Full disclosure: This stay is in conjunction with the Starwood AmEx Stars program I’m participating in, courtesy of the Starwood American Express. They covered the cost of my two night stay at the St. Regis San Francisco. That being said, all opinions expressed are my own. Stay tuned to find out how you can enter to win 50,000 Starpoints, more than enough for two nights at the St. Regis San Francisco.

As part of the AmEx Stars program I had the opportunity to spend two nights at a Starwood property of my choice anywhere in the US. I like San Francisco and have always wanted to stay at the St. Regis, so selected that hotel for this past weekend. As part of the AmEx Stars program I also received two Suite Night Awards, which is one of the new benefits Starwood introduced for their Platinum members back in March. Platinum members with 50 nights per year get 10 Suite Night Awards, which can be used to confirm a suite upgrade five days before arrival. I didn’t earn these last year since I qualified for Platinum status on stays (25 stays or 50 nights are required for Platinum), though this year I’ll be qualifying for Platinum on both stays and nights, so will earn 10 Suite Night Awards.

I decided to apply them to this stay at the time of booking, and it gave me the option of selecting the Astor Suite. I went ahead and put in that upgrade request, and five days before arrival it was confirmed. The morning of my arrival I checked my reservation online, only to find I had been further upgraded to a Metropolitan Suite (this was one of the busiest weekends of the year in San Francisco, which would explain the further upgrade, since the hotel was sold out).


Upgrade confirmed!

Anyway, I arrived at the hotel at around 2PM after making the 10 minute walk from the Grand Hyatt, where I spent the prior night.

The hotel is located off 3rd near Mission, and has a somewhat hidden entrance, as the driveway is on a side street.


Hotel exterior


Hotel exterior


Hotel exterior

In typical St. Regis fashion the lobby was beautiful and elegant without being obnoxious. At the entrance is a sitting area and access to the hotel’s bar. Just past that is the reception and concierge desk.


Lobby


Reception/concierge desk

Check-in was efficient and the agent was courteous. He thanked me for my Platinum status and offered me my choice of amenities. I chose breakfast, which was served in the hotel’s restaurant.

He introduced me to the butler who would show me to my room, Dipika. She was courteous and familiarized me with all of the amenities of the hotel, and also the features of the room. My room was on the 9th floor at the far end of the hallway.


Elevator area

Room 917 and 918 had a common entrance, I assume so that this could potentially be converted into a two bedroom suite.


Room entrance

Much like at the St. Regis Bal Harbour, the suite was stunning. At the entrance was a hallway which led to the living room. The large living room featured a dining room table, couch, and desk.


Hallway


Living room


Dining table


Couch


Couch and dining table


Desk

Near the desk was the door to the bedroom, which featured a super-comfortable king size bed.


Bedroom

Dipika showed me the console next to the bed, which controlled just about everything in the room, from curtains to the temperature.


Bedroom

The one disappointing aspect of the suite was the view. Being on the 9th floor, you don’t get the amazing views that San Francisco is famous for. The hotel takes up the first 20 floors of the building and the floors above that are private residences, so I suspect in general the hotel doesn’t have amazing views (though the views are probably substantially better from the 15th-20th floors).


View from the bedroom

The hallway between the bedroom and entrance led to the bathroom, with a vanity mirror near the entrance.


Hallway


Vanity mirror

The bathroom was stunning, with a large soaking tub, double sinks, toilet, and shower with excellent water pressure and temperature control.


Bathroom


Bathtub

The one aspect of the bathroom that cracked me up was the bathtub menu. Anyone have, oh, $1,650 to drop on Krug and caviar?


Bathtub menu


Sinks


Shower


Toilet

One of the “signature” St. Regis features is complimentary coffee and tea any time via the butler service, so upon arrival I ordered some English Breakfast tea, which was delivered within 10 minutes.


Complimentary tea

As I mentioned earlier, I selected breakfast as my Platinum amenity, which was served in Vitrine, located on the 4th floor of the hotel. I received continental breakfast for free, which consistent of juice and coffee/tea, pastries, yogurt, and cereal/oatmeal/granola.

I thought this was a fair interpretation of “continental breakfast,” and it was both high quality and delicious. The service was also excellent, and I didn’t even have to sign anything after presenting the voucher.


