Service at this AAA Four Diamond-rated property was consistently excellent.
|Hotel front entrance|
Our room, 1529, was lovely and had obviously been recently refurbished. Its high ceiling gave an additional feel of spaciousness. The guest room had all the usual amenities – flat-screen TV, desk/workspace with both wired and wireless Internet access, iron and ironing board, safe – plush bathrobes waiting in the closet (no need to make a special request) and an increasingly rare minibar. The room also had a Nespresso coffee maker instead of the all-too-common mini-Mr. Coffee, which is an upgrade provided in the Signature level rooms.
The large bathroom had a lovely marble floor, tub and shower combination, lighted magnifying mirror (which we aging Boomers appreciate more with each passing year) and high-end amenities.
An additional perk provided to Omni Select Guest® loyalty program members of even the lowest tier is complimentary, freshly brewed coffee delivered to the room in the morning at a time of the guests’ choosing. Pastries can be added for a modest cost, and are included without a delivery charge.
The Omni San Francisco also has a pay-as-you-go business center, and a FedEx office is less than a block away for those who need additional services.
Staff was helpful to a fault
When I booked our reservation, I chose a room that was described as having a “city view.” The room we were given had a view of the hotel’s courtyard and the Transamerica pyramid a few blocks away.
When I inquired at the front desk the next morning, an attendant told me they had given us “a room in the back” because I had also requested a “quiet room” using the “special requests” field on the website. The “city view” rooms faced California Street and the sounds of the city’s famous cable cars that pass in front could readily be heard. In addition, I was advised that the Omni is not generally considered a “view hotel” – understandable considering that it is in the heart of the financial district – so we had not been deprived of a spectacular view in any case.
Kudos to the staff for endeavoring to meet my request. Although I wouldn’t have minded the sounds of the cable cars, which don’t run late into the night in any case, I should have said something upon entering the room and finding it different than what I expected.
Specific to meeting expectations, I was disappointed by the size of our room.
The Omni’s web site described the size as “385 square feet” based on the common industry practice of stating the total area allotted for the room before it is sectioned into sleeping space, bathroom space, closet and hallway. Accordingly, the actual living space in most hotel rooms will be smaller than advertised. How much smaller varies greatly from one property to another.
Our room at the Omni over Christmas was considerably smaller than our room at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego about four weeks earlier, even though The Del described its room as 325 square feet, some 60 square feet smaller than our room at the Omni.
|Workspace in guest room|
By my measurements, the living area in our room at the Hotel del Coronado measured about 275 square feet, or about 85 percent of the area advertised.
When I worked in the hospitality industry, our mantra was, “Under-promise and over-deliver.” In my estimation, the difference between advertised and actual livable area is significant and misses that mark rather dramatically. Omni corporate would do well to adjust their representations and better manage expectations.
Bob’s Steak and Chop House, the on-site restaurant and aforementioned bar, was excellent but a little pricey, even for San Francisco. There are plenty of other places within easy walking or cabbing distance, though, so choices are usually abundant; just not on Christmas night.
All things considered, I would recommend the Omni San Francisco for its service, location, and amenities. The only travelers I’d recommend book somewhere else are those who are dead set on having a view from their room.
Photos credit Carl Dombek unless otherwise indicated
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