San Francsco Nob Hill Hotels

Sep 28th, 2009, 09:21 PM
  #1  
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San Francsco Nob Hill Hotels

Heading to SF for a Holiday weekend - have decided to stay in Nob Hill area, can't decide which Hotel - Fairmont, Mark Hopkins or Hunnington? Suggestions?
LaurieB is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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We have stayed at the Huntington last March, primarily because they offered a bargain rate.

We liked the hotel very much - it has boutique hotel charm with a highly personalized service. The rooms are not 5 star, mabe 4.5 star, but the spa&pool scene is spectacular - probably the best in town. And so is the bar which is very popular among locals who merge with travellers. The bartender, Ty, is a jewel. Once you sit at the bar, he organizes a conservation between the patrons. And he is generous with samples (IF you like high-quality spirits).

I have posted a review on tripadvisor.
traveller1959 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 09:35 AM
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All 3 of those are very nice properties. Haven't slept in any, but have been to events at all three. You'd probably like any of them.

My question is are you absolutely sure you want to stay up there? Nob Hill would be considered a mountain in many parts of the country. Only a slight exaggeration. You can't really walk to/from most anywhere (especially "from" since it is all up hill).

Both Cable car lines are nearby - but they really aren't a viable option for traveling around. If you are very fit or are mountain goats you'll be fine, otherwise it will be cabs . . .

Don't get me wrong - the hotels are great - but there just are some issues you might want to consider.
janisj is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 09:46 AM
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I recently went to a concert at Masonic Auditorium, which is on Nob Hill. We walked downhill from California Street to Pine Street, then a few blocks west, for dinner, and then had to hike back uphill for the concert. As janisj knows, I have said many times that I would NOT stay on Nob Hill if I were a visitor to San Francisco, for the reasons she mentioned - this is not an area where you can just pop out for a cup of coffee or a little window shopping. So, I ran my own unscientific test, and confirmed my suspicions -- I would NOT stay on Nob Hill. Walking down Taylor from California to Pine could give you shin splints, and walking back up from Pine to California could give you a heart attack LOL!

(But the hotels are all nice)
sf7307 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 09:54 AM
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good points about Nob Hill but the Huntington is a lovely hotel..Mark Hopkins and Fairmont too..

If you are an extreme runner, I'd say go for it!
ksucat is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 11:04 AM
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C'mon, we stayed on Nob Hill for three days and did not use the cable car at all. It is a very short walk downtown, and after a good dinner, it is not too strenuous to walk up again.

There are a few nice restaurants in easy walking distance from Nob Hill, I have written about them in my trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...ne-country.cfm

One very typical San Franciscan restaurant, Rue Lepic (French-asian-mediterranean fusion cuisine), is just around the corner. You do not have to walk down from Nob Hill.

If you like seafood, Bar Crudo is the place to be, just a 10-minute-stroll from Nob Hill.

BTW, both restaurants are so reasonably priced that you can splurge on the hotel!
traveller1959 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 11:07 AM
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<<>>

Oh yes you do. You have to walk from California to Pine down Taylor or Mason, and back up. And it's a STEEP hill.
sf7307 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 11:12 AM
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>>>Oh yes you do. You have to walk from California to Pine down Taylor or Mason, and back up. And it's a STEEP hill.<<<

I have just measured on Google Earth. It is exactly 96 yards from Nob Hill to Rue Lepic. OP may decide if this would be too much.
traveller1959 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 11:17 AM
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I agree the OP should decide -- just letting the OP know that that's 96 yards of STEEP HILL
sf7307 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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We stayed at the Fairmont three years ago and agreed that we would definitely stay there for the next trip. Very spacious rooms, excellent service, no complaints whatsoever. We even walked to Chinatown for dinner and walked back to the hotel. This may not mean anything to you, but consider that my mother was with us during that vacation - in her early 70s, an illness left her with just one good lung. Yet, with frequent stops, and absolutely no complaints from her (we kept offering to call a cab), she insisted on walking back to the hotel. She said she didn't mind doing that again.

We used the cable car once or twice for the heck of it, but we actually just mainly walked and took taxis when necessary.
gelatolover is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 02:20 PM
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Oh great - you are throwing a 70+ yo, one lunged wonder woman at us

But honest - the hill is STEEP . . . .
janisj is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:18 PM
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i agree with janis and sf3707.
maybe us san franciscans are wusses but i too do not relish climbing up or down that hill.
i have done it in desperation a couple of times but never will again.

all 3 hotels are beautiful. you can't go wrong.
the rooms at the mark hopkins tend to be a little small.
abranz is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 08:45 PM
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'Oh great - you are throwing a 70+ yo, one lunged wonder woman at us'

I'm still busting gut on that one janisj!
ksucat is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 02:10 AM
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Obviously the Nob Hill hotels have many other things to offer apart from steep hills.

