SF trip report - Hotel Triton etc.

Old Mar 18th, 2002, 01:28 PM
  #1  
Owen O'Neill
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SF trip report - Hotel Triton etc.

Just spent two days in SF at end of a CA business trip and loved it. This was my first time there as a “free” adult (was there twice previously as a child and once with my own child when she was 12). Had already done Chinatown, the cable car rides, Lombard Street, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz, thus I was ready for something different.

Part 1) Arrived from the suburbs on BART (great rail system but ticketing scheme takes getting used to). Hotel Triton allowed me to check in early (11 AM) as they had rooms ready. I was there on a Priceline deal – paid $65 per night. Regular prices I found online for the same weekend ranged from $109 to $129 for standard room. They immediately offered me an upgrade to room with one queen bed (standard has a full bed). Throughout my stay the staff was helpful and courteous with absolutely no “hipper than thou” attitude. They were not “beautiful people” or wanna-be’s – just regular folks providing excellent customer service. The Triton is a “boutique” hotel but unlike some (e.g. the Hudson or the Paramount in NYC – properties I’m familiar with and have stayed in), it has all the good qualities one would hope for and lacks the shortcomings. It’s only about 80 or so rooms, has a small but very cool looking lobby area, a nicely equipped fitness room and a business room with fax, internet access etc. available. My room was comparable to what one would find in a NYC hotel or perhaps bigger than many. There was plenty of room on all three sides of the queen bed to walk around, an armoire with mini-bar and TV, nightstands on both sides of bed, in room CD player/radio, a curvy and unusual but very functional built in desk in corner and a bath and closet off the entry hall. Closet was large enough to hold my full size suitcase on the provided folding rack, had plenty of room for clothes, two plush terrycloth robes and a sliding pocket door that made access a cinch. The bathroom was compact but extremely well designed. Full tub with good shower, nicely tiled and the sink was recessed in granite counter that ran length of bathroom wall. It was as functional as any hotel bathroom I’ve ever used (a nice surprise after struggling with the chic but useless bathroom in the Paramount!). To be continued…
 
Old Mar 18th, 2002, 01:42 PM
  #2  
sara
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Stayed at Hotel Triton summer of 2001 with my husband and 16 year old daughter and her friend. Love it. We stayed in the Jerry Garcia suite. Wine in the lobby before dinner with option of palm reading. Very fun and hip. Staff very attentive and friendly. Great location. Would go back again although suite was probably not worth it. Standard room would be fine.
 
Old Mar 18th, 2002, 01:45 PM
  #3  
Owen O'Neill
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Part 2) Enough about the hotel – it was a great facility in a very convenient location (on Grant Street a few yards from the Chinatown gate). I will definitely stay there again and even at full price ($129 or more) it’s an excellent value. It’s operated by the Klimpton Group – if this is indicative of how their properties are run and maintained I will stay at more of them. The décor was unique and memorable yet very functional. Forgot to mention – bed was triple sheeted with a fluffy and really warm duvet and good pillows (not to mention that it’s close to the most comfy hotel bed I’ve ever slept in). For lunch I had a bowl of French Onion soup and a cappucino at Café de la Presse – it’s on the corner adjacent to the hotel and has some arrangement with them. Cool little place but ridiculously overpriced for what they offer (garden variety onion soup was $7 and a cup of coffee was $2.50-3.00). Did some walking around and bought tix for the Twisted Cabaret and Pandemonium Vaudeville show that night. It’s at the Mason Street Theatre – the star is out for ten days due to the birth of his first child – box office lady said the vaudeville portion of the show would still take place and vouchers offered to all to attend again when star (Frank Olivier) returns. I explained my dilemma (just visiting) and she gave me a comp ticket! (people in SF were so friendly and down to earth – I definitely plan to return soon!). I was so impressed by her gesture that I dropped off a Starbucks gift certificate for her when I came that evening. The show was GREAT! Wildly funny and inventive – like nothing you’ve ever seen. Juggling, fire-eating, puppets and magic but all with a comic twist and lots of intelligent, insightful humor. It’s scheduled to run through end of summer – be sure to go. Had dinner at Ana Mandara in Ghiradelli Square. It’s owned by Don Johnson and Cheech Marin and offers Vietnamese inspired fusion cuisine. My appetizer and salad were excellent – entrée was just okay but I think it’s probably just that halibut isn’t a very distinctive tasting fish and the dish was lightly seasoned. The setting and décor of this restaurant are fantastic – at the very least, stop in for a drink. It looks and feels like a 1940’s era Vietnamese restaurant/building and as though you are sitting in the courtyard – most dramatic restaurant interior I’ve ever seen.
 
