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Is the Argonaut a good choice

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Mapua, New Zealand
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Is the Argonaut a good choice

We will be arriving in SFO on April 30th for 5 nights. This is our first visit to SFO so are not familar with the best areas. We are considering staying at the Argonaut and wonder if this is a good choice for exploring the city. We like to be centrally placed, close to good restaurants, shops, sights etc. We are in our late 40's and mid 50's. As we are staying 5 nights we would like a little space in our room. I would appreciate any recommendations. Thanks.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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1. Re: Is the Argonaut a good choice

I haven't stayed there, so someone else will have to tell you about the rooms.

This is at Fisherman's Wharf but not in the most tacky-touristy part. It's all tacky-touristy, but there are degrees, and you can walk to the most touristy parts easily. For instance, it's less than a km to Pier 39 where the sea lions are.

It's close to the west end of the Wharf near Aquatic Park, the Hyde Street cable car turnaround, and the San Francisco Maritime Museum which includes a collection of historic 19th ships at anchor. There are restaurants nearby, the world-famous Buena Vista cafe where legend says the Irish Coffee was invented, shopping, and entertainment. The Hyde Street cable car that stops just outside is the most scenic of all the cable car routes; it goes up a very steep hill where you can look back at the view of the Bay and Alcatraz and pray the cable holds (just kidding), passes the Lombard "crooked street," and then goes through Nob Hill and Chinatown to Union Square.

Fort Mason is a moderate walk to the west, right on the Bay. It was a U.S. Army supply depot until the end of the Vietnam War. Now it is under the National Park Service and the buildings are leased to a wide variety of art, cultural, educational, and other community organizations. There is a vegetarian restaurant at Fort Mason called Greens. The park has historic buildings, open space, and views of the Bay and downtown.

The Argonaut Hotel iself is a historic brick building that was a Del Monte fruit cannery in the early 20th century. It's next to the shopping and entertainment complex called The Cannery. Not to worry about unreinforced masonry in earthquake country; these buildings were refurbished and seismically reinforced when they were converted to their present use.

Mapua, New Zealand
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2. Re: Is the Argonaut a good choice

Thank you for your great and detailed reply.

Tacky touristy is not our cup of tea at all, in fact we usually try to avoid this. While we love the water and like the idea of a sea view we are happy to consider other areas. We are more art gallery type of people. Thanks again

Down Under
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for San Francisco
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3. Re: Is the Argonaut a good choice

What you are describing____ centrally placed, close to good restaurants, shops, sights _____We are more art gallery type of people.

That is Union Square !

Do you have a preference to type of hotel and a budget you are working on.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Is the Argonaut a good choice

Based on the post, I would look at Union Square. It is everything you describe that you want in a location. I would look at some of the newer hotels that could provide a larger room. The older boutqiue style hotels tend to have smaller rooms.

Some suggestions would be (in no particular order):

The Donatello

Marriott Union Square

JW Marriott

Tower Room at the Westin St, Francis

Grand Hyatt

Club Room at the Handlery Hotel

Mapua, New Zealand
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5. Re: Is the Argonaut a good choice

Thank you, our budget is around CAD350.00 per night.

Mapua, New Zealand
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368 posts
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6. Re: Is the Argonaut a good choice

Sorry meant USD350

San Francisco
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7. Re: Is the Argonaut a good choice

With that budget you could also get a suite at the Monaco or Rex. A bit more boutique atmosphere to both.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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8. Re: Is the Argonaut a good choice

If you stay at Union Square, there are many galleries and dealers in fine arts, carpets, etc. within a few blocks. Sutter, Post, and Geary streets between about Powell and Taylor are lined with such places. You'll also be a moderate walk or short transit ride from the Museum of Modern Art at Yerban buena Center and the Asian Art Museum in Civic Center. Other major art museums are farther out in the parks but within easy transit distance.

Which reminds me, if you won't have a car (and we don't recommend it), you can get a transit Visitor Passport for a flat fee that is good for unlimited riding on cable cars, historic streetcars, buses, and metro light rail (does not include BART). The biggest bargain is with cable cars because the fare is $5.00; if you take one cable car round trip and one other trip, that covers the cost of the pass for a day. And if you stay at Union Square (or the Wharf) you will have many occasions to ride cable cars.

http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mfares/passports.htm

Mapua, New Zealand
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9. Re: Is the Argonaut a good choice

Thank you for the great advice. I will check out the recommended hotels.

Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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10. Re: Is the Argonaut a good choice

We drive into San Francisco several nights a year for theater.

Wes has given you some good choices. I will respond with comments on the ones we have used.

My favorite of the list is the JW Marriott. It is a Portman-designed hotel and has gone through changes in ownership, to include Pan Pacific.

It has a gorgeous, soaring lobby, with two fireplaces, an intimate bar, and a mezzanine restaurant, not to mention a fountain with more than life size ladies dancing around it, ala the Monet painting.

The rooms are large and comfortable, with a desk and sitting area and a couple of telephones.....one in the bathroom. (how decadent can you get)

Speaking of which the bathroom is drop dead lovely, with a separate shower from its marble soaking tub and the glass and chrome vanity area which comes with a tiny TV to distract you from your makeup or shaving.

It is within you budget, but not ours all of the time, since we visit the city so often. I watch for specials.

We returned today from a night at the Donatello. We use this quite often because it is very comfortable and we can usually get a "parking package" and hotel parking in SF is outrageous. (we don't have a choice of having a car...if you do have a choice...don't do it.)

This hotel has large 450 square foot rooms with a king bed and a sitting area and a wet bar with microwave, small refrigerator and coffee maker and a minimal crockery and cutlery stash to bring home a snack if you wish. It also has a top floor lounge with free coffee and newspapers and two terraces. Also a fitness center.

The Marriott Union Square is a recently rehabbed Crowne Plaza in a good location a block from Union Square. We stayed there during the rehab and it is an OK hotel. I kind of don't like the public spaces. My opinion.

The Handlery is an older hotel, but nicely rehabbed. The original building has small rooms but charming...think boutique, maybe.

The Club Rooms mentioned by Wes are in a separate modern building separated from the original building by a swimming pool, not really usable in San Francisco weather, unless you are between the ages of two and 12.

The Grand Hyatt is in an excellent location, across the street from a corner of Union Square. Conventions are held here. We almost got locked into an EST session one year because we were too curious and went where we shouldn't go. Rooms are typical convention hotel.

If you do the Westin St. Francis do get a tower room. It is an historic hotel and the rooms in that section are not necessarily what we, tody, think of as acceptable......meaning I got a room there on a light well where I had to turn the lights on all the time....aargh. <grin>

More information than you need, but I hope it gives you a little perspective.

Enjoy your trip.