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Pullman San Francisco Bay
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1,218 - 1,223 of 1,501 reviews
Reviewed November 14, 2008

As I travel to Redwood a lot for business I've tried most of the local hotels, and have found Sofitel to be my favourite.
The big downside is the location, other than convenience for local businesses I can't see any reason I'd want to stay there and I move out for weekends.
But if you need to be in the area the Sofitel offers good facilities, a nice restaurant (just don't expect to get breakfast in a hurry), and comfortable rooms. The staff are courteous and helpful.
The hotel puts in some French touches such as calling me Monsieur which I find rather bizarre, but I'd happily recommend it.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled on business
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Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2008

I stayed here for a week for work and found the hotel above average, but not spectacular. The room was a little bit dated, but of good size and comfortable. I wouldn't stay here for a holiday, but it was just fine for a work trip. There is plenty of parking, the service at the hotel was fine, the location was perfect for me. The only downside to staying here is that there is absolutely NOTHING to do in the evening time without a car. I'll stay here again as I think its the best hotel in the area for work, but I wouldn't stay here for a holiday.

Stayed: August 2008
1  Thank TCP-GDI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2008

I am writing this review as a business traveler (which I think is true for most individuals who stay in this hotel given its location). I work for one of the large companies near the Sofitel.

The room was large, clean, and very comfortable. I really enjoyed the view overlooking the lake. Bottled water was included, which I thought was a nice touch. There was no refrigerator or mini bar, though. The bed was very comfortable. My room was next to the elevator shaft, which made it somewhat noisy, so avoid this if you can. Front desk staff were very friendly and helpful.

Since I was at a conference, my party and I spent some time in the lounge talking business. Since a number of us were from different locations around the world, we all needed to pay our tabs separately for corporate billing purposes. Our waitress rudely refused to do this and told us it was too much work for her. We were left to work it out for ourselves. It was, I felt, unprofessional.

Since I was traveling on business, I called my wife each night. I wish I had Skype or something because the hotel charged $10 a minute for each call, even if I only got to her voicemail! Avoid using the phone in this hotel. The rates are ridiculous.

I made these comments on my comment card at the end of my stay and they emailed a response to me promptly telling me they were looking into my concerns. I did email them back a few days later to see if they were going to refund the money for my phone calls or even apologize for the rude service in the bar. I never did hear back, so I am going to assume my company's business is not all that important to them.

Other than the two concerns noted above, objectively speaking it was a decent hotel for business travelers.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled on business
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1  Thank Devo1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2008

I stayed here for one night before a morning flight out of SFO. The room was stunning and huge. The bed was unbelievable - I didn't want to leave the next morning. The lobby is goregous, as it looks onto the lagoon and has a beautiful bar and restaurant. Parking is free and across the street. There is also a shuttle to the airport.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Jessica N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2008

Billed by Sofitel as a "corporate resort" the brand and claim sets the bar pretty high. Was the bar met? Let's see...

Upon arrival I was greeted by the friendliest and most efficient doorman I've yet to encounter. Jovial and always greeting guests with a seemingly genuine smile, he also was a fount of local knowledge, and an excellent ambassador for Sofitel. He politely explained that valet parking was available, but if I wished to park my own car in the adjacent garage (a short 20 meter stroll) it was free — a big plus for the property, particularly in California.

There was a short wait before a young woman at reception desk greeted me. From her somewhat sour disposition, I can only charitably guess she was having a bad day. She stopped short of being rude, but sadly took the shine off the welcome I had received from the doorman. To the staff's credit that was the only blemish on the service which I encountered during my stay.

My contact in sales, with whom I was to meet the next morning, arranged an upgrade and the deluxe room was at once both commodious and tasteful. The décor had the air of what one might describe as good English, or perhaps Continental, design. Muted colors and broad-striped wallpaper with beige carpeting were pleasing and comfortable. The art work in the rooms was first class; in each instance something that I'd be pleased to display in my own home. The room was immaculately clean, and had a marvelous view of both the lagoon and mountain view, which at night appeared as a sequined blanket bathed in the light of a cream-colored moon.

