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!
- 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