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Hotel Reviews

-  U.S.A -

HTL 587  

San Francisco, CA

My wife and I just went to San Fran for a little break and a long overdue family visit. After hunting around on Airbnb and Google I found this hotel on Tripadvisor. To be honest I really wasn't expecting much as it was less per night than most of the Airbnb places and this is after all San Francisco, a great city known for many wonderful things, cheap hotels not being one of them.
We drove up from LA which was fine but parking in SF can be tricky. Htl 587 has a deal with a parking structure just around the corner so we could pull up outside the front door, unload the bags and while I parked the car the Mem Sahib checked us in. 
This is one of those classic San Fran apt buildings that someone got hold of and spent a considerable sum bringing it up to date but without losing the old charm.
The room was comfortable and perfectly adequate, no AC but there was a ceiling fan, they did tell us that the AC is coming as I imagine in the height of summer it could get quite toasty but at least its in the pipeline.
Beds were very good, Smart TV, Wifi, in-room coffee and tea, all the usual stuff.
The main reason for the great price ($124.00 per night) is the location. It's in an area known as the 'Tenderloin', not exactly the most exclusive area of the city but by no means the worst, it's what you might call 'up and coming'. There are quite a lot of homeless people hanging about and there was a bit of noise from the street at night but it didn't go on too late. I had no problem with the area at all and as it's only a ten or fifteen minute walk to Union Square, Chinatown or Nob Hill, its a great central location for walking around the city.
It's also within walking distance of Jane's coffee shop and the incredible Swan Oyster Depot, an absolute must for any lover of seafood.
I highly recommend this hotel and will certainly stay there again in the future. It's not the Four Seasons but with the money you'll save you can afford a nice meal for two at one of SF's many wonderful culinary institutions. Enjoy.

Fairmont Hotel

San Francisco, CA

We stayed here a while ago for our wedding anniversary and I must say we had a splendid time.  This hotel is a San Fran classic, It's more or less at the top of Nob Hill, so the the walk into Chinatown and down to Market street  or the wharf is dead easy. The walk back is a very different story. I highly recommend getting the tram to take you back up the hill. Apparently, in Victorian times when the trams were built, they were deemed unfit for ladies to travel in and were for gentlemen only , I suggested to my dear beloved that we adhere to this tradition but was met with a look that sadly I've met many times before, and so I paid the $5 for two tickets and tried to change the subject.

Inside the hotel, which is an enormous building, over 600 rooms in 55,000 square feet, there is a rather fabulous tiki bar known as the 'Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar' recently made famous by the highly entertaining Anthony Bourdin in one of his many tv shows. It's by far the biggest tiki bar I've ever seen and the food is really not bad at all, especially after a selection of rum based cocktails...

Staff at the hotel are a joy and very attentive, it really does feel like an old school classy joint of a place, and its in the city by the bay, fantastic.


Ashland, Oregon

We chanced upon this place on our way to Portland, it was getting late and we decided to stay in Ashland overnight. My wife started calling around a few places and everyone recommended this one. For the price quoted I wasn't expecting much but we were very pleasantly surprised. A very nice young man called Daniel booked us in and recommended a fantastic cafe for breakfast 2 blocks away. The room was spotlessly clean and the bed was very comfortable. We had a good night’s sleep and a lovely breakfast. I would come back here in a heartbeat, I highly recommend it.

Bacara Resort & Spa

Santa Barbara, CA

We first went to Bacara as part of a large party to celebrate a friend’s wedding anniversary and fell in love with the place. It’s on the beach just north of Santa Barbara and it’s the kind of place you never want to leave. We had a wonderful time and the hotel staff were great and thankfully our friend paid for everything, Outstanding!

A couple of years later I took my wife back for a surprise visit to celebrate our own anniversary and no I didn’t invite our friend or anyone else, bugger that, this place is not cheap. It is however, one of the best hotels I’ve ever been to. It’s the little things, the small details that make all the difference and the way the staff treat you like you’re one of the rich folk that probably go there every other week, they’re not discriminating, they’ll take anyone’s money! The main restaurant, there are a few, is one of the top ten restaurants in California, which is quite an accolade. Needless to say, we had a fabulous anniversary and I was in good standing for several weeks with the dearly beloved. Unfortunately we had to live on Ramen noodles and tap water for the rest of the year, but it was worth it.

Renaissance Warehouse District Hotel

New Orleans, LA

In many ways, I think New Orleans is the greatest city in the U.S. It really is quite unlike any other city, certainly in the U.S, and if you’ve never been I suggest you get there as soon as you can.  I’ve been here a few times but this particular visit I stayed at the Renaissance in the warehouse district. When you first walk in the carpet is a little distracting but once you’ve recovered from that everything gets better. I was here for ten weeks so first thing was to get rid of the mini-bar and fill up the fridge with my own stock, that will save a considerable sum over the course of my stay.

There are two things about this hotel that I have to mention.

Firstly, the location. Just about perfect as it’s a very short walk to Cochon and Herbsaint, truly outstanding restaurants both, its almost next door to WINO, (Wine Institute of New Orleans), a wonderful wine bar just down the street and is close enough to walk to the French Quarter but far enough to be able to the drunk tourists.

Secondly, and most importantly, the staff. When I left after the gig was over I felt compelled to write a letter to the management to tell them what a great job they’d done hiring their excellent staff, they couldn’t have been more professional, helpful, charming, considerate and fun. I even bumped into a couple of them in a bar one night and we all ended up with horrendous hangovers the next day but there they were first thing in the morning, all smiles and sheepish grins, all very good, well done team!

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