San Francisco Journals

San Francisco: Union Square Hotel Guide

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A July 2004 trip to San Francisco by artsnletters

Ride the historic cable cars Photo, San Francisco, California More Photos
Quote: These hotels, listed roughly in ascending order of price, cover the gamut of character and cost, all within three blocks of Union Square: home to great theaters and shopping, a short walk from Chinatown and the financial district, and well-served by public transport, including the cable car to Fisherman’s Wharf.

San Francisco: Union Square Hotel Guide

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Overview

Ride the historic cable cars Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Business travelers have long known of the convenience and comfort of hotels in the Union Square area, where it’s only a quick walk to the financial district or the Moscone Convention Center. Leisure travelers in search of a broader experience of San Francisco than can be found staying near increasingly tacky Fisherman’s Wharf, however, should also head to the heart of San Francisco, Union Square, for their accommodations. Although the actual square itself is nothing special, with its grand proximity to great theaters, the city’s finest shopping, and colorful Chinatown, it’s hard to beat. San Francisco’s parking shortage is notorious and impossible to exaggerate; if you’re staying at Union Squa...Read More

Dakota Hotel

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Hotel

Dakota Hotel Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Parking: $20 per day in nearby garage BART: Powell station (six blocks) Could this be true? A hotel with a fun and funky soul located just two blocks from Union Square, with rates way under $100? Indeed it is. Your first clue is the etched wooden sign, complete with lucky horseshoe, hung over the entrance to the Dakota Hotel: "Kick off your boots and stay awhile." At rates as low as $50 per night, nearly anyone can afford to do just that. Here are some things the Dakota is not: plush, depressing, sleek, grim, formal. Here are some things you won’t find at the Dakota: a weight room, a concierge, uniformed personnel, a bellman, a stuffy attitude. Wh...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2004

Dakota Hotel
606 POST STREET
San Francisco, California 94109
415-931-7475

Hotel des Arts

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Hotel

Hotel des Arts Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Hotel des Arts website Parking: $20 per day in nearby garage BART: Montgomery station (four blocks) As tony as the Union Square area is, it’s still possible to find a distinctive hotel at a very affordable price. The recently renovated Hotel des Arts (formerly the Alisa Hotel) is in transition to a European-style boutique budget hotel with a modern-art flair. Situated just across the street from the Chinatown Gate a mere three blocks from Union Square and looking deceptively small; it actually houses 51 rooms. The lobby, located on the second floor up a steep narrow spiral staircase or reached by elevat...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2004

Hotel des Arts
447 Bush Street
San Francisco, California
1(800) 956-4322

Executive Hotel Mark Twain

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Hotel

Executive Hotel Mark Twain Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Executive Hotel Mark Twain website Parking: $28 per day, $38 for oversized vehicles BART: Powell station (four blocks) Located three blocks from Union Square, the Mark Twain bills itself as the "affordable alternative" in an area which can be quite pricy. Of the hotels I visited, this was indeed the most reasonably priced of the more "standard" variety of accommodations and a good choice for families. The Mark Twain, built in 1948, looks like a fairly conventional hotel, with its small, comfortable but not particularly elegant lobby, but it has a notorious history. In 1949, the pol...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2004

Executive Hotel Mark Twain
345 TAYLOR STREET
San Francisco, California 94102
415-673-2332

King George Hotel

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Hotel

King George Hotel Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
King George Hotel website Parking: Self-parking $22 per day, valet $27 per day BART: Powell station (five blocks) This elegant gem of a hotel, built in 1914 and last renovated in 2002, seems smaller than it is, and that’s a good thing. A little slice of quasi-England just a block off Union Square, the tall green building houses 153 charming and comfortable rooms on nine floors in a variety of configurations: double, queen, king, twin, and double-double, in an environment that feels simultaneously cozy, personal and graceful. The lobby is a revelation of Georgian grace, with beveled glass panes in the tall windows, yellow...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 5, 2004

King George Hotel
334 MASON STREET
San Francisco, California 94102-1783
415-781-5050

