St Regis San Francisco: 3 exceptional stays with Aman-like service and true luxury!

100   Recommended

Room 1908 , Metropolitan Suite, Astor...
December 19, 2016 by EXPERT
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Room 1908

Metropolitan Suite, Astor...

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Metropolitan Suite, Astor Suite

I just returned from the 3rd of 3 stays at the St. Regis San Francisco over November and December 2016. I am combining all 3 stays for this one review, which I believe gives full perspective on why this hotel is the class of San Francisco. For me, the St. Regis San Francisco is not only the best hotel in San Francisco but also my favorite city hotel in the USA.

My first stay was Nov 9-11, 2016, for work (alone), where I was upgraded on a paid superior king room to an Astor Suite.

My second stay was Nov 29-30, 2016, for work (alone), where I was upgraded on a paid superior king room to a Metropolitcan Suite.

My third stay was Dec 15-18, 2016, for leisure (with my husband), where I had been provided a complimentary Astor Suite as service recovery from a poor stay in Dec 2015...but I was upgraded again to a Metropolitan Suite.

I also mention that I am a SPG Platinum 100 nights/Ambassador level guest. I have always been upgraded to at least an Astor Suite at this hotel, almost entirely based on complimentary Platinum upgrades. 

Check In

For all dates, check in was easy and simple. For the first 2 stays, I actually had applied my SPG Plat75 benefit of Your24, allowing me to have confirmed an earlier 2:00 pm check in time. I was offered a butler to show me to my suite both times, but I only took advantage of that on my first stay. 

For our 3rd stay, we had a 5+ hour weather delay and didn't arrive until almost 8:30 pm. I had called the hotel concierge earlier to push back our Quince dinner reservation that evening from 8 to 9 pm, which they did with ease. On arrival, the GM and butler escorted us to our room--though they begged off showing us some room highlights since we had to quickly make our 9 pm dinner reservation!

Room

Ironically, I've only ever stayed in either an Astor Suite or Metropolitan Suite at this hotel. I find the Astor Suite more than sufficient for 1 or 2 persons, though the Metropolitan Suite is perfect for 2 persons. 

ASTOR SUITE (1st stay)

For my first stay, I had the Astor Suite.

There is a nice living room with a L couch sitting area and table looking onto the TV and cabinet, as well as a separate desk area. There are huge windows allowing lots of natural light and a view onto the downtown area of the city. There were automated controls to lower the blackout shades for darkness and/or privacy. There also were manual curtains for softer privacy allowing some light to pass.

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The bath is a little on the narrow side, but was more than enough for 1 person. It would be a little tighter for 2 persons, perhaps. There is a double vanity, nice bathtub, and niche area with the toilet and shower stall.

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The bedroom was nicely appointed, with lots of windows again and tons of natural light. There again were automated controls to lower the blackout and softer shades for darkness and/or privacy.

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My one complaint with the bedroom was that the blackout shades were not entirely blackout; one or two of them were more translucent, allowing light to bleed a bit in the morning. For me, that's a no-no; for others, that may not be an issue at all.

The closet space was more than adequate for 1 person on a shorter stay. It may be more of an issue for 2 persons or for a longer stay.

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I had a welcome gift from the manager (and my Amassador) waiting on the desk, as usual.

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METROPOLITAN SUITE (2nd and 3rd stays)

I had the larger Metropolitan Suite for my 2nd and 3rd stays, just as I'd had on most of my previous stays, to be honest. The suite bedoom and bedroom both are larger. The living room is much more spacious with open plan living/dining areas, separated by the desk and including a true dining table. While the Astor Suite seems to face north, the Metropolitan Suites I've had always face west, giving a nice view of the city and hills (and occasionally of the fog rolling in over those hills).

There is more of an entry hallway for this suite type.

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The main living room again has a true dining table, the desk separating the dining and living areas, and the same couch/seating as with the Astor Suite. There are automated controls to lower the blackout shades for darkness and/or privacy, and manual curtains to offer softer privacy with more light.

