You don't get the service you'd receive at high-end area competitors, but the Park Central Hotel San Francisco does offer immaculate quarters with super-comfortable beds, solid amenities, and a business-friendly location two blocks from the convention center. For travelers seeking a more subdued environment than the nearby mega-Marriott and who aren't up for paying St. Regis prices, this is an acceptable option.
A refined setting and comfortable rooms, somewhat make up for this SoMa hotel's spotty service and less-than-happening vibe.
A block from the bustling commercial thoroughfare of Market Street in the heart of the SoMa district, the 676-room Park Central Hotel, a Starwood property, falls somewhere between the neighborhood's five-star luxury properties (like the St. Regis and the Four Seasons) and a high-volume behemoth like the Marriott. Unlike the sleek, lifestyle-driven W, down the street, this hotel traffics in a more refined, subdued elegance: The grand, chandeliered lobby is adorned with lavish flower arrangements and striped sofas.
Overall, the hotel is not a bad choice in this category, particularly if you want to be within walking distance of the convention center in a quieter atmosphere than the frenetic one found at the Marriott.
In central SoMa, close to museums, shopping, and the convention center
The Westin San Francisco Market Street is located in SoMa ("South of Market"), a diverse neighborhood of warehouses, nightspots, art spaces, loft apartments, and technology companies. Just south of Market Street, the hotel is close to several of the city's best museums, including SFMOMA and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, but it's a business-heavy neighborhood that's right next to the financial district, Union Square, and Moscone Center, making it best for business travelers. It's convenient to museums and the Embarcadero, but on the other hand it's far from several landmark tourist attractions.
Safe (though vagrancy and panhandling are common, as throughout San Francisco)
Far from the Presidio, the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, and Haight-Ashbury
Short walk to the Powell-Mason cable-car line, for quick access to Fisherman's Wharf and ferries to Alcatraz
Modern, albeit bland rooms with flat-screen TVs and some with great views
Rooms are immaculate and acceptable in size (325 square feet) -- about the same as the Marriott, larger than the W, smaller than the more expensive St. Regis -- but have some flaws. The corner Premier Room, for instance, was irritatingly noisy. The city views were spectacular, but it was stuck next to the housekeeping closet. The Internet connection is spotty and requires a daily fee. And the 37-inch flat-screen TV took up almost the entirety of the work desk, leaving no space for a room service tray or even a laptop.
But still, the Park Central Hotel has some definite perks. The bed, featuring a pillow-top mattress swathed in three layers of silky cotton sheets, a voluminous duvet, and four goose-down pillows, is exactly as comfortable as expected. The shower/tub combo has a rainfall showerhead and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities are provided.
American restaurant, bar, and 24-hour fitness center
The hotel's American restaurant MaSo serves food throughout the day, like lobster pot pie and roasted salmon. There's also a bar and lounge for cocktails and bites. The 24-hour fitness center is huge, brightly lit, and outfitted with all new equipment.
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