We stayed for four nights and would stay here again. Previous poster had negative reviews on the breakfast: you have 3 choices - 1. pancakes or French toast depending on the day. 2. eggs (2) anyway you want it plus one bacon, a little bit of potato hash and toast. 3. Omelette. Plus they have 3 types of cold cereal - corn flakes, raisin bran, and mini wheats; coffee and orange juice. The service was fast and the servers friendly, so not sure why the poster was disgruntled. The breakfast was sufficient for us.
Another poster was concerned about safety due to open windows. The rooms do not come with A/C. I am assuming this is the reason why the windows were open. San Francisco was cool when we were there late June. It never got above 70 deg F and it was colder at night that one night, the heat went on. The inn felt like being at home so we didn't feel threatened by open windows.
The bath tub has claw feet so it can be a hazard for someone climbing in if one has balance issues.
The building is old but wonderfully decorated and very European, esp. the breakfast area (in the basement) which doubles as a French restaurant (Jeanne D'arc) open only during dinner. Like in Europe, the elevator is hand opened. Each floor is named after a French artist: Modigliani, Matisse, Gauguin, etc. and posters/copies of their work decorate the hallways.
The location cannot be beaten: near Union Square, and the Hyde-Powell St. and Hyde-Mason St. cable car turnaround, shopping, and restaurants. The rental car agency (National/Alamo) happened to be just across the street. Market St. is down hill, four blocks if using the BART as well as public transport. The visitor center is at the bottom of the hill as well.
Tip: buy a MUNI pass, which can be bought at the visitor center. We did not have a rental car until the last day when we headed out of town. We bought 3-day passes, each pass /person. Cable car cost per ride, one-way; street cars/buses are /ride, one-way. We used the public transportation to get around the city (very efficient) and rode the cable cars to our hearts content with the passes (all three lines!!). The receptionist will give you a handy map with the streetcar/cable car/bus lines on it. Use this to plan your day. If you have a car, it sounds like the inn has an agreement with one of the garages for a discount.
Why 4 instead of 5 stars: It's an older establishment. The furniture shows it (in our room anyway). The side chair has an iron burn. The room was quite small (there were 3 of us, adults in 2 queen beds). No view from our room except the roofs of other buildings, etc.
All in all, if in San Francisco, I will gladly stay here again and have dinner at the restaurant (/person, prix fixe).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stay in the Heart of San Francisco Discover the charm and elegance of France in the heart of downtown San Francisco at this family-owned and operated hotel, ideally placed within walking distance of vibrant Union Square. Cornell Hotel de France boasts an exceptional location close to many of the city's main points of interest. The theater district as well as the legendary Chinatown can be found only minutes from the hotel. The city's historic cable car system is also easily accessible and provides service to many areas of the city. Originally built in 1910, the Cornell combines old-world charm with today's modern amenities such as wireless internet access. Start the day with a free breakfast at the hotel's on-site renowned restaurant, Jeanne d'Arc. Admire prints of masterpieces from famous artists throughout the hotel. Union Square is a great choice for travelers interested in shopping, restaurants and city trip. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cornell Hotel San Francisco