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Palace Hotel, San Francisco [Master Thread]

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Palace Hotel, San Francisco [Master Thread]

Old May 31, 2007, 5:10 pm
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Pasadena,Ca.,US.
Programs: AA, Delta, United, SPG plat, Hyatt dia
Posts: 7,140
Was there in March.As A Plat was upgraded to a suite towards the back of the hotel.
This is a charming.historic hotel and I loved it.Staff was very nice.
The best coffee I have ever tasted-served gratis in the AM in the fabulous lobby.
If you can affrord it the formal tea($45)or Sunday brunch($67)are well worth the splurge.

PS--You have a trade off here,any room with a view is going to be noisy-that is why I aske to be in the rear of the hotel.
Enjoy your stay.
bigguyinpasadena is offline  
Old May 31, 2007, 5:12 pm
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Pasadena,Ca.,US.
Programs: AA, Delta, United, SPG plat, Hyatt dia
Posts: 7,140
Forgot to add..The Montgomery BART station is right next to this hotel.Makes the trip from SFO so easy and cheap.
bigguyinpasadena is offline  
Old May 31, 2007, 8:47 pm
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: YEG/SFO
Programs: AC, UA, HH, MR, and the other usual suspects
Posts: 360
My experience wasn't so great

I stayed there about a week and a half ago for 5 nights on a SPG reward stay. My impression - not bad if you're on a bus tour and traveling through for a night, but not a place to stay for very long or if you're there for business. Beautiful public areas, but service was very uneven. Family members used to stay there on visits when we lived near SF and I remember it being a much more luxurious place than it is now.

As Plat, no upgrade (I did ask) and I was in a basic room looking across at other rooms on the other wing of the building (remember to close your curtains/shutters). Refrigerator in the room kept cycling off and on loudly every 10 -15 minutes through the first night. Furniture was chipped and worn. The desk chair was stuck in the lowest position and the adjustment mechanism wouldn't budge. I had work to do at the desk, so called down. After multiple phone calls and trying to coordinate things, the refrigerator was replaced (with a much quieter one!) and an office desk chair appeared in the room while I was in the shower. The maintenace person who replaced the fridge was efficient, friendly, and professional. The front desk/guest services people were pretty confused.

Room service was efficient, but there were three different prices for the service delivery charge (not the tip): $3.50 per the room service menu in my room, $4.00 per the breakfast order card, and $4.50 per the room service waiter who brought breakfast. The waiter told me the menu was old, the cards were outdated since a recent price change but the maids kept putting them out, and he would replace the outdated menu on the first day - it was still there when I left. The hotel services book in the room is also out of date - I had to call down to check on services and times that are no longer available. The guest services person I spoke with knew it were out of date and needed to be replaced, but it didn't sound like there were any plans to do so.

On my last day, the concierge reserved the airport shuttle for me and quoted me a price. The shuttle left early (by about 10 minutes - I was checking out) and I missed it. The fare I was charged (she did call to get another one to stop by) was more than the quoted price.

They did, after most of this, offer to recredit 1/2 the points I'd spent on the stay. I asked for parking for the rental car I had for a few days and received that instead (parking is pricey downtown).

On the good side, the public spaces are lovely, the pool area is very relaxing, and the portion of the staff who seem to know what they're doing were a pleasure to encounter. The location was very convenient for the meetings I was attending, and for shopping in Union Square.

If you're just going to be there for a day or two in transit, it will probably be okay. But don't expect much above a tourist hotel in service. Maybe it was because I was on a reward stay, I don't know.
dibby is offline  
Old Jun 1, 2007, 9:40 am
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Currently in Bloomington, IN, but Normally NYC, CDG, and even POZ or wherever FT takes me.
Programs: Northwest Airlines. MTA pay-per-ride Metrocard; zero-balance Oyster card.
Posts: 14,026
Thank you all for your responses. I think that considering the rate I've found, I have to go for it, and hope for an upgrade. Thanks for the tip about BART as well: I'll be sure to take advantage of it. I'll rent a car from a city location for a trip to Napa to save on parking.
notsosmart is offline  
Old Jun 1, 2007, 11:49 am
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: BOS
Programs: AA EXP 1MM, DL PM, Bonvoy Titanium (Plat Life), HH G, Amtrak, B6, MR
Posts: 1,563
I was there in April for a conference, and I have to say that you had better be sure you're getting an interior or side view room. My room faced Marked St., and the noise of the trams can be quite distracting when you're trying to fall asleep at night.
sxpsxpsxp is offline  
Old Jun 1, 2007, 4:37 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sacramento
Programs: UA 2MM/GS; SPG Lifetime Plat; MHC Lifetime; Tar Heel forever; and I "Dig the Pig" at Piggly Wiggly
Posts: 12,152
Originally Posted by notsosmart
I'll rent a car from a city location for a trip to Napa to save on parking.
Great idea, since parking is either $48 or $52 a night.

