02 March 2009

San Francisco Hotel: Winter's Cheap Deal

Finding cheap hotels: a sign of our times. This one was ultra cheap and still provided a clean environment, a big walk-in closet, and free wireless Internet access. All for $65/night in downtown San Francisco. Oh, with a BART/Muni station literally outside the hotel's front door.

The Hotel Whitcomb is "down Market," meaning a full 4 of 5 city blocks beyond your preferred location. For me, that meant about 4 blocks west of the Westfield Mall but with plenty of food close at hand if I wanted: Starbucks in the hotel lobby, Subway and Burger King across the street, Carl Jr's a couple of blocks on the way to the Westfield.

(Inside the Westfield Mall are full scale restaurants, the country's best food court, full cinema, and the usual collection of mall stores.)

Back to the Whitcomb. It has its share of homeless on the corner; comparable to the level outside the Hilton on nearby O'Farrell. In winter (the cause for the low rental rate), there is no room service although there's still a full-service restaurant on site in addition to the Starbucks. I would call the hotel aging and a little worn in the guest rooms. The renovations are more obvious in the lobby and meeting rooms. Billing itself as an historic hotel is fair. The self-label of "luxury boutique" is marketing, not accurate description. My $65/night rate was an online special. The rate is about double that in summer.

Internet access is just a tad slow but I've suffered through worse (at luxury boutique hotels). Cell phone reception is spotty up in the hallways but that could be my carrier, of course. Clientele includes international tourists and U.S. business travelers. I was comfortable walking alone to the hotel between 8:00 and 8:30pm but recognized that I wouldn't have felt so secure at 10:00pm. Orpheum Theatre is across the street and Civic Center within reach, so there is evening traffic.

City Hall, public market, public library, and other resources are just a block off Market, so a walk to these treats is less than 5 minutes. For reference, my old and slow walk to the Westfield took 20 minutes. You could have done it in 15.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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