Review, Palace Hotel, San Francisco
2 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 512-1111
Not my Palace!
Starwood Corporation bills the San Francisco Palace as part of its Luxury Collection. The hotel, an historic building, opened in 1875 and, at that time, was clearly a palace. The architecture could still make a Victorian matron swoon. The amazing vaulted glass ceiling in the Garden Court is strung with dozens of crystal chandeliers. And, it’s worth a trip to the hotel just to sip a martini in the Pied Piper Bar under Edwardian artist, Maxfield Parrish’s, glowing mural. However, tacky carpeting, fixtures and furnishings throughout the property detract from the original grandeur. Think brass sconces from True Value.
I recently spent five days at the Palace on business. My assessment was bad news for the business traveler and a worse choice for vacationers (You’ll be paying that $275+ room rate yourself). My room had soaring ceilings but limited floor space. Yes, there were amenities like first rate products in the bathroom and a fluffy white bathrobe. But if you want caffeine with your wake-up call, you’ll need to bring Mr. Coffee along. There was no coffee maker in my room and no nearby vending machine. The only concession to guests’ convenience on my floor was a mechanically challenged ice maker that spewed cubes randomly. You can, of course, order coffee and pop from room service. But, there will be a delivery charge plus a 15 percent service fee. One red-eyed morning, I paid $14 for my java jolt. Other quirks include an armoire masquerading as a closet (no light blub included), a bathroom hook placed for someone on growth hormones and finicky and expensive wireless connections. I would have been happy with a little less luxury and a lot more comfort.