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“Despite Some Difficulties, Still a Dynamite Place to Stay”
Review of Harbor Court Hotel

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Harbor Court Hotel
Ranked #55 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Forestville, California
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 213 helpful votes
“Despite Some Difficulties, Still a Dynamite Place to Stay”
Reviewed 9 April 2012

We had a rather rocky beginning to our 2-night stay. Arriving about 90 min. prior to the standard check-in time, our room wasn’t ready yet, but we were able to take care of the paperwork (inc. surrendering our lodging certificate), leave our car with the valet ($42 per night plus tax) and have them store our luggage while we went to walk along the Embarcadero. The front desk clerk assured us that we would be called as soon as the room was ready and that the 3 p.m. check-in time was guaranteed. We had a nice walk including a stop at the Ferry Building for some great clam chowder with Bay view at Ferry Plaza Seafood. But it became 3:30 and still no call from the Harbor Court, so we walked back to the hotel only to find that our room still wasn’t ready (so much for the “guaranteed” check-in time). The reception clerk (a different one than had originally set up our account) asked for the lodging certificate that we had already given to the first clerk. He then went to check on things and disappeared for at least 15 min. He returned but didn’t talk to us (odd), but had another clerk signal us that our room was ready. Once again we were asked for our lodging certificate! At that point I was thinking “if one more person asks me about this, I’m gonna slap them”! I must say that all 3 clerks we dealt with were very congenial and polite, but the hotel really needs to train their staff a little more carefully about details. Fortunately, the rest of our experience at the Harbor Court turned out to be quite enjoyable.

I’d requested a high floor in a quiet area and our room (#726) was on the next to the highest floor in the building. Our King Bay View room was one door from the end of a long hallway and a distance from the elevators--which made it a very quiet location. 2 narrow windows provided a truly magnificent view directly out the Bay and the Bay Bridge. The view was so enchanting that we left the shades up at night so we could look out and see the lights of the Bridge. As expected in an historic building, the room was relatively small (about 200 sq. ft.) but with the far wall covered mostly by mirror, it was bright and had the illusion of being more spacious. Altho’ the Embarcadero was directly below us, the traffic at night was minimal and the sounds were nearly eliminated by the double windows. No window screens were present to intrude upon the beautiful views.

Our room’s contemporary decor was attractive with colors of gold, chocolate and blue/grey. All was very clean and tidy. The king bed with cozy down comforter felt good, but I found that my back was fairly sore each morning. Room amenities included: (2) phones, clock radio/iPod dock, wall-mounted Philips flat panel TV, a small desk and chair (convenient outlets were located above the desktop), honor bar/frig. which doubled as an end table, ice bucket and 2 wine glasses, iron and ironing board, umbrella, (2) cool leopard-print robes (I was VERY tempted to buy one for $90), and free Wi-Fi if you join “Kimpton In-Touch Club” (which is also free). Storage was pretty minimal with limited space for hanging clothes in the armoire and only 1 luggage rack. There were 2 built-in drawers under the bed. We had to leave some of our stuff on the floor under a window due to the lack of storage space. I never did figure out how to reprogram our room’s thermostat, but the temperature remained comfortable throughout our stay with only the fan on.

Our bath was small but efficiently laid out. It had polka dot wall paper (fun!), white tile flooring, a long narrow storage shelf, pedestal sink, and a large mirror. The lighting and ventilation were good. Water pressure and temperature control in the combo shower/tub (with adjustable showerhead spray) were both fine.

I did miss having an in-room coffee maker altho’ coffee was available in the guest lounge--a spacious and inviting area with fireplace and plenty of varied seating.

A few negatives (other than the check-in difficulties): A small tear at the bottom of a sheet, a leaky coffee cup, disappointing low quality wine at the wine reception with the meager pretzels and snacks gone a half hour after the reception began and never replenished, and an empty dispenser of citrus water in the Lobby which had run out by early afternoon and hadn’t been refilled. Again, more attention to details is warranted.

It was exhilarating to walk out the doors from the hotel lounge and find ourselves right at the Embarcadero with the Bay just beyond it. The location of the Harbor Court was really ideal for us since we loved being able to leave our car and walk everywhere, exploring along the Embarcadero (inc. Embarcadero Center and the Ferry Building), the Financial District, historic Jackson Square area (which has some of the original Barbary Coast buildings), Chinatown and North Beach. These areas represent a photographer’s paradise! Coit Tower was close enough too, but we didn’t venture up there this time. Wonderful restaurants also abound, some literally just steps away: Ozumo (adjacent to the hotel), Perry’s (good spot for hearty breakfasts), Waterfront Restaurant (lunch with a view), One Market, Boulevard (always excellent), and the Slanted Door (consistently great). We had dinner at the latter 2--restaurants I never, ever tire of.

Following our 2 night stay at the Harbor Court and after absorbing as much of the wonderfully eclectic area as we could, we went home feeling content and rejuvenated!

