I'm going to San Francisco for a 9 day business trip and have the option of staying at either the Ritz, or the JW Marriott - both near Union Square and Moscone Center. I'm not familiar with either of these hotels in San Fran but knowing that you can't go wrong with any JW or Ritz, I'm looking for some insider tips.
And, would also appreciate any suggestions for casual, non-tourist restaurants in the city as well.
I prefer the Ritz, their Club Level is tops. Casual dining try the Rose Pistola on Columbus. Fine dining is Gary Danko's...they take reservations 90 days out. The Ferry Market is a must. If you have time, and can get seats, go to Beach Blanket Babylon.....a fantastic off-broadway musical comedy at the Club Fugazy!!
Your right you can't go wrong with either Hotel.
I have 2 dining suggestions.
Fog City Dinner down near the pears. The food is fantastic, I do recommend a reservation but you will love it.
Also the slanted door in the old ferry building on the pier, this one is more hip and trendy but the food is outstanding and the atmosphere is great over looking the water.
Do you know San Fran very well? The Ritz to me is a little more out of the way, although they aren't really that far apart. And while I don't think you'd ever go wrong with the Ritz, for me convenience is worth something.
The JW used to be the Pan Pacific, if you were familiar with it. I've not stayed in it since it's become the JW, but as the PP, it was VERY nice. It's right in the Theater district, a block off of Union Square. I know that area better - lots of restaurants and things right out the front door.
If you're business reasons have you going to the Moscone Center, there is the Marriott almost attached to it. Very convenient, but it's HUGE, and sometimes the size and crowds can get on your nerves. Well, at least mine. And it was undergoing some renovations last time I was there, about 5-6 weeks ago.
Sorry I couldn't be more definitive!
I just stayed at the JW, great hotel but its currently under construction. I recomend the Metreon Marriott on 4th st or the Rennasance on Knob Hill.
If you want Italian, try the North Beach Resterant on Columbus.
Near the Moscone Center, you have to try Buca di Beppo, Great italian family style, old world style resturant. Its accross the street from the West Pavillion building.
Geez, take the points and run. Stay at the JW. SF is expensive and the Ritz is gonna hit hard if you want room service. JW is a little more reasonable.
Food? Scoma's is a good place. Right on the water, behind other places so its not real easy to get to. Always crowded. Not typical tourist place. Excellent food.
McCormick and Kulleto's. Ghiradelli Square. Get a window seat and the view is awesome!! A little pricey but great service and good. BTW, if you want to see Alcatraz, book in advance. No chance of getting tickets once you are there. The evening tour is excellent, especially if the fog rolls in.
ritz is the obvious choice especially considering the "dining room" which is a great restaurant but the last time I checked you don't get points at ritz though the nights count.
if you like crabs, ppq out on clement/25th is the place to go - much better food/value. don't go to the wharf for crabs.
There is a great Dim Sum place in the Rincon Center called Yank Sing. They are only open until 3pm, the food is amazing and once you leave you can walk it off at the ferry building. http://www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com/<</a>/p>
For pretty decent cajun go to Nolas in Palo Alto, amazing jamabalaya and crab cakes, than you can take in the sites and visit the Cantor Art Center at Stanford (they have the largest Rodin collection...outside of Paris...)
In the Union Square area, check out Kuleto's (221 Powell St) or Scala's (432 Powell St). Daily specials at both places are always great. For the best eating in town, the SF Chronicle lists the Top 100 Restaurants at http://www.sfgate.com/food/top100/2007/
I have never stayed at the Ritz but have traveled to San Francisco numerous times. The Marriott is great and as a Plat. member the upgrade was, as always, a treat. We often stay at the Marriott at fisherman'sWharf. Make sure you go to the wharf (cable car will take you) and have an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista-great breakfast there too. It is opposite the turn around for the cable car so you can't miss it. It is a must for every trip. Take the ferry to Sausalito and dine at Angelino's - great Italian. There are so many wonderful restaurants in SF it is hard to go wrong. Enjoy!! It is one of our favorite spots anywhere in the country!
You can't go wrong with either.
As for some of the restaurant recommendations that have been posted, I agree that Scoma's and The Slanted Door are good choices. So are The House on Nanking (some of the best chinese food anywhere), A. Sabella's (seafood) and The Stinking Rose (italian and garlic).
Well I've just returned from the JW & right now it's a disaster with extensive re-building going on (entrance/reception areas on ground floor, queues to check in/out). Also car-parking (valet or otherwise) is almost impossible. If you're going in late Spring it should be completed - otherwise, right now, take the Ritz.
Have never stayed at the Ritz but assume it is more expensive. If you stay at the JW they have a rental car company that will bring the car to your hotel. I think it is Hertz. Make sure you visit the renovated Ferry Building and go to the wine bar to try some nice Ca. wines, cheeses and olives. Lots of neat stores in the building. Take the Ferry to Sausalito, you will not regret it. Eat at the restaurant at the top of the hill in Sausalito. I cannot remember the name but just ask for the restaurant at the top of Sausalito.
If you have time to rent a car drive to Heldsburg.
If you ever get up by the Presidio, over on Chestnut Street is a little bistro called Bistro Yoffi. The food and atmosphere is delightful, with many-a seafood choice as well as some vegetarian and meats selections.
When I went, the service was great, and I love their little garden out back with heat torches for those chilly evenings. I hope you enjoy!
I'd encourage you to try a nice little neighborhood restaurant called First Crush. It's not fancy, but we've had some very nice dining experiences there and--if you enjoy wine--you will love ordering from the various choices of wine flights which will give you at least three wines to be served with your meal.
I've never stayed at either, but you can't go wrong with a JW or the Ritz. The Ritz is on Nob Hill which is more residential and quiet. The JW is close to Union Square, more close stuff close by but more noise and hustle and bustle. I ususally stay at the Stanford Court Renaissance. Try Belden Place for dinner. It's an alley way with many restuarants.
Also, got to the Ferry Building. Shops devoted to food and many good restuarants. Have fun, SF is a great city to visit.