A short weekend stay at the Parc 55 San Francisco, a Hilton hotel, was pleasant. Located near Union Square, the high-rise hotel afforded a terrific view (pictured here) of the skyline, convenience to public transportation, landmarks and conference venues, such as Moscone Center, and overall access to the city by the bay.
Check-in and checkout were a breeze. The room is nicely appointed, with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf coffee brews and tea and a two-cup machine, comfortable bed and decent bathroom, outlets and seating. It’s not the fanciest and the desk space is tight once the ice bucket and coffee trays are factored, though these can always be moved to make room for serious workspace. A mini-refigerator was a welcome addition but may not be available in every room. I was upgraded upon check-in when reserved room specifications weren’t available. The usual amenities were on hand.
The downside to almost any San Francisco hotel stay including Parc 55 San Francisco is the parking, which is valet parking for $76 per night (no self-parking available). This price is high, though standard for Hilton’s and other downtown or adjacent hotels, and the city’s 14 percent tax is part of the cause. Some area hotels offer self-parking — the Grand Hyatt at Union Square, a fine hotel where I’ve also stayed, offers “assisted” self-parking for $39 per night — and many do not, and the Westin St. Francis estimates that downtown’s average overnight Union Square garage self-parking fee is $32.
The lobby-level restaurant offers handy self-serve, buffet or service options for breakfast and a view of the surrounding bustle on the streets. Of course, what’s convenient for guests also makes the location prone to the city’s notoriously aggressive homeless population, so it’s a good idea to hold kids and valuables close and stay alert. San Francisco Police were heavily on patrol during my visit.
San Francisco is a great walking city, Union Square is delightful and I’ve always enjoyed my visits. The Parc 55 San Francisco makes working, networking and dining with friends, colleagues and locals easy and convenient. I did want to see the statue at the public park in Union Square, which was closed to the public to accommodate broadcast coverage of a Chinese New Year parade, and there’s construction in and around the Union Square/financial district area. I didn’t have spare time to explore, but there were some interesting city history-themed exterior reliefs by the valet parking (I’ll try to post pictures on social media) and, oddly, an Alcatraz-themed exhibit making the rounds dominates the lobby, complete with a jail cell, gigantic photos of prisoners and a gun on display. Like the Fairmont Pittsburgh, which I recently reviewed, the hotel’s atmosphere and staff demeanor is relaxed, professional and businesslike. Despite downsides, it’s still a lovely little city on the bay. Staying at Parc 55 San Francisco worked out fine.