Vitrine Restaurant entrance


Vitrine Restaurant


Vitrine Restaurant


Continental breakfast


Granola (which I had the second morning in place of oatmeal)

The hotel’s gym is located on the 5th floor, and has modern equipment. Since the gym was only on the 5th floor the views were lacking compared to other hotel gyms I’ve used.


Gym


Gym

The hotel’s pool is located on the 6th floor across from the spa, and was quite nice.


Pool

On the whole this is a really awesome hotel. The service was excellent across the board, so I’ll share one more example from check-out. In addition to the associate asking the usual “how was everything with your stay?”, she also asked “when will we see you again?” and shook my hand as I left. I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen before, and thought it was a nice touch.

That being said, this hotel is consistently very expensive, and rarely dips below $400-500 on a published rate. During busy weekends that’s probably in line with other hotels, though during slower times that seems expensive. I’d say it’s a good use of points if you can get the 5th night free or get cash & points (though the hotel rarely releases the latter, in my experience).

This is definitely the nicest hotel I’ve stayed at in San Francisco, not factoring in the price. The $400-500 rate would be out of my budget under almost all circumstances, though I wouldn’t rule it out on points or for a very special occasion. Stay tuned, as later today I’ll be launching the giveaway for 50,000 Starpoints, more than enough for two nights at this hotel.

  1. October 8th, 2012 at 11:19 am

    blueline7 said,

    Thanks so much for the review, Ben. Looks like a fabulous suite (not in the W sense lol…).

    Wanted to ask you, when shown the room and brought tea by the butler, do you tip her? I would feel compelled to, but would not be happy about it…

  2. October 8th, 2012 at 11:24 am

    lucky said,

    @ blueline7 — I did indeed. It’s one of the “necessary evils” of the butler service since in any country where tips are customary it’s expected when they show you the room, I think. And being shown your room is a standard St. Regis service, so…

  3. October 8th, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Jeff said,

    Feels very homely.

  4. October 8th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    JetAway said,

    @Jeff-”Homely?” Perhaps so. I thought Lucky’s suite looked like a model apartment in a condo development. I really don’t like wood floors in a hotel room.

  5. October 8th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    John said,

    I think it is one of San Francisco’s nicer newer hotels. Al Gore owns a condo in the residences section.

  6. October 8th, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    beachfan said,

    Normally I don’t bother with hotel restaurants, but the restaurant at the St. Regis, Ame, is outstanding. Same chef as at Terra in St. Helena.

  7. October 8th, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    thrashsoundly said,

    So this trumps the SF IC?

  8. October 8th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    lucky said,

    @ thrashsoundly — Tough to say. The IC is much more in my price range and as an RA the treatment is phenomenal. In absolute terms is the St. Regis nicer? Yeah, it’s a higher end property so I’d say it is. Is it a better value if paying? Probably not.

  9. October 8th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Rasputin said,

    that shower does look good.

  10. October 8th, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    LTL said,

    Awesome! I’m actually staying there next week (work is paying!) so this is a nice little preview. I’m a lowly Gold member with SPG; any tips or tricks to score an upgrade? (I know the gold benefit is not supposed to include an upgrade to a suite, but still…?)

  11. October 8th, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    lucky said,

    @ LTL — Toughie. Be nice at check-in and hope they’re full? Certainly can’t hurt to ask about the possibility of an upgrade at check-in, though that’s about the extent of it, unfortunately. Good luck and enjoy your stay!

  12. October 10th, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Boraxo said,

    We enjoyed the same suite (using a free night) at the St. Regis a few years ago, except on a lower floor. Personally I’d rather have a gorgeous suite than a view in a room that I use mostly for sleeping. Regardless, it is one of the top properties in SF, and great location.
    That being said, I wouldn’t accept anything free from Amex. They deserve WalMart and vv.

  13. October 11th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Gene said,

    The most disappointing part had to be no Shehani, Regina, or Luis!

  14. October 11th, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Gene — YES!

  15. October 13th, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Jonathan said,

    Nice review. I pass by this hotel every time I go to work. I always wonder what is what like to stay there. You eat a lot. That breakfast should be for two people.

  16. October 14th, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Jonathan — The breakfast *was* for two people…

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