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“Awesome stay!”

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Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel
Ranked #46 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed February 18, 2007

I was a little skeptical before booking this hotel but I am sure glad I did. The staff was extremely helpful. The lobby is really comfortable & turned out to be a hang out spot for the guests. The decor is very nice in the lobby & throughout the rest of the hotel, including the elevator! You can hear the noise from the street if you are in an outer room, but then again, you are in San Francisco, otherwise, this was a great hotel. Very clean and convenient. You get more than what you pay for. this is the best hotel I have stayed in and I have stayed in several 4+ star hotels in the past. I am not sure why this is a 3 star but I would definitely stay here again.. no doubt.
Tip: Be prepared to pay for parking, if you valet at the hotel, you will pay 30 dollars a night, if you park across the street, the parking attendant will make a deal with you depending on how many days you stay in the hotel. I stayed 5 days and paid $80.00.

Stayed: February 2007
6  Thank Maria9356
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,416 - 2,422 of 3,005 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2007

The very first thing that you notice in the hotel is the staff. They are awesome. This was then end of a four week trip around the USA and Canada, and nobody came close to these guys. The hotel is old, but by no means run down. It has been tastefully renovated and extremelly comfortable.

10 minutes after checking in, we recieved a call from the front desk checking that everyhing was fine. I've never, ever had that before. Yes, the walls are thin, especially if you have an adjoining room.

On the first evening we were victims of an unfortunate incident, which was in NO way the fault of the hotel, however they seemed to take full responsibility. We were upgraded and well looked after (however, we already loved the hotel before this treatment).

The afternoon wine service is a real treat and all the guest appered to be very relaxed and happy and friendly (I think the wine brought people together). The Saha restaurant is delicious.

As for the area and homeless people - it's life! As in all major cities, common sense prevails. The staff were very forthcoming about where not to go and wrote in on the map for us.

We loved it. Very convenient to public transport. Hot tip, if your going to use public transport, buy a MUNI passport. We got a three day one for $18, unlimited use on buses, trains and cable cars. Very good value, considering a one off one way fair on a cable is $5. You can buy them from the visitor centre.

If you arrive by plane, use a hotel shuttle. $15 one way. It's about $40 in a cab. They go to all hotels.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank arthur404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2007

I stayed here for two nights during a business trip to SF, and I must say that it wasn't a very pleasing experience. The hotel is very old and dark, there is no room service, and the TV was a joke. If you're looking for something modern with all the amenities, then this is definitely not the place. There is only one restaurant in the hotel, and they serve Arabic food. I wasn't in the mood for something that exotic, so I had to walk 2 blocks to a taco stand. The pictures make the hotel and rooms seem brighter than they actually are; I was afraid to leave my room after dark. The view from my room was a brick building covered in grafitti. My room was freezing, but the rooms run from a centralized heater that can only be controlled by someone at the front desk (in other words, you cannot control the temperature in your own room). I would not stay here again, nor would I recommend it to anyone else.

  • Stayed: December 2005, traveled on business
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3  Thank Lauryn1717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2007

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Hotel Carlton for four nights in early January, and had a wonderful time there.

Following an eleven hour flight from the UK, and an extra two hours being sent in circles around the airport on a search for lost luggage, it's fair to say that we weren't in the best of moods on arrival. However, this was immediately improved on entering the hotel and being greeted by the staff. It's been said many times before on this site, but the friendliness of the staff at the Hotel Carlton is just second to none. We were met with big smiles and what seemed to be a genuine interest in how our journey went, our holiday plans etc. We were provided with a complimentary brochure on the city, including a map on which the areas to avoid were highlighted, and leaflets on tours we could book. As we had our own plans, we weren't interested in doing a tour, and these was never pushed on us; we were simply told to give reception a ring if we were interested in any.

Check in went smoothly, and we were given a room on the fourth floor. The room was lovely. It was more spacious than I expected, and there had been a clear effort to make the decor original, yet welcoming. Considering how cheap the room was, I would have expected something a lot more bland and generic; the bathroom especially was, though tiny, a lot nicer than most in this price range.

We weren't, however, in this room for long; after a quick look around the area, we returned to our room at about 7pm to find a really loud, banging sound in our room. We realised it was the heater, and rang the front desk to see if anything could be done about it. As the heating was controlled centrally, the man on reception actually turned off the heating in the whole hotel to help us out, and we hoped that once it came back on, the noise would be gone. Unfortunately, we were then woken up at 1am by the same noise. It was clearly just faulty, and when we rang again, we were offered a new room immediately, this time on the 8th floor. The rooms were identical, but with a much improved view, looking out over the city, rather than a roof and a brick wall! We really didn't mind the problem with the heater-I'm actually only mentioning it because it was dealt with so easily and efficiently, and as we were so exhaused at this point, this was very much appreciated. We also didn't experience any other problems with noise for the rest of our stay; the street outside was busy, but I think if you're staying in a big city then it's a little unreasonable to expect the city to remain quiet for you-and it certainly never bothered us! Ditto with the thin walls; while we did hear the odd noise from rooms around us, it was never enough to annoy us, and we have experienced much worse in other hotels!

