Help with a hotel (San Francisco)

Oct 23rd, 2005, 10:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1
Help with a hotel (San Francisco)

I have read the reviews on this site as well as others, and I have narrowed my search for a hotel to either

1) The Mandarin (Bay Bridge Mandorin King)


2) Argonaut (King Suite)

I am looking for something a bit different that is in a good location to see the sites. I am suprising my wife with this trip. We will be in SF Nov 4-6. Its our first time there.

I was also looking at the Monaco, but it just seemed to normal.

Any advice?
kehatch is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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Topping for kehatch!!
MichelleY is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 12:18 PM
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A friend of mine used to work for this great boutique hotel company with many hotels in SF. The company is called Joie de Vivre Hospitality and each of their hotels are diffent. Check out their site at They've even got this great feature on the site called a Hotel Matchmaker where you answer questions about your likes and style and it recommends hotels for you. Enjoy your trip!
travelgirl_67 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 12:32 PM
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I would stay at the Mandarin Oriental (I assume that's what you mean by The Mandarin), but it's all about what you prefer.

Here are some pros and cons (IMHO, but keeping in mind that one person's cons may be another person's pros and vice versa):

Mandarin Oriental -
Pros - beautiful hotel with fabulous views. You are walking distance to Chinatown, Union Square, North Beach, Ferry Building and to public transport which can take you all over the city.

Cons - (this could be considered a pro) The hotel is in the Financial District which means it's not "in the thick of things." At night it won't be bustling, but nearby areas will be.

Argonot - I've never been in this hotel (as I live in SF), but I've passed by.

Pros - You are by the water and the Marina District and walking distance to North Beach. You are also right around the corner from the Cable Car turnaround which can take you over the hill to downtown/Union Square. It's probably the nicest hotel in the area.

Cons - It is in Fisherman's wharf, which is a tourist trap. I understand people wanting and feeling the need to go there and visit, but staying there is another thing. The street on which the hotel is located is full of t-shirt and souvenir shops. If you really want a taste of San Francisco, I personally wouldn't stay here.
acwsf is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 12:45 PM
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Just came back from san francisco. I would stay at the argonaut. People always down fishermens wharf but we found it really nice. Yes there are t-shirt shops but the Argonaut is sort of out of the way closer to Ghirardelli Square which you must go and purchase some chocolate. Go to Coit tower and take the last tour for the Blue and Gold Fleet bay cruise it's around sunset. Purchase a city pass as it is good for all transit, the bay cruise among other things. You can click on my name to see my trip report. But I wouldn't recommend the hotel we stayed in unless you want something that is really a no frills kind of place. It sound like you want to surprise your wife so go for the Argonaut.
ashoebri is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 12:54 PM
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We stayed at the argonaut and really enjoyed it- we thought our view of the bay etc was so nice but then realized we heard the cable cars all the time but realized that's part of sf- i would defintley recommend it
toncasmo is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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I just got back from staying at the Argonaut for a quick one night getaway. I went with a friend and her kids and mine. The Argonaut was perfect for us because we wanted to do all the touristy fisherman's wharf, ghiradelli and Pier 39 stuff.It has a nautical theme that is really cute with lots of blues, yellows and stars. I generally stay by Union Square, but frankly, even with the good restaurant choices in that area, I am so sick of the the aggressive begging in that area (and the kids have gotten really freaked out by it) that I did not want to stay there. I hope this doesn't provoke more arguements about that area! I used to be able to ignore it or chalk it up to urban environment, but we have had bad experiences the last couple of times and it's enough for me to start to look at other areas.

I would definitely return to the Argonaut, although I wouldn't call it a romantic place to stay, more whimsical. The Monaco is pretty, same Kimpton Hotel group, and but it is in Union Square. The rooms seem European to me, done in dark reds (at least the ones I saw).
ellenbw is offline  
Oct 29th, 2005, 10:24 PM
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I stayed at the Monaco a couple of years ago and it was wonderful. It's a small boutique hotel with great service and lovely rooms. There's a great restaurant/bar down in the lobby too. It's near Union Square, which I think is a nice, central location.
dina4 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2005, 10:37 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Also stayed in a king suite at the Argonaut. Great hotel and interesting nautical decor. Yes, it is at Fisherman's Wharf with lots of T shirts but it is at the far end and you could avoid the tacky parts. IMHO the Mandarin Oriental is just another big hotel but the Argonaut is a converted warehouse with much more character.
Shar is offline  
Oct 30th, 2005, 04:41 PM
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We stay in San Francisco several weekends a year. I have not seen the Argonaut, but my personal opinion would have been to be nearer Union Square from where you can get to anywhere on public transportation (including Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square.) and be nearer the theatre district, the art museum south of market, (MOMA) etc. etc.

I have always wanted to stay at the Mandarin Oriental but the price is high.

I assume you know that the Mandarin Oriental starts at $510/night for 2 people at this time of year, while the Argonaut begins at $129? Both of them, however are rated 4-diamond by AAA.

However, looking at the description of the Argonaut in the AAA Northern CA Guidebook, it sounds very interesting for the price. I think you are comparing a new hotel, in a tourist area, with a more luxury type in a quiet part of the Financial District.

If you want a better description of the Argonaut, go to its website ..

You may have to decide which is your cup of tea. If you go for 'fun by the Bay' you can get to all of the tourist sights from there by Muni buses and cable car. Go to a newwstand and get a copy of the "Official San Francisco and Transit Map".

San Francisco is easy to navigate by public transportation. Just don't spend all of your time at Fisherman's Wharf or Ghirardelli Square....or we will send Emperor Norton out to get ya. (ask a local <grin>.

Have a wonderful trip.

jtrandolph is offline  
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