San Francisco! What hotels/neighborhoods are your favorites in the San Francisco/Oakland area? I'm interested in seeing baseball games, a college soccer game in Belmont, and using public transit when possible.
My favorite hotel in San Francisco is the Stanford Court Renaissance. It is in Nob Hill in a converted and refurbished old building with beautiful period architecture. The surrounding area is very hip and historic. See http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sfosc-the-stanford-court-renaissance-san-francisco-hotel/ for details. It is next to the "trolley" line that can take you about anywhere including down to the pier and is within walking distance of China Town but you must like hills since the walks around there are all up and down and a wee bit strenuous unless you are in good walking shape. It is very interesting. Plus they have a good restaurant and you are near a lot more good restaurants.
I would AVOID the Marriott Marquis downtown and opt for the Rennaissance Nob Hill The Marquis was completely impersonal (which makes sense since it is a big convention hotel), other than a separate check-in line, really didn't care about Platinum status. Lounge is a joke - too small, too crowded and poor food selection. Does not have hot oatmeal - when I inquired about the oatmeal (I thought that was a Bill Marriott mandate), they showed me the envelopes of instant oatmeal. Not sure about you, but if I wanted instant maybe I would stay at the Fairfield... oh, wait even some of them have hot oatmeal..... staff indifferent in lounge. First night was given a really bad room and when I inquired about this, I was told they could move me the next day to a "suite". Since I was there for six nights, it sounded like it was worth the hassle. Packed up the next morning and left baggage with bell stand. When I came back, I was given the exact same room on a higher floor. And to top it off, the windows were so filthy they were almost opaque. (can't figure out how to import the photo) When I inquired the answer was that there was a big convention in town and this was as good as they could do. Now, I am the first to be fine with the room reserved if there are no rooms left for upgrade, BUT, if you promise / offer an upgrade and I go throught the hassle to move, I would at least like someone to make a better effort to make things right. All in all, a big mistake staying at the Marquis (good location for Moscone and downtown) and I will definitely stay at the Rennaissance next times. Hope this helps Restaurants to not miss: Tartine Bakery Bar Tartine Tadich Grill