Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Keinsington Park Hotel is housed in a historic building near Union Square with a beautiful marble lobby, lovely rooms with Serta beds, and a stately, relaxed vibe
This stately hotel, housed in a 1925 Moorish/Gothic building in San Francisco's Union Square area, is a throwback to an era of huge marble lobbies, massive wood-paneled elevators with loveseats, crystal chandeliers, and gold accents. The hotel, which takes up the first floor as well as floors five to 13, shares the building with an Elks Lodge, an old-timey social and philanthropic club founded in 1868.
Though the hotel and the Elks Club are unaffiliated, the hotel may be especially appealing to visiting Elks members, who can access the Elks Club's gym, sauna, billiards room, and pool. The hotel itself has few features, but guests do get free passes to the fitness center at Hotel Diva, which is a few blocks away.
There is much to recommend the rooms Kensington Park Hotel, which completed a handsome $2 million restoration in 2008. The 350 square-foot Corner View King Room is impressive, featuring a terrific bed with a Serta mattress, headboard covered in white leather, monogrammed pillows, a soft faux mink blanket, a vintage-looking ceiling fan (much-needed as there's no AC), furniture that mixed old and new (such as the antique dresser and the hipster lamp), and bathrooms with brass detailing. The building's been around a while, so, understandably, there were scuff marks.
Kensington Park sits right in the middle of the popular oft-crowded upscale shopping and theater districts, so its leisurely parlor room-feeling offers a nice change of pace. The free afternoon tea and sherry in the impressive lobby with the painted ceilings and the freaky horse sculpture is a classy way to unwind.
Price-wise, the Kensington falls in the middle of Union Square options, but it lack amenities that some other area boutiques offer. It's still a solid option, though, for its attractive rooms and stately, intimate feel.
Kensington Park is a block off of Union Square on a safe street.
Beyond the retail trade, the broader Union Square area is popular with out-of-towners because it's a transportation hub with easy access to cable cars, buses, trolleys, BART trains, Muni light rail, and even the occasional cab. From Union Square, visitors can easily make their way around the Bay Area. Union Square has plenty of restaurant options, but it isn't a hot spot for nightlife.
Kensington Park has no restaurant, but it shares the building with Farallon, a fine dining restaurant focusing on seafood
Farallon, one of San Francisco's premier seafood joints, is housed in the same building as the Kensington, though it is operated independently. It's a pricey place, but Kensington Park guests get preferred seating. (And, for what it's worth, the grilled Atlantic scallops with Yukon gold potatoes and oxtail ragout were tremendous.) Even if dinner isn't in the game plan, it's worth stopping in for a drink to take in the lively under-the-sea theme atmosphere, especially the glass jellyfish floating above. Make a reservation through the Kensington's concierge and you get a complimentary glass of champagne.
This charming boutique, situated in an impressive historic building only a block from Union Square, offers attractive rooms that mix modern comforts and antique furniture. But amenities are few -- there's not even a fitness center on-site (though guests can access one at a different hotel a few blocks away). Still, its intimacy and stately feel make it one of the better options for the price in this location.