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The Scarlet Huntington
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Reviews (1,494)
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All reviewsgrace cathedralnob hillbig restaurantinfinity poolspa areapiano barcable carcalifornia streetsteam roomupgraded to a suiteunion squarean upgradeclassic hotelroom servicemark hopkinshotel guestsbeautiful hotel
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Reviewed 27 May 2009

We stayed 5 nights (Sat - Wed) and chose Nob Hill due to the scenic hill location, fairly safe neighborhoods for walking at night, and proximity to the downtown & conference center where we had to be during the day.

While the official nightly rate on the hotel's website or generic searches ranges from $200-300 a night, we had booked our stay through HOTWIRE for a mere $102 a night (definitely a great deal...it was listed as a hotel in Nob Hill near the Grace Cathedral). Another couple with whom we traveled also booked for 5 nights for $105/night. Of note, when they checked in early in the day, their room hadn't been cleaned so they were given a courtesy upgrade and placed in a giant suite which included scenic views and a separate spacious kitchen.

We checked in and were given a standard room (it was an *03, such as 103, 203, 303) - the smallest according to the room layout and located just proximal to the open staircase and elevator. The walls were soundproof and we hardly heard any elevator/stairway sounds. While the room was classically decorated with a desk and sitting area, it lacked a coffee maker (you could go downstairs to the restaurant to purchase coffee for $4.50 or go across the street to the FAIRMONT Hotel's Illy Coffee Shop to get a cup for $4) and was furnished with an older model television. Of note, the coverlet bedspread was worn and had several prominent stains, but as the chambermaid came in nightly to fold up the spread and turn down the sheets (and leave 2 complimentary water bottles), this wasn't too pressing an issue. The bathroom was well equipped with a full bath/shower, thick cotton towels, and a vanity with basic shampoo/conditioner/lotion/cotton balls/and sewing kit. We highly recommend you wrap yourselves in their thick cotton robes! Our room was located on the front side of the hotel, facing the courtyard and Grace Cathedral. It's relatively quiet compared to hotels more deeply embedded in the business district/Market Street area.

Our stay was quite nice, but note the following:
-parking fees in the hotel's underground lot are $40 a night; the attendants briskly pointed to the streets when we inquired about other options
-if you park on the streets, note the colors painted on the curb - white curbsides indicate drop-off zones (i.e. NO PARKING) while the adjacent facilities are open; therefore, you can't PARK in front of the hotel at any time except for loading/unloading...but you CAN park in front of the Grace Cathedral overnight after church hours - HOWEVER, you MUST move your car promptly BEFORE opening hours to avoid being ticketed or towed. EVERYONE says they are quite prompt with the ticketing & towing, so beware! Also, if you choose to park on other streets, check carefully what day the street cleaning occurs (various days, starting at 7 AM), as you can also be ticketed if parking there during restricted hours.
-The neighboring underground lot along the same block charged $47 dollars nightly for parking.
***We found street parking after circling for 30 minutes at 11 PM, but had to get up and move it before 7 AM. We mostly used shuttles/cabs or walked, and only rented a car for two days for farther travel. One night we actually returned the car to the dealership in Fisherman's Wharf and walked 17 blocks up hils back to the hotel at 10 PM - nice 30 minute walk with great workout through relatively safe neighborhoods =)

*INTERNET ACCESS comes at a price:
(1) There is a business center located on the second floor with two desktop computers. They're free to use and have printers at each station, but it's a nail-bitingly slow connection. You can hook up your laptop there, as I saw some guests using it in that fashion. After hours it's locked up, but the front desk can unlock the room for you.
(2) You can pay $9.95 + tax for a 24 hour service of wireless Internet to your room account, but it starts and ends at 1:00 PM. Therefore, when we checked in at 11 PM at night, if we had paid that night for Internet, we would have paid $9.95 + tax for the next 14 hours, and then have had to pay again for any service after 1 PM the next day. We managed just fine waiting for odd hours to use the business center offices and printed our boarding passes out there.

Overall, the location was a safe and easy access site. We walked just a few blocks to catch the Cable Car to Fisherman's Wharf (Powell/Hyde) and walked to Pier 39 to see the Sea Lions. The California St. Cable Car runs in front of the hotel. We were able to spend several hours walking from our hotel to the business district, up to Chinatown, and back through the neighborhoods to the hotel during day hours. We never made it to the hotel restaurant as we sampled food outside (went to House of Nanking, an Americanized/hyped-up but tasty Chinese restaurant in Chinatown...and also went to the Stinking Rose, a GREAT restaurant on Columbus Ave which specializes in garlic dishes - their lasagna and short rib are delicious, and you should definitely try their specialty item, ROASTED GARLIC ICECREAM!).

*NOTE with taxi's and cabs: our understanding was that only the YELLOW CABS are equipped with credit card readers, so for the other taxi cab companies you must have cash to pay for the fare

Enjoy and hope these tips help!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled on business
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5  Thank giselle816
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2009

I had always wanted to stay in one of the Nob Hill hotels and got my chance courtesy of a great deal on Expedia. The Huntington is old fashion and incredibly gracious. My room was huge. While the furnishings were a bit out-of-date compared to a trendy hotel, nothing was chipped or stained as has often been the case when I've gotten a deal on a hotel on this level. My one complaint was that the walls are extremely thin -- I could hear every toliet flush from the room above.

Stayed: May 2009, travelled solo
Thank Callebaut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2009

When I checked into the Huntington, they didn't have any regular rooms left, so they gave me a suite, which was nice. The auxiliary rooms of the suite were amazingly big, and nicely furnished. However, the room as a whole wasn't as luxurious as one might expect, and it felt a little bit dated. The bathroom was nice, all marble, but very small. If that's what the suite was like, I'd imagine the regular rooms would be a bit of a disappointment.

Stayed: February 2009, travelled on business
Thank Lefcourt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2009

I booked the hotel through Hotels.com for a stay in San Francisco for a cousin's wedding. My 18 year niece joined me for the three night trip. When we arrived from the delayed flight our room was ready but not the two beds as requested. We were very tired and accepted the room since it was clean and spacious. The next day we were offered a two bed room upgrade that had a city view! The transition to the new room was seamless.

We took advantage of the gym and free yoga/Pilates classes. Also, we used the complimentary drop off car service. The location was optimal for sightseeing and felt very safe walking at night.
The staff was kind and courteous and answered all our questions. The doorman even walked us to the corner to point us in the right the direction. The cleaning staff was very polite and the rooms were immaculate.

We did not go to the restaurant but heard it was very good and could hear people enjoying the piano bar.
The spa is great but I had enjoyed it from a previous visit! Around the corner to the left, down the hill from the Fairmount is a great coffee shop!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with family
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Thank AlanaZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2009

Since the death of the patriarch of the family owned Huntington Hotel, it seems the pride of the hotel has died as well. We have stayed at the hotel on many occasions - up to four times per year, and have witnessed a steady decline. The rooms are shabby at best, dried food on the furniture, greasy body prints on the bedding, crayon on the armoire, mold along the bathroom windows. The Big Four Restaurant is no longer open for lunch, the first time in sixty years. The attitude of the management is what really takes the cake, the General Manager and concierge/assistant manager gave veiled suggestions that we should stay elsewhere! The Big Four Restaurant is still the only reason to come here, otherwise I would recommend you stay elsewhere. Rumor has it the owners are trying to sell....

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank ShepFalk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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