The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is a wheelchair accessible hotel located steps from the St. John’s River in Jacksonville, Florida. Its downtown location puts guests in close proximity to the Jacksonville Landing, EverBank Field and the city’s Convention Center.
On a trip to visit friends in the Sunshine State’s “River City,” I chose the Hyatt Regency for wheelchair accessible accommodation because it was a great place to use Hyatt Gold Passport (now World of Hyatt) rewards points. After a comfortable first stay and two nights spent at the hotel, it will now be my top choice when visiting Jacksonville in the future.
Reservation & Check-in
While room rates typically range between $150 and $200, I elected to take advantage of the World of Hyatt program’s cash & points option. Because the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville is a category 2 property, the booking required 4,000 points and a copay of $55 per night. For one of the nicest hotels in Jacksonville, I found this to be an exceptional deal.
I made my cash and points reservation via the hotel’s website. The room I selected was the ADA Queen Shower, which contained two queen size beds and a wheelchair accessible roll-in shower.
Check-in at the hotel was a breeze, and I was off to my room on the seventh floor within just a few minutes.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room #730
My bed was plush and comfortable, with the luxury linens and fluffy pillows I have come to expect from the Hyatt Regency brand. Ample space for my power wheelchair existed between the two beds, which allowed me to transfer on the side easiest for me. Natural light poured in through the large windows, but the blackout curtains were easy to draw closed.
A nightstand separating the beds offered easy access to both power and light:
Power outlets on the wall next to each bed contained two sockets and a USB port. Many hotels don’t place power within reach of the bed in accessible rooms, but the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville exceeded expectations. I had no difficulty in keeping my wheelchair, laptop and smartphone fully charged.
In addition to the large lamp on the nightstand, adjustable reading lamps were affixed to the wall. Easy to operate, they provided just enough light in the evening hours.
On the wall opposite the queen size beds, you’ll find a flat screen television and a desk. The desk is set at a proper height to accommodate wheelchair users, and the wheeled office chair is easy to roll out of the way.
Next to the television is a cabinet containing a mini fridge, with a coffeemaker and tea set on top.
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
The bathroom in my wheelchair accessible hotel room was well designed. The layout of the roll-in shower made it more accessible than those in other Hyatt properties I have recently reviewed, including the Hyatt Centric Arlington.
The location of the sower’s built-in bench made transfers safe and easy. It would have been nice if the grab bar extended a bit farther along the wall. The water controls and handheld shower nozzle were located within reach of the bench, which is surprisingly not the case in many hotels. The shower curtain protected my parked power wheelchair from the spray of water. In all, I was very pleased with the accessibility of this roll-in shower.
The toilet was the most accessible bathroom fixture, with plenty of space to park a wheelchair right alongside. A variety of grab bars, oriented both vertically and horizontally, aided in my transfers to and from the toilet. Paper rolls were located within reach, making use of the toilet safe.
Rolling my wheelchair underneath the sink and countertop was possible. A hair dryer, soaps, toiletries and a magnified mirror were all easy to reach and use.
Executive Lounge & Dining
I received complimentary access to the hotel’s executive/club lounge, by virtue of my Globalist (formerly Diamond) status in the World of Hyatt loyalty program.
A variety of seating options are available. I used the table in the foreground, as staff were able to move the chair out of the way to easily accommodate my wheelchair. Guests can come to the lounge in the morning for complimentary breakfast, in the evenings for hors d’oeuvres and throughout the day for light snacks and drinks.
Access to the lounge is provided with all club level room reservations, or can be purchased for an additional nightly fee.
The hotel also has a fantastic restaurant on the lobby level, where I had breakfast one morning:
The fruit plate I ordered was delectable – watermelon, pineapple, grapes, cantaloupe, berries and more. The natural sugar charge gave me energy for the day, and I paired it with a cup of coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice.
Location & Transportation
The hotel is located in downtown Jacksonville, close to many of the city’s most popular attractions. Right on the riverfront, you’ll have a beautiful view of the John T. Alsop Jr. Bridge, which is a part of Main Street.
One of the main issues with the accessibility of Jacksonville lies in transportation. While the city bus service and Skyway (monorail) are wheelchair accessible, the availability of adapted taxis is poor. While I know they exist, I have never been able to reserve one. Some years ago, in 2014, I was actually stuck at the Jacksonville International Airport – the city buses were shut down for the evening and no ADA taxis were available. I had to get a last-minute room at the airport hotel and flew out (retreated) the next morning.
The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Airport offers a free shuttle service to guests, but the service is provided with an SUV. It is not wheelchair accessible. As I have written before, hotel shuttles must be wheelchair accessible, or an equivalent service must be provided. Because wheelchair taxis are unavailable on demand, the hotel offers no equivalent service, constituting a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If you’re traveling to Jacksonville with a wheelchair, I strongly recommend that you research the city’s public transportation system to see if it will work for you. If you have an accessible vehicle of your own and can take it to Jacksonville, that will no doubt be your best bet.
My stay at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel was fantastic, and I can’t recommend this property enough. The hotel’s staff were helpful throughout my stay, and my room was both comfortable and accessible. Within walking distance of many of the activities I wanted to take part in (such as the MOSH Museum and Jacksonville Landing), it was the perfect central location from which to enjoy a weekend in the River City.