Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel

Address: 1075 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California, 94109-5817, United States | 3 star hotel
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This 3 star hotel, located in the Fisherman's Wharf - North Beach area of San Francisco, is near Audium, Marines Memorial Theater, Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, and Bay Area Ridge Trail.
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          TravelPod Member ReviewsHotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel San Francisco

          Reviewed by lilychips


          Reviewed Oct 22, 2011
          by (5 reviews) , United Kingdom Flag of United Kingdom

          Great hotel, clean, lovely rooms, perfect location. And the lift is a traveller's dream!

          This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of

          Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel San Francisco

          The Newly Renovated Carlton is a Gem


          Ignore everything written about the Hotel Carlton before May 2004. The hotel has just re-opened after a multi-million dollar top-to-bottom renovation. My wife and I were fortunate to have been among the first post-renovation guests. It was everything a "boutique" hotel should be (but all-too-seldom are).

          On our last trip to San Francisco, we stayed at two other small hotels in the same vicinity. They were, to say the least, highly disappointing. It was therefore with some trepidation that we booked ourselves into the Carlton for this most recent trip.

          As soon as we stepping into the lobby, all our fears were laid to rest. You can enjoy its comfortable sofas and chairs, and restful atmosphere, at breakfast, and in the late afternoon, when wine is served.

          Our room was spacious, bright, comfortable, and tastefully decorated. It looked even bigger and better than it appeared on the Carlton's web site (which does not yet show the newly renovated lobby). We especially loved the photographs and the lamps (of which there were a generous 4 strategically placed throughout the room). The bathroom sparkled, and the towels were plentiful and plush.

          The staff were, without exception, friendly and accommodating. You can sense their pride in their new surrounds.

          If you like small hotels, you should definitely consider staying at the Carlton on your next trip to San Francisco. My wife and I will be moving to San Francisco later this year, so we won't have occasion to stay at the Carlton again ourselves. But we will be recommending it enthusiastically to all our friends and family when they come to visit.

          Don't Stay Here!!!


          Where do I start? Overall, my husband and I were very dissapointed with the service and quality of the hotel. It just underwent renovations and we thought it would be nice the first month it re-opened. First off, front desk - staff was not friendly, no bell man or concierge. We found out check-in wasn't until 3pm, when we thought it was 12, so flying in early was no benefit. We loitered around SF and when we finally checked in, they got our room wrong and the card didn't work. Had to go back down and get a new card. Secondly, the rooms - small, small, small. Lamps did not work, channels on the TV were frozen, poor channel selection, paint smell was nauseating, the wind howls under the door when you open the window to air out the room, no mini bar, no ice machine and the coffee maker cord was less than 1 ft long. We had to put the coffee maker on the floor to use it in the morning! Iron and ironing board were both poor quality. Other issues - the valet takes 20 mins and the parking lot is sketchy. There's a free wine hour at 5-6pm, but they offer very bad wine and it's gone by 5:30. The maid service didn't come until 5pm one day and in general, poor cleaning. So, to say the least, a very BAD experience. No matter what the price, please do not stay here!

          A SAn Francisco original.


          The staff was very friendly and attentive. The hotel was a little worn but they mentioned a complete winter renovation.

          Definitely a great value with exceptional service.

          Probably wouldn't stay there again


          We stayed at this hotel for 3 nights and were a little disappointed.

          The view from our room was of walls covered in grafitti, there were sirens all night long and the rep told us not to go out of the hotel and turn left as it was unsafe. On the plus side, the front desk staff were brilliant, really helpful and friendly and the room was o.k. if a little drab. Don't think I would stay here again by choice, but if I had to, it wouldn't be such a bad thing.

          Basic and friendly at a fair price


          The hotel lobby is welcoming and the staff were extremely helpful and friendly on arrival, advising us as to some of the best places to see and to avoid.

          Our room was rather basic and certainly in need of decoration but spotlessly clean. The bathroom was a little on the small side but again very clean and, despite appearances, the shower was fantastic.

          The breakfast is good value and if you are in the lobby around 6pm then guests are treated to a free glass or two of wine - okay its not top notch but its a nice touch all the same and indicative of the friendly atmosphere.

          This hotel is basic, in need of updating but friendly and clean.

          Anyway, there is so much to do and see in San Francisco that you will not want to spend all of your time in a hotel, no matter how nice it is! Over all, it is good value for money.

          Very disappointed


          The room was very tired and the drapes were in shreds from too much sunlight. The blinds on the windows were covered in dust. The room was hot so the windows had to be open all the time. There was a fire/ambulance station on the street behind the hotel and as a result, sirens went all night making it very difficult to sleep. The shower upstairs leaked into our bathtub every time they showered. The in-house restaurant had poor service (slow) and the food not that great. On the good side, the front desk staff were extremely helpful and knowledgeable about trip booking, buses and restaurants.

          Great staff


          The hotel is situated in a save, central, but not so attractive area of the city. The rooms - we were on the 9th floor - are small and oldfashioned, and the walls are thin so we could listen in on both neighbours conversations !! The staff made up for it, though, they were helpfull, friendly and above all really funny. Would we go back? It was value for the money, but if I had more of the latter, i would go to a hotel in Fishermans Warf.

          Stay was good...but who was in our room?


          My brother and I stayed at this hotel for about 6 days in San Fran.

          Apon arriving to the hotel, the staff and employees were very helpful in getting us comfortable with checking in and places of interest around San Fran. A+. Our room was medium sized which was enough room store luggage and belongings. The bathroom was quite small, but was very clean and updated with a wall hairdryer, soaps, shampoos, and other bath room items. The shower had good water pressure and was perfect. Oddly there was no air conditioning unit in our hotel room, but opening the windows at night proved just as good with the cool bay winds blowing in at night, though with the window open it can get very loud at night. Overall the staff was professional and the rooms were always made up nice. The only problem I had was one day when we came back from a trip, a bottle which wasn't ours ended up in our room. Made me wondering if they check up on there guests. Who Knows. Overall it was a good stay.

          Fair enough


          My wife and I have stayed at the Carlton twice. Because of our experience the second time, there will not be a third. The staff was friendly, the location excellent, but the rooms were very unclean. On both occasions the bathrooms were filthy (other people's hair), the carpets dirty, and the sheets needing some serious bleach. If you don't mind dirty walls and wondering if the cleaning staff has actually done anything to the room during the past month besides change the towels and slap a new bar of soap down, than this is the place for you. There are better priced hotels throughout San Francisco which would be less disappointing .

          Comfortable and reasonably priced


          My husband and I have stayed at the Hotel Carlton about 4 or 5 times in the past two years. It is an older hotel located a few blocks from Union Square, so it is convenient for shopping. The staff are friendly and accomodating. The beds are comfortable and the rooms are clean. This is an older hotel and it has that old San Francisco flavor that I happen to enjoy, since it reminds me of my San Francisco grandparents. Their pricing is very reasonable. If you aren't from San Francisco, be sure and go have dinner at Johnny's Grill over on Ellis Street.

          TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel San Francisco

          4.00 of 5 stars Excellent

          Travel Blogs from San Francisco

          San Francisco

          A travel blog entry by xtine13 on Sep 07, 2013

          7 photos

          ... the prisoners could hear the sounds of daily life in the city. That would have been punishment enough. When we got back we walked to Pier 39 - Fisherman's Wharf which has an amazing array if shops and restaurants. We decided on Neptunes for lunch where we had a seat next to the window overlooking the seal colony. Apparently the seals first arrived in that part of the bay 25 years ago and never left so docks were built for them where they laze in the sun ...