The Holiday Inn Civic Center was the first-ever hotel I stayed at in San Francisco. This was way before I even thought about starting a blog. As I was supposed to work on a project right across the street, the Holiday Inn Civic Center was the perfect choice as I didn’t need to rent a car and would be able to walk there in a matter of minutes. From the airport, I took Super Shuttle for my first time but my experience was rather bad than good. The shuttle driver stopped outside the hotel on the little drop-off area. After grabbing my bags I was greeted by a bellman of the Holiday Inn Civic Center and he loaded my bags on his luggage cart after we carried them up a few stairs. To roll your bags in, you would have to go into the entrance ramp of the parking garage and from there is a door on the same level to the lobby. To use this door you would need a working room key. The bags were carried up quickly the few steps and I started my check-in.
As usual, check-in was no problem here. As I had a reservation, I showed my credit card and ID and got greeted right away as a Spire Elite Member. As I only was staying one night here, I didn’t care too much which room I would get but asked if I could have a high-floor room and I was able to get a top-floor room. The bellman grabbed the cart and we took the elevator up to the 14th floor.
Executive King Room (Room 1403)
The bellman took the luggage cart up to my room. He was very friendly and welcoming, that’s what I liked a lot. The room is pretty open with a King bed on the one side and the flatscreen TV right across the bed. The TV stand extends out and becomes a work desk. On the bed were two sets of slippers wrapped in plastic. In one corner of the room is a coffee maker and an ice bucket as well as some magazines.
The AC unit is located right behind the work desk and it will blow the cold air right into your neck. This was a little bit uncomfortable and I turned the AC off when I was using the desk.
The bathroom size is decent and it doesn’t feel like you get cramped in. In the closet outside, on the opposing side to the bathroom are two PJs. It’s rare that I find PJs in a Holiday Inn. Usually the only have them in higher category hotels. Inside the same closet with the full-size mirror-doors is a safe as well and the laundry bags.
Overall the room was very clean and big enough to feel comfortable. However, there is no refrigerator in the room, which you might want in the summer months of the year. Even tho it doesn’t get super hot but you still want a cold drink. You might want to repurpose the ice bucket to a mini-fridge. There is a small balcony just outside the floor to ceiling windows but you can’t open the window. It’s shut solid. The view of my room was not to bad. I had a partial view of the San Francisco City hall and the highrises next door.
The lobby area of the Holiday Inn Civic Center is quite spacious and has information brochures for sightseeing and tours next to the front desk. Next to it is a small room with vending machines for cold drinks. The lobby has a very open and inviting atmosphere to hang out and relax. There is a fireplace in the middle of the room with some seating around it and more seating along the wall. Next to the lobby is “50 on Eight” restaurant, which serves breakfast and dinner at the hotel. Next to it are the elevators which only work if you have a valid room key. Same for the doors to the restrooms. The business center is located next to the elevators and surrounded by a glass wall. Inside there are 2 workstations and a printer.
There is an outdoor heated pool on the 4th floor of the hotel. The swimming pool is located outside of the hotel and you need your keycard as well to get to the pool. Once outside on the terrace, you don’t need to use it again to actually get into the pool area. The pool is decent sized and there are a few loungers there. The view is somewhat decent if you don’t look straight down over the edge. You only will see a not so nice backyard. The hotel offices are located next to the pool area and have a view of the pool.
The fitness center is located on the same floor just down the hallway. Inside are three treadmills and numerous workout equipment which should be sufficient for a small workout.
On the other side of the building, on the same floor, is the guest laundry with two washers and two dryers.
The Holiday Inn Civic Center is just a few steps away from Market St., San Francisco’s main street. However, during the day and even at night lots of homeless people and junkies hang out in front of the buildings on either side of the hotel. I didn’t have any issues with them and they don’t seem to bother with the people walking by. You might hear them screaming and talking to themselves. San Francisco has a big homeless problem and you will find them all around the downtown area, no matter where you go. So it’s not the area the hotel is located in, it’s the city. San Francisco’s City Hall is only a short walk away from the hotel and its a pretty sight at night when it is lit up. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission HQ is located close by as well and they offer free tours of the building which you might wanna check out if you get a chance.
The 50 on Eight restaurant and bar is the main dining venue of the hotel. The breakfast buffet offers quite a variety of items and the service is pretty good. You probably get the best value if you go with the breakfast buffet instead of ordering a la carte. The breakfast buffet even offered some rice with veggies, which is rare but I like a lot. A lot of Asian airlines have their crews stay here as well.
Early evening the restaurant offers dinner and a bar area. The service was good here and I tried their Chicken Wings and a Cheeseburger but both were not that good. Kinda dry and tasted like just warmed up in a microwave. For that, the price is a little bit too high. The restaurant is convenient and you can do room charge, but for a good meal, I would recommend you to head outside. There are plenty of food places within walking distance. Fire up Google Maps or Yelp.
My stay at the Holiday Inn Civic Center was pretty good. I got a good nights rest and had no issues at all. The food at the restaurant could be a bit better. Maybe it was just bad luck during my visit. What I was a little shocked about were the many homeless people just outside the hotel on either side. A security guard is patrolling the lobby and front entrance area to keep the people out. Parking is expensive, but that is a San Francisco issue and no matter where you go. There used to be a great Chinese Restaurant across the street with an amazing buffet when I first visited the hotel. The building got demolished and it’s a construction site now. I was really impressed with the room, which was clean and had a decent size.
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Civic Center
- Located just off Market St.
- No Refrigerator in Room
- Lots of homeless people gathering in front of the buildings on either side of the hotel.
- Placment of AC right behind workdesk
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.