I needed a hotel for the night when we arrived into San Francisco – the plane landed after midnight UK time, and I didn’t want to be driving having got off a plane where I would have been drinking. There were several options, but I was able to pay for the hotel using points, making it effectively a free night.
The hotels in the airport area operate a free shuttle bus from all terminals. We waited about 5 minutes before our bus turned up and were at the hotel in less than 15 minutes – I think we had a plane to airport time of an hour which was a lot less than I had anticipated.
On arrival, the check in lady could not have been friendlier, and we were soon on our way to the room on the 10th floor Executive Level with 600 points as a Platinum welcome. The hotel was very dated, and would have been cool in 1976. The room was fine, and most importantly the bed was comfy.
Opposite the room was the Executive Lounge – the worst example of one I have ever been in. It had a pretty appalling coffee machine and a few tables; still, it was better than nothing!
The hotel also had a pool and a fitness centre. The pool was tiny, but well-used by families. The fitness centre was great, and allowed me to do a bit of a workout. It was about 4am UK time when I was on the treadmill, but I think that it helped to reset my body clock. It is also next to the bay, so you can walk or jog by the water’s edge.
We both woke early and were at the breakfast buffet by 0730. We were not expecting much, given the rest of the hotel, but were pleasantly surprised. We were shown to a table and offered juice and coffee before being let loose on the buffet. There was a ‘make-your-own’ waffle machine, fresh fruit, pastries, 5 types of bread, yoghurt, eggs, home fries and oatmeal to name but a few of the options.
We then got back on the shuttle bus to the airport terminal where we took the air-train round to the car rental centre for the road-trip part of the holiday.
Aesthetically, the hotel will not win any awards, but all the staff were friendly and it was very comfortable. Whilst I would not recommend it as a base for staying in the San Francisco area, it is perfect for a stop-over for one night if you are arriving late or setting off early in the morning.
My top tip is to book into an Executive Level room as this will include the buffet breakfast for free. This is even better when you realise that there were 3 categories of room available for booking with points (King / Twin / Executive) and all were the same price, but only the latter gets free breakfast.