One block to Market Street and Powell Street cable car; four blocks to Union Square
Central location is within walking distance to Chinatown and the Financial District
Spacious rooms with modern furnishings, coffeemakers, and flat-screen TVs
Rooms on higher floors (20 to 32) have views of the city skyline
Large 24-hour fitness center with modern, iPhone-compatible equipment
Business center, plus 30,000 square feet of meeting space
Pet-friendly (for a fee)
Fee for Wi-Fi (waived for Hilton Honors members)
No room service
No pool or spa (but spa services available at Burke Williams next door)
Large hotel lacks charm of San Francisco's smaller, boutique hotels
Expensive valet parking
Rooms on lower floors are vulnerable to street noise
The bustling, 1,010-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.
A well-oiled 32-story machine of convenience and comfort
The 1,010-room Parc 55 is one of the largest hotels in San Francisco, and it feels like it. The entrance and lobby of the modern downtown San Francisco hotel are a constant coming and going of travelers. There are people lounging in the restaurant and bar area, exercisers in the second-floor gym overlooking the street, and pedestrians plying the busy intersection outside. 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 (the hotel runs at about a 95 percent occupancy rate year round). 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 Francisco. 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 Marker San Francisco for its quirky-yet-elegant 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 half a block from what might be considered San Francisco's main hub of transportation -- Powell and Market streets
The Parc 55 sits four blocks south of Union Square, which is famous for its shopping. Home to enormous outposts of Niketown, Saks, Louis Vuitton, and Neiman Marcus, among others, Union Square is to San Francisco what Fifth 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). For discount theater tickets, you can buy day-of seats for select shows at the Union Square ticket kiosk. 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. (And 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.) 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-minute walk to 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
One-minute walk to Market Street
Eight-minute walk to Union Square
13-minute walk to Moscone Center
18- to 20-minute drive to Haight-Ashbury and Golden Gate Park
30-minute drive (or 30-minute ride via public transportation) to Golden Gate Bridge
40-minute drive to 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 (available on request), 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), called Skyline View Rooms, have nice views of the city.
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 features tons of cardio equipment (many machines have Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-ready LCD touch-screen tablets), a good selection of weight machines, a TRX machine, and free weights. Individually-wrapped earphones are available. The gym is one of the largest in San Francisco (and its large windows overlook the bustling street one story below), but it does not include a pool, steam room, or sauna.
The hotel offers a number dining options: Cable 55, an American eatery serving all three meals; Kin Khao, serving authentic Thai; and Barbary Coast, a coffee shop and deli (try the donuts) by the valet parking area. Cable 55 bar offers small plates, cocktails, wine, and an impressive craft beer list (which includes several local options).
There are 30,000 square feet of meeting space and a 24-hour business center. A small shop sells snacks, drinks, souvenirs, postcards, stamps, and other necessities. Wi-Fi (extra fee for non-Hilton Honors members) is available both in the rooms and in the lobby. Pets are allowed and valet parking is available, both for a fee.
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