Old Mar 18th, 2002, 02:05 PM
  #4  
Owen O'Neill
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Part 3) Up early on Saturday – took bus out to Palace of Fine Arts for a look-see and then took another bus to edge of Golden Gate Bridge. Had a nice leisurely walk across the bridge and then grabbed bus on other side to Sausalito (discovered that I could have walked it – it’s only about 1 ½ miles past end of bridge). Beautiful weather despite predictions of rain. Sausalito is beautiful but no longer has the funky, bohemian atmosphere that I was so naively expecting. Had a Greek salad in the “No Name Bar”, a frozen coffee drink and then took ferry back to Embarcadero center where I saw a movie. Back to hotel to freshen up and down to Mission district for dinner at Alma – a “nuevo Latino soul food” restaurant. Had a phenomenal meal at reasonable prices (appetizer, salad, entrée and side dish totaled $35 with tax – no alcohol or dessert). Off to North Beach to see one man show called “don’t make me look too psychotic”. Got tixket at TIX booth in Union Square and it was worth the time and $$. Very funny show by Bruce Partchman (sp?) – autobiographical material about relationships and family – moving but also wickedly funny. It ends next week after a 64 week run but will then be in Philly for a month. Back to the hotel for well deserved rest and off the next day to home (NYC area).
I used public transportation for all my in city traveling and found it a bit less convenient than NYC subways but still quite usable and efficient. There are more homeless people than on my last trip but if you make no eye contact and do not respond to anything they say it’s not a problem. It’s been a hot topic in this forum and I expected it to be much worse than it is but spending so much time in NYC has gotten me accustomed to just ignoring the occasional crazy on the street. Don’t let the possibility of having to walk past homeless folks with outstretched cups affect your possible plans to come here. It’s a bit more noticeable than in some other big cities but easy enough to deal with if you hold your ground and refuse to interact. In short – this is a great city to visit – nice breezes (sometimes cold at night – dress for this) and friendly people with lots of great restaurants to choose from. I’ll be returning soon…
 
Old Mar 18th, 2002, 03:27 PM
  #5  
kal
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Owen, Sounds like a good time! And nice hotel. We've walked past it before and wondered what it was like. It is a good location. We'll be down there this weekend and may give it a better look-see.

What #star rating did you bid Priceline.com and get the Triton?
The 2 times we used P'line, I think we requested 4 star, and got my fave, The Westin St Francis at $75/night.
The bro-in-law got the it for this weekend also at $75/night.

Agree w/ your homeless prob. evaluation. We've never really been hassled on our numerous trips there even tho we have had to take an occassional detour around a few who were sleeping in our path.
Kal
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 02:16 AM
  #6  
Owen O'Neill
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priceline has added a "boutique" hotel rating that sits in between 3* and 4* on the scale. I specifically wanted to try a boutique property and did not bid on 4* for that reason. Keep in mind that if you start by bidding for boutique you cannot add 4* because it is a higher level. Based on the winning bids appearing for 4* SF in www.biddingfor travel.com, I probably could have gotten a 4* for the same price or less but I don't regret staying at the Triton - it's a terrific property and I hope to stay there again.
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 03:58 AM
  #7  
xx
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ttt
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 06:03 AM
  #8  
kal
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Owen, Thx.
I booked a room in Napa Valley thru P'line for V'tine's Day weekend and didn't even notice that selection.
Mahalo,
Kal
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 07:01 AM
  #9  
Owen O'Neill
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Kal - the "boutique" classification is a new addition to Priceline and I suspect it is available only for certain markets were priceline is able to buy inventory. Due to 9/11 and the growth of boutique properties in the past few years, I'd guess that NYC, SF and Chicago are most likely all on that list but not sure of others are or not.
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 07:42 AM
  #10  
Susan
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Owen, thanks for the great trip report! You gave this local some new ideas! Those shows you caught sounded great, especially the Twisted Cabaret and Pandemonium Vaudeville show. We've recently enjoyed the performers at Teatro Zinzanni and this sounds even crazier. Good work!
 

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