After spending about six months in Seattle on a project, it was time for me to move to the next project. My next project was in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I wasn’t taking the direct route. I went through Salt Lake City as there was another project on which I had to spend a few days. While in Salt Lake City, I looked for places to stay in the Bay Area. I already knew that I would be probably staying there for another six months. Therefore I looked for an extended stay property and I was hoping to find a Hyatt House. Hyatt is just my favorite hotel chain overall and I had such a good experience at the Hyatt House Seattle/Bellevue, that I tried to find another one in the Bay Area. Luckily there was the Hyatt House Belmont/Redwood Shores. I checked the hotel’s website and was pretty excited with what I saw in the pictures. I also noticed that all rooms are accessed from the outside rather than through a central lobby. The hotel looks more like an apartment complex rather than a hotel. But that means it’s perfect for long stays, as you don’t move into an apartment for just a few days. It was the end of October 2020 and the Coronavirus pandemic was in full swing. That’s why I actually preferred having access to my room straight from the parking lot rather than going through a lobby and using an elevator.
The Hyatt House Belmont/Redwood Shores is located in the City of Belmont just to the east of Highway 101, one of the main routes on the San Francisco peninsula. This makes it easy to get wherever you need to go. The hotel is located in a residential neighborhood and it is basically a dead end as the road here are facing the San Francisco Bay and you can only drive around the neighborhood before the roads end here. Right next door is the gigantic campus of the tech giant Oracle. As all the tech companies in the area transmitted to a work from home policy, there was no traffic from workers, who would normally work on-site. Next to the hotel property is a small lake with a gazebo. It’s such a quiet neighborhood, you see ducks not only swimming in the lake but also walking the streets and sidewalks.
Access to the Bay Trail, which leads along the whole bay, is just a short walk away. You can take a stroll along the bay and if you head south turn off to stroll through the Oracle campus and go down to their artificial lake. Inside the lake, you can see USA-17, a racing trimaran of the American sailing team “BMW Oracle Racing” which won the America’s Cup in 2010.
There is really a lot to see here and lots of things to do outdoors. Back then, everything was still uncertain and nobody knew if rules would be relaxed any time soon or maybe even more stringent. That’s why I was happy to have access to the Bay Trail and to be in the outdoors with just a short walk from the hotel.
I arrived late in the afternoon and parked in front of the main entrance to check-in. There were plexiglass dividers between the agents and me to protect each other because of the pandemic. After a few minutes and signing some paperwork I got my room keys. I had booked a room with two King Bedrooms. Unfortunately, there was only a room available with one King Bedroom and the second room would be a Queen bed. My booked room was not available during the first night, but I got offered to check back in the morning and move. I didn’t really care, as it would be just me anyway but I knew I would be stuck here for a while and liked the extra space. The prices for both room types were the same, so that wasn’t an issue either. As it was a long day of driving from Salt Lake City to the Bay Area, I just took the room to get settled and relax. The agent also let me know that there are no elevators at this property. That was a bit of a shock and very uncommon for hotels. It would be quite a bit of schlepping to get all my stuff up to the third floor. I don’t travel light, my suitcases weigh 70 lbs each. But I knew that this would be an extended stay for a few months and therefore didn’t mind the extra workout. Be aware, if you have issues carrying your bags up a set of stairs, you might want to consider getting a room on the ground floor.
Two-Bedroom Suite – 1 King + 1 Queen Bedroom (Room 1433)
My room/suite was located in building 14 on the third floor. That’s where room number 1433 comes from. This room is facing east towards the Bay. After heading up a set of stairs, I ended up right in front of my room door.
Living Area & Kitchen
When you walk in, you enter the living room. The living room is well sized and features a sofa bed and chair to watch the TV in the living room. In front of the sofa and chair are Ottomans to rest your feet.
Next to the TV is a dining table. I really liked the overhead light, right above the table as the room is rather dark with only one window facing east towards the bay. Through the window, you can watch airplanes land at San Francisco International Airport.
In the corner close to the kitchen, is a work desk with a chair. Perfect to set up your laptop and get work done. Next to the desk are the air conditioning controls, which control all rooms together and there is no separate adjustment for either the bedrooms or living room.
Adjoined to the living room is a full-size kitchen. It has everything from a stove, stovetop, microwave, dishwasher, full-size refrigerator, and kitchen sink. It comes with a small coffee maker but was missing a toaster which can be borrowed from the front desk. However, they don’t have enough toasters for every room. It took me a few days before I was able to get one. Besides the toaster, you can borrow other items you might need. They offer a variety of small appliances for your needs, as well as board games. Just ask the front desk if they can help you out.
Other than that, the kitchen is fully equipped with everything you need for your dining experience. The kitchen is stocked with pans, pots, silverware, dishes, cups, and glasses. I couldn’t think of anything important missing to cook a good meal. The hotel provides all the essentials as well like kitchen towels, dishwasher detergent and soap. In the many cabinets in the kitchen, you have also enough storage space for your food and other essentials. The kitchen area is pretty dark, as it is farthest away from the window but it has its own overhead light if you need more illumination.
