Mandarin Oriental - San Francisco Mandarin Oriental tops San Francisco high-rise
Sharon Stone, Nicole Kidman, Jerry Hall
Reason to Stay:
Best views in SF, 56th-floor patios, Downtown convenient
Preferred Room:Bay-to-Bay King
Special Features:Skyliner Views, Frette Linens, Sedan Service
Amenities:Restaurant Bar Lounge Gym Ranked Concierge Large Rooms
The streets of Sansome clear on weekends, leaving the sidewalks to be dusted by billowing newspaper pages and coffee cup sleeves. But like a film set suddenly on queue, weekdays turn the area into a vibrant scene of briefcases and business suits. If you drive too fast, one can miss the almost secret entrance of the Mandarin Oriental. A timid doorman swings the tinted lobby doors open as guests are transported into a slightly dated but luxurious world of chain-hospitality. The lobby is a relic of another time with Oriental tapestries and lacquered furnishings ornately creating a non-minimalist decor - think Crystal Carrington.
The best staffed hotel in San Francisco, check-in takes seconds before guests make their way to the two elevators that service the hotel, that begins on the 38th floor, but require patience to finally open and going in your direction. Sky bridges that overlook the Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay Bridge adjoin all rooms, creating one of the most spectacular views seen in modern hospitality. For weekday stays, the Mandarin Oriental offers the best room and view in the San Francisco area rivaled by none. Weekends present a slightly less accommodating scene as most restaurants; shops and facilities are closed in the Financial District, although Union Square and Embarcadero are all open within walking distance.
With only 154 rooms and 4 suites, the Mandarin Oriental is the city’s smallest five star hotel. The rooms all feature views of either the city lights or bay. Bay-to-Bay rooms offer sweeping views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges from a modest seating area and subtle 260-Frette linen beds. Visitors should beware of entry-level rooms closest to the elevator, a hodgepodge architecture of one window and plush King –size bed with entry area closet that has too few hangers when unpacking even an overnight bag and just two 9-inch drawers under a bench or the TV for storage. The bathroom features minuscule Molton Brown toiletries and granite flooring with brass hardware that could use a good updating. A recent upgrade included mostly top-level suites like the Oriental Suite with over 1500-sqaure feet of posh city pad with additional 2,000-square feet of dramatic bay-view outdoor space that could be the best in the city if decorated with something other that a synthetic rattan bench and 4-seater table.
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