I am often surprised at the negative comments made about this property. Maybe because I'm Plat, I have been upgraded to a suite every time I stayed there, even when paying very low rates. The facilities are very nice. Furnishings are what I would call "old/traditional;" if you want modern, go to the W or St Francis tower. Four-poster beds in some rooms. I seldom use any services when staying at a hotel, so I can not comment (other than front desk, and that's never been anything less the exceptional). But keep in mind, like every hotel in SF (or any city in which conventioneers take over the market), everything you pay for at the hotel is expensive.

I like it enough to have two reservations there this month.
kevinsac is offline  
Old Jun 1, 2007, 7:39 pm
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Central CT
Programs: UA MM/1K, SPG Lifetime Plat, Marriott Plat, Hyatt Diamond, HH Gold, Natl Exec Elite
Posts: 1,490
Originally Posted by notsosmart
...I have to go for it, and hope for an upgrade. ... I'll rent a car from a city location for a trip to Napa to save on parking.
Chances of an upgrade as a Plat are pretty good, this hotel definitely believes in upgrading Plats when suites or deluxe rooms are available. In re your rental car plan, there are 2 National locations within easy walking distance, and I return/exchange cars daily rather than pay the ridiculous (but normal for SF) hotel parking charges - which are about $10 a day more than the rental fee!

I like this hotel more than the Westin, but I'm a fan of "European" style and service properties. This property feels a lot like the Plaza in NYC (albeit without quite so grand a public lobby). Enjoy!
SportsTech is offline  
Old Jun 2, 2007, 5:35 am
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: MCO
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Platinum / Titanium, AA Executive Platinum
Posts: 967
Originally Posted by sxpsxpsxp
I was there in April for a conference, and I have to say that you had better be sure you're getting an interior or side view room. My room faced Marked St., and the noise of the trams can be quite distracting when you're trying to fall asleep at night.
Yeah, I was probably at the hotel during your conference. That is exactly what detracted from our stay - the conference. We enjoyed the hotel and its location, but is a bit annoying for regular visitors when a conference takes over the hotel. We were not able to eat breakfast in the "garden room" (or whatever it is called) until the last day of our stay. As Plat there were no upgrades available.

I would say that the hotel is nice, but I do not know that I would put it in the same "luxury" category that other SPG hotels are in. I tell you that it is nothing compared to the St. Regis NY, but then again, neither is its price. The pool area is nice, the location by the subway station is nice, the lobby and surrounding areas are nice. We got room service one night and it was good. Overall we enjoyed the stay, especially considering we got a 4 night stay for 20k using the Plat 50% award.
quinella66 is offline  
Old Jun 4, 2007, 7:05 am
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Based in London but away ~4 months a year, often in Bali
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 322
Originally Posted by SportsTech
I return/exchange cars daily rather than pay the ridiculous (but normal for SF) hotel parking charges

On the wider issue: I too have stayed at the Palace and enjoyed it. The comments in this thread are pretty reprentative.

manar is offline  
Old Jun 4, 2007, 11:15 am
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 109
The Palace has a very nice lobby as several people have pointed out but the rooms are a bit more dated.

The St. Regis is much newer and contemporary in feeling. Can be quite expensive but typically offers reasonable corporate rates.

I'd also throw the Westin Market Street hotel into the mix. It's across from the St. Regis and W Hotel and was the old Argent.

They upgraded me recently so give it a try.
toolz is offline  
Old Jun 4, 2007, 7:22 pm
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: San Diego
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, UAL 1K 2MM, AS MVP Gold, SPG Platinum, DL MM
Posts: 123
[QUOTE=toolz;7847066]The Palace has a very nice lobby as several people have pointed out but the rooms are a bit more dated.

I have stayed at this property 5 times this year and have been upgraded 4 out of the 5. However the standard rooms ar not very large so be aware.
uscsailor is offline  
Old Jul 14, 2007, 2:11 am
Join Date: Jul 2002
Programs: UA MM
Posts: 6,984
I stayed at this hotel at the moment. Booked the cheapest rate in the web site. I believe I don't get any kind of upgrade. The room is the same as 2 double bed room I booked. From my recollection, being Platinum, I haven't gotten any room upgrades here.
CGK is offline  
Old Aug 27, 2007, 8:40 am
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Hartford County, CT
Programs: SPG Gold, Delta, USAirways, Hyatt Gold
Posts: 11
Recent Stay Report

Since no one has posted a stay update in a while, I thought I would add things here. We stayed from 8/9-8/14 as part vacation/part business conference. We were supposed to have adjoining rooms, but for reasons I'll explain in a minute, ended up getting a junior suite and a regular double bed room.

As a Gold member, when we checked in at 11:30a, we were told that we were being upgraded to a junior suite and a separate room (not connected). We presumed (wrongly) that a suite meant two rooms -- it does not, all it means is a slightly larger room with a sofa. (It also has a slightly larger bathroom). We took it and were told that the room would be available at 3:30. When we returned, we discovered that the junior suite was just a single room and when we requested our initial plan, we were told that all connecting rooms were now taken. Very frustrating. They tried to be accommodating but in their "goodness" to upgrade us to a suite room, they screwed up the plans. Overall, however, the room was nice and the staff apologized for the inconvenience. While connecting rooms would have been better (having small kids), the junior suite room was a decent consolation.

