Limited service: no doormen; no valet; no concierge
Self-parking is pricey; no valet
Less-than-luxe bedding; only two pillows on a queen
The 342-room Club Quarters can be a fine alternative to other, more costly business hotels in the quiet, skyscraper-lined streets of the Financial District. But with the drop in price come smaller standard rooms, cheaper bedding, scarce service (no doorman or concierge), an older fitness center, and a less-than-exciting restaurant.
A 342-room business hotel with a broad range of corporate and nonprofit members; weekday bookings can be hard to come by
The Club Quarters is different from a typical hotel. It offers memberships to businesses and nonprofits that agree to pay for a certain number of nights every year. Nonmembers can also book rooms, of course, but it can be hard to find an available room on a weekday -- not ideal for most business travelers. However, due to the steady revenue stream, weekend and holiday rates can be much lower than what you'd find at other hotels in San Francisco's Financial District, especially for a studio or one-bedroom suite with an in-room kitchenette. Although this is not the kind of hotel to host a party in the lobby, and most leisure travelers prefer to stay in Union Square, where cable cars run past high-end shopping, or near the waterfront shops, sea lions, and ferries to Alcatraz in Fisherman's Wharf, just about anywhere in the city is still accessible from the Financial District and great dining and beautiful views can still be found at the nearby Ferry Building or at the Embarcadero on the waterfront.
Of course, at these rates, the quality of the rooms and services don't quite match up to other, often more expensive hotels in the area, such as Le Meridien or the Hilton Financial District. The standard room measures 240 square feet -- small, but not uncomfortably cramped -- and has a queen bed with only two pillows, a small work desk with built-in power plugs, and flat-screen TVs. (The old, 20-inch tube TVs photographed were replaced in 2011.) The tight bathroom has just enough room for a stand-up shower though the water pressure is good. Rather than stocking each room with the standard set of in-room amenities, guests have to head into the hallway to fetch an iron, toiletries, extra coffee, and bottled water from a closet on every floor. Likewise, service is minimal -- no doorman, no concierge, and no valet parking.
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 actually makes for an easier commute to Fisherman's Wharf than you'd have anywhere else except the wharf itself. You're also just four short blocks to the Ferry Building, where you can eat like a world-class foodie and catch a ferry to Sausalito.
Mere blocks from the Bay Bridge and the picturesque waterside Embarcadero promenade
A short walk from the Ferry Building, a foodie paradise chockablock with high-end food purveyors, which hosts a renowned thrice-weekly farmers' market
Close to Market Street and its plethora of public transportation options, including the California Street cable car