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Perfectly comfortable and up-to-date hotel
The 374-room Courtyard by Marriott San Francisco Downtown sits just south of the bustling public transit artery of Market Street, in a building that was first erected in 2001. Thanks to a 2009 renovation, the property looks good, with spotless rooms, a well-maintained lobby, and shiny equipment in the fitness center. While other hotels nearby, like the generally more expensive Vitale and Harbor Court focus on stylish decor, the Courtyard does the basics right, and at a fair price.
While the hotel certainly sees business travelers -- the Moscone Convention Center is just a five-minute walk away -- it also draws families, who appreciate the generally low rates for spacious standard rooms (many of which come with sleeper sofas and can sleep up to four people to a room) and the small indoor pool, which is not available at other Marriott hotels throughout the city (including those in Union Square, just a 15-minute walk away).
Friendly and fast; good for the price
- Well-staffed front desk; fast check-ins
- No concierge, just a staff member at an information desk who can help answer basic questions and help arrange airport shuttles
- Free toiletries available, like toothpaste and mouthwash, delivered on request
- Exorbitant valet parking fees; no self-parking available
- Free USA Today delivered to rooms, Monday through Friday
- Room service only offers dinner
South of Market, close to the Moscone Convention Center and the shopping and theaters of Union Square; farther from other points of interest, such as Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Haight-Asbury
Located in San Francisco's SoMa (South of Market Street) neighborhood, the Courtyard by Marriott is in a mixed-use area of warehouses, art spaces, loft apartments, and technology companies. While it's a about a 15-minute walk from several of the city's best museums and the designer boutiques in Union Square, there's next to no nightlife in this part of the city and it's far from the most popular tourist attractions, like the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf.
For business travelers, however, the Courtyard could be a great choice; SoMa hotels are often a bit less expensive than hotels in the Financial District, about a 15-minute walk away. Plus, the Moscone Center, San Francisco's major convention center, is only two blocks south.
- Five-minute walk to shopping and public transportation on the main thoroughfare of Market Street
- Two blocks to Moscone Convention Center
- The Yerba Buena Gardens and Performing Arts Center is a five-minute walk away, as is the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (the MoMA).
- 10-minute walk to Contemporary Jewish Museum and Museum of the African Diaspora
- No cable cars run through SoMa; the Powell line terminus on Market Street is a 15-minute walk away.
- About a 15-minute walk to the shopping and theaters of Union Square
- Two miles to the kid-friendly attractions at Fisherman's Wharf
- One mile to AT&T Park, home of the Giants
- Four miles to the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park, and the de Young Museum and botanical gardens
- A cab ride to San Francisco International Airport is approximately 40 minutes
Large rooms with quality beds and a great TV that has HD channels
A King Room
The guest rooms at the Courtyard don't impress with their muted decor, but that's not meant to be the selling point here. Instead, rooms are bigger than average for the city and perfectly comfortable. They were all renovated in 2009.
- Larger-than-average standard rooms start at 350 square feet; all standards can sleep up to four people on either a king-size bed and a sleeper sofa or in two queen-size beds.
- Comfortable beds: quality mattress; five pillows; down comforter and a duvet
- Large, 37-inch flat-panel LG TV with HD channels and pay-per-view movies; in some King Rooms, the TV is positioned at a 90-degree angle to the bed and it can be a little awkward watching TV on your side (especially for couples).
- Work desk with a somewhat comfortable chair
- Free hard-wired and wireless Internet
- Four-cup Hamilton Beach coffeemaker
- Bathroom has a tub-shower combo with a curved shower curtain rod for extra space; average-quality Davies Gate shampoo, conditioner, and bar soap.
- No minibar; bottled water available for purchase
Small pool, not quite big enough for laps, and some dining on-site; many other restaurants and attractions nearby
The fitness center
- Small indoor pool (popular with kids) and adjacent Jacuzzi
- 24-hour fitness center: modern Precor aerobic machines with individual TV screens, free weights, and a few weight machines (free access)
- Landscaped outdoor patio off the lobby; ample seating space in the lobby with free Wi-Fi
- More than 9,000 square feet of meeting space in 18 rooms; the largest room can accommodate up to 215 people.
A pool, comfortably sized rooms, and proximity to many attractions -- a good choice for families
The Courtyard offers large rooms for the price, and they sleep up to four people (other hotels in SoMa can only sleep two people to a standard room). While the location is handy for those attending baseball games at AT&T Park or checking out museums, some kids might be happier in Fisherman's Wharf, where there are more attractions that appeal to younger visitors. (The pools at the Radisson and Sheraton in Fisherman's Wharf are nicer than the Courtyard's, too.)
- Standard rooms sleep four people, with either a king bed and a sleeper sofa or two queen-size beds
- Rollaway beds and cribs are both free, but maximum room occupancy is still four.
- Hotel is close to AT&T Park, Yerba Buena Gardens, and the Cartoon Art Museum.
- No kids' menu at Whispers restaurant
Decent options on-site; many better places to eat within walking distance
- Breakfast buffet at Jasmine's has pastries, cereal, fresh fruit, hot dishes, and a cooked-to-order omelet station
- Whispers Bar & Grill, a sports-and-beer-oriented pub, is open for dinner only; pub grub like burgers and sandwiches available
- Starbucks cafe off the lobby, open daily
- Small market near the front desk for grab-and-go lunch items and drinks
- Room service is only available for dinner from Whispers
It's not quite as fashionable as its competitors in SoMa, near the Moscone Convention Center and the downtown musuems, but the 374-room Courtyard by Marriott San Francisco Downtown was renovated in 2009 and its indoor pool and larger-than-average guest rooms make it an attractive choice for the price.
Things You Should Know About Courtyard San Francisco Downtown
- 299 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
- Guest Room
- Hospitality Suite
- King Room w/sofabed City View
- King Room w/Whirlpool
- One Bedroom Suite
- Two Queen Room City View