Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The Hilton Financial District, a 27-floor, 549-room concrete tower on the edge of Chinatown, may not be a new building, but it feels fresh -- a $55 million renovation finished in 2006 turned it into a contemporary-looking property. Its interiors are brighter and more appealing than those at the more recently redone Parc 55, at least from a design standpoint, and its rooms are almost as sleek and technologically up-to-date as those at the slightly more expensive, two-year-old InterContinental in SoMa and Le Meridien four blocks away, which was renovated in 2008.
The Hilton brand attracts a good number of business travelers -- one reason it showed up so often in Up in the Air -- but the good service, comfortable beds, and terrific views at this particular Hilton make it a good choice for tourists looking for a comfortable home base. In the lobby, the Flyte Wine Bar offers an extensive selection of California reds and whites while an on-site spa handles body and facial treatments -- both features you won't find in most other hotels in this neighborhood. (The Hotel Vitale and the W San Francisco are two, more expensive exceptions.)
Shortcomings are few: There's a relatively skimpy fitness center and no pool. The couple blocks in the immediate vicinity aren't especially attractive -- though they are perfectly safe -- and most of the decent restaurants in the Financial District are closer to the waterfront. A few minutes' walk further, though, and you'll find the appealing Chinatown and neighborhoods, where great food and interesting architecture are the norm. Other hotel options nearby include the slightly more expensive Le Meridien, while the Hilton certainly outshines the more dreary Club Quarters.
Right for the price: attentive and quick, if not laden with "Sirs"
Service at the Hilton is not up to the same high standards as you find at other business-minded hotels, like the slightly more expensive InterContinental or Omni. Doormen come and go, but that's not a major problem given the automatic sliding doors at the entrance. Plus, the front desk and conceirge staff are eager to help both in person and over the phone.
On the edge of Chinatown, in the skyscraper-dense Financial District
The Financial District is one of those neighborhoods in which the name says it all. If you're a leisure traveler, it's not a bad place to be, but it's important to know that it's sleepy on weekends and positively dead at night. It's also pretty removed from the city's most popular attractions (Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Haight-Ashbury), but then, so are the other neighborhoods with similarly high-priced accommodations. (You can stay in Nob Hill for a small taste of local life, for instance, but you'd still have to take a cab or bus to the aforementioned sites.) And being so close to the Embarcadero (about a 10- to 15-minute walk from the Hilton) actually makes for an easier commute to Fisherman's Wharf than you'd have anywhere else except the wharf itself. You're also just seven blocks from the Ferry Building, where you can eat like a world-class foodie and catch a ferry to Sausalito.
Around average in size for a San Francisco hotel in this price range, the rooms at the Hilton are sleek and offer many modern electronics, which makes them superior to the slightly staid rooms at the Omni nearby. The contemporary look of Le Meridien is similar to what you'd find here, while the Hilton outshines the small -- but less expensive -- rooms of the Club Quarters.
Double-Double Rooms can sleep four, but there are no noteworthy kid-friendly features here.
Cats and dogs allowed
While the Hilton does allow some pets, the Hotel Triton, five blocks away, is a better choice in the Financial District; it doesn't levy a charge for pets of any size and provides accessories like doggie beds and food bowls.
No cleanliness issues
Great wine bar; otherwise average on-site dining
Though last renovated in 2006, the 549-room Hilton Financial District still feels fresh, and its great beds, up-to-date electronics, and nice from select rooms make it great for business travelers -- and leisure guests that don't mind walking 10 minutes to get to the interesting dining and culture in Chinatown and .