Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends
Location: 600 Stockton Street at California
San Francisco, CA 94108
Style: Elegant but not intimidating
Pluses: Excellent accommodations and service, first-rate dining
Minuses: Nob Hill location can mean uphill climbs if you're out and about on foot
Price: Very expensive (rooms $255-$450, suites $575-675)
Rooms: 336 rooms, including 44 suites
Nonsmoking rooms: Yes
Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, Discover, Japanese Credit Bureau, and Carte Blanche
Cancellation policy: 48 hours
Parking: Valet parking, $27/night, unlimited in and out privileges
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Restaurants and Bars: The Terrace - breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily
The Dining Room - dinner Monday - Saturday
The Ritz Carlton Bar -cocktails every evening
The Lobby Lounge - afternoon tea, evening sushi, cocktails and entertainment
Room service: Available 24 hours
Special Features: Business center
Exercise facilities with pool, whirlpool, massage
In-room fax machines, honor bars, safes, irons and ironing boards
Voicemail for all guest rooms
I love staying at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. Housed in a beautifully restored neoclassical stone building part way up Nob Hill, the hotel is an elegant but comfortable oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The positive experience starts when I enter the hotel lobby, with its elegant furnishings and colorful floral arrangements. It continues with the friendly and efficient reception staff, who immediately make me feel welcome. In fact, the service that I receive from everyone on the hotel staff, from the bellmen to the telephone operators to the servers in the restaurants, is noteworthy for its warmth and attention to detail. There's a certain level of creature comfort that I take for granted at a hotel of this caliber, and the Ritz-Carlton does all that I expect and more.
On the bottom level of the hotel, there's an exercise facility with a pool, whirlpool, and exercise machines, and there's a sauna and a steamroom in both the men's and the women's dressing rooms. If I really want to pamper myself, I can schedule a massage -- perhaps an aromatherapy massage or a special Moor mud treatment. They're so California, but so relaxing.
The Ritz Carlton also stands out from other hotels in the quality of its food service. The Dining Room is one of San Francisco's best restaurants, and the Lobby Lounge is one of my favorite spots for afternoon tea.
The location of the hotel, part way up Nob Hill at the intersection of California and Stockton Streets is a mixed blessing. It's very convenient, but the last few blocks up to the hotel can seem pretty steep when you're heading back to the hotel on foot after walking around the city. In a pinch, the California Street cable car stops just a few steps away from the hotel entrance and can take you up to the top of the hill when you're starting out or rescue you from the bottom of the hill when you're ready to return.
The hotel offers several packages that bring the price down substantially. For example, the Bed and Breakfast package gets you a deluxe room plus complimentary valet parking plus continental breakfast for two for around $235, when the rate for just the room would be $355. Discounted rates and packages are of course subject to availability.