Room Tip: Ask for a room on a high floor. And Bay view rooms are truly worth the extra cost!
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank Forestvillian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (353)
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English first
San Francisco
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2012

The Harbor Court Hotel is right across the street from the San Francisco Bay, and rooms on the Bay side of the property have amazing views of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, and there is usually some cool Burning Man art also directly across the street along the embarcadero. Before moving back into the city, this was one of my favorite stays in San Francisco. Now, every now and then my lady and I will head down for a "stay-cation". The staff has always been friendly and courteous. Coffee in the am is perfect, and the reception in the evening is a great opportunity to sit down and enjoy the fireplace and people mingling. Grab a little dinner in one of the MANY restaurants (there are multiple options within walking distance, or grab a cab and head to "Street" on Polk). If the Giants are in town, its a reasonable walk or a short Muni ride down to the ballpark.

There are a couple things about this property which are unfortunate. The inside rooms which are not overlooking the bay, well, there is no reason to open the curtain, and your experience will be better if they remain closed. Second, the $50+ per night parking has just never set right with me. Overall the rooms are tastefully done, and we have always enjoyed a good nights sleep here. There is no hesitation to go back, only fingers crossed for a bay view room :)

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Duke_Ironstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2012

We stayed at the Habor Court hotel for three nights in February. Great location but the hotel has some strange deficiencies. Our room on the third floor overlooked the airconditioning system and another building instead of San Francisco Bay one street away. The hotel has no restaurant and offers only coffee and tea in the morning - you have to go out and scavange the surrounding streets for a bagel and at the weekends little is open. Gym facilities are offered next door at the YMCA which has a (usually empty) restaurant - so why not allow Harbor Court guests access to this facility too? Still, this hotel is well run, has a good front desk and good value. But with minimum extra effort and cost (eg buying in croissants each morning) it could do better.

Room Tip: Ask for one overlooking the Bay
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank robin k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2012

This hotel is absolutely perfect, until I tried to go to sleep. The staff are wonderful, the location is excellent, the rooms are cozy but nicely decorated. But avoid the rooms on the 03 and 05 series! The noise is a rumbling vibration that is really unbearable. I asked to move from an 05 room and was given an 03 room! Oh well, they tried. I might stay here again but I would pay extra for an outside facing room.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank flaggster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, NY
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2012

This hotel is a gem. The location is really great. It is on a relatively quiet block (Steuart St; there is a 2nd entrance on Embarcadero) very close to the Ferry Building and the Financial District. The staff is very helpful, and there are many restaurants on the block. The rooms are incredibly small, but very comfortable. Overall, I highly recommend the Harbor Court.

The rooms may make you feel claustrophobic, it is true. We had a Bay View king room, so the bed was big, the light was good and the panorama of the Bay Bridge and beyond was fantastic. (I saw that interior rooms were dark, but they looked fine if you don't care about the view. Queen rooms were even smaller.) The furniture and bathrooms were quite comfortable. Very nice bathroom products. I didn't mind being in the small room because it was all so nice.

The hotel employees were quite friendly and helpful with advice. The cleaning staff was warm and worked efficiently. The YMCA next door is a nice gym option; my hotel rate included gym use, but you may have to pay.

The lobby is very cozy, with a warm fireplace and wi-fi service. I truly enjoyed coming back each day to the hotel, and just hanging out in the lobby. I was on a work trip, and I was able to do work there as did several others most of the day. There is water all day, a.m. coffee, a wine happy hour, and cookies at night.

The neighborhood is really coming up and cool. You can quickly walk to Market St. There are nearby Starbucks, Walgreens, and restaurants catering to workers in the area. The restaurants on the block are a bit expensive but good. Perry's for breakfast (the only real option) is not too pricey, and the food was much better than expected (it looks like an old bar from the outside). Ozu is a solid and fun sushi spot (if evidently not really Japanese).

I would certainly return to this hotel. The usual Kimpton pluses were on display. If you are on business or get a good deal (perhaps on weekends -- the place is quite expensive during the week), the Harbor Court is a great stay.

Room Tip: Choose a Bay View for fantastic sights and great light. The other rooms are dark but seemed fine.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank FlySwim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Harbor Court Hotel

Property: Harbor Court Hotel
Address: 165 Steuart Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-1206
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > SoMa , South Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#16 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#21 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#50 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#54 Green Hotel in San Francisco
Price range (per night): ₹ 14,182 - ₹ 36,642
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Harbor Court Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 131
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Harbor Court Hotel, a stunning boutique hotel on the San Francisco waterfront, features unobstructed views of the bay, the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island. The spectacular location is complemented by the hotel's luxurious and stylishly designed rooms. Adjacent to a state-of-the-art YMCA (open to guests), the Harbor Court Hotel is within easy walking of the Ferry Building Marketplace, the Financial District, AT&T Park, the Moscone Convention Center, Union Square and North Beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kimpton San Francisco

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