One block to Market Street and the Powell Street cable car; four blocks to designer shopping at Union Square
Walking distance to Chinatown and the Financial District
Rooms on higher floors (20 to 32) have views of the city skyline
Spacious, clean rooms with modern furnishings and big flat-screen TVs
Large 24-hour fitness center with modern equipment
Business center, and 30,000 square feet of meeting space
Spa services available at Burke Williams spa next door
Free daily newspapers
One-hour pressing and overnight laundry
Fee for Wi-Fi
No room service
Fee charged for pets (but at least they're allowed, unlike at many hotels!)
Large hotel lacks charm of San Francisco's smaller, boutique hotels
Expensive valet parking
Rooms on lower floors can be noisy
The bustling, 1,024-room Parc 55 hotel has some great, modern touches, such as big flat-screen TVs in the (generic) guest rooms and top-notch equipment in the fitness center. With over 32 floors and 30,000 square feet of meeting space, it feels like the big, corporate hotel that it is. The lack of room service and pricey fee for Wi-Fi are downsides, but all in all it's a solid choice a couple of blocks from Union Square. Still, it may be worth comparing rates with the similar Marriott and Hilton hotels nearby.
The 1,024-room, 32-floor, Parc 55 hotel is one of the largest hotels in San Francisco, and it feels like it. Its giant, airy lobby hosts an endless parade of guests from all over the world -- including flight crews -- which contributes to the airport-like vibe. Due to the Parc 55's close proximity to public transportation on Market Street and the high-end shops and theaters in Union Square, it is a good option for just about anyone visiting San Francisco.
And while the on-site restaurants aren't pinnacles of the city's dining scene, they are popular among hotel guests, and the bar can be swarmed during happy hour. It's hard to overstate the buzz and bustle of the crowds at the Parc 55, but you'll find a similar experience at any 1,000-plus-room hotel, including the Westin St. Francis, the Marriott San Francisco, or the Hilton San Franscisco. While the Westin is generally more expensive, it also has larger rooms, a highly regarded cocktail bar, and a more desirable location directly on Union Square. The Marriott and Hilton are, in general, pretty interchangeable with the Parc; if you're trying to choose between the three hotels, opt for the one that is least expensive. For a cozier experience in the same neighborhood, consider the Hotel Monaco for its quirkier style and a more inviting lobby or the Hotel Adagio, which has bigger standard rooms than the Parc 55.
Four blocks from the shopping and theater hub of Union Square, the Parc 55 is just off the central artery of Market Street and two minutes from a Powell Street cable car stop.
The Parc 55 sits four blocks south of Union Square, which is famous for its shopping. Home to enormous outposts of Niketown, Saks, Tiffany, Macy's, Louis Vuitton, and Neiman Marcus, among others, Union Square is to San Francisco what 5th Avenue is to New York and Rodeo Drive is to L.A. Locals don't hang out here, but the square is great for people-watching nonetheless, and it occasionally plays host to small festivals and demonstrations (as well as a popular ice-skating rink around the holidays). If conspicuous consumption isn't a priority, however, you might prefer a neighborhood closer to the city's biggest attractions, like Nob Hill or Fisherman's Wharf.
While Union Square is a safe area, be careful of wandering into the neighboring Tenderloin district (southwest of the square, and just a couple blocks west of the hotel). The Tenderloin has a not-entirely-undeserved reputation for drugs, prostitution, and other crime.
One block from the Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde cable car lines, which run to Lombard Street and Ghirardelli Square or to the kid-friendly waterfront attractions at Fisherman's Wharf
Far from the Golden Gate Bridge and the Presidio, Golden Gate Park and Haight-Ashbury, but then so are most hotels
Tip: For discount theater tickets, you can buy day-of seats for select shows at the Union Square ticket kiosk
Tip: If you want to avoid high-end hotel food and chain restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory that surround Union Square, walk about 15 minutes toward Nob Hill where there is an abundance of excellent, locally owned restaurants
30-minute taxi from San Francisco International Airport
The rooms at the Parc 55 are modern enough but quite generic; they feel like the chain-hotel rooms that they are. Expect a neutral color palette (beige and taupe) and quality bedding (though the beds themselves get mixed reviews). Every room has a workstation at this business-oriented hotel, and TVs are larger than average, starting at 37 inches. There are coffeemakers provided, but no microwaves, mini-fridges, or room service, so guests will have to venture to the pricey restaurant downstairs for food, or into the surrounding neighborhood. Bathrooms have shower/tub combos and make-up mirrors. Rooms have bay windows, and those on higher floors (22 to 32) have nice city views. All rooms are smoke-free.
Many of the features you'd expect of a midpriced business-and-leisure hotel: a modern fitness center and a business center
The modern 24-hour fitness center is one of the largest in San Francisco, with tons of cardio machines, a good selection of weight machines, and free weights.
The hotel offers several dining options: Cityhouse Restaurant, an American steakhouse serving all three meals; Kin Khao, serving authentic Thai; and Barbary Coast, a coffee shop and deli by the valet parking area.
Wi-Fi (extra fee) is available both in the rooms and in the lobby.
24-hour business center, and 30,000 square feet of meeting space
A small shop sells snacks, drinks, souvenirs, postcards, stamps, and other necessities.
No spa (but services available at Burke Williams Spa, adjacent to the hotel)
Not the best choice for families -- smaller rooms; no pool; and a business focus
Other hotels -- like the Handlery Hotel, which has bigger rooms and a pool -- might be a better choice for families who wish to stay in Union Square. For additional options, take a look at our editors' picks for the best kid-friendly hotels in San Francisco.
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