Shmying Hotels in SF: Finding a Perfectly Situated Hotel

Posted on 3 min read

Shocking to believe, but my baby, my son, the light of my life, is in his second year of college. Lucky for me, he chose San Francisco–an easy trip up the coast from Los Angeles. Although he lives in a small studio apartment, and generously offers me his bed, while he’ll sleep on his loveseat sofa, with his legs dangling off the ends, I’ve only once taken him up on the offer. But that leaves me in search of an affordable, but well-situated hotel when I visit.

There are probably hundreds, if not thousands of hotels to choose from when traveling to San Francisco. My usual spot has been a Kimpton, nicely located at the mouth of the Chinatown gates. My last visit, however, was less than wonderful. I spotted what I thought to be a bedbug in the bathroom. I notified the hipster guy at the front desk, who told me that he’d let housekeeping know. And the hotel graciously offered to give me complimentary night. I took them up on it, but never felt quite comfortable.

That brings me to my most recent trip. I got an email from a publicist whom I’ve never met, but who asked if I’d be interested in writing about her client, the Stanford Court Hotel – located (what a coup!) in San Francisco.

I told her that I just happened to be going to SF to visit family over Christmas. But, since I couldn’t promise her I could find an outlet for coverage for the hotel, I asked if she had a “media rate?” Well, to make a long story short, she offered two nights in the hotel, and suggested another client, that ended up being a perfect fit for my FOX News Latino editor. Everyone’s happy.

I began my research of the hotel.

Perched on top of Nob Hill, the Stanford Court hotel was built on the site of the mansion of Leland Stanford, which was destroyed in the fire after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. In 1912 an apartment building was built on the site, and in 1972 the present-day hotel was constructed from the shell of that building. In November 2008, the hotel completed a $35 million renovation.

I arrived to a warm front-desk staff, who put me up on the sixth floor room with a king bed. The room appeared standard, nothing too over-the-top, but the devil’s in the details–as I discovered when I jumped into the shower, the huge, fluffy towels rest on a heated rack; the water-pressure was a dream, and the sheets, ohhhh myyy… I was ready to live in this room forever.

My lovely room.
My lovely room.

But really the best part of the Stanford is the location. It sits on the corner of California and Powell streets. Walking distance to almost everything you want to be near –North Beach, Chinatown, Coit Tower, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Union Square, and most importantly, Bart. The soft tinkle of the Trolley ding is a great soundtrack.

On Christmas Eve, my son and I were in need of a place to have dinner. Two blocks up the street from my luscious hotel room, and directly across from my all-time favorite spot in SF, Grace Cathedral, is Osso Steakhouse, also, a client of the publicist who reps the Stanford hotel. She’d recommended it, and since she took care of the reservation, we took her up on the offer to dine at Osso.

Even though I don’t really eat steak, I love a good steakhouse, cause they know how to make a strong cocktail. While my son dined on a 10-ounce steak, I chose poached salmon, and I must say it was divine. We finished with the chocolate mousse parfait, and it was all perfect –and not too expensive. Frankly, I pay almost that much for dinner in Los Angeles, and have only had two drinks and two appetizers.

All in all, I would say I’ve found my hotel in SF. I don’t believe I’ll be staying anywhere else when I come to visit. Oh, and by the way, the going rate is $135-$150 – can’t beat that.

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