A blog about food and cooking by Chris Norris

Home Base Hotels in San Francisco

Laura and I spend a pretty good handful of weekends each year in San Francisco and are constantly on the lookout for good hotels that are central to “our part of town” – we like the area around Union Square as our home base – and are cost effective.  We’re partial to the Kimpton line of hotels in this part of town, since they are small, boutique-ish hotels that are mostly priced right.

Here’s our list of fave’s and some of the considerations:

1. Serrano Hotel (small rooms, but quiet and inexpensive – attached to Ponzu)

2. Hotel Monaco (small rooms, but quiet and inexpensive – attached to Grand Cafe & Bar)

3. Hotel Palomar (small rooms, but quiet and inexpensive – same building as Fifth Floor restaurant)

4. Donatello (OK if nothing else is available, but can be really loud with Ruby Skye nightclub just across the street)

5. The Prescott Hotel (Can be a bit loud depending on the room – in the same building as Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio)

6. Sir Francis Drake Hotel (Nice enough rooms, though small, and located right on Union square, but creepy costumes on the valet and doormen put me off and some rooms are very loud since the Powell Cable Car line is just outside.)

7. Mandarin Oriental (We Love this hotel!  But it’s way expensive and since it’s located in the financial district, some hiking is required to get anywhere useful.  The restaurant, Silks, was an under-performer when we were there last.  But, the hotel is only a few blocks from Jackson Street, which has as many great restaurants as a Napa vine has grapes!)



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