Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
As with all Kimpton hotels, the Argonaut has a theme: in this case a heavy nautical aesthetic that fits easily into the hotel's surroundings in Fisherman's Wharf. Set in the Haslett Warehouse, a hulking brick structure built in 1908 as a fruit canning factory, the Argonaut opened in 2003 after a massive renovation that brought brand-new rooms and a large lobby that's both visually interesting (dramatically lit sailcloths and fixtures styled like nautical compasses) and a comfortable place to hang out. Combined with great service, it all comes together to make this one of the city's most appealing theme hotels (not to mention one of Fisherman's Wharf's best bets).
Rooms combine the seafaring theme (compasses on the headboards, sailor stripes, anchor-print blankets) with nods to the building's roots as a warehouse (exposed brick walls and structural beams). It's not subtle, but it works. The rooms are spacious and have up-to-date amenities like iPod docks and free Wi-Fi for guests who sign up for Kimpton InTouch Rewards. Compared with similarly priced options in the area, the rooms here have much more character and are equal or better for space, cleanliness, and furnishings. And, thanks to soft renovations in 2012, the nautical theme, while still prevalent, has been toned down. Gone is the white and yellow striped wallpaper and over-the-top accessories. The result is more subdued, but still fun, decor that is much easier on the eyes. Similar efforts were made in the lobby, which received some new furnishings and decor elements.
Though the hotel can get busy (with 265 rooms and suites, plus 7,000 square feet of Blue Mermaid Chowder House, make the experience feel more like a vacation than a stay at a typical urban hotel in a tourist area., the lobby has constant traffic), the service feels attentive. The concierge desk is open throughout the day, and the doormen in bright sailor uniforms give guests a grand welcome to the hotel. Extras, like a free wine hour in the lobby and coupons to the hotel's
Courteous, attentive service with a dedicated concierge
The Argonaut doesn't skimp on service. There's a dedicated concierge desk in the lobby, and the doormen -- in bright, exaggerated sailor uniforms -- offer a grand but playful welcome to the hotel (let's be honest: It's hard to take a grown man in puff sleeves too seriously). The front desk moves guests through without too many long lines, and staff is generally knowledgeable and friendly.
Next to the cannery in Fisherman's Wharf, a block from Ghirardelli Square
Across the street from the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco's most tourist-friendly area. The Argonaut is at the west end of the wharf, which is generally more upscale and out of the way of the area's thickest crowds. It's also conveniently located near the docks where ferries leave for Alcatraz, Sausalito, and Tiburon, and about two blocks from the terminus of the Powell-Mason cable car line, which connects to the farther reaches of the city, like Union Square and Nob Hill.
Up to high standards, with a heavy nautical theme
A heavy nautical theme and exposed brick walls that reveal the hotel's former life as a canning warehouse make the Argonaut one of San Francisco's most appropriately themed hotels. It's also quite comfortable. Last updated in 2012, the rooms are well maintained, spacious, sunny, and furnished with up-to-date technology and comfortable pillow-top beds. The 2012 updates successfully toned down the nautical theme (gone are those striped yellow and white walls, replaced by shades of solid blue and cream) while still keeping a fun aesthetic (the headboard compasses survived). The rooms meet a high bar for their price, and far surpass many of the options in Fisherman's Wharf.
Expected basics like a wine hour in the lobby every nightand , plus a great (and free!)
The Argonaut offers all the midrange San Francisco standards, plus some. One of its standout features is a truly pleasant free wine hour hosted in the lobby every night, where guests mingle over glasses of Californian wine -- good Californian wine. The lobby is large, comfortable, and playfully designed, with padded lounge chairs, light fixtures that look like deconstructed nautical compasses, and colorfully lit sailcloths. It's also a fun place to learn about the history of the city and Fisherman's Wharf: The is next door (entrance is free), and the hotel also has its own displays depicting the history of the building and its surroundings. There's also a , and , both in great condition.
Any pet under 200 pounds welcome at no extra charge; free amenities provided
In almost every way, this hotel is great for families: The playful theme and perks like free toys out of the lobby'sare bound to entertain kids; the location is convenient for families planning to hit up the city's tourist attractions; the big, clean rooms gives families some room to spread out. The only real downfall is that rooms are noisy -- the old building's walls aren't well insulated, so you can hear neighbors speak even at normal volume.
Relatively new and very clean
The hotel opened in 2003 and rooms and the lobby were refreshed in 2012. It is well maintained. Parts of the original structure remain exposed, keeping the hotel from feeling like a cookie-cutter development, but it's all uniformly clean and in great condition.
Award-winning chowders and seafood and a laid-back bar at Blue Mermaid Chowder House & Bar
The Blue Mermaid Chowder House & Bar serves acclaimed seafood and chowders, has a good breakfast menu, and delivers room service throughout the day, in a unique, nautical themed dining room with punctual, attentive service. There are some good high-end options in Ghirardelli Square, a block away, and cheaper bites from the seafood stands at Fisherman's Wharf, but midrange and nonseafood options are challenging to come by directly near the hotel.
Converted from an old canning factory and reopened with 252 nautical-themed rooms and , the Argonaut is one of Fisherman's Wharf's best options. Spacious rooms, which underwent soft renovations in 2012, have more character than the nearby Radisson or Hyatt, special features include a free nightly wine reception, and the location makes some of San Francisco's most popular attractions easily accessible.