Besides which, the steepness is not all equal. These hotels sit on the crown of a hill which is relatively flat for about 2-4 block area right at the top. From California Street (where the hotels are located), the hill is steepest to the SOUTH along Taylor and Mason Streets. You would want to avoid hiking up this slope unless you are in training for the Olympics. To the NORTH it is relatively gentle for several blocks, but this is a residential area and there may be no reason for you to venture there. The gentlest slope is to the WEST leading to the many wonderful restaurants on Polk, Larkin and Van Ness. Westward is a very long walk but you can take the cable car which runs along California Street all the way down to Van Ness Avenue. To the EAST is Chinatown and the Financial District. You can take the same cable car line, only in the easterly direction. Or you can walk the the two or three blocks up and down the hill along California Street to Chinatown. The majority of Chinatown runs along two parallel streets: Stockton and Grant. These are flat streets! Y The best restaurant in Chinatown is the R&G Lounge on Kearny (please don't walk into any one of the other tourist trap places!). You can walk all the way along either Stockton or Grant to Columbus Avenue, which will take you to Little Italy. Lots of great Italian restaurants there.

As mentioned, you can also catch a taxi ride. Since San Francisco doesn't cover that extensive an area, chances will be that your cab ride would be no more than $5 or $10 each trip.

Also as mentioned, the service is excellent at the Nob Hill hotels. Everyone has a favorite between the Fairmont and the Mark Hopkins, mine is the Fairmont. Don't know anything about the Huntington, but I've also stayed at another of the Nob Hill Hotels - the Stanford Court (now a Renaissance hotel). If you choose between the Fairmont and the Mark Hopkins, you can't go wrong.

Have a great trip and welcome to California!
easytraveler is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 03:14 AM
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We stayed on Nob Hill on our vacation to SF. We stayed at the Stanford Court (Marriott brand) on points. It was a very nice hotel. We had drinks at some funky bar and I think it was in the Fairmont called the Tonga Room. It rained in the restaurant.(supposed to do that).
We walked to Chinatown from the Stanford Court. (downhill) Love the one lunged woman story! It is a hill to climb back up. We had to walk up the last hill because the cable car got stuck. It was straight up. The kids were even huffing.(and they are skinnies). It is a nice spot at the top and all of the hotels are nice. My parents fav hotel, the Huntington is up there and they lived there for 3 weeks one year.
Cabs are everywhere and so I say go to the hotel and spot you want. Just know that if you have to walk up, it is a tough hill.
girlonthego is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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>>You would want to avoid hiking up this slope unless you are in training for the Olympics<<

I cannot believe what I am reading. We are not speaking about the Alps, we are speaking about San Francisco. And not about hiking but about a 96-yard-walk.

Are you all smokers or what?
traveller1959 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 02:04 PM
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<<>>

Nope, and I'm actually pretty fit.
sf7307 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 02:09 PM
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Traveller, anybody is "a smoker" after a day of sightseeing!

By the way, it's easy to take bus #1 that takes you from the hill down, or back up. Or occasional taxi sometimes - as much as I dislike taxis, Paula made me get a little used to them

I wouldn't think anybody staying on Nob Hill would not be able to afford a taxi from Union Square. Or maybe the OP will have a rental car, or even car service for all we know.

Laurie, care to reply to all who are trying to help?
Dayenu is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 02:35 PM
  #19  
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Yes thank you everyone - i should have mentioned i am familar with the fact that Nob Hill is the top of the Hill, and am down with that. Not worried about the walk - we'll cab if necessary. Just wanted feedback on hotels, have seen them all but never stayed in them - usually we stay down that hill.
Since all the talk is mostly about the walk i still have not decided where to stay.
LaurieB is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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traveller1959: I've already indicated that most of the top of Nob Hill is flat and perfectly walkable. If one wants to go downhill, the other three sides, although with varying degrees of steepness, are also perfectly walkable.

The only side that one shouldn't try to walk is the south side:

http://tinyurl.com/yet4556

(Please place the little man on the map to see how steep it is)

I've driven uphill and downhill on Powell/mason to California and I've also walked it with friends - the angle of steepness is probably more than 60 degrees.

I stand by my recommendation not to walk (crawl) up or down Powell or Mason right outside of the Mark Hopkins Hotel.

Has nothing to do with smoking or not smoking and has everything to do with the steepness of the hill.

It is also not advisable to go on a buying binge downhill unless one has hired a pack mule to cart everything uphill to the hotel.
easytraveler is offline  

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