The Crowne was booked for us by my husbands work. It was one of the few hotels still available for the VMWorld conference, so we took it at a rate of $210 a night. When we arrived, we found the parking garage and pulled in. We were quickly told that we couldn’t get any help with our bags if we stayed in the parking garage, but the nice man there offered to bring the car around front for us so that we could go check in then get our bags. This was greatly appreciated after our nerve wracking trip from the South Bay to the city. (We stayed the previous two nights in the south bay to visit some friends).
My husband and I gathered up our few items we wanted to keep with us at all times, and walked down the very steep (and slippery, BE CAREFUL!) garage area to the stairs outside to enter the hotel. When we arrived inside the lobby we saw the lobby packed with airline employees waiting to check out. There were probably 50-75 people ahead of us in line. My husband sat down on a bench with our items and I waited outside for our car. Our car arrived about 15 minutes later just as all the airline employees were boarding a bus to apparently go to work. As I helped the bellman unload the car, my husband called to let me know we were checked in and ready to go.
The Crowne had upgraded us to a junior suite on the 23rd floor. The view from the room was absolutely spectacular, we slept with the curtains open every night so we could see the beautiful city lights.
The room was quite nice and spacious. The bathroom was against the back wall, next to that was a small table and chairs for eating or playing cards. There was a rather large living room area with a sofa, coffee table, a chair and a television in a cabinet with some drawers and a refrigerator. Beyond that was a half wall separating the living area from the sleeping area. Directly in front of the bed was a desk with a light and outlets ready for your laptop. The room was very clean, the bed was extremely comfortable with plenty of blankets and pillows.
Internet was not included in the price of the room. It was $10 a day for internet access, or $35 for the week. I understand that this is typical in upscale hotels, even though it frustrates me. That being said, when I pay for internet access in a hotel, I expect enough bandwidth to be able to conduct business (VPN access). The download speeds were frequently less than 200kbps, which is totally unacceptable. This was one of the recommended hotels for the VMWorld conference, which is a computer-related convention. A hotel should expect high internet usage when they are a participant hotel for a high-tech conference, and be prepared to handle it. Even on Thursday night, when most of the conference participants had left, the bandwidth still didn’t exceed 310kbps. My expectations for $10/day internet access are much higher than free WiFi in non-premium hotels, and unfortunately the Crowne Plaza didn’t come close to meeting those expectations.
We opted not to use the room service available, since the cheapest thing on the menu was a $22 hamburger that didn’t seem all that special from the description on the menu. A morning pot of coffee was $7, and a basic breakfast was over $15. Instead we went to the grocery store and bought a few staple items and frequented restaurants in the area.
Most of the staff members we ran in to were very polite and friendly, especially the housekeeping staff.
Parking was somewhat of a fiasco. It took a minimum of 15 minutes every time we needed our car, sometimes closer to a half an hour. At one point one of the door men got rather testy with me and told me I should call for the car before going downstairs, otherwise we should just go to the garage ourselves to get the car. (Which was fine with me, less tipping!) Not only did they expect a tip every time we got in or out of the car, the parking was $60 a day. (Yes, I said $60 A DAY). I understand real estate is at a premium in SF, but $60 a day?!?!? Again, no choice we had to pay it.
When we went to check out my husband mentioned the problems with the internet, and how important it was for him to have internet access, he was met with a snide “Sorry”, and handed a receipt.
Overall the room was lovely and most of the staff were polite and helpful. Would I stay here again? Maybe. It surely wouldn’t be my first choice by any stretch. It’s very important for computer people to have reliable internet access. If it were free, we wouldn’t complain, but considering less expensive hotels have better internet access this was a big disappointment. The room service menu being SO highly priced also put us off a little. The parking, well honestly it was kind of disastrous for us. So only in a pinch would we stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- San Francisco Marriott Union Square offers a prime location with San Francisco's most vibrant address. Hop aboard a cable car or enjoy Union Square shopping just steps from our hotel in downtown San Francisco, California. Also near popular Nob Hill and Chinatown, San Francisco Marriott Union Square is an excellent choice for hosting meetings and events. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- San Francisco Marriott Union Square Hotel San Francisco
- Marriott San Francisco
- Crowne Plaza Union Square