but apparently there’s always something left to learn.
The agent gave me the points to book a free night for that day but I asked her if it’s ok if I just paid cash and keep the points for later as it’s simply a horrible value to use then in San Francisco. She said that’s up to me and I booked a $149 rate at the Grand Hyatt up the road near Union Square.
This was a more than generous compensation and I think that’s due to the fact that the hotel didn’t properly update the service restriction and construction info into the database and that other hotels were serving breakfast while this property claims it’s a government regulation that they can’t do it. FWIW next day I had breakfast with a friend as I learned she stayed at the Westin St. Francis next door to the Grand Hyatt. They served as usual in the dining room.
I also partly blame the hotel chains for allowing this to happen and not coming down hard on properties who engage in this kind of fraudulent practices.
Going all the way to downtown SF for this stay was a complete waste of time and money, even for the badge I wouldn’t stay at this property. Hyatt realized the shortcomings and compensated me very generously without even pushing for it.
As I mentioned previously, hotels are trying to get with all sort of cutbacks under the COVID excuse even though their nonsense is immediately unmasked as a blatant lie when you ask around and discover that a neighboring property is allowed to operate their restaurant. I can only urge anyone to file a complaint and push for compensation when encountering a hotel that is trying to cut costs by lying to customers, making up government restrictions that don’t exist.