I'm going to San. Francisco with my family (husband & 2 kids (9 and 7) at the end of July. We're on a 2 week vacation and are spending first 4 nights in San Francisco and then hoping to exhange our Marriott Timeshare into Lake Tahoe or similar.
Anyway, your advice would be gratefully received on whether to stay at the Ritz Carlton or the JW Marriott. I have made a points reservation at both, and need to choose. The reviews on here for all the San Francisco Marriott's are quite poor, which steers me towards the Ritz, but I equally am nervous that we won't get a decent room/club access even as Plat. Members as they're less likely to acknowledge that.
I then, have a second question, which is if we can't trade our timeshare week, I was looking at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay. They have a whole week available on points for a:- Guest Hse Firepit, Guest room, 1 King or 2 Double, HMB Golf Course view room. Has anyone stayed in one of these? Or there are options to stay in a Junior Suite with a cash upgrade (I don't think I'd get the 400,000 points by July!) The Guest Hse Firepit is complimentary parking, where as the other options are 45USD a day.
Any experiences, views, words of wisdom you may have will be very gratefully received!
Thanks in advance,
Barbara, I'm not a "seasoned traveler" in San Francisco, but have stayed here and traveled about the Bay area on number of occasions. I've primarily stayed at Marriott and Courtyard Hotels near Fisherman's Warf, which are ideal for touring about this part of town either on foot or cable car. I've also stayed at Courtyard - slightly less expensive - near Giant's Stadium (4th Avenue ?), but this is a bit out of the "downtown" area.
I don't think there are any Marriott hotels in Sausalito, small town across the Golden Gate, but there are a number of B&B's there, if you like that sort of living. No parking fees here, and San Francisco quite accessible from here.
If you drive into San Francisco and park on the street overnight, * observe the street signs - particularly those that warn you of street cleaning. Either you move your auto in the early morning before the cleaners come, or you'll face a fine, have your auto towed, or at minimum your auto will be much dirtier than when you left it!
I'll let others weigh in on Ritz vs. JW, I'm like fschumpert and either stay outside the city and head in, or stay at the Fisherman's Wharf Marriott (w/o car). The Ritz Club lounge is different than the Marriott Concierge Lounge; platinum status does not earn us entrance because the Ritz Club is serving food, beverages, and hors d'oeuvres throughout the day and charges $100 or more for Club privileges, so at least knowing that going in, you won't be surprised or disappointed.
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/5672#5672 Here's a decent link on Lake Tahoe
Enjoy your stay (be careful with Mavericks at Half Moon Bay, I recommend Half Moon Bay Brewing Company instead ).
I recently had a great stay at the JW, and I'd recommend it.
I don't think you'll be disappointed by the JW. I've stayed there a couple of times, and the location is ideal for doing some exploring of SF. You're a block from Union Square, not far at all from Chinatown, and a couple of blocks from the Powell Street turnaround for the cable cars. Make sure to look at the hotel's web page for GPS directions though-- you can NOT use the address that they give for it, since the entrance is on a different street, and SF downtown is a maze of one-way streets.
If you have a difficult time exchanging to Tahoe and are open to a little adventure, you might want to consider taking the train to Salt Lake City and staying at Mountainside or Summit Watch in Park City. We actually prefer Park City over Tahoe for summer mountain vacations and availability should be better. The train ride is very scenic and your kids should really enjoy it.
Thanks for this....we actually went to Mountainside last year Kids loved the pool. We've hired a car already. After SF we've rented a house for a few nights in Sequoia (not sure that's how you spell it), and then 'hopefully' we'll go to Lake Tahoe. Otherwise, I am wondering about handing the car in, flying somewhere in California, and renting a car there then flying back to SF for our flight home. We saw we could exchange into a different resort near Palm Springs, but I think that may be too hot! Decisions decisions. Fingers crossed we exchange into Lake Tahoe.
Here's a thought: For those who would like a taste of the old world, this B&B, located on Highway 1 in the Tamalpais Valley between Sausalito and Muir Beach, was actually built in England, dismantled and brought over to U.S. and erected here. The rooms are small - as are most B&B's - but it has a lovely bar and eating area. It's only a few miles from Muir Woods.
Good luck with your exchange. We were able to exchange into Timber Lodge last year in late June. I made a reservation using DC points initially, but later cancelled it when our exchange came through. Tahoe is really nice, but more crowded than Park City due to the casinos. The resort is conveniently located. It sounds like a great trip.
I just stayed at the JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square and I liked it. The good news is that the Concierge Lounge is open 7 days a week for breakfast, afternoon snacks, nightly appetizers, and desserts. It is a small one though. Here are details from my Marriott Rewards Insider review:
CL weekday/weekend breakfast offerings: fluffy (but soupy) scrambled eggs, no breakfast meat options on any of my days I stayed there, hard boiled eggs, a sweet option each day (French toast or pancakes), soft and bland breakfast potatoes on one day, sliced fruit, bananas, oatmeal, healthy cereal options, a few cured meats including salami, great assortment of bread including dinner-esque rolls, good breakfast pastry options including really good croissants (crispy, flaky, lots of layers, and soft centers), danishes and muffins
CL midday snacks: popcorn, pretzels, mixed nuts, dried apricots, dried figs, oatmeal raisin cookies, gummy bears, sour gummy worms, M&Ms, granola bars, bananas
CL nightly appetizers: good Asian-themed pulled pork sliders on good brioche buns, individually plated tuna tartare with an Asian sauce and sesame seeds, bland and watery macaroni cheese, very good cheese options (brie, sheep's milk cheese, goat cheese, and a really good blue cheese), baguette, crackers, crudite
CL nightly desserts: a variety of changing offerings that were average: cookies, Rice Krispies treats, chocolate mousse tarts, gingerbread
In the future, the San Francisco Marriott Marquis is very family friendly. Their Concierge Lounge is open 7 days a week like the JW Marriott San Francisco and they featured very family friendly food on my visit like fish and chips and corn on the cob (as well as more adult-themed items like beets and arugula salad).
The San Francisco Marriott Marquis is also conveniently located next to a BART station.
I hope you enjoy your stay at the JW Marriott.
If you want to read some reviews try this site http://san-francisco.hotelscheap.org/ . The Ritz Carlton is rated as excellent, the Marriott just with very good. You find hundreds of reviews there.