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Review: W San Francisco Hotel (2021)
W San Francisco was a hotel I decided to check out as I spent a long weekend at San Francisco to work on my US citizenship status, which would allow me to trade my Indonesian passport for the US passport for better access to more parts of the world.
W Hotel is a luxury brand under the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio that used to be under Starwood Preferred Guest before the merge with Marriott.
From what I’ve read, the W Hotel brand seems to attract younger demographics with modern and glitz and glam decor that screams PARTY.
As it was my first time at a W Hotel, I’m curious of the vibe I’ll be getting at the hotel.
W San Francisco- Location
W San Francisco is located right next to the Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and across the Yerba Buena Garden.
There’s also a bunch of notable Marriott properties nearby like the St. Regis, Marriott Marquis, and the Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection.
It’s close to a BART station, particularly Montgomery St to make it a very convenient location to get around the city or explore other parts of the Bay Area. It’s also walking distance to Union Square for people to do a bit of shopping.
The parking for the hotel is at a ludicrous rate of $69/night! If you don’t have a choice, there are nearby parking lots that would allow you to park overnight at a more reasonable rate.
W San Francisco- Booking
The usual rate for a standard room at the W seem to be around $220-$280 per night, but I luckily was able to book at a rate of $208 per night for a corner room under the name of Cool Corner!
Under the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, W San Francisco is a Category 7 hotel, which is the second highest category of luxury. During the time, it cost 70,000 points per night to book with points.
However, that’s a terrible deal and it wouldn’t make sense to redeem points. Paying with cash was the better deal. Plus, I would earn 18.5x Marriott points due to Gold Elite status’ 25% bonus on standard 10x points with the additional 6x from using my Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card.
I also asked for an upgrade on the day before check-in on the Marriott Bonvoy app. I was approved for a complimentary upgrade to the Mega Corner room, which is the same as Cool Corner, except at a higher floor to hopefully de-risk getting a room with an outside view of a wall.
W San Francisco- Check In
Since the hotel already confirmed my upgrade the day before check-in, I used the mobile check-in through the app. That means I would not have wait in line to get a key card to enter my room because a mobile key will be provided within the app.
But, it’s a good idea to get a physical card anyway as the mobile key can sometimes be buggy. Plus, it makes for a nice trinket to remember about your past visits!
I checked in at around 5pm when it wasn’t too dark or too bright. The lobby was quite dark and barely lit, which gave me the vibe of a high school prom. The whole lobby was filled with nice lavender scent that I liked.
W San Francisco- Mega Corner Room
I was assigned to the 27th of 31 floors of the hotel at a corner room which grants an open view of the city and the bay.
The hallway’s design has some sort of art deco style with modern twists with the fluorescent lighting! So many triangles!
The room gave me a clear view of the Salesforce Tower and a bit of the Bay at the distance. Although, I’m curious about the view of the room across mine, as it’d offer a clear view of the Yerba Buena Gardens from above!
The sofa in the corner of the room provided a nice place to sit to admire the views, read a book, or even nap!
The bed was plush and gave me a few of great night sleeps! It also comes with controllable LED lights and reading lights.
The angled desk made it a bit awkward to get some work done on a laptop that I found more comfort lounging with my laptop on the sofa instead.
The shower wall has 3-D triangle tiles. Now that I think about it, this hotel room has Deus Ex: Human Revolution vibes to it; a great video game I’ve played in the past. Shower pressure was great!
Not pictured, but a bath robe with W logo is also included.
Overall, I enjoyed the room decor and the great view. But, I wish it has a tub! Unlike many hotels during these unusual times, the W San Francisco still offers daily housekeeping.
W San Francisco- Facilities
Due to the pandemic, many of the facilities are closed or open at limited times. Its signature restaurant called TRACE is closed for the time being, and the bar is limited to certain times (Monday-Thursdays at 5PM-11PM). In-room dining is also sadly not available.
The hotel does not have a pool, lounge, or a spa which is disappointing compared to many of the W Hotels internationally.
The only facility opened at the hotel is the fitness center. I didn’t get a chance to get some workout done, but I briefly entered to check out the bright, colorful, and circular gym at night.
Despite enjoying the great views, decor of the rooms, and the fantastic location, I find W San Francisco Hotel to be lackluster for a hotel in the “luxury” category even if the times are normal. I believe not having a pool and a lounge hurts a hotel with the W brand attached to it. It also doesn’t help that the pandemic hurts the social aspect, in which the W brand tries to strive for.
It’s also strange how it’s a Category 7 hotel! Unfortunately, many of the Marriott hotels in San Francisco appear to have an inflation in Marriott Category akin to the inflated housing prices in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Although I haven’t tried the Marriott Marquis down the block, it appears to have a more attractive price point while not sacrificing the beautiful location. Although, there are times where the W is cheaper than the Marriott Marquis. From there, it all comes down to preferences. But, I certainly wouldn’t pay more than $200 per night for a standard room here, which sadly is often the case.
Goodbye, Sleeping Hotel Giantess…