Handlery Union Square Hotel

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Hotel

Handlery Union Square Hotel Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Handlery Union Square Hotel website Parking: $27 per day BART: Powell station (four blocks) If you like the amenities and class of a large hotel, but you also long for the personal touch of a small hotel, then the family-owned and family-run Handlery Union Square Hotel is an excellent choice. Located only half a block from Union Square, this 377-room hotel has been in the Handlery family for three generations, and the fourth generation is currently in training. Jon Handlery, the hotel’s affable general manager (and also the newly installed Chairman of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau), is on site most da...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 5, 2004

Handlery Union Square Hotel
351 GEARY ST
San Francisco, California 94102
415-781-7800

Warwick Regis Hotel

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Hotel

Warwick Regis Hotel Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Warwick Regis Hotel website Parking: $29 per day valet BART: Powell station (five blocks) Two blocks from Union Square, the ultra-elegant, formal, and sophisticated Warwick Regis is ideally located for culture vultures just across the street from ACT and the Curran Theater, two of the major San Francisco theaters. The classy lobby, in coral, rust, and cream, is intimate and stylish in the best old-world tradition, with antique furnishings and an antique chandelier, while the uniformed staff is personable and professional. The 74 rooms here are richly stunning and elegantly lit, with dark wood set off by green and maroo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 5, 2004

Warwick Regis Hotel
490 GEARY ST
San Francisco, California 94102
415-928-7900

San Francisco Marriott Union Square

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Hotel | "Crowne Plaza Hotel"

San Francisco Marriott Union Square Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Crowne Plaza Hotel website Parking: $34 per day (valet), $39 for larger vehicles BART: Montgomery station (five blocks) The 403-room Crowne Plaza sits one block above Union Square on the street running along the uphill side. The Powell Street cable car to Fisherman’s Wharf runs along the perpendicular street, so you cannot do better for a location. While the Crowne Plaza doesn’t offer as distinctive a personality as many of the other hotels listed here, it is a sleek hotel offering most any amenities you might like, the pinstriped staff is exceedingly ingratiating and professional, and the quality of t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2004

San Francisco Marriott Union Square
480 Sutter Street
San Francisco, California 94108
(415) 398-8900

Hotel Nikko San Francisco

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Hotel | "Hotel Nikko"

Hotel Nikko San Francisco Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Hotel Nikko website Parking: $39 per day BART: Powell station (three blocks) The sleek, Asian-accented Nikko, located two blocks from Union Square, is one of the premier hotels in San Francisco. It’s simultaneously modern, arty, and faintly Japanese. It’s also the home of renowned Anzu, a destination restaurant. The hotel is so understated from the outside, you could almost miss it, but the inside is most distinctive. The Nikko serves about 60% business clientele and 40% leisure, with 10% Japanese clientele. Despite the address, the main entrance to the hotel is actually on O’Farrell Street. This was the largest hotel I visited...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 5, 2004

Hotel Nikko San Francisco
222 MASON STREET
San Francisco, California 94102
415-394-1111

JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square

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Hotel | "Pan Pacific Hotel"

JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Pan Pacific Hotel website Parking: $39 per day, $45 for oversized vehicles BART: Powell station (five blocks) The Pan Pacific is a topnotch hotel two blocks from Union Square with an international focus: sophisticated, well appointed, and packed with luxury amenities. Part of a hotel group with properties all around the Pacific Rim, the hotel has a multilingual staff prepared to serve guests from any continent, and a range of services to ensure that guests will feel utterly pampered. This is a large hotel, with 338 rooms, and you’ll feel it in the lobby, which is the floor level of a lofty atrium which reaches ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 5, 2004

JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square
500 Post Street
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 771-8600

Campton Place Hotel

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Hotel

Campton Place Hotel Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Campton Place Hotel website Parking: $35 per day BART: Montgomery station (three blocks) Behind its rather plain brick façade, the Campton Place is a plush boutique hotel with 110 luscious rooms and a delightful staff, located only half a block from Union Square. Don’t be misled by the unassuming exterior; the instant you walk in, you’ll know you’re somewhere special. The lobby is intimate and plush with luxurious Asian touches in the ceramic pieces and hanging art; the color scheme is beige and brown with coral accents, very restful to the eye. The staff is very professional and attentive and quick with a smile. Rooms are ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 5, 2004

Campton Place Hotel
340 Stockton Street
San Francisco, California 94108
(415) 781-5555