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KyRoamer Apr 1, 04 7:44 pm

Hotel Choice/ Shopping/restaurants
I have a meeting (4 nights) at the Omni San Francisco Hotel and need to stay there or nearby. I will be traveling with my wife and want the stay to be special. Any thoughts about the Omni? If I stay at the Palace (Starwood) or at the Park Hyatt or Hyatt Regency I can likely get upgraded. Is any of them nicer than the Omni? I may be able to get a deal at the Mandarin Oriental, but would likely have to cover about $50 / day out of pocket. Is it worth the extra?

The Omni looked nice enough. For points I'd prefer the Palace but I could not get a feel for it. It seems a little further away from the Omni than the others I mentioned.

If I failed to mention a great choice, let me know. I have not been in San Francisco for about 10 years and my wife is as eagar to check out the shopping (she likes high end discount outlets) as I am the restaurants. Any shopping or eating tips will be welcomed. We like sea food -- raw or cooked, oriental and other ethnic fare and would like a romantic setting at least one of the nights.

SFFlyman Apr 2, 04 10:01 am

Hotel Choice
Both the Omni and Park Hyatt are great hotels. I would give the Omni a bit of an edge based on feedback I've had from friends who've stayed there. If you need to stay close to the Omni, the Park Hyatt is reasonably close walking distance... the Palace is a bit further. Union Square, which is the primary shopping area, is close enough for a comfortable walk. The only other hotel I could recommend would be Campton Place, which is in Union Square.

Non-NonRev Apr 2, 04 10:37 am

The Mandarin Oriental has splendid views (due to the fact that it occupies the top 12 floors of a Financial District tower). Some of the bathrooms have deep soaking bathtubs with Golden Gate bridge views - very romantic :)

One hotel not yet mentioned is the Ritz-Carlton, two blocks in the opposite direction (up the hill, on the same street, California Street, as the Omni). No views, however, the rooms and service there (especially in the Club) are amongst the city's best.

The Palace is very historical - built as the grandest hotel in the world in 1875, the present structure dates from 1909 (reconstructed after the 1906 firequake).

For your seafood meal, consider Aqua - one of Californa's best seafood restaurants and just 2-3 blocks down California Street from the Omni:

RichardInSF Apr 2, 04 8:35 pm

We had a fine dinner in Acqua about two weeks ago which is one of the few nicer restaurants in that area open on Monday night. Also, The Dining Room at the RC two blocks away (where we stayed while our friend was booked into the Omni) is supposed to be outstanding.

Both of these restaurants are expensive, with Acqua slightly less so.

We had booked a non-club room at the RC and they were kind enough to upgrade us to a jr. suite, but even though we weren't there for long, we did experience a few minor service lapses.

For cheap eats, make sure you skip Grant and walk an extra block to Stockton which parallels it, or try the streets which cross Grant. For moderately priced yet excellent seafood, try Sam's or Tadich's (which don't take reservations although there clearly are exceptions if they know you well, which has never applied to me).

TRRed Apr 3, 04 12:15 am

If you are going for a Hyatt, I recommend the Hyatt Embarcadero instead of the Hyatt Regency. I've stayed at both. It's an easier walk to the Omni, and with a bit of luck, you get a nice high room on the east side with an unobstructed view of the ferry building and Bay. (However, Park Hyatt is closer to Omni than either of the other Hyatts.)

I didn't think much of the Renaissance on California St.: all of the times I stayed there on corporate rates, I was on the inside of the courtyard, facing only other sides of the courtyard. Every morning around 5 or 5:30, the doormen started blowing their whistles for taxis, whistles that echoed in the courtyard; a rooster would have been easier to sleep through . . .

[Edited to add:] For seafood, try Scoma's in Fisherman's Wharf. Omni has a nice steak restaurant. Look in SF Dining Forum (assuming it still exists) for many good recommendations.

KyRoamer Apr 3, 04 7:53 am

Thanks Non-NonRev.

I sent you a private thank you and hope it got through, but since I was thanking others in the Forum, I thought I'd thank you again.

You sure make the Mandarin Oriental sound attractive. I stayed in the New York Mandarin and loved it.

We may stay two nights at the Mandarin on a 2 for 1 deal and then move to the nearest Starwood, which I assume is the Palace. My wife wants to check out the Hyatts though and I suspect she will vote for being closer to the Embarcadero although Union Square shopping may give the Palace an edge.

Thanks RichardInSF

The Acqua is on our must try list.

How did your friend like the Omni?

We will check out Sam's or Tadich's if time permits.

Thanks TRRed

How does the Park Hyatt compare with the Hyatt Embarcadero? How much closer is it to the Omni?

We plan on spending time on the Wharf and will definately check out Scoma's.

Here's smiling at you.:)

TRRed Apr 4, 04 3:26 pm

Originally Posted by mshaikun

How does the Park Hyatt compare with the Hyatt Embarcadero? How much closer is it to the Omni?

I have not stayed at the Park Hyatt, but colleagues who stayed there on business seemed to prefer it among the Hyatts. Park Hyatt is 3 blocks east (down California St.) and 2 blocks north (on Battery I think) of the Omni. Hyatt E. is about 6 blocks east of Omni on California St. (Park Hyatt is on the west end of the Embarcadero Center (shopping and restaurants) and Hyatt E. is on the east end.) Both are easy walks on flat ground.

I don't know much about M. O., other than having had a nice lunch there. My memory is that it's probably slightly closer to Omni than Park Hyatt.

Edited to add: I think there is a Westin right next to the Renaissance, about 4 blocks up (and I do mean UP) California from the Omni.

Non-NonRev Apr 4, 04 10:24 pm

TRRed - your recollection (with one minor exception) is very accurate, especially as to the locations of the Hyatts.

The hotel next to the Ren. Stanford Court is the Mark Hopkins, which flies the Intercontinental flag. Both the Ren. and the MH are across the street from the Fairmont. All three hotels stand on the former sites of the mansions of historical railroad barons (Leland Stanford and Mark Hopkins) or sliver barons (James Fair).

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