Pretty sure everyone loves staying at a luxury hotel, though when in a city, sometimes I wonder if it is worth spending extra when you might not spend that much time inside. For my first night in San Francisco, I decided to splurge on a night at the St Regis as that would allow me to complete a stay in every Starwood Preferred Guest brand of hotels and net me extra Starpoints (11,000 to be exact, worth somewhere around $150-200). That makes paying around $460 still seem like good value. After all the St Regis can go up to around $600 per night for peak season.
The St Regis in San Francisco is housed within a modern building directly across the Yerba Buena Gardens and beside the new Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It is also a block away from the much cheaper The Park Central Hotel (previously Westin Market Street) that I have stayed at before. On arrival from the side porch facing Minna Street, I was able to temporarily park the vehicle by the driveway while I conduct the check in.
It was a busy time to check-in during the evening and initially I was just assigned the room I booked without any upgrades. Upon a little nudge from me, there was an upgraded corner room available though I had to wait a while. Thus I decided to have dinner first before returning to the hotel later. Guests facing this dilemma need not fret as the lobby of the hotel has a nice area to sit down and they even have complimentary coffee and tea in the morning by the bar.
Upon returning about 2 hours later, I got my room key and the front desk agent mentioned that the luggage would be sent up to the room. He also went through the facilities and perks that I was able to get as a Platinum member, with my choice of breakfast as the welcome amenity. It seems to me the breakfast choice is worth it in premium hotels while the mid-tier hotels tend to have lacklustre breakfast choices.
Room No: 1902 Category: Executive Premier King Room
My preference of a room in the higher floors meant I had one on the 19th floor. The first thing guests see is a large wardrobe and the layout meant it was very private when opening the door for the staff as the bedroom and bathroom are concealed from the front door.
A corridor leads to the main bedroom, and on the left there is a door leading to the bathroom. A long table is placed right outside the bathroom and this makes for a convenient spot to place your toiletries and can be used as a storage table.
Inside the bathroom, there is a bathtub with a panel that can be opened to transform the room into an open layout space. The vanity space only has room for one though, a step down from the dual sinks in the Andaz Napa. On the other hand, the bathroom has a sliding door for the toilet and walk-in shower cubicle. This allows the bathroom to be sub-divided for multi-occupants use.
Like other St Regis, amenities are standard supplies by Remede, which is also the signature spa inside the hotel. Their body wash is especially nice to use with micro-beads that gives the body a refreshing scrub!
While the space of the bathroom was not that spacious, the toiletries are of higher quality. The towels are softer and provided in generous quantities such that there are always spares. There is a TV inside the bathroom with surround speakers, allowing guests to listen to the news from the bathtub. The bathtub is equipped with a stainless rack that would also hold your tablet so guests could make full use of the bath. And that is perhaps one reason why I enjoy staying in a St Regis.
Finally moving to the bedroom, it is framed by windows all around. Fortunately, the blinds are electronically operated by a touch control panel on the bedside. Lights within the room are controlled by the same mechanism. That is the hallmark of a true luxury hotel, and in this instance, the curtains have all been drawn down by the turndown service.
In the center is a very comfortable King bed that has fluffy pillows and one of the most supportive mattresses. Quality is once again evident in the furnishings and I had a great night sleep in this room.
A chaise lounge is placed beside the bed and can function as a day bed of sorts. This is another great location to watch the TV or just enjoy the sunset on the bay. Beside the chaise lounge, there is a desk with a chair that faces the TV. Did I also mention that the TV is a large 55″, making sure that the HD channels turns out great!
With higher end finishings, better amenities follow. On the desk, there is a full stationery tray that has even small things like paper clips and rubber bands. It definitely makes it less likely for guests to need anything else once they are in this room.
Another great feature I like about the room was the easy access to power ports on the bedside table and by the desk. In fact there is a charging dock on the desk itself allowing guests to easily connect their laptop and mobile phones/camera to the USB power port.
The corner location of the room also meant there was great views all around. From the chaise lounge, the windows overlook the Moscone Center and the new Museum of Modern Art. While the windows lining the back of the TV and the corridor overlook the Yerba Buena gardens.
On the next morning, I had a nice run from the hotel to the pier, passing the Ferry Building along the way. Back from my run, it was time to go to the restaurant for breakfast which was included as a Platinum member. However it seems the small restaurant was unable to cater to the number of guests staying in the hotel and there was a wait of 20 minutes or so before we were seated for breakfast.
Prices for breakfast at the Grill restaurant was reasonable for a large American city with mains ranging from $20 to $35 and sides varying from $6 to $16. There does not seem to be any limit for the Platinum breakfast benefit with guests being able to select from any main course with a beverage. We were also told we could add side dishes if we wanted.
I had the black truffle frittata since I love truffles a lot and it is not often that hotel restaurants serve such a dish for breakfast. The dish was excellent and one of the best breakfast dish I had in any hotel. The service was not at its optimum though as we were seated quite late and many of the crew were busy with clearing the tables and preparing the restaurant for the turnover to lunch service. However, the manager did come by with complimentary glasses of mimosas to apologize for the wait for a table. This is the level that guests expects from a luxury hotel and the St Regis does deliver but did not exceed them.
Aside from the lobby restaurant, the bar functions as a waiting area for guests waiting for a table. There is a coffee and tea setup for guests to have a cuppa in the morning while catching up on news by the bar.
Other facilities available for guests’ use includes an indoor swimming pool that was large for a city hotel. The swimming pool is wrapped around by large glass windows making the area bright in the day and thus feeling like it was outdoors.
Another quality facility is the well equipped fitness centre. There is a long bench with magazines, bowls of fresh fruits, cold towels, headphones, hand sanitizers and water dispensers inside. This certainly makes it a fine place to work out in. Not to mention, the equipments were modern and complete, and there is even a separate room beside the fitness centre that houses a yoga or boxing studio with a boxing accessory.
All things considered, this was one of the most expensive I paid for a night of hotel stay in 2016. Though the level of detail and excellent service and food does make it seem worthwhile. It was also enjoyable to walk around the hotel and enjoy the art installations in the lobby. By placing this hotel stay at the end of my ski trip, it sort of rejuvenates me as well, making my stay in San Francisco that much more fantastic!