May092009

Westin Market Street San Francisco

The room can make all the difference in a hotel. Sitting at 350 vertical feet above the street with a view of San Francisco is a higher stratosphere. There is about 150 square feet of glass in four large floor- to-ceiling windows allowing us to look over the city and skyline. This is a 33rd floor corner suite of the San Francisco Westin Market Street hotel. I was impressed with the view.

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Bed View from Room 3306, Westin Market Street Hotel, San Francisco

 

It’s Sunday morning sleepy head. The pillow top mattress made the Westin bed nice to lounge in during the morning.

This is my second stay at the Westin Market Street in 2009. The Central California Coast is experiencing one of the driest rainy seasons in decades. It has rained on both of my hotel stays this year at Westin Market Street which limits the clarity of my digital photos.

 

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 View of Third Street from Mission Street-facing-window Westin Market Street

3306 Corner Suite Sitting Room View along Third Street. Low building on left is San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA), between the St. Regis Hotel in the foreground and the white W Hotel skyscraper in photo center.

Three floor-to-ceiling windows face Third Street and look over a large open space in the center of blocks of skyscrapers. The high level open space from the eastern facing windows is due to a multistory parking garage and Starwood’s Palace Hotel occupying a full city block South of Market Street that is under ten stories high. The Palace Hotel is only 9 stories high and from the 33rd floor of the Westin Market Street the view looks across a large city block before the tall business skyscrapers of equal height block the view of the San Francisco Bay to the east.

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Palace Hotel, Starwood Hotels Luxury Collection, San Francisco

The large historic Palace Hotel, another Starwood property in the Luxury Collection brand, viewed from Westin Market Street Hotel. Originally an 1875 beauty and rebuilt in 1909 after the great earthquake. The hotel had an extensive remodel and retrofit after the 1989 earthquake. Cheap rooms at the Palace Hotel tend to be interior-wall-facing rooms on left side of hotel. These rooms have no views of San Francisco, but are quieter than Market Street facing rooms on the far left side.

Here is the view from a Palace Hotel 7th floor room looking to the Westin Market Street Hotel.

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 View of Westin Market Street hotel (center white building) from the Palace Hotel

Room 3306 is far left of Westin Market Street hotel and the set of three windows fourth from top. The corner suite also has a window on the Mission Street side of the Westin hotel not visible from this angle.

 

Notice the open air parking garage shown here between the Palace Hotel and Westin Market Street hotel. Hearst Parking Center at 45 Third Street is directly across from the Westin Market Street hotel. Third Street is a pain to drive but come down Mission or Howard, stay on the right side of one-way, six-lane Third Street. About 100 yards past Mission St is the Hearst Center parking garage with a hotel guest special rate $20 per 24 hours. The catch is you can’t have in and out privileges. This garage is convenient, within a short block of the Palace Hotel, Westin Market Street, St. Regis, W Hotel, Marriott San Francisco, and Four Seasons and less than half the price of overnight parking at any of these hotels.

 

Four Seasons Hotel is the skyscraper to the right of the Westin Market Street Hotel. The Paramount Building on the far left is a 43-story luxury rental apartment building directly across Mission Street from the St. Regis Hotel and Residences (not seen here).

 

People-watching in the Paramount across from the Westin Market Street at the 300 foot level was like another TV. At this level on a Saturday night in this high rise neighborhood there were several dinner parties and lots of flash photos. The view must be even more entertaining at times from their angle.

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The southern facing window looks across to other skyscraper residences including the St. Regis Residences and the W Hotel lining the left and Yerba Buena Gardens and the Moscone Convention center to the left. The view south is expansive and ships in the harbor are visible in the distance several miles away.

 

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 View of San Francisco Bay looking south along Third Street San Francisco

Dusk over Third Street San Francisco from Room 3306, Westin Market Street Hotel. St. Regis Hotel and Residences is building at left edge of photo.

There is a 42-inch flat screen tv in the living room if you get bored with window views.

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A Panasonic CD/radio on the coffee maker counter had potential, however, the reception was so poor we gave up trying to listen to the radio. I tried hanging the antenna on the doorknob, the coffee maker, and every location within reach of the wires.

 

And I forgot to grab CDs when I went back to the car to double check the street cleaning days for towing. You don’t want to leave your car on the street on towing day. Friday and Saturday night are not a problem. A $50 per day parking fee for the W, Westin Market or St. Regis will seem cheap if you lose your car to the city of San Francisco.

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The sign means beware if you are staying on Monday or Wednesday night. The cross street is no parking overnight on Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday. Don’t sweat it for Friday or Saturday overnights.

