Last week I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Rochester in New York, and while exploring the city uncovered more amazing cultural and historical attractions than I expected to find. Rochester, I knew, was home of Eastman Kodak and that huge film and camera empire, and I was familiar with the George Eastman Museum, the world’s oldest photography museum. But I didn’t realize the abundance of other attractions, and that a river flows through the city (duh, the Erie Canal was here before the Iron Horse!)
|High Falls from Genesse Brew House|
The picturesque High Falls on the Genesee River is a dynamic part of the urban landscape. Revitalization of the city has concentrated on river walks and an abundance of pleasant green zones.
Early city fathers laid groundwork for Rochester’s grand park system and early city mothers were arrested for voting in neighborhoods near the greenways. Yes, Rochester is home of Susan B. Anthony who rallied America’s ladies to fight for the right to vote.
|Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass in park near Anthony’s home where she was arrested for voting.|
You can visit the social activist’s home – and I did – as well as the home of George Eastman, the philanthropic industrialist who put affordable photographic equipment into the hands of nearly everyone. (Have you heard of the Brownie Camera?)
Another unexpected find was the Hyatt Regency Rochester which has just undergone an $18 million renovation. I hadn’t anticipated seeing such a large investment in a city that experienced large-scale deindustrialization in the past. Yet throughout my whole visit I saw a bright and vibrant city, which told me that Rochester has successfully ridden the tides of economic and social change.
Rooftop bar, high views of the captivating city scape, upscale dining and convenient central location make this hotel a Rochester must-stay. While there, I participated in a fun scavenger hunt sponsored by the Hyatt Regency team. The attentive staff, proud of the new digs, wanted us to experience all the upgraded features and so created an intriguing quest. I thought it would be fun to take you along on the scavenger hunt with me. Here are our clues:
What is the smallest of the Great Lakes?
The key to the greatest views? The keycard to Room 2509, the Lake Ontario Suite had been given to me along with the key to my guest room on the 20th floor. Hmmm…what could be out of the windows of the Lake Ontario Suite? I grabbed the keycard and took the elevator up investigate. I wasn’t sure what I would find.
|Inside the Lake Ontario Suite: large enough for your family or Board of Directors|
|Outside on the deck of the Lake Ontario Suite|
What is the name of the internationally renowned artists residing in Rochester?
Take a picture of his sculpture on display in the Hyatt Regency’s lobby.
This is me admiring the piece by Gregory Johnson. One art expert says
“Suggestive of the pathways of life . . . the forces of nature . . . human emotion . . . those abstract concepts that are so familiar yet so intangible, like the warmth of sunlight or the crashing of a wave.”
Gregory Johnson’s contemporary metal pieces are collected by museums, corporations and public organizations from all over the country. I was blessed to see one of his pieces up close and personal.
What is the name of the tallest building in view from the Center City?
That was an easy one to solve. While sipping cocktails on the rooftop bar, I simply asked our Hyatt Regency Rochester host, “What’s the name of that building right there?” “The Cosmopolitan,” she answered and all my colleagues laughed and accused me of cheating. Hey, I’m a journalist – I ask the direct questions.
Make a splash in our renovated pool area! Take a pic of you lounging in our aquatic oasis.
I got up early to snag some Instagram shots by the Hyatt Regency Rochester pool, so there was not a soul around when I entered the renovated pool area. I was so impressed by the city views out the expansive picture window and the outdoor sun deck. Since I wasn’t about to take the overused Instagram shot of thong bikini-clad travel writer with head wrapped in towel (hey, you wouldn’t want to see that shot of me either,) I envisioned a shot of my feet up on a chaise, the Rochester cityscape reflecting in the pool in the background and my coffee in the foreground. The aquatic sanctuary was quiet as I snapped my first test shot. Not enough exposure.
I re-posed for a second attempt when the tranquility of the soothing waters was interrupted. The door across the natatorium slammed open and in popped a fellow photographer. He had been walking into my shots for the past three days and it looked like this morning would be no better. It was quite evident that I was shooting at my pointed toes, and sure enough if he didn’t find the exact spot on the other side of the pool to stop and stand. Really? There was plenty of room for a crew of paparazzi in this large pool area. I guess all is fair in love and scavenger hunts.
Can you find the mermaid?
Take a picture of her, she considers herself a wall flower at our fave place to get caffeinated.
“Clever deduction, Sherlock,” I said to myself as I headed on down to the street level where the Starbucks was conveniently located for locals as well as hotel guests. The on-site Starbucks is part of the Hyatt Regency Rochester and a great place to pick up coffee, tea, smoothies, light breakfast items or snacks when you are in the go.
Can you find the water feature?
Take a picture of it! Hint: It’s the best place to get a draft beer.
Hyatt Regency Rochester
125 East Main Street, Rochester, New York, United States, 14604
Tel: +1 585 546 1234
“Unstoppable Stacey” Wittig is a an Arizona travel writer who writes from her home in Flagstaff, Arizona. Although she was hosted for her getaway to Rochester, NY, her opinions, as always are her own.