We arrived at the St. Regis San Francisco around 3:30pm. I drove into the city since we spent a couple of hours in Golden Gate Park earlier in the day before driving into the downtown area. The park, slightly larger than Central Park, New York if that has meaning for you, is on the opposite side of the city and a 50 minute bus ride from the downtown Union Square and South of Market hotel/convention district.
The parking attendants at the St. Regis were not too helpful. We arrived and I pulled into the carport and three guys were standing on the sidewalk talking. I assume they were hotel employees. Nobody came toward the car. I turned off the engine.
The carport is two car widths wide and an entire lane was already taken up with parked cars. I was blocking the carport for anyone to pull through, but no other cars were entering the hotel drive. One attendant asked if we were staying at the hotel and Kelley replies. A man came over with a parking receipt and I told him I was not parking the car at the hotel.
I stepped out of the car to open the trunk and the attendants had all moved away from the car. I started pulling luggage out of the car and still nobody came over to assist.
I looked over at the guys, but nobody looked like they were planning to move. I carried our luggage from the driveway to the hotel sidewalk.
Kelley stayed at the hotel as I drove away. Hearst Garage has a 24 hour parking maximum rate of $20 and is also located on Third Street, on the next block past the hotel. Turn right on the alley just past the California Pizza and Office Depot. The Hearst Garage is centrally located between the Palace Hotel and Westin Market Street and within a couple hundred yards of the St. Regis and W Hotel. After tax the parking rate is generally $50+ for the downtown hotels in this area.
When I arrived back at the hotel I saw our luggage stacked neatly on the carport sidewalk. Kelley was sitting in the lobby with a luggage claim ticket.
First impression of St. Regis San Francisco totally failed to meet my expectations. I have had similar experiences at Westin Market Street when arriving by personal car.
There was activity in the lobby and bar with a dozen or more guests hanging around and several staff members to be seen. There were two staff members at the front desk at check in with a reasonable wait for service.
We received corner room 1202.
When we get to the room I realized I was given only one room key. When asked at check-in how many keys I wanted I replied two. No big deal I thought.
Getting a second room key turned out to be a bigger deal than I anticipated.
I went to the Front Desk on three occasions on Saturday between 8:00am and 3:00pm. Each time there was only one staff member working the Front Desk and the wait was between five and ten minutes to receive service at the front desk.
I went to the front desk early Saturday morning to request a second room key card for Kelley. The lone staff member was busy with a customer and answering the phone. The staff member answered three different phone calls while waiting on the woman at the desk. I went to the lobby and sat down to wait. It was between five and ten minutes before the front desk cleared up. A second person came over to the desk, but he had to wait for the other front desk person to actually process my key card.
At 3:30pm check-out we exited the elevator to find one front desk staff member working with a couple while three other guests and couples waited in line ahead of us. At the same time there were two suited staff members standing in the hallway and two concierge desk attendants.
We waited over ten minutes for check-out. A second front desk employee came out after about five minutes of our waiting as three sets of guests were still in line for check-in or check-out. There was not a single guest at the Concierge desk during that time, although the two concierges were generally on the phone.
One thing I noticed was absent from the lobby. There is no reading material – books or magazines. The W Hotel and its XYZ Bar on the other end of the block has plenty of tactile material to interact with while in the lobby.
I was actually stopped by hotel security from taking pictures of the empty lobby at 8am in the morning. The man said it would be okay if someone was taking a picture of me in the lobby, but he didn’t offer to be my photographer. And Kelley never left the hotel room between our arrival and departure.
My lobby photo that got me busted at the St. Regis
Go to the St. Regis San Francisco website if you want to see lobby photos.
There is a pretty cool video tour of rooms which portray the hotel realistically to its current décor and furniture arrangement. I did notice a couple of minor changes from the lobby photos in the furniture arrangement.
All the plants and seating arrangement in the center of the St. Regis terrace were not present during my stay.
And what happened to the Westin Market Street hotel behind the older building at the left edge of the hotel website’s photo?
The issue with relying on the hotel website is you may not get the whole picture.
The St. Regis San Francisco Butlers
The butler brought our luggage to the room and offered to unpack the clothes. He went through the room features and provided examples of how to use the touch screen panel on the telephone display to adjust lights, Roman window shades, reach hotel staff, and reach a butler. He seemed like a good butler and we thanked him and settled into the room. Kelley was in bed and sleeping within ten minutes.
I decided to prepare my clothes for an evening stroll.
There is no iron or ironing board in the room. I have to call the butler if I want to have my clothing ironed.
I want ice.
I have to call the butler if I want to get a bucket of ice.
The room was the best we have had in San Francisco, excluding some of the incredible suites we have stayed in at the Le Meridien Hotel with better city and water views.