I stayed at the Hotel 480 for four nights after booking it through Priceline at a very reasonable rate. The location can't be beaten--it's about a block north of Union Square and just a few blocks from Chinatown (North Beach is also walkable if you can handle the steep hills in between). While I can't complain about the room--it was nicely appointed and clean--there were two major points of contention between the hotel's website and my experience. First, the hotel's fitness center is NOT OPEN. It's being renovated for the foreseeable future, which I hadn't known in advance (it would have been nice to be apprised of this!). The front desk said that they had made alternative arrangements with the 24 Hour Fitness located five blocks away, but that 480 guests would have to pay $5 per day to use the facility. I was horrified that they expected guests to pay for something which was supposed to be included--especially in light of the fact that it's WAY more inconvenient to use some strange gym than to just run downstairs to the hotel's own fitness center. When I expressed this, the manager offered to give me 2 days for $5, which I accepted (and by the way, the gym itself was pretty nice, but if you're a runner or a walker, you're SO much better off exercising outside because you get as much of a workout --no kidding, this city has some SERIOUS hills--and simultaneously get to enjoy exploring the city). I was still irked, though, that they charged me anything at all for something that I was promised when I booked (though I see that they've changed the website recently to reflect the situation).
Secondly, there is no wireless access in the guestrooms at all. If you want to access the Internet, you have to pay $10/day for a high-speed connection, or you can go sit in the lobby and pay $5 for three hours of wireless. Can you get more stingy? Considering San Francisco's supposed to be one of the most "wired" cities in the country, the fact that the hotel doesn't even provide wireless coverage in its guestrooms is disappointing. A better option than the $10 high-speed connection is to connect to the wireless network of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel (located across the street) which is only $7 per day and sent a pretty strong signal over to my guestroom (and probably all guestrooms on the south side of the building).
Overall, the staff were fantastic, but these flaws left me feeling somewhat disappointed. Had I known these issues before booking, I would have adjusted my expectations (and knowing them now, I'd still probably stay there again if only for the unbeatable location), If you don't require in-room wireless or the use of gym facilities, I'd highly recommend the 480, but if you do, you might want to look elsewhere.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The San Francisco Marriott Union Square hotel offers a prime location with San Francisco's most vibrant address. Hop aboard a cable car or enjoy Union Square shopping just steps from the hotel. Also near popular Nob Hill and Chinatown, the 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