San Francisco vacation apartments

Aug 31st, 2008, 01:46 PM
  #1  
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San Francisco vacation apartments

We are looking at two VRBO apartments in San Francisco both on Telegraph Hill adjacent to the Filbert Steps:
http://www.vrbo.com/72524 and
http://www.vrbo.com/186005
The latter is in the famous Art Deco building at 1360 Montgomery Street
http://www.movie-locations.com/movie...rkpassage.html

Has anyone stayed in either of these or any other Telegraph Hill or North Beach apartment? (no reviews on SlowTrav)

The great looking apartment http://www.vrbo.com/63308 reco'd by NeoPatrick is booked unfortunately.

We have rented apartments in Italy with great success but were warned off doing so in NYC on this and other forums and we wonder if there are issues with renting vacation apartments in San Francisco that are worth noting.
normanoromano is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 04:25 PM
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Too funny. I read the first part of your post and checked out the links and was getting ready to post a link to the one we rented, then I came back and see you already gave it! Too bad it's rented, but I love that second one -- and would love a fireplace in SF. I'd question the number of steps to get in and up to the other one.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 05:44 PM
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Thanx NeoPatrick.
I assume that the first has some kind of road access but haven't yet confirmed.
I get the sense that 'your' apartment is down in the center of North Beach and that the hike up to these would be significant after a hard slog around town all day. I guess we'll just have to go into training. Haven't clarified public transportation yet.

We are looking hard in the direction of the second one.
One main difference, however, seems to be that the first looks like a vacation rental and the second may be more of a sublet. I'm not completely convinced that I prefer living in someone's own house (where did they go?).
But we also think that we might rent a car for a day or two for daytrip and other excursions and the deco apartment offers a rare and valuable parking spot.

Did you find this area to your liking as a base to move around from?
We chose it for it's (bohemian) history, connection to the water, lingering sense of Italy, neighborhood complexity and some nostalgic memories but I am hoping that we will not be too far away from where we might end up wanting to be.
Kind of the equivalent of the typical Trastevere/Navona debate and we always go for Trastevere.
normanoromano is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 06:13 PM
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"Our" apartment was about half way up Green Street hill just below Mason (which was convenient to the cable cars). In the past we've stayed at Union Square and also numerous times in Cow Hollow. I'm not sure that overall I still don't prefer Cow Hollow, but both are fine. And we have found public transportation great and easy in SF.

If it makes you feel better, the one possible negative about "our" apartment was that it was an added on top floor of a private home, and we actually went up the stairs through their house (although they kept most of the doors to the rooms closed). It took us a few days to get used to that -- a little too "bed and breakfast" for my tastes. I know what you mean about someone's own apartment, but we've done that almost as much as vacation rentals -- and it doesn't really bother us at all. If you cook it's nice because there are always lots of odds and ends of things you normally wouldn't want to buy just for a short stay.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 08:04 PM
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I tried to locate 'your' apartment using the site photos but got sidetracked by the fact that although I could tell that they were to the west of the landmarks of the tower and spires of Sts. Peter and Paul, I was caught by the North Beach designation when many maps would place it in Russian Hill. The fluidity of these neighborhood boundaries.

We always leave bits for our successors in apartments we rent but your point is taken.
I think I will just get over it and let Valerie 'interview' (she is a HR recruiter) the owner and seal the deal.