 

I parked for free by parking my car on Folsom Street, one block south of the W Hotel, at a meter that is free from 6pm Saturday to midnight Sunday when the street must be cleared for street cleaning on Monday morning. Tow days are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday early am, so Folsom Street is no good if your hotel night is Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday. Other streets are on a Tuesday-Thursday schedule.

Westin Market Street has incredible views. The bar has been active most times we have come by.

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Bar at Ducca, Westin Market Street (morning hours prior to activity)

 

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 Sitting room of Corner Premier Suite, Westin Market Street

Ducca restaurant service was great. Granted the restaurant was nearly empty when we arrived at 10:10 am for breakfast service that stops at 10:30am.  Lunch starts at 11:30 am.

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Ducca Restaurant, Westin Market Street Hotel, San Francisco

Kelley liked Ducca. We had an enjoyable breakfast. These are stiff prices at about $11 for juice and coffee if you don’t order a menu item with two beverages included. Also, the restaurant menu did not have some of the breakfast items listed on room service menu like Eggs Benedict or Sourdough French Toast although the waiter said there would be no problem ordering them.

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 Pancakes, fruit, and maple syrup at Ducca

Dine at the hotel restaurant Ducca Sunday through Wednesday and enjoy a three course pre fixe dinner for $30 or lunch from 11:30-2:00pm three course pre fixe menu is $20.

Floor 4 is Westin Workout room. I saw an open door near the workout room and the window view was all rooftop infra-structure of pipes and stuff. Floor 7 still has limited views since buildings are all around. The workout room was large and packed with athletes and yoga stretchers. There were lots of fit looking people. There is no swimming pool or spa tub at the Westin Market Street.

Parking and driving in this part of San Francisco is a major pain. The BART station at Montgomery Street brings you within one block of the hotel and is a much easier way to arrive than trying to navigate Third Street and drive over the sidewalks to pull into the Westin Market Street. This hotel has a difficult, narrow entrance with pillars to navigate a car through at a busy time.

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 Lobby seating at Westin Market Street hotel

Room Rate History of the Westin Market Street over past six months:

The best part for guests is the fact that the Westin Market Street hotel is frequently the lowest priced Starwood hotel in the city of San Francisco.  The room rates dropped significantly in November 2008 when I was excited to see a $119 weekend rate. So far in 2009 the weekend rate frequently drops to $99. I’ve seen weekday rates as low as $109 which is usually at least $40 less than any other Starwood Hotel in downtown. Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf tends to be the lowest priced Starwood hotel during weekdays due to its location a couple of miles away from the central business district.  Sheraton Wharf rates drop to $120 to $130 during some weekdays but summer rates usually increase quite a bit. We will see where rooms in summer 2009 price out for hotels in San Francisco.

Rates change frequently at this hotel, more than the other Starwood hotels in San Francisco and a room rate of $179 one day may be $99 the next – and vice versa.

Room Floor matters big time at the 36-floor Westin Market Street hotel.

Your experience in a cheap Traditional room on Floors 4 to 7 may be a low-level view of the sides of buildings or hotel infrastructure.  These are the $99 room rates. Elite status or a paid upgrade offer may get you a higher floor with a better view.

Deluxe is the next category of rooms on Floors 8-14.  You are just now getting up to the breathing air in a section of the city with many 30 to 40 story buildings. A room facing southwest – the bulk of the hotel rooms are on the southwest facing side of the building – will have an open view over Yerba Buena Gardens, and along Third Street to see a part of the Bay. The massive Marriott San Francisco takes up a good portion of the air space viewed from these windows.

Grand Deluxe rooms are on Floors 15-26. The upper floors of this level will have expansive views.

Premier rooms are the highest ten floors of 27-36. Rooms are advertised as “the best” city views.  The aerial photos shown here are my “city view” photos from Floor 33.

The higher you go, the higher the rate.

 

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Westin Market Street Hotel, San Francisco

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. The W Hotel is a different experience and usually a higher price. If the price were the same I would stay at the W Hotel. The Westin Market is frequently $60 to $100 per night less than the W Hotel.

    The views are better at the Westin Market Street as long as you are up high. That is really the only advantage.

    The W San Francisco is a cool hotel. The music, the look, the ambience, the games, the bar, the pool at the W are Way Cool. The W Hotel has these incredible massage chairs on the 3rd floor conference room level.

    The hotels are both on Third Street just a block from each other. The W Hotel has more limited views due to the St. Regis and other tall buildings adjacent to the hotel.

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