Pros: So much cool history. Pleasant ambience. Good service.
Cons: Expensive. Not all rooms of the same price are created equally.
San Francisco is a great city and the Westin St. Francis is right in the middle of the heart of it. This is a nifty place to stay if you like the hustle and bustle of the city. The cable cars stop directly in front of the place. It takes up an entire side of Union Square and is surrounded by retailers galore!
My husband and I stayed here for 4 nights in what they refer to as their Mid-category Rooms In Historic Bldg. There is also a modern building, which I did not get to see from the inside. The room rate was $169.00 Per Night + tax. But this did not include parking, which cost $25 per day; nor did it include high speed internet, which had a daily fee. While I was there I got a 45 minute massage for $90 (very pleasant, but a rip-off nonetheless) and a pedicure for $35 (again a bit over-priced if you ask me), but this was my first vacation in 2 years and I needed to be pampered a little. The locker room was immaculate and had a supply of disposable razors. I peeked into the workout room (available for a fee) and saw a lot of good looking equipment.
One of the things that I love about the St. Francis is its history. It was built 1904 and survived the great earthquake and fire that destroyed San Francisco 2 years later. The lobbies and hallway walls are lined with photos of distinguished guests who have stayed at the St. Francis in the last century: Shirley Temple, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt (who looks like she had horrible dental habits), Clark Gable, and many others are immortalized on the walls.
There are 2 lobbies that just ooze tradition and elegance. One lobby has a coffee bar, which serves light fare like pastries or fruit plates. The other lobby is a cocktail lounge at night with a live piano player.
The hotel restaurant is a bit pricy, so we only had one meal there, a buffet breakfast that was a little disappointing. The food was tasty, but items ran out and were either not replaced at all, or not replaced rapidly. In my opinion a $30 breakfast buffet should have staff running to make sure everything promised was available.
The room was a little bit of a surprise. We actually stayed in 2 different rooms. The first room was boxy and had a tiny bathroom. I was not thrilled, so when the maid was making up a room down the hall, I poked my head in and discovered it had more windows (the first room only had one) and a much bigger bathroom, so I asked to switch and we moved in 2 days later. The hotel refers to their beds and baths as heavenly. I would not go that far, but I will say that the bed was comfy with nice sheets and the bathroom was fine. The Westin hotel has their own line of toiletries, and these included soap, shampoo, body wash, and moisturizer in the bathroom. They are of good enough quality and smelled very nice. The staff was very good about bringing us robes, slippers, extra pillows and towels upon request.
I made reservations for this hotel online through AAA and got a discount as a result. The process was quite simple and easy. Changing rooms was also quite easy and the staff was willing to move our stuff for us, however we opted to move our stuff ourselves.
Both rooms had walk in closets, safes, color television, and the typically over-priced wet bar. Never EVER use the wet bar at a hotel unless you are very wealthy. I just cant justify spending $3.50 on a vending machine sized package of cookies (6 Oreos)!
On the whole I would say this is a very nice hotel in a very nice location and if you can afford to spend the money for the room and other necessities (like parking if you have a car), it is well worth staying at the Westin St. Francis.