My husband and I stayed at the Viceroy over Thanksgiving weekend for a little R&R. I had read many mixed reviews of the hotel before we booked it, and as it turns out, we came away with mixed feelings about our stay as well.
We were looking for a stylish, luxury hotel within walking distance of downtown, with a lively but sophisticated scene. We did not want a "party" hotel, which is why we ultimately chose the Viceroy over our other choices, the Parker and the Riviera. We booked our room through the Visa Signature luxury hotels program because the rate included free continental breakfast, an automatic upgrade, late checkout, and other perks.
We liked the lobby and grounds of the hotel; we found them to be stylish and fun. We spent time relaxing at the Presidio pool, which is supposed to be the "family" pool, but there were no kids while we were there and it was very peaceful. The other two pools were busier, but still inviting. We enjoyed drinks at the bar and the food service was good as well. The staff at the Viceroy was mostly young, but very friendly.
We had deep tissue massages at the Estrella spa on the property one day. My husband reported that his massage was great. My massage was good as well, but the therapist ended it 8-10 minutes early for some reason. The hotel gym was very small and was crowded both times we used it. I ended up leaving and going for runs outside because the treadmills were always busy.
We splurged on a Wetherly suite at the rate of $375/night, plus the resort fee. We were not upgraded to a villa, even though the rate we booked was supposed to include an automatic upgrade. We were told that an upgrade was not possible because the hotel was full, but we were assured that our suite was one of the nicest accommodations on the property.
Our second floor suite, #324, was like a one-bedroom efficiency from the 60s. It included a bedroom with ensuite bathroom, and a living room that opened onto a small, somewhat decrepit balcony overlooking the Citron pool. There was a second, smaller bathroom near the front door. The living room area was large, but we found it to be cavernous and unappealing given the way it was furnished. If we were to stay again as a couple, we would choose one of the pool view studios instead at a lower rate.
I agree with past reviewers who observed that the rooms at the Viceroy were given a "lipstick" renovation. The master bathroom in our suite had an old, plastic, stained bathtub that looked like it was from a Motel 6. The other bathroom had a cheap plastic shower stall. The furniture (with the exception of the bed) seemed like it was from Ikea and was neither useful nor comfortable. The sofa in the living room was dingy, uncomfortable, and smelled like wet dog. There were no drawers for clothes, only closets. The butterfly doors to the media cabinet at the foot of the bed would not stay open so we could watch TV. The TVs were flat screen, but were not high def, and the picture quality was terrible. The TV in the bedroom was tiny, probably 14" at most, even though the cabinet could have accommodated a much bigger one.
We did like that the king bed was ultra-comfortable and outfitted in high quality linens. (Weirdly, the towels were sometimes nice Sferra towels, and other times thin scratchy no-name towels). We also liked that the bathrooms were stocked with wonderful, full-size Neil George bath products (so nice not having to mess with all those little bottles!) We also appreciated some of the design elements that WERE included in the renovation: cool wallpaper on the bedroom ceiling, funky light fixtures, the bright yellow chairs (although not comfortable to lounge on).
The worst part of our stay was the noise factor on Saturday evening. Our bedroom backed up to the Presidio courtyard and pool area, which is one of the hotel's popular outdoor wedding venues. At 4pm we returned from a hike, wanting to take a little nap before dinner. The music from a large wedding in the courtyard was already blaring and made napping or even watching TV impossible...it was like the wedding band was right in our room. We called the front desk and were told that the noise was unavoidable, and that it would stop by 10 pm at the latest. So, we skipped our nap and instead listened to the wedding music, wedding toasts, first dance, cheers, and crowd noise while we got showered and got dressed for cocktails and dinner in town.
We returned to our room at 10:00 pm only to find that the wedding party was raging even harder and louder. I called the front desk again. They were apologetic and said they would speak to the wedding coordinator. At 11:30, the party and music was STILL blaring. I called again, and was told that the wedding coordinator was supposed to be shutting it down but there wasn't much they could do. They asked if we wanted to switch to another room. Um, thanks, but NO we don't want to pack all our stuff and lug it to another room on the last night of our stay. About 15 minutes later, we heard police sirens outside and saw what looked like a police officer (although it could have been a security guard) approaching the courtyard. The party shut down pretty quickly after that, and we thought we would finally be able to get some sleep.
Unfortunately, right before turning out the lights, we noticed a bunch of ants streaming all over the nightstand next to the bed. We had not had anything to eat or drink in the room so I'm not sure where they came from. We squished as many as we could with a washcloth, but the rest of the night we were both waking up thinking ants were crawling on us. Icky.
The next day, I called the front desk to let them know about the ant problem because we could still see a few of them crawling around the nightstand. I also requested a late check out, because our flight did not leave until the evening. The desk clerk said said they could do a 5pm check out for a $75 fee. When I mentioned that the rate we booked was supposed to include a late check out, she said that meant a 1 pm checkout (regular checkout is at noon). I then mentioned all the problems from the night before, and asked if they could possibly comp the late check out fee. The desk clerk said she would check with her manager. Her manager later approved it, but I was a little annoyed I had to ask in the first place, given the issues we experienced.
Overall, I might return to the Viceroy, but only at a MUCH cheaper rate, and only in a room that is not located near the wedding areas.
Pool or courtyard views are the best. For a couple, the Wetherly suite is not worth the upgrade fro...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.