The hotel is on a corner and has a car park opposite which costs a few dollars a day. From the outside, the building is quite petty, with canopies over the doorways and old-fashioned brickwork. The corner of the building is of a circular design. Apparently this building has survived a few big earthquakes, including the big one of 1906. It used to be a girls' boarding school and rumour has it that it's haunted -– but we never saw any evidence of this.
When you enter the lobby, you will be welcomed by a concierge (there's always one on duty). There is a large reception area with very friendly staff to help you out, including getting your bags from the car. Alongside the reception area is a large lounge decorated with ornate fixtures and antique furniture. There is a huge flower arrangement on display and lots of comfortable seating. Newspapers and a visitor's book are also here.
There are several room grades available. We stayed in a standard room which, although clean, tidy, and functional, was a little disappointing compared to the ornate furnishings of the lobby etc. The room was of reasonable size with a queen-size bed, dresser, wardrobe, and a rather ancient looking TV -– possibly in keeping with the antique look of the place. The en-suite had both a bath and shower and was clean.
There are other types of room available. If you are planning on staying here it might be worth an upgrade to a deluxe room which is bigger, comes with a fridge, and a bay window. They also have suites.
The concierge is always on hand (24 hr service) to order taxis, give directions, or plan sightseeing trips. We found them most helpful. The hotel also offers room service, dry cleaning, and use of the nearby athletic club's gym facilities. In the afternoon they serve tea, sherry, and cookies in the lounge.
A continental breakfast is included in your room charge and served in the dining room. There is a selection of cereals, muffins, bagels, tea, coffee, orange juice, etc. You also get a free copy of the local newspaper. You can have dinner at the hotel is you wish, but they like you to book ahead.
We found the hotel staff to be very friendly and helpful, the hotel itself clean and tidy, and the food good. Although the location is not central to San Francisco, we found it easy enough to walk to all the local areas of interest, including Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Golden Gate Bridge. Taxis are available and, once you get to the tourist areas, cable cars are readily available.
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