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-   -   Embassy Suites San Rafael - Marin County {US-CA} (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilton-hilton-honors/130816-embassy-suites-san-rafael-marin-county-us-ca.html)

hhonorman May 31, 03 1:16 pm

Embassy Suites San Rafael - Marin County {US-CA}
 
I've done a search but can't find any reviews of this property. Anyone have comments about the place, good or bad? Is parking free? Do they have the usual manager's reception and made to order breakfast? Are the rooms in good condition?
Any input is greatly appreciated.

I'm thinking of using a GLON in the Napa area and this property seemed to fit the bill. The ES Napa requires a GLONP, so that is not an option. If you wanted to stay in the general area of Napa for a week, would this be a good choice for a hotel? I don't mind taking day trips to Napa and Sonoma or other places, I'll have a car so the "commute" doesn't bother me. If I'm going to be in a hotel for a week, I though ES would be good because of 3 things, 1. Guaranteed to get a two room suite with microwave & fridge; 2. Won't have to argue with front desk about getting free breakfast; and 3. Free booze at the manager's reception is a bonus. I'd consider other properties in the general area if they have a good exec. lounge and good rooms. I've looked at the ES Sacramento, which was reviewed here by several kind folks, but the $18 parking is a bummer. However, the hotel does sound nice, so it's one I haven't ruled out yet. Any suggestions?



[This message has been edited by hhonorman (edited 05-31-2003).]

sg7z May 31, 03 10:19 pm

hhonorman:

I've had 2 one nighters there. Nice place, cool atrium. Free booze and bfast. I have another trip to the area in late August and will probably stay again. BTW, there is a decent Basque restaurant about 5 minutes away that has some tastey dishes http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif

------------------
Sheldon

SPN Lifer May 31, 03 11:26 pm

I've stayed there and grew up nearby.

Parking is free, and one can enjoy a nice walk around the Marin Civic Center lagoon next door, and another dirt walking path to the slough. [McInnis County Park at the Smith Ranch Road exit 2 miles north, taking the road to the left from the park past the sewage treatment plant, has a much better pathway for bird watching, though.] The Civic Center cafeteria for weekday lunches is a secret gem with an outdoor garden near the top of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed masterpiece.

Hotel is well-maintained. Nice spacious rooms. The only negative in my experience was the tiny very warm indoor swimming pool positively overrun with rambunctious youth until late hours of the night.

A couple of years ago, a child fell out of an open window and died, so be careful about that.

If you are going to stay there (it is a long drive to Napa), you might want to consider some of the sites in Marin, keeping in mind that commute traffic (south bound in the morning, north bound in the evening) is very bad.

OB one Jun 1, 03 11:37 am

I used a GLON to stay there last summer for 6 nights. Could have had a room for $140 or so plus tax, so it is not the best bet for points, but it is free and saved just less than $1000. We stayed at San Francisco Hilton for three nights before coming to ES San Rafael.

The hotel is rather in the middle of nowhere, but since you will have a car, there is plently close enough (within 5-10 minutes drive). You can certainly use it as a center of activity to climb Mt. Tamalpais, to cruise into Sausalito, to park and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, to check out Marin Headlands and drive the coast by Stinson Beach. Napa and Sonoma are close enough. I recommend driving to the very north of either in the morning and turning around and heading back south as you make your stops at the various vineyards. Have a dd if needed.

The hotel is fine, not as nice as Sacramento ES and not much of a view, but the breakfast is good (busier on weekends than weekdays) and the manager's reception is fine. The parking is free, but we were offered some jewelry from some guy in a van in the parking lot, at cut rate prices, needless to say we didn't take him up on it.

The pool is open 24 hours a day and there can be lots of kids, even at 11 pm (hey those were my kids at 11 pm). The jacuzzi is decent, but can be crowded, and the exercise room is fair, but the pool is small and steamy.

All in all it was an economical way to use a GLON for a family vacation. I even recommended it to another family member who was doing the same San Francisco trip and needed to fill her four CNTU stays (HS BDL, San Francisco Hilton, ES San Rafael, ES Burlingame.) 50,000 points for these stays so I just booked her a TEEN for Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Phoenix. Nice.

Don't expect a lot over and above, just a decent place with two rooms and breakfast/manager's reception and you will be fine.

Eastbay1K Jun 1, 03 1:23 pm

Sacramento is too far for the "goals" of your trip. While the hotel isn't quite where you want to be, and while I wouldn't want to stay in that location for a week, it still should suit your needs pretty well. Its not that far up to Santa Rosa (where you can then take Hwy12 and do the Sonoma wine thing), and also Napa Valley isn't terribly far away. Further, there are lots of things going on in Marin Co., and you can also get to SF (for daytime activities) by taking the Larkspur Ferry if you don't want to deal with a car in the City.

kymbakitty Jun 1, 03 6:48 pm

Dear Hhonorman:

I really like this hotel. For YEARS, and I mean years, you could never stay here as a state worker because they would NEVER have state rates. Recently, they have had state rates and we were pretty excited. I enjoy this hotel. Yes..it is not in the "mix" of things...but that never bothered me. Parking is free. But they have a cool reception area (free booze place). You can get your free booze and walk around the corner to the REAL bar...as long as you get the drinks from the comp window. Good wine..not just that crappy Copperridge (yuk-pooey). I like it there and I'd go back in a second.