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With the softer shades down for less bright light:

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The bedroom area is larger but has only 1 side with windows--but still offering plenty of natural light. There again are automated controls to lower the blackout and softer shades for darkness and/or privacy.

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My one issue in this Metropolitan Suite (room 1708) was that the blackout shades that dropped were not both completely solid/blackout; one was more translucent, such that light still bled through in the morning. This was similar to what I had experienced in the previous Astor Suite. That would be completely remedied for my 3rd stay, however--see service--when they added a 3rd set of blackout curtains to provide complete blackout conditions.

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The view from the suite was wonderful:

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The TV cabinet in front of the living room seating area also had a hidden mini-bar:

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The bathroom in this suite is also much more spacious, easily accommodating 2 persons without issue. The same amenities as in the Astor Suite bathroom, just laid out with more space. 

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Service

Service was outstanding for all 3 stays. For our 3rd stay, however, service was completely flawless. Overall, I'd have to say that my experience for all 3 stays was as close to Aman-like as I've had without staying at an Aman hotel. Only Singita Boulders and the Gritti Palace recently have approached this same level of service.

There were a few miscues on my 1st and 2nd stays with butler service not answering the phone due to some issues with the phone system; that clearly had been worked out for our 3rd stay. The wifi wasn't working so well in the Grill for breakfast on the first morning of my 3rd stay.

Otherwise, though, service was exemplary--friendly, enthusiastic, and always genuine. From valets who knew my name, to reception agents who always knew my name, to the housekeepers, concierge, bar and restaurant and other staff, service truly was as if I had returned home.

I always get a lovely welcome gift from the manager and my Ambassador.

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Service for our 3rd stay was truly remarkable. The hotel manager, Mr. Brose, walked us up to our suite. To make up for the issues from 2015, and the butler phone issues for the 1st and 2nd stay in 2016, the hotel offered us both complimentary spa services of our choosing--a very, very nice touch. (My husband took both, since I despise spas. He had a great massage one day, and a wonderful mani/pedi the next day.)

The complimentary hotel Bentley car service was lovely for us to get to Quince and Campton Place on our first 2 evenings for dinner:

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The hotel originally had scheduled us for wonderful tea service on arrival, but our huge flight delay precluded that. So the hotel provided that to us on our last late afternoon. 

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The hotel also made sure each stay to have the air con set to my preferred temperature of 65 F. While afternoon sun may preclude that in the Metropolitan Suite living rooms, the bedrooms never failed to reach 65 F. I was in heaven.

When we got to Quince on our first evening of our 3rd stay, after a massive weather-related delay, the sommelier gave us champagne--courtesy of our St. Regis concierge team hoping we night settle in after such a crazy arrival. It was a sublime touch.

On our last evening of that same 3rd stay, we stopped by the St. Regis bar for a nightcap. The very entertaining bartender made us 2 Sazeracs...but ended up missing an ingredient and was extremely apologetic. Not less than a few minutes later we had 2 perfect and delicious Sazeracs...which he would not let us pay for. Even whe we insisted, he refused and said they were on him. Considering this bartender likely had no idea who we were or that we had been set up as VIP guests for the weekend, this just went to the service level that we've always enjoyed and found so impressive at this hotel.

Finally, and most impressively, the blackout issue was completely resolved for our 3rd stay. The hotel actually installed a new 3rd set of blackout curtains in the Metropolitan Suite bedroom (room 1908) so that there could be no issue whatsoever. The bedroom was completely blacked out, such that we both slept in quite a bit later than we ordinarliy would otherwise. It was BLISS. Only Aman hotels have ever gone to such lengths to make sure we were so comfortable! We were blown away.

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From start to finish, the St. Regis team was amazing. 

Butler service

The St Regis butler service seems to confuse or confound some, but I love it. The full range of butler services is available to those in suites (starting at junior suites at most StR, I believe, and at Astor Suites here at the StR SF since there are no junior suites). 

