Hotel recommendations in SF for a romantic getaway?
June 25, 2015 7:29 AM   Subscribe

My ladyfriend and I are going to San Francisco for a romantic getaway, and I'm trying to find the perfect hotel. Looking for something in the four star range, more or less. I can't seem to find any consistency in the hotel reviews except for the five-star hotels. Any recommendations? Views aren't necessary and I'm flexible with location, but a clean and comfortable (luxurious?) room is a must. Right now I'm looking at the Palace Hotel and the Argonaut, any thoughts on those?
posted by entropicamericana to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (20 answers total)
my wife and i loved our circular suite at the hotel vitale.
posted by bruceo at 7:50 AM on June 25, 2015

If you would be happy with any of the five-star options, you could try bidding on Priceline's Name Your Own Price site. You can choose the 5-star only option and the neighborhoods you're interested in. I've been able to get absurdly cheap 5-star hotel rooms this way (though not in SF, because I live here).
posted by three_red_balloons at 8:10 AM on June 25, 2015

Best answer: As much as I love the Garden Court -- amazing brunch! -- and the Pied Piper Bar at the Palace Hotel, keep in mind that it is an old, historic hotel. Very plush, but the rooms can be small unless otherwise noted.
posted by markkraft at 8:16 AM on June 25, 2015

My wife and I got a lovely room at the Clift a few weeks ago - 2nding Priceline, which meant we only paid like $150 a night, which is insane.
posted by raisindebt at 8:16 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: How does the Name Your Own price work? Are their five-star hotels the standard, accepted definition? What is the cancellation policy through that?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:18 AM on June 25, 2015

It's been a while, but I thought the Palomar was lovely.
posted by jaguar at 8:21 AM on June 25, 2015

You could also look in the high end area of Airbnb. I went ahead and looked for a few gems in what I would consider beautiful and convenient downtown locations:
There is an abundance of breakfast options, so I wouldnt worry about that. AirBnb should pay more for recommending it so much :) but this truly comes from many excellent personal experiences around the globe and a love for SanFran.
posted by Fallbala at 8:23 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

How does the Name Your Own price work? Are their five-star hotels the standard, accepted definition? What is the cancellation policy through that?

You can see which hotels it would include by searching on their standard hotel booking page (looks like the Fairmont, Four Seasons, and Loews Regency). Once you put in a bid, if it's accepted, you're stuck with the hotel that accepted (no cancellations, I think). If you bid too low, I think you have to wait until the next day to try again (or use a different email/credit card, put in the credit card when you bid, if I remember right, and then it automatically charges if your bid works). I would start by trying at least 60% off the regular price. This is less likely to work on a popular holiday weekend, I'm sure, because the hotel may already be fully booked.
posted by three_red_balloons at 8:47 AM on June 25, 2015

Oops that should have said "AirBnb should pay ME" - which they don't!
posted by Fallbala at 8:47 AM on June 25, 2015

For Name Your Own Price – basically, you name a price and select the star rating and the location(s) you prefer. I usually start low and go up from there. If there aren't any available for the price you want, it'll ask you to add another location or lower the star rating. I usually just "reset" by opening a new tab and starting over from the beginning and bidding a little bit higher (so I don't have to change my star rating/locations). It can be tedious, but imo it's worth it!

I think the standard cancellation policy is that there are no refunds — you can't back out once you've won the bid. So if your travel plans might change, you probably don't want to take a gamble. But in my experience (I've used it 8+ times now) I've never been dissatisfied with the hotel I ended up with.

There are a bunch of forums where people post/discuss the hotels they've gotten at which specs, like These can be great resources if you want a better idea of the kinds of hotels you might be getting in certain areas.
posted by dire at 8:48 AM on June 25, 2015

Best answer: The Palace, St. Regis and Four Seasons are all downtown, they're all top tier hotels. If you ever saw the movie "The Game" with Michael Douglas the final scene is The Palace Ballroom. The St. Regis is a bit more modern. Put this way, the St. Regis and Four Seasons are where celebrities stay when they're in town.

They're not in very touristy neighborhoods like the Argonaut is. The Argonaut is in an area that's closer to where people live as opposed to the others I mentioned above which are more about where folks work, they're busy during the week but the neighborhood is pretty dead on the weekend. The Argonaut is going to be better over a weekend.

The downtown hotels are maybe a bit more accessible to public transportation however so you can pretty easily get from them to other neighborhoods then the Argonaut would be. (Of course Uber & Lift make getting around pretty damn easy if you're okay with the prices).

I've not seen the inside of the Argonaut so I can't speak to the luxuriousness of the accomodations.
posted by bitdamaged at 8:53 AM on June 25, 2015

My husband and I stayed at The Omni a few years ago for a special occasion. I'm pretty sure the SF Omni is classified as a 4-star hotel, though I'm not 100% certain. It's definitely the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in though, and the entire hotel staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. It's located in the Financial District, which is pretty convenient transit-wise.
posted by darkchocolatepyramid at 9:16 AM on June 25, 2015

Seconding the Clift. We live here, but were living in our 600 sq foot house while we rebuilt the foundation and replacing a lot of drywall so at one point I kinda had a meltdown and needed a night of not sleeping in a grit-filled bed. I was calling friends asking for a couch when my partner surprised me with a night at the Clift--it's not much more expensive than, like, the SF Best Western, which is to say a lot to me but not in a local relative sense. It was really nice.

I was recently at the Loews Regency to meet a friend who had come to town for work. Good lord, I had no idea that place was so fancy. If I had that kind of money, I would totally stay in one of the "superior view" rooms. Stunning.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:31 AM on June 25, 2015

Response by poster: See, I was looking at the Clift, but it only has 3.5 stars on Yelp... Should I just chalk that up to Yelp reviewers being terrible?
posted by entropicamericana at 9:46 AM on June 25, 2015

Best answer: I just stayed at the Palace last night actually. Maybe I lucked out, but I have no Starwoods status whatsoever, booked the cheapest room I could find, and was in a large room with 15 ft+ ceilings, marble bath which appeared recently updated, with a very nice & comfortable king bed. The view wasn't the best (the inside courtyard) but definitely a much better hotel and room than I was expecting for the price vs. the alternatives I was seeing available.

My rate was something like $320/night before taxes (vs. the St Regis and the Westin which were quoting $450-500 for the same stay).
posted by CharlieSue at 9:54 AM on June 25, 2015

Seconding the Vitale. Lovely place.
posted by Thistledown at 10:35 AM on June 25, 2015

I just stayed at the Fairmont in Ghirardelli Square, which is serviced apartments.
posted by brujita at 10:48 AM on June 25, 2015

I stayed Tuesday night at the Hotel Nikko. It was a treat for my husband's birthday. It's a lovely hotel. The downsides are that unless you spring for the upgrade, the wifi isn't free, nor is access to the pool/fitness facilities. We didn't drive so we didn't have to eat with parking, either.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:53 AM on June 25, 2015

We fell hard for the Hotel Majestic, which I think is the oldest operating hotel in SF. We stayed there in 2011. It's a boutique place, with plenty of historic vibe. If your taste runs to creaky floorboards and classic SF names on the hotel rooms, it is hard to beat. It is also in a great location.
posted by bearwife at 11:46 AM on June 25, 2015

Response by poster: Got a deal on a room at the Palace for about $220 and got a free upgrade to a "junior suite." Apparently all the rooms have been recently remodeled. Very nice, very clean, and excellent service. It was a big hit! Thank you for all the replies!
posted by entropicamericana at 11:35 AM on July 15, 2015

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