The area of the hotel was absolutely fine. It is a good few blocks away from the Tenderloin area, and we felt absolutely safe walking around, whether it be at 7am or midnight. There are a lot of homeless people in San Francisco, but we really didn't encounter any until we reached the Union Square area, about 5-10 minutes walk away. We booked the Carlton mainly because it was one of the cheaper options available to us, and I was a little worried about the location being a bit out of the way of the main tourist spots. I needn't have worried though; it really is only a few short blocks to Union Square, the cable cars and Powell Street MUNI, and I really doubt that it is worth the extra money to pay for a hotel a little closer to that area when you can walk there so easily.

Unfortunately, we never got a chance to try the wine reception or the Saha restaurant, but if the rest of the hotel is anything to go by, then I'm sure they were both excellent! I must also mention one final thing, which I thought was a nice touch: on asking the front desk about how safe we would be making a late night trip to the large cinema on Van Ness a few blocks away, we were given not only a polite answer, but directions to the cinema and a list of the movie times for that night, which they looked up for us online especially.

The Carlton isn't a five-star hotel, and I have to admit that if we were working with a bigger budget, we would most likely choose a different place to base our stay. However I can almost guarantee that (barring a pronounced increase in our financial situation!) when we return to San Francisco, we will not consider staying anywhere but the Hotel Carlton. Considering the effort made by the staff to make our stay there so enjoyable, I feel it's the least that we can do to repay them with a return visit!

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank leannenufc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2007

Stayed in the Carlton for two nights just last week. Rooms were nicely decorated and clean. Bathroom on the small side with no heater which did make it a bit on the chilly side! Great large walk in cupboard. We were upgraded on arrival to 705. Away from the lift area. There was an adjoining room but I think this was empty as there was no noise at all.

Found the staff helpful, pleasant but a bit too keen to sell you a tour. As it happens we only had one full today in SanFran so were keen to book anway.

Had breakfast in the hotel twice which was fine. Plenty choice and reasonably priced.

As others have commented previously there are a few homeless but not threatening. Same as you get in any big city. Unfortunately, a fact of life.

Shame it doesn't have a bar and we did miss the wine-tasting as we were trying to cram as much in as possible before flying home.

There are plenty bars/restaurants within walking distance. Found a good Indian called The New Delhi which is about 15 minutes walk from the hotel and the Red Room bar is not far from the hotel for a late night drink.

Recommended, especially in the earthquake zone! Just after the last earthquake the earthquake inspectors stayed here as it's built on bedrock and one of the safest hotels in SanFran!

  • Stayed: January 2007
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5  Thank DOTIAINEDINBURGH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2007

felt like we were at the four seasons. The staff was amazing. they went above and beyond, paying attention to every detail. They noticed I was bringing some food into my room and offered to bring a fridge up to my room free of charge. they also gave me a bottle of wine to celebrate my birthday. everyone was so kind and thoughtful. the location was not as seedy as some of the other reviews portrayed. the rooms were on the smaller side, but six of us girls were able to get ready without a problem in the double/double suite. the decor was actually really cute. yes walls were paperthin, but i did not feel that it was an issue. i do not recommend the room across from the elevator because of the noise factor. Overall I HIGHLY recommend the Carlton hotel to anyone staying in San Francisco. especially for the price, what a value. we enjoyed sitting in the lobby by the fireplace so much. wine time is fabulous

Stayed: January 2007
4  Thank pacificwahine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2007

Stayed Jan 5-9th in a Superior King room with a valet parking package secured on their website - very reasonable.

Hotel is bright and can tell that it has been recently refurbished. Room was a good size with ample closet space. Bathroom fairly compact however. Bed was amazingly comfortable too.

From the start of check in when we were greeted by Theo and his staff, we were treated like old friends - very warm and eager to assist with any questions we had.

The hotel is next to Tenderloin which the hotel told us to avoid - but most of the homeless were harmless if a little intimidating - but in SF they seem to be all over the city - there is no escaping this sad statement.

Only problem was that you can hear most things from rooms next door - we brought our own ear plugs which helped which wasnt so bad - although the couple arriving next door at 3am woke us a couple of times - ive noticed this in US - people just arent that considerate of other guests.

All in all a great hotel with great staff.

Stayed: January 2007
6  Thank EdinburghScotsman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel

Address: 1075 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109-5817
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#41 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#51 Business Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range: $151 - $419 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 161
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historic Hotel Carlton offers an international ambiance paired with outstanding guest service. Built in 1927, this nine-story San Francisco hotel is 3 blocks from the California Street cable car line, 6 blocks from Union Square, 8 blocks from the main entrance to Chinatown and 9 blocks from Civic Center. Complimentary evening wine receptions are held in Hotel Carlton's lobby nightly and feature live music from local artists. In addition, Hotel Carlton provides complimentary wireless internet to all guests; upgraded bandwidth is also available (surcharge applies). Recently renovated, all 161 non-smoking guestrooms at Hotel Carlton feature remodeled bathrooms including decorative floor and wall tiling, new vanities and sinks. The public spaces showcase cross-cultural design that incorporates treasures from Africa, India, Nepal, Laos and Asia. Our restaurant Saha features award-winning Arabic Fusion cuisine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Carlton Hotel San Francisco
Hotel Carlton San Francisco

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