I had to work in downtown San Francisco a while back for about 6 weeks. My hotel accommodations were fully reimbursed and the cost of each hotel was roughly the same on special negotiated rates, so I took the opportunity to sample the many SPG properties that are in the area. I plan to review the hotels I stayed at in this series.
- The Palace Hotel San Francisco Review – Suites
- The St. Regis San Francisco Review – The Astor Suite
- The Westin San Francisco Market Street Review – Traditional Room
- W San Francisco Review
- The St. Regis San Francisco Review – Deluxe Room
- The Westin San Francisco Market Street Review – Corner Deluxe Room
- Le Meridien San Francisco Review – Suites
Of the SPG hotels I stayed in in San Francisco, this hotel is by far my favorite. Yes, a Westin Surpasses the W and even the St. Regis in this city in my opinion. I stayed at this hotel whenever possible after completing my mini-tour of all the SPG hotels in the area, but often times it was sold out. Note that I never received a suite upgrade at this hotel as a Platinum guest.
The hotel lobby was nice – spacious, well-lit, and the restaurant was off to the side. The best part of the lobby for me is the flowers in the middle of the area. Not only were they displayed beautifully, but the smell of the flowers permeated the entire lobby. I’m not exactly known as someone that “stops to smell the roses” but man, these flowers smelled so good. The best part is that they’re refreshed regularly with new displays all the time, and each time it looks and smells equally wonderful.
The check-in agents are fantastic. Quite frankly, they were my favorite any North American hotel I’ve stayed at. They were extremely courteous, friendly, and were genuinely interested in whatever I had to say. It wasn’t just a fluke with one agent either – it was the same each time I stayed there. I of course asked for an upgrade to a suite given my Platinum status, but each time I asked they were completely sold out of that room type. That’s not unreasonable considering how great this hotel is.
The hotel is really in a great location. It’s in the South of the Market district, and is centrally located to shopping, dining, and the financial district (which I walked to every morning). You can take cable car rides to Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Union Square. I prefer walking, and it’s possible to walk to some attractions from this hotel (as is the case with the other SPG hotels in the area). Now, on to the room.
More often than not I was given either a Traditional or Deluxe room, but I have yet to figure out the difference between the two. The biggest upgrade I received was a Corner Grand Deluxe room, which I’ll review separately.
The room was typical Westin – clean but not too fashionable. I find that room at Starwood hotels are generally more conservative than Hyatt branded hotels, which are usually very nice. This room featured a King Size Westin “Heavenly” bed, which are definitely nice but not as nice as the W beds in my opinion. There was a sitting/reading area near the window, which had a decent view but was largely blocked by other buildings. I unfortunately didn’t take any pics of the view (which is surprising because I thought I did) so I can’t show you. Just trust me that there isn’t much to see on the side facing 3rd Street.
In front of the bed was a large flat-panel TV atop a dresser, and to the side of that was a desk and phone and a large mirror. The internet wasn’t slow, but definitely was not fast either. I think it’s because of the number of people in the hotel at night, as there are usually quite a few business travelers here during the week (I was one of them).
The bathroom wasn’t anything special but had the usual Westin touches.
There was a single sink with a separate make-up mirror (not sure if there’s another name for it) and a bathtub/shower. The shower head is the same as in every other Westin in the world. It’s not my favorite, but at least you know what to expect when you book at a Westin. All the amenities are standard for the Westin – no surprises.
One thing worth noting is that this hotel participates in the “Make a Green Choice” program, which gives you 500 SPG points in exchange for you electing not to have your room serviced. I actually LOVE this program because I rarely get my room serviced (my stays are generally short), so it’s like free points for me. I wish Hyatt and other hotel chains would offer something similar!
If I haven’t made it clear enough in this post, I highly recommend the Westin Market Street in San Francisco. I stayed here several times from one night to three night stays, and while I never received a suite upgrade, I did receive exception service in a hotel that’s located in a great area (very close to the St. Regis and W by the way).
I’ll review one of my Corner Deluxe Rooms in a separate post coming up soon.