I recently completed my first stay at the Hotel Palomar – San Francisco, indeed, my first stay at any Kimpton property. I’ve always heard good things about Kimpton Hotels, and my stay at the Hotel Palomar SF did not disappoint. This was a 2-night business stay, and while my work site was half-way between SFO and the hotel, I was traveling against traffic during the morning and evening rush hours making for a very fast commute to work, and back to the hotel in the evening.
I had a rental car for this trip and driving wasn’t nearly as awful as I’d feared. That said, if I could repeat the trip, I would have forgone a rental car and simply taken the BART as the hotel is steps from the Powell St. BART station. Not only would BART work well from the trip downtown from the airport, it just so happens that the worksite I was visiting was steps from a BART station. I should’ve done better homework! Not only would I have avoided driving, I would have saved the $45 dollar + tax per night parking fee at the hotel.
After arriving at the front desk, I was assisted within a few minutes. Two people were working, but one of the attendants had what I’m sure was a well-intentioned, but annoying “questioner” to assist, so my colleague was checked in by the other person, and she was done with him and working on my check in before the other person was done with their questions. Ugh! In any event, the front desk staffer I had was perfectly pleasant, thanked me for being a Kimpton InTouch member, and verified my preferences for a high floor and New York Times as my preferred newspaper. With that, I was on my way to my 9th floor room.
Room 942 is a Deluxe King Room with a courtyard view. The space was efficiently laid out and comfortable. There was a large LCD television, great desk, and sitting area. The bathroom was perfect for a solo business traveler. Wireless internet (free for Kimpton InTouch members) was fast enough to get the job done. I snapped a few photos for your perusal.
Around the Hotel
I didn’t even have to leave the hotel to do one of my favorite things after work, the Kimpton sponsored wine hour. Held each evening from 5pm to 6pm in the 5th floor lounge, wine hour was a great way to take the edge off a busy day. Unfortunately, I was only able to participate on Sunday afternoon as I returned just a tiny bit too late to the hotel on Monday to enjoy the wine hour. That said, I think it’s a great idea, just wish it lasted slightly longer than 1 hour. 🙂 You can also get your workout on in advance of happy hour if you wish in the hotel’s 24 hour fitness center. The facility itself isn’t terribly large, but I was able to get in a good workout. If something more advanced is in your plan, the hotel offers passes to a nearby fully equipped gym for $15 dollars.
San Francisco is full of fabulous restaurants, but I was a little too busy to hit the gourmet dining scene this trip. On Sunday night, I found a nice little restaurant just steps from the hotel. Annabelle’s Bar & Bistro hit the spot after a long flight from the east coast. I guess the best way to describe it is comfort food served in a more upscale atmosphere. If you’re looking for a bite that’s close by, Annabelle’s is a good bet. If you like oysters, head for The Ferry Building and get in line at Hog Island Oyster where you’ll find the oyster happy hour to be popular beyond belief. I try not to wait in line for any restaurants, but this was worth it. Happy hour runs from 5pm to 7pm, and features $4 dollar pints and half-price oysters. There will likely be a line to get in, and it’s first come first served. If you want a seat, you have to queue up, period. I don’t think the wait was more than 20 minutes or so, but the oysters and good beer were worth it!
Also, I can’t close this out without mentioning the Palomar’s own 5th Floor Restaurant. Kimpton is known for its restaurants, and while I did not visit this particular venue, my experience with other Kimpton restaurants in the past has been outstanding.
The Bottom Line
I’ll stay again. How’s that? Seriously, the hotel was great in every way. Staff I interacted with were phenomenal, and seemed genuinely interested in making sure I had a great stay. If you’re in the market for a downtown San Francisco hotel, consider the Hotel Palomar – San Francisco, I think you’ll like what you see. This hotel and the Kimpton brand have piqued my interest. I will be back.