However, it was difficult to find an outlet to charge my computer, and there was a charge for the Internet usage. Like many hotels designed before the IT paradigm, the rooms are presently "over-applianced" and "under-plugged." The rooms are scheduled for a face-lift that is, in my opinion, not necessary beyond addressing the outlet issue.

When I received a tour of the hotel the following day I was treated to a preview of a model of their "new" rooms. It was apparent more thought had been devoted to providing convenient outlets, like in the lamp base on the desks, so guests don't have to crawl on the floor looking for a power outlet. However, I noted wistfully that the design theme had changed, from the present tasteful Continental flair, to a more sparse Swiss modern look, which I'm not convinced is a change for the better.

The lobby and the public areas already have the Swiss modern look — very airy and open, but with lots of "third place" meeting spots. Yes, there is a restaurant, a friendly bar, and even more impressive, a bakery shop which occupies a convenient location between the entrance and the elevator. The pastries and sandwiches are quite reasonable and they are delicious! The bakery also has a few PC stations where you can check your e-mail if you have opted not to pay the room connection price.

The food served by the in-house restaurant, Bay 233, could be termed a Sausalito-French fusion cuisine, and it was quite good! The service was impeccable and friendly. There wasn't a pause when I asked for a substitution, and the waiter was spot-on with his recommendation in ordering a sauce for the pasta accompanying delicious pan-seared scallops.

Both the maître d'hôtel and the waiter were aware that I was the only unaccompanied guest dining at their restaurant, so I was seated next to the maître d' station and he regaled me with stories of his native Brazil and his work with the Accor chain. When the maître d' was attending to other duties the waiter engaged me in pleasant conversation. Their conversation was a nice touch — non-intrusive, intuitive, friendly, and welcome as I was alone.

The meeting space is thoughtfully laid-out, and often occupied during my stay. Alas, the best view of the Sofitel's clean, bi-symmetrical architecture is gained from across the lagoon, which is actually located on Redwood City's quaintly named, Twin Dolphin Drive, vestige of "Marine World" which once ruled the lagoon.

The tariff was reasonable and the hotel's close proximity to the international airports of San Francisco, is very convenient. In fact going into "The City," as San Francisco is known to Bay Area residents, is feasible. Rather than driving you may wish to take a taxi to and from the BART station if you intend to sample spirits, as California freeway driving can be tricky.

However, you don't need to go to "The City" to recreate. While Marine World has morphed into "Six Flags Discovery Kingdom" which is now located about 55 miles north in Vallejo (I can only imagine what it took to transport those whales 55 miles). There are many area attractions.

Redwood City was originally part of the large Spanish land grant, "Rancho de las Pulgas," or Ranch of the Fleas. The rich history of San Mateo County is well covered at San Mateo County History Museum, housed in the old San Mateo County Courthouse in Redwood City. Within walking distance of the Sofitel is the "Hiller Aviation Museum" with more than 40 aircraft and 100 exhibits.

Beguilingly, in nearby Burlingame is the "Museum of Pez Memorabilia," a tribute to the candy invented by Eduard Haas in 1927, and the seemingly endless dispensers that burst onto the market in the 1950s when no self-respecting boomer wouldn't be caught without their dispenser topped by Batman, Mickey Mouse, Elvis Presley, Davy Crockett, ad seriatum. This place of Pez has them all and what's new — Kung Fu Panda!

In short there are plenty of nearby attractions to visit when you decide that you need a break from the deluge of line chart diagrams being presented at whatever meeting you might be attending at the Sofitel.

It probably stops short of the appellation of resort, nevertheless the Sofitel San Francisco Bay is convenient, clean, tasteful, friendly, and it fills a niche in the corporate-fraternal world, by offering good value in an expensive market.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4  Thank GeorgeFarris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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