The King bedroom is the biggest of the two bedrooms in this suite. It is separated by the living room with a double door. On either side of the bed is a nightstand with lamps. The base of the lamps have power outlets to charge your devices. Opposite the bed is a closet with a TV on top of it. The window of the bedroom faces like all the other windows towards the east but the outdoor hallway passes in front of the window. For privacy, you want to have your shades down.
Part of the room features a bath vanity with a mirror. Next to it is a walk-in closet with plenty of space for all your belongings. The toilet and shower bathtub combination is separated from the rest of the bedroom with a door.
The smaller bedroom with a queen bed can be accessed from the opposite side of the living room. It has a regular room door to separate the bedroom from the living room. This bedroom is pretty similar to the other bedroom, besides the queen-sized bed. It also comes with a nightstand on either side of the bed and a closet with TV opposite of the bed. The bath vanity with sink is smaller than the one in the King bedroom. This room only has a small closet instead of the walk-in closet. The doors of the closet feature a full-size dressing mirror.
The actual bathroom is separated by a door and only features a walk-in shower instead of a bathtub and shower combination.
Public Areas & Amenities
The lobby usually also houses the restaurant and breakfast area which has plenty of seating. However, because of the pandemic, the seating area was roped off. More about breakfast and food later.
To the left of the front desk is the marketplace as well as a small business center. It features two workstations and one shared printer. The main building, which houses the lobby, also houses the 24-hour fitness center. Inside you find a good selection of workout equipment.
There is an alternative to the indoor fitness center at the hotel. Work out at the outdoor gym along the Bay Trail along the edge of the Oracle Campus. To get there, head towards the Oracle buildings SE of the hotel. Cross the Belmont Slough via the pedestrian bridge. Once you crossed the bridge, follow the Bay Trail to your left and different workout stations will pop up along the trail along the Oracle Campus.
The guest laundry is located as well in the main building, just down the hall from the fitness center. There are plenty of washers and dryers and I always had one available to use when I needed it.
Inside the courtyard, you can find the outdoor swimming pool. It was closed the whole time I was staying there. Besides some ducks, nobody was allowed to use the pool. Next to the pool is a BBQ area with gas-powered grills. This would be a nice spot to hang out and enjoy, but the pandemic was in full swing and the area was closed for mingling due to local health orders. Once the BBQ pit is open again, you can borrow all the required utensils from the front desk.
In the courtyard of the hotel is also a combined Tennis/Basketball Court. Equipment is available at the hotel’s front desk. This is actually a pretty cool addition and rather rare at hotels. However, it makes complete sense for a long-term stay hotel like the Hyatt House.
The hotel usually runs a complimentary airport shuttle, which was as well temporarily discontinued because of the pandemic.
Because the Coronavirus pandemic was in full swing during my stay here, breakfast was limited. However, they offered some of the best breakfast during that time of the pandemic. A staff member was responsible for handing out the food. You were able to get your own mix and match to-go bags. There were even some hot options like scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon. After a few weeks of staying here, there was no more option for bacon and only sausage was offered instead. Besides that, there was some choice of juices, yogurts, fruits, granola bars and more. The weekend service was a little different and only french toast was offered as a hot option. As I basically lived here for six months, the main guy working the breakfast buffet, already knew what I want, as it was the same every morning. That was a nice touch. The other two days, a different person was working the buffet and they changed every few weeks. The coffee was a self-service set up in the lobby area during breakfast hours.
Normally there is a bar and small restaurant on-site, which was closed because of the pandemic. However, you could still buy drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) at the bar and take them to-go.
To the left of the front desk is a small marketplace where you can buy some snacks, beverages and hygiene items. As I worked long days, I usually just had one of the food delivery services like Uber Eats and Doordash deliver food. Because of the location of the hotel, there are no restaurants within walking distance, but there are restaurants just a short drive away.
I really enjoyed my stay here. With time I really settled in and it became my home away from home. The room was just well equipped with everything you can think of and made me worry a little less if Coronavirus restrictions would increase. As mentioned, also having access to the Bay Trail to go for a walk and stay active was a great benefit of this property.
Even though there were many regulations that banned bigger gatherings, people rented rooms here at the hotel and partied it up. It got pretty bad between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2020. Young people booked a room here and invited a ton of friends. They played loud music, hung out on the outdoor walkway between the rooms. They had music so loud, that I couldn’t sleep, and that means it was really really loud. Normally loud noise doesn’t bother me or would stop me from falling asleep. Another reason was also the contact baning of the room door open and close. Constantly. There were three instances where I had to call the front desk to shut them down, which they gladly did. My kudos to the people working the graveyard shift at the hotel. Shortly after this happened the first time, the hotel introduced an extra hold on people’s credit cards, which would be refunded if they wouldn’t use the room as a party location. I am glad they did, as this stopped a few people from doing so. They should keep this policy, as it is unrelated to the Coronavirus pandemic. People at hotels have a room mainly because they need a place to rest and sleep and not to be disturbed by loud music, yelling and door banging at 1 a.m.
This is really a nice place and it’s perfect if you stay for a while here in the Bay Area. I will be staying here again, especially if I am in the area for an extended time.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.