Dawn

hhonorman Oct 8, 03 7:07 pm

I just returned from a GLON stay (had an old cert to burn). It was my first time there. I received a nice suite on the top floor. I think the rooms are all the same, from what I could see. The suite was similar to ones I've seen at all other ES, except Tahoe (where the suite was exceptionally good). Parking here was free, and the hotel made a nice base for touring San Francisco, Muir Woods, as well as day trips to wine country. It is much closer to San Fran than to wine country, but still not a bad drive. The breakfast was better than average, the manager's reception wasn't bad either, but the only wine they offered was 2 buck chuck. Didn't bother me though because they had plenty of Jack Daniels. Service at the hotel was excellent and everyone seemed to have a "what can I do to make your stay better" attitude. The lone instance where the hotel could use a bit of improvement was on Sunday morning breakfast. There was a huge rush of guests for the last hour of breakfast which caused massive lines and they were continually running out of items, such as plates and silverware, which exacerbated the problem. I have to believe that this was not an unusual situation and they must encounter it on most Sundays. That said, they should have known that it would have been quite busy and should have had more staff on hand for the rush. They were very understaffed and many guests were visibly upset. The cooks were also quite snippy that day. I didn't let it bother me and hopefully it was a one-time occurrance because some staff members were absent. Other than that one minor complaint, the hotel was very good. I'd recommend it to anyone. If you like sushi, there is a fabulous restaurant in San Rafael called the Sushi Boat, about 2 miles from the hotel.

NJUPINTHEAIR Jul 7, 04 8:37 pm

Anything to add to the above?

Any new experiences, suggestions for local dining etc?

FTer Mileage Maniac had inquired about this hotel in March, but has not posted since then, so the last post was HHonorman's above.

Appreciate insight on a drive Sat. mid-morning up to Geyserville -- how long time-wise, and whether one can drive back from there via Bodega Bay and a coastal road, if any?

Thanks!

squeakr Jul 7, 04 8:41 pm

For general travel questions on the bay area and points north, the San Francisco or Travel Buzz fora would be VERY helpful w/ lots of knowledgable folks...
and of course THIS will be a great forum to learn about recent ES Stays..

thanks

squeakr
MOD Hilton

NJUPINTHEAIR Jul 7, 04 9:55 pm


Originally Posted by squeakr
For general travel questions on the bay area and points north, the San Francisco or Travel Buzz fora would be VERY helpful w/ lots of knowledgable folks...
and of course THIS will be a great forum to learn about recent ES Stays..

thanks

squeakr
MOD Hilton


Moderator --

Please re-read my post above. I do not ask for general travel questions of the Bay area or the Wine country.

I only asked how long a drive it would be from THIS SPECIFIC HOTEL to the town of Geyserville and a detour back via Bodega Bay.

In addition, I only asked for dining recommendations near to this hotel, and I hardly think that this question qualifies as a general travel question as you have discussed above.

Many other threads mention good eats, in fact, this very one does, as well, and I was just asking in that vein what other choices there may be.

I just don't see the necessity for your post, above. :(

MarciaLF Jun 9, 07 10:08 am

Embassy Suites San Rafael
 
Any opinions, tips on this hotel? I'm looking to spend 10 nights there on a biz trip this summer.

I didn't find anything on a search.

Thanks,
Marcia

2400 Jun 9, 07 1:54 pm

I often stay at the San Rafael ES on business because its the only Hilton property in Marin County, CA. Its a large property that's beginning to look worn and threadbare. Last month there was a sign that a remodel was planned. From the often surly employees I suspect that it is understaffed. Get to the restaurant early for breakfast because the food often runs out well before the published closing time. And beware the weekends, the property is overrun with kids celebrating overnight birthday parties and running wild throughout the night. In short, I'd definitely stay elsewhere if there was another Hilton property from which to choose.

smmrfld Jun 9, 07 2:08 pm

Standard ES property
 
Nothing unusual here...gets worn out faster than other brands due to the above-mentioned influx of kids.

MarciaLF Jun 10, 07 8:28 am

Thanks for all the replies.

I have 5 days of business in Novato followed by 5 days in Berkeley. I've been debating on whether or not it would be worth it to change hotels for Berkeley, but since it sounds like a nice hotel and I've got a great rate, I think I'd rather deal with the commute than move hotels and pay more money.

Marcia

Firewind Jun 10, 07 11:17 am

I would stay at the ES for all the above reasons and your stated needs. But there might be two other viable options. Seeing that you're a Marriott Silver, there's a Courtyard at Larkspur Landing that's walking distance to restaurants and ferry (to The City). I don't remember if silver gets you breakfast. Seems to me it did when I stayed there. And I just saw a brand new Extended Stay Suites on 580 near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. They're not much (no breakfast or drinks) but if brand new appeals...

Both are about 10-15 minutes closer to Berkeley, considering commute traffic.

Another place to find advice is TripAdvisor.com's forums and reviews.


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