Arrival/Check-In: After an early-morning transcontinental flight, I drove into San Francisco and easily found the Argonaut. Well-dressed bellmen and valet attendants immediately helped me with my luggage and rental car. It was still early in the day and my room was not yet ready, so I stored my luggage and set out to explore San Francisco. When I returned later that afternoon, I quickly checked in and stopped by the hotel’s complimentary happy hour for a local beer before heading to my guestroom to prepare for dinner.
Guest Quarters: I was worried the nautical theme of the hotel might be a bit campy, but it was quite elegantly done, and the décor was chic, not silly. Design elements I particularly enjoyed were the exposed brick wall, shuttered window shades, a fish bowl with a colorful goldfish happily swimming and the anchor-shaped pillows.
My double guestroom was spacious, with great views of San Francisco Bay. Despite facing the busy Fisherman’s Wharf, noise was not an issue. Across from the two queen-sized beds, separated by a nightstand, were a flat-screen TV on a dresser and a desk. A floor-length mirror sat on the other side of the dresser. The room opened into a hallway, with the bathroom to the left.
Services/Amenities: Unfortunately, my one-night stay did not afford me the option to sample the on-site restaurant, but I perused the menu and certainly wished I could sample the award-winning clam chowder.
I loved the vibe of the lobby, with ample seating options, including loungers reminiscent of a ship deck, offering both comfort and a great design element. Each night, the hotel offers a complimentary wine hour, and it was crowded — obviously a popular feature — on the night of my stay. Meeting and event space is located off of the lobby.
The staff was quick to attend to any need. I called reception for a second luggage rack and it was delivered within minutes, and the text messaging valet system assured my car was ready when I was. A glitch at check-out, when I was handed the wrong receipt, was quickly rectified by an apologetic clerk. My only disappointment was a knowledgeable but not overly friendly concierge. I was hoping for a few more tips and insider information in an effort to make the absolute most of my limited time in the city.
The Experience: To be near the family-friendly Fisherman’s Wharf, there’s no better hotel option. It is also near popular Lombard Street, the world’s curviest street, and Ghirardelli Square and within easy walking distance to other great neighborhoods and sites.
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item check]Separate tub and shower[/item]
[item check=yes]Large vanity[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality towels[/item]
[item check=yes]Powerful, unattached hair dryer[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality bed linens[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, flat-screen television[/item]
[item check=yes]Large desk with convenient outlets[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, complimentary laptop safe[/item]
[item check]Complimentary in-room WiFi[/item]
[item check]Complimentary bottled water[/item]
[item check=yes]Stocked minibar[/item]
[item check=yes]Ample lighting[/item]
[item check=yes]In-room coffeemaker[/item]
[item check=yes]Iron and ironing board[/item]
[item check=yes]On-site restaurant[/item]
[item check]24-hour room service[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center[/item]
[item check=yes]Turn-down service[/item]
Argonaut Hotel, A Kimpton Hotel
495 Jefferson St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
tel 415 563-0800
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
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