I thoroughly enjoyed my recent stay at the Four Seasons San Francisco and was very pleased that I ultimately chose the Four Seasons out of all the luxury/upscale hotels in the city. One of the things that truly makes Four Seasons stand out from the crowd -- and its most valuable asset -- is its team of outstanding associates who work exceptionally hard to exceed their guests' expectations and delivery truly wonderful customer service.
The guest room was tastefully appointed and very comfortable. I stayed in the Four Seasons Superior Executive Suite on the 16th Floor, and appreciated the larger room configuration, which offers an expansive living room with large picture windows that offer transforming views of the city between daytime and nighttime. The sofa and armchair were both quite comfortable, a good-sized desk allowed me to get some work done -- there are ports (ethernet) that connect your laptop to the hotel's internet -- and even a fax machine. Electrical outlets were abundant throughout the room to recharge all of your electronic devices. There were two large flat-screen televisions in the room, one in the living room and another in the bedroom. In this room type, the bedroom is sectioned off behind double french doors, which is nice if you're doing any entertaining, have friends visiting, or conducting any business with colleagues in your room. The bedroom itself was of a perfectly-adequate size, with a certain zen-like, calming environment, and the bed was one of the most comfortable I've ever stayed in; I admittedly slept very, very well, but one word of warning: you will not want to get out of bed the next morning, it's just that comfortable with high thread-count sheets and a duvet cover. As mentioned, a second flat-screen TV is in the bedroom in this room type. There were also two closets, one of which was a massive walk-in closet just off the bedroom. The bathroom was absolutely enormous with adequate lighting, large sink area, bathtub, separate shower stall and the water closet (toilet) was in its own separate alcove. The bathroom amenities are quite nice as they use L'Occitane products. The temperature and water pressure both in the sink and in the shower were perfect, and I appreciated the shower head which allows the guest to customize the type of water pressure and flow when showering (I would actually love to know where I can purchase one of those shower heads for my home). This last bit will sound silly, but the towels were heavenly; probably using a very high thread count, they were soft and always smelled so good (probably from the fabric softener they use); it's the little details like this that really make you feel like home (and yes, sometimes even better than home). The room temperature was absolutely perfect and climate control allowed the guest to make the room as cool or as warm as he/she wished; no "rationing" of air conditioning or heat here, no motion detectors on the thermostat that shut off the air when you're away or asleep (as some other hotels are starting to do, and I wish they wouldn't). My room even allowed some of the windows to open a bit to permit some cool, fresh air in, which was appreciated. Housekeeping was very thorough and delivered twice-daily service; they never intrude or hassle you to get out of your room to do the daily cleaning service (as I've experienced in other hotels), and in the evening, they provide a turndown of the bedroom and leave complimentary bottles of water. Such a nice touch. I was also greeted by every single housekeeping associate I met in the hallways, even when I was on the wrong floor. As I mentioned before, every member of the Four Seasons team wants you to feel welcomed, valued and even special; you're a VIP just by being their guest.
I've read through a few reviews where guests mentioned some confusion about accessing the valet parking motorcourt, so here's the tip: use 217 Stevenson St. San Francisco, when mapping driving directions or setting your GPS (instead of the hotel's main address on Market Street). Market Street is a pedestrian entrance only; you will want to be on Third Street when heading to the hotel, stay in your left lane and be prepared to make that left-hand turn at Stevenson, which dead-ends directly in the Four Seasons motorcourt (when on 3rd St., it's just passed Misson St.; if you hit Market St., you've gone too far so just go back around, making a right on Market St., another right on New Montgomery St., another right on Mission St., another right on 3rd St., and get back over to the left lane, preparing to turn left onto Stevenson). Pardon my excessive directions, but some of you will thank me for this.
