I recently had a trip out to California and decided I would spend a night in San Francisco before flying back home to Minneapolis. San Francisco has no shortage of hotels, and typically is known for high nightly rates! As a result, I was looking for an option where I could burn some points for a ‘free’ night.
If you read this blog regularly, you can probably guess Hilton points were my currency of choice. These points are pretty easy to earn through credit card bonuses and special offers, so currently I have a good cache to use.
I booked my night at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District pretty last minute, just two days before check-in. Luckily, the hotel had rooms for a pretty decent redemption rate of 49,000 points. Cash rates were in the mid-to-high $200s per night, so I thought this was a good deal.
Pre-Arrival & Check-In
One of my favorite things about Hilton is the ability to check in ahead of time and select a room. In addition, I also like being able to message the hotel through the app with requests and questions.
Prior to arrival, I inquired if any diamond upgrades were available. I was in luck that junior suites were available, and even managed to ask the hotel if I could have a suite with a balcony. They happily obliged, making the 49,000 point redemption feel like it went further in value!
While I could have headed straight to my room and unlocked my door with my phone, I stopped by the check in desk to collect a key. The agent gave me an overview of the amenities at the hotel and also presented me with two coupons that could be used at the bar. These were in lieu of access to the executive lounge (a diamond benefit) which is closed on weekends. I thought this was very generous; more on that in a minute.
I stayed in room 2700, which was on the top floor of the hotel. As I walked to it I was slightly nervous as it was the closest room to the elevators. But I need not have worried, as you will see shortly.
Walking into the room, I could tell this was going to be special. A small foyer led to a larger living room. So much space! A nice sized TV and coffee area balanced out a chaise and coffee table.
But where was the bedroom? Ah, through two sliding doors of course – this is a suite after all! I had not expected the bedroom to be fully separated from the living area, as Hilton’s ‘Junior Suites’ often don’t have more than a partition, and certainly not doors. The bedroom was on the opposite side to the elevator lobby, making it very quiet, especially with the sliding doors closed.
A large king bed that was very comfortable and ample storage graced the bedroom (sorry I didn’t take many pictures of it!)
I appreciated the large bathroom with rain-shower. Amenities were by Crabtree & Evelyn and included a shoe horn (a rare item in my experience!) and sewing kit. Slippers were also provided.
The highlight of this room though was the balcony and view. The room faced towards downtown, and provided excellent views of China Town (where the hotel is located), Sutro Tower, and the city streets. The balcony was shared with another room and separated by a partition. It also featured a couple of lounge chairs which would be perfect on a summer’s night.
Bar and Lounge
With my two coupons in hand, I headed down to the happy hour at the restaurant in the lobby. Each voucher allows for two alcohol drinks (beer or wine) and one appetizer from 5pm-7pm. I think this has to be one of the most generous offers at any Hilton I have stayed at, especially considering this was offered in addition to a full breakfast the next morning.
I ordered a charcuterie board and a cheese plate, which if purchased with cash would have added up to about $30. I washed that down with two glasses of wine, both were tasty. I will say I didn’t enjoy a couple of the meats on the charcuterie board, but that may just be my pallet. In addition, the water provided tasted awful, very plastic-y and like it had been sitting out. I stuck to bottled water for the rest of the trip.
Breakfast was available the next morning in the same area I had enjoyed my happy hour the night before. As a diamond member, I was able to enjoy the full spread of the buffet. Gold members would be able to select from the continental options at the buffett, or pay an upcharge for the full assortment.
There were lots of options available, and I had no trouble filling my plate with bacon, eggs, and some dim sum. Dim sum can be hit or miss in hotels, but I thought this one was pretty good. They also had a juice bar where you could make your own juices, which looked cool.
Service was a little slow at the beginning (to get coffee) but sped up while I was eating.
Wrapping it Up
All in all, I thought this was an excellent stay and a good value for 49,000 points. The happy hour coupons were a very nice amenity, the room was fantastic, and breakfast was good. All in all, I would definitely stay here again!