Review: Westin San Francisco Market Street

I spent last night in San Francisco, and unfortunately hotels were all either outrageously expensive or sold out, so I ended up booking the Westin Market Street for about $200 for the night, which seemed like a good rate given that most other options were running $350+ per night.

I landed in San Francisco at 8:10AM and took BART to the hotel, which was only a few blocks from Montgomery Station. I know the hotel was sold out the night before, and since I was arriving at around 9AM I was worried that my room wouldn’t be ready for five or six hours, until check-in time.


Hotel exterior

Anyway, I proceeded to check-in and nicely explained to the agent that I knew it was way before check-in time, but was wondering if she had any rooms at all available. I explained I didn’t care what kind of a room it was, and she offered me a standard room on the 14th floor, which I gladly accepted. Given that my flight was departing Oakland Airport the following morning at 6AM, I was just happy to have a room and get in a nap after a very early morning.

The lobby itself is nice and spacious, with plenty of seating. There was even a “relaxation room,” though I’m not sure what purpose exactly that serves.


Lobby


Lobby


“Relaxation room”


Elevator

I was assigned room 1426, a king room on the 14th floor.


Hallway

The room was quite small, even for a standard room. It had typical Westin furnishings, with a king bed, desk, and flat screen TV.


King bed


Room


Desk/TV

While the room had floor-to-ceiling windows, I think the view speaks for itself.


View

The bathroom was also quite small, with a sink/mirror, and then separate room with the shower and toilet, which was quite compact.


Sink


Bathroom

I selected the continental breakfast as my Platinum amenity, which was served from 6:30AM till 10:30AM in the hotel’s restaurant, Ducca. On the plus side, unlike many other North American Starwood properties, they offer Platinum members a legitimate continental breakfast buffet, and the vouchers specifically state that gratuity is included. There was also the option to “buy up” to the hot buffet for $5 per person.

Since my flight the following morning was at 6AM, I decided to have breakfast the day of my arrival, since it was still before 10:30AM.


Ducca Restaurant


Ducca Restaurant

The buffet was exactly what you’d expect from a Westin. The food was decent — nothing memorable, and not something you’d be thrilled about outside of a hotel, but for a Westin it was fine.


Breakfast buffet


Breakfast buffet


Breakfast buffet


Breakfast buffet

The hotel also had a well equipped gym on the 4th floor, though I didn’t have the chance to use it during this stay.


Gym


Gym

On the whole the hotel was exactly what you’d expect from the Westin brand — comfortable beds, well furnished rooms, and nothing you’ll remember for years to come. All the employees I interacted with were pleasant, though the housekeeping staff were almost creepily nice. One housekeeper, Yolanda, gave me the cheeriest hellos I’ve ever gotten while roaming down the hallway.

My first choice in San Francisco from a cost/value perspective remains the InterContinental, which takes especially good care of Royal Ambassador members. I also stayed at the St. Regis a couple of weeks ago and had an amazing stay, though that’s usually outside my budget. As far as other mid-range hotels go, I’d probably rate this slightly ahead of the Le Meridien and slightly behind the Grand Hyatt. So it’s not my first choice in the area, but I wouldn’t hesitate to return if the price is right.

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Comments

  1. This is exactly the review I’d expect from you. My opinion is if you can get a decent rate, book and you’ll enjoy yourself. Great location and views are often excellent. I prefer this property to many others in a similar price range in SF. I don’t expect many platinum perks, however.

  2. I think this is a great option for San Francisco if you can get a good rate and get a room on a high floor. Last time I was there they gave me the full buffet as a platinum amenity on top of the 500 points. As far as Westins go, though, this one has nothing on the Westin Napa.

  3. I’ve stayed here several times on weekends and have always been upgraded to a suite with a great view. Looks like you’re early arrival and having the World Series in town impacted availability of an upgrade. With the location close to BART, SFMOMA and Union Square, I like the convenience of this hotel… and the price… but your review is fair because some folks will get a room like this.

  4. So when do we get an Alaska Airlines domestic flight trip report? IIRC, you’ve never reviewed their product/service on your blog.

  5. Sometimes I think you are the son of some multi-millionaire and just enjoy spending your money in hotels and first class travel.

    8)

  6. @ northwesterner — Hah, I’ve only flown them in coach so far, though I’ll have a post about them shortly, since I’ve noticed some interesting things about them.

    @ Jorge — I wish!

  7. Ben, Have you ever been told to wait or cant checkin right away for a downtown type hotel? its been yrs since I have. The last time I had to wait was in Hawai’i (which is understandable) a few years ago.

  8. @ MileageUpdate — At city hotels? Many, many times. Actually more so at city hotels than resorts, surprisingly.

  9. I’ve stayed at this Westin on a few SF trips. As you say it’s fairly ‘standard Westin’.

    Agree with Mary Beth about upgrades, I’ve always been bumped to a better/higher-up room with a great view.

    Other tip: unless you’re the type who wants to attack a buffet breakfast and scoff down a bit of ~everything~, or unless the breakfast is included in your room, pedestrian hotel breakfasts like these are poor value.

    When I stay at The Westin (or other hotels around the SoMa 3rd/4th area) I head to The Grove, which is literally around the corner from The Westin, just past the corner of 3rd & Mission: out the front door, turn right, cross left at Mission and it’s just past Peets.

    Good breakfast menu, good coffee, great BIG glasses of fresh orange juice, free wifi – $20 gets me a bacon/eggs/hash brown-style breakfast with large OJ and coffee, that’s better and cheaper than The Westin plus a much nicer environment as well. 🙂

  10. BTW…. In Portland Oregon for a job interview. Eating at an Alsacean restaurant that has great pretzel rolls…. Even pretzel croutons in the salad! Took a picture to forward later to make you want to visit. I’d be interested on your take on how to leverage an AA EXP in this market. I was able to get an exit row seat om Alaskan with my AA status but not happy that I wasn’t up front like I’m used to.

  11. Westin Market Street has some great upgrade rooms with terrific views.

    Here is one of my hotel reviews of Westin Market Street in 2009 when the rates were regularly $99.

    I discuss the views more than the hotel with my photos.

    San Francisco has priced itself again out of my budget in 2012 and I feel like it is back to 2007 days again with $300+ per night rates common. San Francisco along with New York and Miami have skyrocketed hotel rates in 2012.

  12. I stayed at this Westin, the Westin St. Francis Union Square, and Westin Napa in the same trip.

    Westin Napa was the best by far (resort).
    Westin Market Street was MUCH better than the Westin St. Francis Union Square (old, dated rooms, a little drafty, a little creepy, supposedly “haunted”).

    Good review. If you’re looking for a Westin in downtown San Fran, go with this one.

  13. Also I really like Le Meridien San Francisco. A Starwood Hotel in San Francisco with balconies and closer to the Bay.

    Here is a YouTube video of Le Meridien Water Tower Suite. I must have had a cold since I am wheezing through the video.

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