The pedestrian and valet parking entrances are both on the ground floor, and the lobby is a few floors up, so two sets of elevator rides are necessary to get from the entrances to the guest rooms. It's slightly confusing at first, but you quickly get used to it; plus, upon check-in, you're escorted by the team members to each elevator bank, which helps when you don't know where you're going. This was an especially nice touch. I will mention that valet parking fees are a bit high ($51 per night), but this is San Francisco, and that overnight parking rate is about average, and even lower than some of the other hotels nearby. That being said, if you don't absolutely need a car, it's more of a burden to have one; driving in the city and trying to find parking can be stressful, so if you can, try to aim for public transportation and taxis, and walk otherwise. Speaking of walking, the hotel is right on Market Street, which is a major commercial thoroughfare, and access to Nob Hill, Chinatown and the Ferry Building are all well within walking distance of the hotel (especially since SF isn't usually too hot, weather-wise). There's also the 'F' streetcar that runs along Market St., heading from the Castro to the Financial District, passing the Ferry Building and terminating at Fisherman's Wharf (Pier 39). Additionally, one of the classic cable car lines terminates very near the hotel's pedestrian entrance, and you can ride this cable car from Union Square up toward Chinatown, Lombard Street and Ghirardelli Square (which is walking distance to Pier 39/Fisherman's Wharf).
I felt that the immediate area around the hotel was pretty safe. Some of the other hotels that are closer to Union Square and Tenderloin can be a bit sketchy at times, so I appreciated that the Four Seasons was located in a safe, pedestrian-friendly part of town. Additionally, the hotel provides a complimentary "house car" service for guests on a first-come, first-serve basis; check with the doorman to see if you can get a ride (within a certain radius of the hotel), which is helpful if you have dinner reservations or heading to the theater.
The lobby was immaculate and had a certain hushed museum-like quality to it, yet was not stuffy whatsoever. During the evenings, the hotel's on-site MKT Restaurant and Bar enjoy a lively scene without being intrusive to guests passing through the lobby. I cannot speak about the food, regrettably, as I tried to get out of the hotel to sample the local restaurants, but have heard good things about MKT. In-Room Dining is also very prompt and, I believe, they also offer many selections from the MKT menu.
The front desk reception and concierge associates were always very helpful, friendly and did their utmost to address any question or concern a guest might have; this hotel strives to deliver personally-attentive service, and once they know your name, they will always remember you. One morning, as I was heading to Starbucks right across the street, the doorman wished me well and used my name; he had delivered my restaurant reservation from concierge the night before, and remembered my name. That really says something, and I cannot underscore the fact that every single member of the hotel's team members take the Four Seasons service culture and mission statement to heart; these phenomenal associates really do live the Four Seasons values, and in the end, they are what makes this hotel the five-star experience that it is. Here, you are a name, a valued guest, even a dear friend, and never a number. I was actually so impressed with the hotel's assistant front desk manager, that I had to follow up with Four Seasons corporate headquarters after my departure. I spend so many nights in hotels, all over the place, that sometimes it's hard to exceed my expectations, but coming to the Four Seasons San Francisco, really felt like I was coming "home," and that's not something I've ever said about a hotel anywhere else. There is also a phenomenal gym that hotel guests have access to; it is a public, members-only gym under The Sports Club/LA banner (unsure if Equinox now owns it), but it will absolutely beat any other hotel fitness center you've ever seen before.
Lastly, I would say that the rates are pretty average for a luxury, five-star hotel in San Francisco. There are less expensive hotels in San Francisco, to be sure, but they're also not the Four Seasons. There are also more expensive hotels in San Francisco and they're not the Four Seasons either. Staying with this brand is more of an experience than a place to rest your head, and I believe the rates are well in line with that premium level of service and comfort. One little tip: the hotel does frequently run different specials and promotions, so do check the "offers" tab on the hotel's website to see if any promotions are currently available.
I have a new favorite hotel in the U.S., and it's the Four Seasons San Francisco. My deepest thanks and appreciation to the entire team for making this three-night a truly wonderful experience. My only disappointment: I had to eventually leave; but the one thing I know for sure is I will be returning to this hotel, and nowhere else, the next time I'm in San Francisco. Congratulations and many thanks to the entire Four Seasons San Francisco team.
Rooms on the south side of the hotel, in my opinion, provide an optimal view; you look out over the...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.