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We arrived in San Francisco more tired than we have ever been, then to make matters worse our luggage could not be found. After some delirious shouting at airport officials we left for our accommodation (minus luggage) the swanky San Francisco Palace Hotel. We were informed on arrival there was to be a welcome reception, starting in about 2 hours …
Left Yosemite after the (now) usual coffee and oatmeal outside our tent. Arrived SF about lunchtime after a pretty cruisy drive, checked into a pretty plush hotel (nice work Craig) which is a welcome change after share bathrooms etc. Grabbed a quick bite and then headed off to Telegraph Hill and checked out Coit Tower (great murals inside painted …
We've had a lovely first few days here in San Francisco. The weather has been fantastic - clear blue skies and sun - which judging by it's foggy reputation, we've been lucky to have. We've walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, taken cable cars, eaten ice creams at Ghirardelli's, scampi and shrimps at Fisherman's Wharf, listened to some Blues, seen …
... tower and to Fishermans Wharf. Chinatown here in San Francisco is the largest 'Chinatown' oustide of China, and it's narrow winding lanes and tall buildings make it feel just like the real thing! We even visited the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Co., which has been making cookies here for decades! San Francisco's hills are evil, something that was highlighted in the walk up to Coit Tower. I'm sure my calves will be feeling the pain for days. The views from the top of ...
... life would have been for the inmates. Cells were 5 feet by 7 feet by 7 feet and prisoners could expect to spend from 16 to 23 hours a day in their cell if they were good. Bad behaviour was punished with isolation cells or even worse, solitary confinement for up to 14 days in pitch dark. Terrible but an excellent tour. 14 escape attempts but only I may have been successful when in 1962 3 men disappeared from prison and were never ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Palace Hotel San Francisco
Hotel somewhat over-rated
Well, I just recently did a 2 night stay there at a rate of $127/night for a "deluxe" room. After reading the reviews, I had built up a pretty hefty expectation. However, the rooms were quite small but seemed barren. My favourite property is the Westin and it didn't seem to be up to even that standard. The bed was ok but wasn't the same as the Westin Heavenly Bed although they called it an Ultimate Bed. There was no coffee maker in the room. As for the Garden Court (Atrium), it was nice but it wasn't spectacular as some posters say.
I must say that the staff was quite friendly and helpful. I'm giving it a 4 star mainly because of the disappointment in the room and the somewhat far distance from the center of Union Square.
My stay at the Palace exceeded my expectations. The best parts: the bathrobe, breakfast at the Garden Court, lunch at Maxfield's, the down comforter. This is the place to stay if you want to feel pampered and comfortable. The staff is exceptional and eager to please.
Elegant but Very Noisy
We were due to stay at the Palace Hotel, San Francisco for three nights. We were attracted to the hotel because of the favorable reviews and the photographs etc on the website, which captured precisely the elegance and grandeur of the hotel. However, our lasting memory of the Palace Hotel, will not be the opulent decor of the hotel, nor the helpful, friendly staff, nor the comfortable bedrooms. Our lasting memory of this beautiful and graceful hotel, will be of the unbelievably poor soundproofing of the bedrooms. We were woken at 1am by very noisy guests who were conducting a rowdy conversation in the hallway somewhere along our floor, and even though security was called to sort the problem out, they proved inefficient in ending the noise.
It was left to another guest who had also been disturbed, to request that the noisemakers quiten down. At 6am we were woken by guests in the next room, merely having a quiet conversation and as for every guest that passed our door on their way to or from the elevator, we could hear every footstep and conversation, even the whispers, which were followed by the loud clunking of the bedroom doors closing. All in all, the poor quality of the soundproofing of the bedrooms, completely overshadowed any good impressions that we had when we first checked into the hotel. If you are interested in staying at the Palace Hotel, I would definitely recommend you take your earplugs with you, because otherwise you won't get a good night sleep, unless the hotel is virtually empty. Sorry to be so negative, but glamorous, elegant surroundings mean nothing, if you can not get a decent nights rest.
