Travel Blogs from San Francisco
Today we are off to Alcatraz! Should be really interesting I am thinking, we are booked for the 1.30pm ferry so we have time to explore Fisherman's wharf this morning :) We are staying only a five minute walk to the historic street car that runs from Castro right through to Fisherman's Wharf and it's only $2 so we catch it and it gives us a chance to see some of the city on our way. Being a Saturday Fisherman's Wharf was bustling with people but the vibe is still beachy ...
... some interesting shops and restaurants and some Chinese architecture as well, a nice diversion, and we made a note to stop back for a proper Chinese meal at some point.
We then started the big walk across town from almost the most north eastern extreme towards the south west (at least as far as the tourist area extended). On the way we stopped at the City Hall, a rather strange building that looks like someone copied and then blinged up a 16th century ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Frank San Francisco
Maxwell is fantastic!!
I stayed at the Maxwell the last time i was in San Francisco, and let me tell you...i will be staying there every time i go back! The rooms had a wonderful vintage feel, complete with a dressing table in the walk-in closet! And the service was just beyond compare. Not to mention the location, right off Union Square!!! You really can't ask for more in a hotel - I can't wait to visit again!
Convenient, Beautiful Hotel in SF!
My husband and I have stayed at the Maxwell Hotel a few times over the last year and just love it! It is so close to Union Square shopping, cable cars and fabulous restaurants! The hotel staff has been courteous and responsive to our needs. The hotel is spotless and beautifully decorated! We love it!
Family friendly and a great location
After a long flight from Edinburgh to San Francisco, via London and Chicago , all I wanted was a sandwich and a cup of tea for my wife and I and our two teenage sons , and a comfy bed. No problem to the staff at the Maxwell....welcoming, courteous and sympathetic to these far travelled visitors. Five days and nights in one of the comfiest king size beds I've slept in followed. Our double room was adjacent to our two sons' double room.....a hotel deal aimed at travelling families....good value , and with the facility for privacy if required. The proximity to the Trams, buses, and the BART system was very handy, as we had decided to travel by Public Transport within and around the city. Shops , restaurants , and galleries abound nearby, and travelling to all the tourist areas was never a problem...Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, Fishermans Wharf were all hit by the family. Following San Fran, we took off for Yosemite, but thats another story.... I would recommend the Maxwell as a good value, centrally located, family friendly hotel in the heart of San Francisco....it certainly added to our enjoyment of a beautiful city. Joe Fitzpatrick, St Andrews, Scotland
I have stayed at 3 other Joie de Vivre properties and was quite pleased. Unfortunately the Maxwell did not match up to the others. Yes, the location is excellent--less than one block from Union Square.
However, the overall cleanliness and freshness of the rooms would discourage me from ever staying there again. I would go as far as saying that our bathroom was unsanitary. It was in dire need of refurbishment. Peeling paint, cracked tiles, stained countertops. The condition of the bathroom was more Motel 6-like than anything else.
Also, the bedrooms carpets were extremely worn, tired and dirtly looking. The hotel advertises itself as "art deco" decor. To us, the dark burgundy and green decor was more like the average plain old hotel decor that we could have found at a large chain hotel. Certaintly NOT what we were hoping to find from a boutique property.
Spent 4 lovely nights at the Maxwell. place was clean, room was nice, price was right. in the heart of union square. room was ok, bed comfy, bathroom nice, sitting area for writing, felt like you had space to move about. public transportation right there - bart, cable cars, street cars, buses. restaurant is OK. would recommend Aqua (seafood) and Ebisu (japanese - best sushi i ever had).
staff friendly and attentive. this is a solid 3 star spot. later in my trip i spent a night in the ramada on market street and HATED it. I would definitely go back to the Maxwell. bottom line - this is a n affordable spot ($100 per nite/avg) with a great location (union square)
A little disappointing
We booked to stay in the maxwell for 4 nights. The hotel is in a great location but it is not value for money. The rooms where small and shoddy. Little things like paintwork and a bathroom you couldnt swing a cat in added to the disappointment of this hotel. It wasnt worth the money we paid. All that said the staff were extremely helpful and courteous - they helped us get around San Francisco and booked trips etc for us which is something you dont get in the bigger hotels. My advice if your not too bothered about your room and want location then this is the one for you.
