- Fee for Wi-Fi
- Pricey valet parking (no self-parking).
- Middling on-site restaurant; better options nearby
- No pool
One of three Marriott properties within three blocks of shopping-centric Union Square, this newly renovated hotel is just as modern as its neighbors -- and it's often the cheapest of the bunch.
After completing renovations, the 400-room San Francisco Marriott reopened in April 2009 to be the third Marriott within three blocks of Union Square, San Francisco's premier shopping and theater district. The 30-floor property has everything -- both good and bad -- that you'd expect from an urban Marriott, including comfortable beds, up-to-date electronics, an average restaurant, and a fee for Wi-Fi. Though its services don't quite match up to the standards at the JW Marriott and the Marriott Marquis, its rooms are in many ways similar, or even better than, the rooms at its often pricier sister hotels.
But the San Francisco Marriott has little to offer its guests outside the the guest rooms. The small fitness center is up to date, but it has just a handful of cardio and weight-training machines. Only two computers in an alcove off the lobby serve as the hotel's business center. While the in-house restaurant strives to serve higher-end cuisine -- such as clay pot salmon with ginger -- execution sometimes falls short of the kitchen's ambition.
Union Square, on the whole, is chockablock with hotel options. Guests looking for more personality might find the literary-themed Hotel Rex a more interesting choice in the price range, while the stylish decor at the Hotel Triton puts the cookie-cutter look of the Marriott to shame. On the other hand, the Marriott's new rooms outshine those of the Sir Francis Drake, across the street, in terms of both comfort and technology.
Efficient, midrange service
Guests at the Marriott shouldn't expect the white glove treatment, but common requests are met quickly. Doormen are happy to flag down cabs, and porters can assist with luggage the minute you arrive at the hotel. The well-staffed front desk manages to keep check-in lines short, even during peak times (though the convenient, self-serve, airport-style check-in kiosks deserve some of the credit).
Just a block north of Union Square and its plentiful hotels, shops, and tourists
The Marriott is a block north of Union Square, in the heart of a neighborhood known for high-end shops and not much else. With enormous outposts of Niketown, Saks, Tiffany, Macy's, Louis Vuitton, and Neiman Marcus, among others, Union Square is to San Francisco what 5th Avenue and Rodeo Drive are to New York and L.A. Locals don't really hang out here, but the square is great for people-watching nonetheless, and occasionally plays host to small festivals and demonstrations. Still, if shopping isn't a priority, you might prefer a neighborhood closer to the city's biggest attractions, like Nob Hill or Fisherman's Wharf.
Perfectly fine for families, though no specific kid-friendly amenities
While the Marriott doesn't go out of its way to court families, its relatively large rooms can sleep up to four in two double beds and the hotel is also close to teen-friendly activities like theaters and art galleries.
Renovated in 2009 and still spotless
Mediocre on-site options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
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