Elegance and Grandeur
The Palace Hotel is one of the most elegant hotels I have had the pleasure to stay at. Eat in the restaurant located in the atrium just for the unique experience alone and bring your camera. Every member of the staff was extremely accommodating and friendly. The rooms were not as spacious as some hotels, but as others have said, it is to be expected in an older historic hotel. Although the beds were extremely comfortable, they were double sized and not queen sized (in our room - not sure what else they have to offer). For those who need an instant shot of caffeine in the morning when their feet hit the floor like myself, I was disappointed to see there was no coffee maker in the room. However, there is coffee available in the lobby. I would have traded the terry robes for a coffee maker :-) The location was great as well. Situated at the edge of the financial district and Union Square, it was a short walk to shopping, restaurants, museums, and Chinatown.
Public transportation, including a BART station, is available on the Market Street side of the hotel. Check out Boudin Bagel around the corner from the hotel for an inexpensive, but great lunch or snack as well.
A terrific Starwood property
Stayed at the Palace for a recent conference in the nearby Moscone Center. It is a terrific City hotel. The rooms are modest (though bigger than some I've stayed in in NYC). The beds were great and the rooms were quiet -- key points for any business stay. The location is perfect as well -- away from the really tacky Fisherman's Wharf.
Breakfast was WAY too expensive for the buffet, which was fine. Be sure to go to the bar however, for a beautful painting which was made for the hotel. Looks even better after a few drinks...
Funniest aspect: the bellman use a train whistle to catch a taxicab's attention. Gotta love it! A great place for tourist or business travellers.
My sister just had her wedding ceremony, reception, and dinner at The Palace. The hotel itself is without question absolutely gorgeous and has such old world charm. Everything that day was picture perfect until we got to dinner. The dinner service was horrendous! Champagne and water glasses were not kept filled. In fact, other guests told me that when they asked the waitstaff for refills, they were ignored. Wrong meals were given to the guests despite the stickers at each place setting indicating the proper food choice. The list of complaints I heard afterwards just goes on. The guests left by saying what a beautiful wedding it was, BUT... In the end, an absolutely beautiful wedding was ruined by inept and rude service. The hotel still had the nerve to charge a 19% gratuity despite the complaints. Unless you can bring your own servers, I honestly would not recommend having a dinner reception at this hotel.
My stay at "The Palace" will be a wonderful memory. My son treated me for my 57th birthday and he could not have done better. I rate it a 10 star !!
A grand and great hotel
What a beautiful hotel. One of the most spectacular atriums that you will every see. 5 star in every detail. The rooms are comfortable and spacious but the bathrooms are a bit on the small side, this is to be suspected in an older hotel. They have a full service spa, a very nice pool, a decent workout area and excellent service. The staff is friendly and curtious, eagar to please. The location is ideal- close to the Convention Center, Pac Bell Park and Union Square. The room features include nice furniture, duvet bedding and lovely crown molding. Certainly a top older hotel in this City, if not the country.
First rate luxury
Stayed here for my honeymoon and it was great. The hotel itself is beautiful and the service is wonderful. Parking across the street and plenty of stores all around. It was only a short walk to the trolley and the subway is right at the corner too. We didn't get a good view from our room, but we had gotten the room at a HUGE discount. The rooms are average size, but have an aire of opulence. The hotel also provided comfy robes, a morning paper. The Spa and pool also were first rate. I wouldn't want to stay anywhere else in SF.
My husband and I have stayed here many times over the years, and often go there just for dinner as well. It's a beautiful and historic hotel... lots of high ceilings and oozes elegance everywhere. The displays of historic artifacts displayed in glass cases in the lobby areas is worth stopping by to view even if you're not staying there. The rooms are not as large as more modern hotels, but they are beautifully furnished with renovated bathrooms and expensive linens. Champagne brunch at the breathtaking Garden Court, accompanied by a string quartet, was the best I've ever experienced! Maxfield's Restaurant has wonderful food and atmosphere... go there on St. Patrick's Day for the best corned beef and cabbage my husband's ever had in HIS life! The location is also great... right on Market at the Montgomery Street station. By all means stay here if you can afford the regular rates, or if you can get a good special.