I always take advantage of unpacking and packing butler services, and that was true for all 3 stays here, as well. Even with me having only packed a carry-on, I still enjoy it. Not only does the butler unpack, but he or she also lays out everything neatly in drawers and hangs everything as appropriate in the closet. For packing, the butler packs everything with tissue paper so beautifully in the suitcase without you having to worry at all. (My husband doesn't trust a butler to pack or unpack, so he does it himself. Fool!)

Butler service also presses garments and shines shoes. I've used this sparingly, but I did use those services for my first 2 stays for work. The butler was even able to press and shoe shine in just a few hours on my first stay, which was quite impressive and very helpful.

Butler service also brings complimentary coffee or tea every day, whenever you might want it. We take advantage of this service at every StR. I used it for my first 2 stays for work, and we used it for our 3rd stay for leisure. Service was always quite prompt, and it was always very friendly.

The butlers also offer an email service whereby you can email for any request. I didn't use this on any of our stays, but it's been most useful at other StR resort type properties.

While some are confused by these butler services, I love them. It's nice to have the central butler station to handle all my requests and direct requests to appropriate departments as needed.

Dining

For my 1st and 2nd stays, I exclusively had room service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner/snacks. I love room service, as you can tell. Room service at this hotel is wonderful: delicious, hot, and always promptly delivered.

Butler coffee service:

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Room service lunch:

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Room service breakfast:

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Room service lunch:

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Another room service breakfast:

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For our 3rd stay, we dined our 1st and 3rd mornnings in the new Grill restaurant (previous location of the Michelin Ame restaurant). We very much preferred this location to the old Vetrine restaurant space on the 4th (?) floor. Food and service were fantastic. The only issue I had was that the first morning, the wifi signal didn't seem to work well!

Breakfast with friends at the Grill:

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Our meal:

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For our 3rd stay 2nd morning, we had room service breakfast. It was, as usual, fantastic.

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Location

I love the SoMa location. I find it extremely easy to walk into Union Square or the Wharf, and easy to drive in and out of the city. For our 3rd stay, it was perfectly convenient as we had an afternoon at the adjacent SFMOMA, had lunch at adjacent In Situ in SFMOMA, had dinner around the corner at Mourad, and had dinners at nearby Quince and Campton Place (both less than 2 mi). 

Concierge

The concierge has always been fantastic at this hotel. While I have had a few moments where there seemed to be some email confusion, the hotel concierge team here always has come through for me. I rely on the concierge for all restaurant reservations, museum tickets, and the like--and I use the concierge more than most and for more difficult to get reservations than most. 

For our 3rd stay, the concierge team secured us reservations at Quince, In Situ, Campton Place, Omakase, and Mourad. (In previous years, the concierge team has secured us reservations at Saison, Benu, Coi, Atelier Crenn, etc.)

The concierge team was extremely helpful and communicative via email for all my arrangements. I couldn't ask for more.

St. Regis Bar

One of my favorite elements of this hotel, as with most St. Regis hotels, is the bar. It's beautiful and inviting, right adjacent to and open to the lobby entries and reception, making it quite a focal point for the hotel entrance.

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I've always managed to find seating in the bar, even when crowded, and I've always had great service. Drinks are great, and the atmosphere for me can't be beat in San Francisco. 

Spa

I don't use spa services. But my husband loves them. For the first time, courtesy of the hotel's complimentary 2 spa service gifts, my husband had a massage and also a manicure/pedicure. He said both were great. He said the spa is nice for a city hotel, though on the smaller side, but with very nice treatment rooms, a spacious pool to make it feel larger, etc. I still haven't even been in th spa here!

Overall

Overall, the St. Regis San Francisco remains my absolute favorite hotel in San Francisco, in California, and in the USA as a whole. Its service is exemplary, its suites are wonderful, its amenities and location are sublime, and it always goes out of its way to make sure I always gets the best possible service. The hotel really pulled out all the stops for our most recent stay--probably the best hotel stay we've ever had in the USA. Kudos and thanks again, StR SF!

 

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