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
I stayed at the St. Regis San Francisco twice, and like my two stays at the Palace Hotel, the experience was roughly consistent. The difference in my stays was the type of room I was in. For my first stay, I decided to use one of my Suite Night Awards that I received for staying 50 nights with SPG. This got me an upgrade to their standard suite, which they call the Astor Suite. I didn’t receive a suite upgrade on my second stay but I did get upgraded to a Deluxe Room, which I’ll review separately since the rooms are very different.
The lobby of the St. Regis is relatively small, especially compared to the Palace Hotel. There’s an open bar area and a small seating area, but that’s pretty much it. Check-in counters are around the corner, and just past that are elevators. The bar was full during weekday evenings, and based on their attire, it seemed like everyone was in town for business.
Check-in was easy and they acknowledged that I used a Suite Night Award to upgrade. As I always do, I asked if it was possible to upgrade me to a higher category suite (there are several more), but was told there was no availability. I didn’t bother checking to see if he was being honest since it really doesn’t matter after they say “no” the first time. The front desk agent wasn’t particularly friendly and didn’t offer any additional information about the hotel. He simply gave me my key and pointed me towards the elevators. I expect more from a St. Regis!
I went up to my room, which thankfully was on the 16th floor. My experience at the Palace confirmed that I’d much, much rather be on a higher level in a downtown area. The suite didn’t look larger than the one I had at the Palace, but according to the hotel websites it’s about 200 sqft larger. The only way I can think this is possible is because of the bathroom, which was significantly bigger and better here.
The first thing I noticed upon entry was the wood floors, something that’s pretty rare as far as hotel rooms go. The second thing was the view. It was a pretty great view and I arrived just after sunset, so the lights were just turning on as the sky faded to different shades of purple.
The work desk was directly in front of the entry area and tucked away in its own section. I think this area was great, because it provided a view out of two directions. Who doesn’t like working with a view? The desk also had one of those touch-screen room control devices. I could turn off all the lights, turn the “Do Not Disturb” sign on or off, call the butler, set an alarm, and more all from this control panel. The only negative is that it’s not really portable due to its size.
The sitting area in the living room had carpet underneath, making the room feel more homey. And again – the view was fantastic. Otherwise, the whole room was kind of dark. I wish they had more lighting in this room!
A small hallway led to the bathroom on the left and the bedroom on the right. Here’s the bedroom:
My first impression of the bedroom was that it’s pretty small, especially compared to the on at the Palace (despite the St. Regis room having more square feet). The bedroom had another touch-screen control device, a TV, and a similar view of the city. The closet had all the usuals including a robe and a safe.
Across the hall was the bathroom, which was almost my favorite part of the room.
As you can see, the bathroom was decked out in marble and limestone and had a large soaking tub and separate shower. The shower had a standard handheld shower head plus a rainfall shower head, which is probably my single favorite bathroom feature. There were two sinks, a TV, tons of towels, and another bathrobe. Everything looked great.
The only problem was the thing I was looking forward to most – the rainfall shower head. It didn’t work! I tried over and over to get it working, but it just refused. I was bummed and didn’t have time to deal with hotel service in the morning, so I had to let it go. Luckily the view in the morning was excellent, which helped bring my mood back to the positive side.
I did mention it to the front desk at checkout, letting them know it needed to be fixed while also hoping to get some kind of compensation for the trouble. The front desk agent simply shrugged and said “huh, that’s strange” and didn’t even offer an apology. I didn’t ask for any compensation, and they certainly weren’t about to offer any. I had doubts that they’d even report the issue so I let the SPG twitter team know as well.
The room and view was great, minus the issue with the shower. The location is very good and is only a stones throw away from the Palace Hotel. The hotel was quiet aside from the crowded bar downstairs and the bed and everything else about the room was comfortable. The only negative I have (aside from the broken shower) is with the front desk agents. The St. Regis is supposed to be a top-tier hotel, and the service is supposed to be top-notch. I barely received a smile, a thank you, no explanation of anything at check-in, and no sympathy for my broken shower at check-out. I stayed here a second time a few weeks later (review coming) and found the service to be just as lethargic.
With that in mind, I would not stay here again and wouldn’t recommend it. With prices at $500+ a night or 20K SPG points, it’s simply not worth it in my opinion. My stays were full reimbursed and I still chose not to stay at this hotel more than twice given the other good SPG options in the area.
Next up, the Westin San Francisco Market Street, which was my favorite of the bunch!