Charming and clean
Hotel was neat and clean, comfortable beds, charming - we stayed in a Jr. Suite w/ a King bed and pull out sofa bed w/ our son. Attached restaurant was superb. I would stay there again. Close to everything.
My husband and I spent the first two nights of our honeymoon at the Maxwell. It was perfect! Our room was very large and offered a nice view of San Francisco. The art deco style of the place offered the perfect ambiance for an old boutique hotel. One tip: Don't eat breakfast downstairs--there's a great place on the corner that is much more affordable.
Gorgeous And Wonderful
I just returned from a four night stay at the Maxwell and I loved it. I had originally called to book another property owned by the same group, and since I asked for adjoining rooms (I had two teenagers in tow) they suggested the Maxwell instead, having a more convenient locations for families and they gave me half price on the second room. I must say that the location was nearly perfect. I don't know San Francisco well at all (it was my first time there), but apart from quite a few friendly panhandlers, the location was good. There were lots of restaurants and great shops within walking distance. The neighborhood felt safe. Chinatown is a short walk away. Cablecars run nearby, if you want to ride one. The staff at the hotel is extremely friendly and helpful. There is internet access in an alcove off the lobby (you can buy a 20 minute card for $3. from the front desk). I rebooted the computer when the screen froze and they insisted on giving me a free card because I had 'helped' them out -- even though rebooting a computer is a no-brainer. But I liked that I could check my email while I was away. The hotel is quite gorgeous and ultra-comfortable. Each room has it's own heater (San Francisco was surprisingly chilly in July!) air conditioning unit. The one in my room was brand new. The hotel is decorated in a combination of a Victorian / Art Deco style, if you can picture it, and it's a success. My room had dark red walls, black woodwork, the most beautiful bedspread I had ever seen in a hotel, gorgeous velvet/damask drapes, and two easy chairs with leopard pillows! It was just stunning! It's an old building that had been renovated, but the charm was not remodeled out of it. My favorite feature though, was the newly done old-fashioned bathroom with small white octogon floor tiles and the biggest porcelain tub I've seen in a hotel. If you like baths (like I do - a major destresser for me) you know the difference between porcelain and fiberglass. Porcelain baths stay hot longer. I had a delightful stay at the Maxwell. The highlight was running into the actress Renee Taylor in the elevator (she played Fran Fine's mom on The Nanny), who was also staying at the Maxwell while performing nearby. You know, dahling, if it's good enough for her, it's good enough for you!
Union Square Delight
Perfect for a weekend getaway, The Maxwell Hotel offered us much more than we had anticipated. Just a block off of Union Square, this contemporary hotel had the perfect touch of old world style. The rooms were immaculate and well taken care of - especially for an older hotel in the city. It's thick velvety curtains and rich color combinations made the aestetics very welcoming.
Beyond appearances, the service was impecable. In the first half hour of checking in, I was offered free drinks, a free upgrade and a free foot massager in my room! The room I had reserved was still dirty (seeing as how I was checking in an hour early it was to be expected) - I didn't as much raise a finger when the staff lavished me with these gifts. Now that's the kind of service we have forgotten to expect in San Francisco.
One more note on The Maxwell: Location, location, location. In the mecca of SF shopping and almost certainly a ten dollar cab ride to anywhere else in the city, it couldn't be more perfect. The restaurant downstairs is worth every penny and the blues cafe across the street (Biscuits and Blues) is one of SF's best kept music secrets.
All in all, a wonderful hotel with all the ammenities your heart could desire.