She, btw, eagerly jumped into a whole Cow Hollow search. There must be a business somewhere for those who love the pursuit of the perfect vacation rental apartment, or maybe just a twelve step group.
So having said that, anyone else with a SF apartment recommendation?
normanoromano is offline  
Sep 1st, 2008, 03:54 AM
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We're staying in the #2 apartment of this listing, http://www.vrbo.com/56770, later this month and can post about it at the beginning of October if that's any help to you. The guest comments about it and it's companion are all very positive.
RuthMc is offline  
Sep 1st, 2008, 05:46 AM
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RuthMc, those do look very nice. What street (s) is it on?
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Sep 1st, 2008, 07:14 AM
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On Union at Montgomery. Can't wait, as North Beach is our favorite section of SF.
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Sep 1st, 2008, 08:42 AM
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Ruthmc we liked that one a lot but alas no availability during our late October stay. The penthouse is a bit more than we need unless we were to bring friends along. Good choice.
normanoromano is offline  
Sep 1st, 2008, 08:46 AM
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Gosh, these all look so wonderful! Thank you all for posting the links, I've firmly decided: next SF trip, we're renting an apartment. We've been there a dozen times, so don't think we need the amenities a hotel provides, which brings me to this question: why NOT rent an apartment? Are there any reasons I should know?
NewbE is offline  
Sep 1st, 2008, 09:29 AM
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NewbE, it depends on the way you like to travel. Some people really like having a front desk clerk (if not a concierge) who will tell them where to catch the bus, how to get tickets, where to get breakfast in the neighborhood and other items.

Some people really LOVE having a maid to make the beds, clean up, and provide fresh towels every day. Frankly I prefer NOT having that "intrusion". So long as there are plenty of fresh towels provided, I'm happy. And like at home, it takes me about a minute to remake my bed every day -- I'd just as soon do that myself.

Many people talk about kitchens as being a big selling point for an apartment, but that means little to me (although I do appreciate a refrigerator for milk and orange juice)-- and we do sort of like to do our own breakfast in -- I just never cook on vacation.

There can be some inconvenience with an apartment -- who to call if you suddenly have no hot water or something doesn't work. But I guess we've been lucky -- with many apt. rentals, we've just never had an issue. Some people also object to needing to tie up some money as a deposit and waiting (or worrying) about getting their deposit back. Again that's never been an issue with us. Or they object to having to pay in full some time in advance. I kind of like having a major portion of the trip prepaid. I guess it's all how you look at it.

NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 1st, 2008, 08:32 PM
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Thanks for your thoughts Neo, I appreciate your taking the time. Like you, we don't care about daily maid service, and a front desk/concierge aren't necessary in a city we know well enough already. I wouldn't really cook, either, but I agree that a kitchen is handy for breakfast items and midnight snacks. What I hadn't thought of is what if something doesn't work in the apartment--that would be a bummer, but fairly unlikely to happen I guess, and the thing to do would be to make sure one has a number to call in that event and then hope for the best.

Anyway, thanks again, food for thought... I think that a rental is in our near future!
NewbE is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 07:00 AM
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normanoromano, sorry "my" apartment isn't available but hope your search is successful.

NewbE, I agree with neopatrick's comments. I've rented apartments only a few times but will continue to do so as I like the space and the ability to spread out. We haven't had any problems but you never know. We also don't generally cook home but have brought dinner home and enjoyed it with the beautiful view we had on Oahu.
RuthMc is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 10:49 AM
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I just booked the 1360 Montgomery apartment and am now looking forward to waving at all those who stop by to admire this Art Deco masterwork, a site that is regularly reco'd as a walking tour stop of interest.
And yes, the bohemian rhapsody was more than over the top. The enthusiasms of travel planning and expectation.
A lot of weekend web search and satellite, panoramic, zooming and other photo apps and tools have given a more accurate and realistic view of that area. All this research is possibly maybe more fun than the trip itself. Now I just have to deal with post apartum depression.
NewbE I think that an aspect of what makes apartment renting compelling (beyond the thrill of the chase) is the fictional sense of ownership and belonging in a neighborhood and city. It shifts the tone from merely vacationing to inhabiting. Of rather than in.
I am really about 'learning' (esp.) cities and that starts at the trip planning stage and continues through a process that involves an entertaining research through history including art and architecture, literature and social commentary and sometimes language. For me it all becomes somehow enhanced on the ground by the temporary and imaginative occupation of a place that I feel like I can call my own. 'My' apartment.
normanoromano is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 11:31 AM
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FWIW the rhapsody reference was a synaptic error. I was inadvertently making (including) a response to a reply given to a similar but gushy post I made to SlowTalk on the topic of these apartments.
Blush.
normanoromano is offline  
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