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Hotel review: W San Francisco (California, USA)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel and/or flight review.

Today (July 29, 2015): Hotel review: W San Francisco (California, USA).

Located in the heart of the SoMA district, W San Francisco Hotel is a gathering place for art exhibitions, film screenings, fashion and music events. With panoramic views of the Bay Bridge and city skyline, this dynamic, trendy hotel is the place to relax, mingle, share, taste, and explore in San Francisco.

In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clipe & slideshow):

  • Pros & things I like
  • Cons & things to know
  • My verdict
  • Tips for future guests & save money
  • Best time to visit
  • How to get there

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • The hotel enjoys an excellent location, whether you are in San Francisco for business or pleasure. It’s a short stroll to Union Square and a 10 minute taxi ride to Fisherman’s Wharf (where you can book a tour of Alcatraz or take a boat ride around the bay). The hotel is also very close to the Moscone Center and as such a good choice if you’re attending a conference there.
  • The W Hotels brand definitely targets a young, tech-savvy, modern market, and it is not different in its San Francisco outpost: a trendy decor, the goodlooking staff and the DJ’s music in the hotel lounge set the ambiance. Whenever, whatever!
  • The rooms and luxury suites come in 7 categories (from Wonderful Rooms to the Extreme Wow Suite), and offer a fashionable style, artful décor, and ultra-plush bedding. Some of them come with spectacular views of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco skyline. Within the sanctuary of their room, guests can enjoy customized Asian influences like Chinese checkers and origami butterflies, sample flavorful Napa and Sonoma wines from the refreshment bar, and recharge in the cloud-like comfort of the W brand’s signature bed. I stayed in a Mega Corner Room during my stay, and I loved it (because of its corner location).
  • The hotel has its own spa, Bliss San Francisco, which is located on the fourth floor. Boasting 5,000 square feet of tension-fighting facilities, the spa features a retail boutique, three nail stations, nine treatment rooms, and men’s and women’s lounges with adjoining outdoor escapes.
  • WiFi is complimentary (as long as you made the booking on the official hotel or Starwood website).
  • The W San Francisco has a spectacular and state-of-the-art gym, named FIT, which is infused with natural light from a dramatic skylight ceiling. The epicenter of FIT is a central seating structure and self-serve bar area with rings of color-changing light fixtures, with equipment radiating around the perimeter.
  • The hotel’s TRACE restaurant brings innovative menus with seasonal, local, and organic cuisine. In the morning, breakfast is served is here (there is a Starbucks around the corner though if you prefer that).
  • W San Francisco is a LEED Silver certified hotel that is committed to sustainable hospitality – so guests can feel good about their impact on the environment without sacrificing style or luxury.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

The W hotel is not a contender to the title of San Francisco’s most luxurious property (nor does it pretend to be). It feels more 4 than a 5 stars. If supreme luxury is a must, and money is no object, then consider staying at the W’s neighbour and Starwood sibling, the stunning St Regis hotel (click here to read my review). While the W is still an excellent choice, it does have some shortcomings: 

  • There is loud music everywhere and the vibe is orientated towards a younger clientele, so older people and those in need of tranquillity may feel out of place here.
  • The hotel is showing its age in some areas, and so is the design.
  • Service may be a hit and a miss from time to time.
  • Rooms can be a little loud because of the street noise, but this is a city, so there is no way to escape those sirens and traffic sounds. If you are a light sleeper, ask for a room on a higher floor.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 8/10
  • Design: 7/10
  • Rooms: 7/10
  • Food: 7/10
  • Service: 7/10
  • Overall experience: good: 7,2/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Save money: read my tips for getting the cheapest rate for a room at a luxury hotel like the W San Francisco (and/or receive many free perks).
  • Book your room on the official hotel, Starwood or SPG website to receive complimentary WiFi.
  • Request a room on a higher floor if you want a view and/or if you are a light sleeper.
  • Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) with Gold or Platinum status are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – free high-speed WiFi, complementary room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out  (when available), and free breakfast (SPG platinum). Click here to read our review of the SPG program (with pros & cons).
  • Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

San Francisco weather is best in spring and fall, with warm and clear days, and comfortably cool nights. The city is often shrouded in fog during mid-summer (June to September). Winter can bring storms and rains. So the best months, that usually come with brilliant sunshine, are October, November, April and May.


HOW TO GET THERE

The San Francisco area is served by 2 airports:

  • San Francisco International Airport is located 13 miles (21 km) south of Downtown San Francisco and it served by many full-service carriers (click here for a direct link to their websites). Check the Wikipedia page of San Francisco International Airport for an updated list of airlines that fly to San Francisco.
  • Oakland International Airport is located accross the Bay, 5 miles (8 km) south of Downtown Oakland,  and is served by most American full-service and low-cost carriers (click here for a direct link to their websites). Check the Wikipedia page of Oakland International Airport for an updated list of airlines that fly to Oakland.

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY FIREPLACE

LOBBY FIREPLACE

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

BAR IN THE HOTEL LOUNGE

BAR IN THE HOTEL LOUNGE

BAR IN THE HOTEL LOUNGE

BAR IN THE HOTEL LOUNGE

BAR IN THE HOTEL LOBBY

BAR IN THE HOTEL LOBBY

BAR IN THE HOTEL LOBBY

BAR IN THE HOTEL LOBBY

BAR IN HOTEL LOBBY

BAR IN THE HOTEL LOBBY

UPSTAIRS BAR & LOUNGE

UPSTAIRS BAR & LOUNGE

UPSTAIRS BAR & LOUNGE

UPSTAIRS BAR & LOUNGE

TRACE RESTAURANT

TRACE RESTAURANT

TRACE RESTAURANT

TRACE RESTAURANT

LOBBY: ELEVATORS TO HIGHER FLOORS

LOBBY: ELEVATORS TO HIGHER FLOORS

DESIGN ELEMENT IN ELEVATOR

DESIGN ELEMENT IN ELEVATOR

HOTEL CORRIDOR

HOTEL CORRIDOR

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

MEGA CORNER ROOM

VIEW FROM ROOM

VIEW FROM ROOM

VIEW FROM ROOM

VIEW FROM ROOM

WONDERFUL ROOM

WONDERFUL ROOM

FANTASTIC SUITE

FANTASTIC SUITE

VIEW FROM ROOM

VIEW FROM ROOM

COOL CORNER KING ROOM

COOL CORNER KING ROOM

SPECTACULAR KING GUEST ROOM

SPECTACULAR KING GUEST ROOM

SPA

SPA

GYM (DURING DAY)

GYM (DURING DAY)

GYM (AT NIGHT)

GYM (AT NIGHT)


*** Follow me on TwitterInstagram or Facebook for a daily moment of travel inspiration ***


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