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San Francisco Hotel Help

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We are a couple in our 40's coming to San Francisco for Christmas and New Year from Australia. We arrive in SFO on 23 Dec and are looking for a hotel for 4 nights, we're then going down the pacific coast highway for 3 nights and coming back to San Francisco on 30 Dec for 3 more nights before flying back to Aus. So we are looking at 2 stays and would probably prefer two different hotels, unless we find one which is too lovely to not stay in twice!

I am getting very confused trying to figure out which are the best choice so any help you could give would be really appreciated.

We are looking to spend around $220 per night (could stretch to a bit more on one of the stays but $300 is probably the absolute limit. We like boutique and funky but not at the expense of amenities and comfort so would be ok with a good quality chain hotel.

Would like 4 or 5 star but location is key. We love to shop, go to restaurants, cafes, sightsee, explore the various neighbourhoods, and would like to try some blues clubs. We want to be really central for shopping and restaurants, and then be able to access the other sights. From my research that appears to be around Union Square?

As I gues most things will be closed on Christmas Day we will prbably spend a bit more time at the hotel, so a nicer hotel with good facilities is probably more important for this visit. We'd really like a gym (an indoor pool would be a big bonus), and somewhere with a nice public area where you can sit and have a drink or some tea and read a book would be great.

The hotels which jump out at me are:

The Omni
Hotel Zetta
JW Marriott Union Square

The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins looks lovely too, but its in Nob Hill - I'm not sure whether that's central enough?

We would love the Fairmont or the Four Seasons but they're way over our budget.

For New Years we considered a Fishermans Wharf hotel but I'm not sure about staying in such a touristy area for 3 days. i did wonder about other areas such as SoMa or South Beach but just getting more confused so decided it was time to ask for some help!

Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions greatly appreciated, as we're running out of time, and availability is limited.

thanks so much :-)

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