I am back working in San Francisco for a few weeks. The 4th of July holiday weekend was coming up and I decided on a last minute change of lodging. My current hotel was the A Loft at the San Francisco Airport but I wanted to spend my weekend somewhere in the city. After some research, I decided I want to go with the Park Central in San Francisco if possible. However, I had to call the SPG Hotline for a number of reasons. First of all, I tried to use some of my SPG Suite Awards and I wanted to know more about the $44 facility fee.
Unfortunately, I got denied my suite awards because I didn’t make the reservation a head of time enough. The SPG agent, Kimberly, did her best to try to get me my suite awards but she couldn’t confirm them anymore but put a note on my account. I also asked her about the facility fee. This sounds like the usual Las Vegas scams where hotels have super cheap prices and then add a $30 or higher resort fee to your room for every single night. The same here at this property, they just call it differently. Instead of resort fee, it’s called facility fee and is basically the same. The fee gives you access to the internet, gym, and so on. Basically all the amenities you take for granted. Kimberly and I talked and I told her that some of the benefits, like high-speed internet, are included with my SPG Diamond member level and I told her that I don’t need the other amenities which would be included with the facility fee. She put me on a brief hold and talked to the hotel and the hotel is actually willing to waive the facility fee for SPG Diamond guests. In my case, the room rate was about $146 and with the facility fee of $44 it would raise to $190/per night. This doesn’t even include parking of $58 a night. Kimberly from SPG was able to get the facility fee waived by talking to a manager at the hotel. I was super glad that it worked out that way. With $44 you get a good dinner for one person or some drinks at the hotel bar.
The next morning I checked out of the A Loft, which is also an
SPG property, and headed to the Park Central after work.
The hotel is located on the corner of 3rd Street and Mission Street in San Francisco and just one block from Market Street. The entrance to the hotel is off 3rd Street which is a one way street at this location. The hotel offers only valet parking for a hefty fee. Not as hefty as the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco, where the fee almost doubles. Be careful by pulling in to the hotel. You have to cross the sidewalk and it’s usually very busy here. I gave the valet my key and let him know that I will check-in and will be back in a few minutes.
As with all my check-in experiences so far, I didn’t count on what I would see here. I walked in through the revolving door and right after the door, a huge queue started. Everyone was lined up for the check-in counter. It looks like a bus just dropped off a bunch of people and there was a KLM crew as well. My first thought was that it will take hours just to check in but then it hit me. I am top tier elite with SPG, they must have a dedicated line at a hotel like this. Surely enough they did and I was able to bypass the whole line because nobody was waiting at the elite member line. There was only one couple ahead of me already talking to the front desk agent and I was next up. This was the first time I ever could get some real “value” (time) out of this benefit.
Once at the counter the check-in was a breeze. I tried to see if they could honor the suite upgrade but because of the upcoming holiday weekend they were pretty sold out. Understandable! What I got instead was not bad either. They gave me a room on the top floor of the hotel, the 36th floor. I love being up high. Especially most hotels I stay for work aren’t even that high.
Once I got my room key I headed back outside to the valet to grab my bags and head up to the room. The valet took care of my car and I was on my way to the 36th floor. Well, it took a second to realize that you have to scan your room key first to get to any floor at this hotel. Now I was on the way!
Premier King with Garden View (Room 3609)
After exiting the elevator lobby my room was located down to the left on the right side of the hallway. It was the first room after the elevator. I opened the door and walked into a very spacious room with a few facing south. The big floor to ceiling windows give you a partial few of the bay and a good few of the Yerba Buena Gardens and Moscone Center from this room. Looking out of the window all the way to the right, I was even able to see the San Francisco City Hall which is nicely lit up every night.
After entering the room there is a huge wall closet on the left and the entrance to the bathroom on the right. The bathroom had a sliding door but the shower itself has no door at all. The bathroom was spacious enough and you had enough space to move around.
On the left side was also a small closet which housed the refrigerator and further down on the left side was the wall mounted flatscreen TV and the work desk. On the right was the King bed with nightstands and next to the window a small table with magazines and information about the city and sofa bed.
There were many power outlets at the desk and on both sides of the bed. I hate it when I can’t charge my phone at the nightstand. The room and bathroom were clean and in very good shape. Even the furniture was a great match for the room and the location and had no signs of wear or tear.
The hotel lobby is basically the main gathering spot. Besides the check-in counter, you have plenty of seating opportunities in a dimmed lit environment. The concierge desk is also housed in the lobby. The concierge can give you tips where to go and what to see in San Francisco or book tours for you. Check out also my blog for more sights and off the beaten path spots in San Francisco. Adjacent to the concierge desk is the “Grab and Go” breakfast. The hotel puts it up every morning at 6 a.m. and you can select from a wide variety of breakfast items and be on your way. This is perfect for busy people which have to start their days early.
Directly next to the concierge desk is a small boarding pass kiosk which allows you to print your boarding passes. The main entrance to the hotel is through the revolving door in the glass front of the hotel which leads to the valet parking area on 3rd Street. From here it is only a short walk to Market St, the heart of San Francisco. Don’t forget to check one of San Francisco’s best-kept secrets – the rooftop gardens. There is one just up the street at One Kearny.
The well-sized fitness center is located on the fourth floor of the hotel. They pretty much have everything you need for a thorough workout or any other fitness activity.
Before you enter the elevators you will notice the gift shop at the end of the hallway. They offer a wide variety of items. Everything from snacks and beverages all the way to souvenir items and books.
The on-site restaurant is called Maso and offers a huge continental breakfast buffet. The service here is great and I never had to wait to get a seat. However, I still would recommend you to get to breakfast as early as you can. It got crowded during some of the days. The breakfast is really amazing here. They pretty much have everything you can imagine and service is quick as well. If you need something, just ask a server here and they help you out. Be aware that the buffet comes with a hefty fee of $25 plus tax per person. You can either book a rate which includes breakfast or you select it as your SPG member gift instead of points or a local gift.
Before you enter the actual breakfast area with all the seating you will notice the bar on the left side. They feature drinks and some small bites starting around 11 a.m. and are open until midnight. See details below.
I really loved my stay here and for the rate, I got my room it was almost too cheap to be true. I extended a few more days after the 4th of July but couldn’t extend any longer because they were already sold out for the upcoming weeks. Seems this is conference season time in San Francisco. The prices also sky-rocketed after the 4th of July week. Now the rooms start around $350 per night.
I am glad I made the decision to stay here for a few days. I really enjoyed the time here and the nice and friendly staff. It’s a great starting point to explore the city and an even better location if you are here for an event at the Moscone Center which is located on the next block.
My only negative experience here was the dry-cleaning service. This is not directly related to the hotel because the hotel uses a third party to offer that service. I send out a bunch of clothing including pants to get cleaned. As I received the dry cleaning back they put my pants on a hanger and stuck a note to it that they were unable to process this item and for reason the marked other but didn’t give any explanation why. I send this pants out so many times and never had an issue with it. It’s just weird. The biggest issue was that I got it back the day before my check-out so I couldn’t send it out again to get cleaned.
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.