Nautical theme gives the hotel a fun atmosphere appropriate to its location
Free Wi-Fi for Kimpton InTouch members (anyone can join for free)
Little mid-range, non-seafood dining in the area
Poor sound insulation between rooms
Pricey valet parking
Club downstairs is noisy for rooms on the street
Converted from an 1908 fruit canning factory and reopened in 2003 with 252 nautical-themed rooms and suites, the Argonaut is one of Fisherman's Wharf's trendiest options. Spacious rooms, which were renovated in 2012, have more character than the nearby chain hotels, though the Sheraton is often cheaper. Special features include a free nightly wine reception, and the location makes some of San Francisco's most popular attractions easily accessible.
This Kimpton hotel has a heavy nautical aesthetic that fits easily into its surroundings in Fisherman's Wharf. Doormen in bright sailor uniforms welcome guests into the large lobby with a front desk covered in wood with a compass inlay and light fixtures styled like portholes behind it. Decor in the lounge area has navy carpeting with a rope pattern, bright red chairs gathered around a fireplace and lots of ship’s wheels. The exposed brick walls and raw wood beams are nods to the building’s roots as a warehouse. The lobby also has displays depicting the history of the building and its surroundings.
Next to the cannery in Fisherman's Wharf, a block from Ghirardelli Square
The Argonaut is across the street from the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco's most tourist-friendly area, and right next to the Cannery at Fisherman's Wharf, an outdoor shopping and dining complex. But it is out of the way of the area's thickest crowds. It's also one block from Ghirardelli Square, and located near the docks where ferries leave for Alcatraz, Sausalito, and Tiburon. The terminus of the Powell-Mason cable car line, which connects areas like Union Square and Nob Hill, is about two blocks away. North Beach, San Francisco's Little Italy, is a 10-minute walk up the hill and it’s a 30-minute stroll on the boardwalk or a streetcar ride to the waterside restaurants at the Embarcadero.
The seafaring theme continues in the spacious rooms, with compasses on the headboards, sailor stripes and star-shaped pillows, though it’s been toned down a bit after the 2012 renovations. Amenities include comfortable pillow-top beds, flat-screen TVs, minibars, large safes, coffeemakers with free Starbucks coffee, free Wi-Fi (for guests who sign up for free Kimpton InTouch Rewards), and the signature Kimpton animal-print robes. Bathrooms have curtained tub/shower combos and plenty of counter space. Rooms on the street side of the hotel can be a bit noisy.
Wine hour in the lobby and a seafood restaurant next door
The perks of staying in a cool boutique hotel include a free California wine hour in the lobby each evening and access to the Blue Mermaid Chowder House & Bar next door. The hotel’s fitness center and business center are open 24 hours. Kimpton hotels are pet-friendly and allow any pet under 200 pounds; extras such as a pet bed and pet food are provided. There’s no on-site spa, but the hotel will arrange for guests to receive in-room treatments.