We stayed at the Hyatt Riverfront on a Friday night to see a comedy concert at the nearby Times Union Center. We got a nice government rate, but the bargain stopped cold there. We called ahead to see if any room had a microwave, as we were bringing some finger food for a quiet gathering with our friends before the show. The hotel advised us that they could bring us a refrigerator for $25 a night, and a microwave for $40 a night. We were really tempted to stop and by a $40 microwave on the way in just to make a statement... but I wasn't allowed.
We arrived to find the lobby parking area to be a mess of vehicles. We were prepared for the $20 per day valet charge ($15 self park, but don't be thinking you'll get a luggage cart), and we planned to use bell service as well. So the waiting began. First we were directed to get checked in first (by a bell service rep who demanded to hold our car key), so we went inside and waited for about 15 minutes to check in. After a pleasant and easy check-in, we went back out to claim our bags and get the car taken care of. It took a couple of minutes for a bellman to get to us. He quickly loaded our bags onto a cart. I asked about the car, and the gentleman directed me to the valet window, which was unoccupied. I waited for a minute or two, reclaimed my key from the bellman, and left to go to the room with the bellman. BUT WAIT... he wasn't a bellman at all. He was a doorman. He took me to the bell stand, and handed us off to a different, so he could take us upstairs. Another guy, another tip.
Otherwise? A pleasant stay. The carpet in our hallway (15th floor) was a bit worn. There was a bit of a moldy smell in the hallway. The view was incredible, and well worth the upgrade to the river side. Our friends on the 4th floor had a phone that wouldn't work, and a fan blowing the moldy smell around in the hallway.
Our room was basic, with upscale bedding and furniture. The "balcony" is only a sliding door with a substantial rail to keep you from falling over. Every other room on this floor had about 6 inches of balcony you could negotiate if you were determined.
We used the free shuttle (supposedly good for a 3 mile area). It consists of a cabbie that hangs around to get the trips for tips. He "recommends" $2 per person for the service, which was ok with us.
Check out was even worse. I first went to try to get a cart so we could begin to organize our load of stuff, but no way in he LL will they let you have one of those carts even for a minute. You might beat one of the 12 guys lined up out of their tips. So once we got organized, I called the desk and asked for bell service and to have our valeted car brought around. The bellman was about 5 minutes getting there (fine), and helpful on the way down. Then came the doorman/luggage loader. He parked our bags right in the middle of the way of the main door in and out, and disappeared while we waited for our car. And waited... and waited. 20 mins later I inquired, and the lady in the little both gave me a sharp "NOBODY CALLED ME!". 5 mins later the car arrived. Meanwhile the bell captain had disappeared, and about 8 cars had clogged the way in, including a large SUV blocking the entrance. Those folks had left the car and gone inside (tired of waiting no doubt). So I'm lobbying the bellman to take us out in the street to our car and load us up, but no dice. Another 5 of scrambling around, and a pocket full of tips later (bellman, doorman, valet), we were out of there. See ya.
I've stayed in some fine hotels before, and I am quite used to the bellman being my buddy. Help with the bags, arrange for the car, show me the room, answer my questions, and EXPEDITE my arrival departure. This Hyatt's multi-tipping system slows you down considerably. I frankly assumed it was a union shop, but the bellman said that there were not unionized.
Everyone but the parking lady was nice, while they were shaking my by the ankles, but the shoddy, expensive service was a black mark on an otherwise lovely outing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience the essence of the lifestyle and landscape of the real Florida at our Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel. Set along the St. Johns River within the heart of the city’s business, entertainment and sports districts, our outstanding downtown Jacksonville hotel is adjacent to the Jacksonville Landing, a hotspot for dining & entertainment, and within minutes of famous white sand beaches, championship golf courses, EverBank Field, water sports, museums and arts venues. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel Jacksonville
- Hyatt Jacksonville Riverfront