The room faced New Montgomery St. No real complaints about the noise except one night the bar across the street had a loud band. Just a warning to those with that view. Otherwise, the rooms were decent; the beds were fine, the shower good, and free bottled water was good. I didn't find the furniture to be old. They had LAN internet for $16.99, which is a bit of a rip-off considering we got free wifi service at the Four Points later in the trip. The LAN didn't seem to work one day but I called their tech support which was very helpful (and explained that the housekeeping staff must have turned off the box).

Garden Court restaurant for breakfast was expensive but very good. And just a gorgeous room to experience. The staff there was superb. They brought hot chocolate for the kids and treated them like royalty, making them feel very special. A nice touch.

Concierge was efficient too and good with suggestions. Never felt like the places were "forced" upon you. Bell stand was pretty good. The parking charge was high ($48/day) and we found that we were glad we only rented a car for a day (at the nearby Hertz stand at the Marriott).

The location was great; very convenient to Market St, trams, etc. Walking back late at night on Market from the Ferry Building was a little "sketchy" simply because of the numbers of homeless people around. But we never felt unsafe at or near the hotel. I think its just a typical SF issue. The location near Union Square was just terrific; fantastic shopping and some good restaurants.

We got a good convention rate of $179/night. Overall, I would highly recommend this hotel. Good service, good facility, very good location. And if you get upgraded to the "junior suite", now you won't be surprised to learn its just another expression for "slightly bigger room".
twain45 is offline  
Old Dec 24, 2007, 3:00 pm
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: PSP
Programs: AA Lifetime Plat, *wood Platinum, Hertz President's Circle, A|Club Platinum, Avis President's Club
Posts: 119
Thumbs down Palace Hotel vs. St. Regis Hotel (no comparison)

I'm a Plat member and recently checked into the Palace on C+P.

1. Upgrade to grand deluxe room, but it was on Market St. and the work outside the window made it impossible to sleep, even though on the 7th floor.
Then moved to one bedroom suite (with two beds), quieter at night but then work on the building started at 7am. Checked out and decided to use points to stay at St. Regis Hotel on Missions St.

^2. As always treated well at the St. Regis and Platinum upgrade to Metropolitan Suite on high floor. Quiet, spacious, really wonderful. This hotel always provides nice upgrades, depending on availability.
ratnasam is offline  
Old May 27, 2008, 2:06 pm
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bay Area, CA
Programs: UA 1K; Marriott Platinum, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Gold
Posts: 828
My DH, DS and I decided at the last minute to do a quick trip to SF - we only live about 30 minutes away. I booked 2 nights in a deluxe suite on points. I am glad I did the suite since the standard rooms looked very small. Check in was a breeze - very friendly and efficient staff. We went up to our room and our luggage was delivered within a few minutes. The deluxe suite was a corner suite overlooking New Montgomery on the fifth floor. Nicely furnished - looks of space for clothes if you needed it. Both the living room and bedroom had flat screen TV's, although the picture was not as good as ours at home (bad signal?)

The bathroom was nice but not spacious. Great shower head - strong pressure and lots of hot water. Nice amenities by Gilchrist & Soames but they were not restock by housekeeping staff. I requested a coffee maker and roll away which came while we were out for dinner. Nice thing about the coffee maker is that it came with the small containers of Half & Half instead of the powered stuff!

I used the "gym" each day. Very small but it was not crowded at all. Upon signing into the gym, I was given a bottled water and headphones to use. The pool and jacuzzi were nice - love the light coming in from the ceiling. The pool is set up for lap swimming but never saw more than one person in it.

We did pay the outrageous valet parking fee of $48/day. While we could have found a cheaper parking garage, we would not have had in and out privileges.

Turndown did refresh the towels and bottled water but again, no new shampoo or conditioner. And, of course, they brought chocolates.

We ate at the Garden Court for the Jazz Brunch on Sunday. It is pricey but WOW!!! The Garden Court looked its best on Sunday morning with the sunlight giving the whole room and golden glow .... the Jazz group was great, the food was fabulous and the champagne was generous!! I would take just a spoonful of food because there was so much I wanted to taste! Definitely, the highlight of the stay.

My biggest complaint all weekend was the bed!!! It was very hard and not comfortable. I don't see why Westin has the "Heavenly Bed", Sheraton the "Sheraton Sleeper" and the Palace, which is the Luxury collection, can not even get a pillowtop mattress?? At least get pillowtop mattress covers!!

The Palace Hotel is a classic in the city and I am glad we finally stayed there. The staff was great and the location was terrific. We walked to Yerba Buena Gardens, Metreon, and MOMA. It was an easy taxi ride to Nob Hill, Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. It didn't knock my socks off but I did enjoy the stay. I would probably stay someplace else next time. Walked into the St. Regis and the lobby is gorgeous!

All in all, it was a great hotel for the points.
sierranevada is offline  

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