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  • Evandro Audi
  • "Should we stay at a hotel in Union Square or a Pier hotel?"

Evandro Audi

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Should we stay at a hotel in Union Square or a Pier hotel?

There will be 5 of us in SF, me, my wife and kids(18 & 14). I currently have 2 hotel options: 1 at Union Square (Marriott where I always stay, convenient, close to the stores, cable car etc) and another at Embarcadero, near the Ferry Building (Vitale, trendy hotel, facing the bay...).

Any suggestions?

Thanks

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  • John Sappington

    top answer by

    I think the Hotel Vitale is a better hotel, but it is much more expensive than the San Francisco Marriott Marquis or the Marriott Union Square. I've stayed at the Marriott Marquis, and you can frequently get a good price there, but it's very large and somewhat impersonal. There are good views from the upper rooms and the upstairs bar, although I don't find the bar very appealing. I have not stayed at the Vitale, but I did have lunch there once and I thought it was very good and the hotel has a hip feel and the views are very good. The JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square is more upscale than the other Marriotts, and not much more expensive.

    Hotel rates in San Francisco vary greatly from week to week, depending on the conventions in town and the activities going on in the individual hotel. I would check rates for the time you will be there and see where the best deal is on hotels you find attractive. It's only about a 20 minute walk from Union Square to the San Francisco Ferry Bldg and there are many good hotels and restaurants in that area. Some of my Personal favorites are The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square in a tower room with a view or in once of the larger rooms in the old section overlooking Union Square, The Omni Hotel San Francisco- no real view but an excellent hotel, Le Méridien San Francisco- some view from high floors, The Palace Hotel- no view but a great old hotel. The hotels on Nob Hill have some great views, especially the bay side of the tower of The Fairmont San Francisco and the upper floors of the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins, but it is inconvenient getting up and down the hill to get anywhere.

    Have a great trip.

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  • Kristal Sajasi

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    answered first by

    Hi Evandro,

    I would personally suggest staying at Hotel Vitale, because you can still walk to Union Square but it is away from all the crowds of people. You will also get great views and see more of SF locals in action. It is also a central place to get to the Ferry Building Marketplace, Little Italy, San Francisco Chinatown, SOMA and Union Square. Plus, you'll get a change from what you normally do :)

    You can check out my blog, Eat and Escape, for places to go in those areas.

    Have a great trip!

    -Kristal


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    • Valerie F.

      Valerie F.

      Love your blog, btw! · (1 likelikes)

    • Kristal S.

      Kristal S.

      Aww thank you, glad you like it. I really appreciate that! :) · (0 likelikes)

    • Evandro A.

      Evandro A.

      Kristal, thanks again for your attention in answering my question! I loved your blog, by the way! Will spread the word btwn my traveller friends here in Brazil... Cheers :) · (1 likelikes)

    • Kristal S.

      Kristal S.

      Thanks Evandro I would love that and really appreciate it! Please reach out if you have any questions about where to go or what to eat. · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Hotel Vitale (hotel)
    2. Union Square (attraction)
    3. Ferry Building Marketplace (attraction)
    4. Little Italy (attraction)
    5. San Francisco Chinatown (attraction)
    6. SOMA (neighborhood)
    7. Union Square (attraction)

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  • Chris Holinger

    answered by

    If the goal for your time in SF is shopping, Union Square is a great option.

    Being close to the Ferry Building Marketplace provides access to all transportation options, including ferries that can take you anywhere on the Bay (East, to Berkeley or Oakland and North, to Saulsalito, Belvedere or Tiburon).

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  • Brian Huang

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    answered by

    I lived near the Embarcadero for years, honestly, there's nothing going on at night. You will have to go to another neighborhood when it gets dark. Dinner options is also pretty limited. If you don't mind doing that then staying at Hotel Vitale is great. If you're just in town for a couple of days and really want to do all the touristy stuff with the family and be in the middle of everything then Union Square will be your best bet.

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    • Evandro A.

      Evandro A.

      Brian, Thanks again for your answer! Great to hear from someone "local"! Your suggestions make total sense to me, specially that Vitale is double the price of the Marriott(adn we need 2 rooms because of the kids), I think it will be a no-brainer... Cheers :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Kevin Brennan

    answered by

    Hotel Vitale for sure! The Ferry Building Marketplace area is much nicer than Union Square, as a base.

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  • Valerie Fidan

    answered by

    I'd recommend staying in Union Square. It's very central to all attractions, easy to grab transportation (public, taxi's, and uber). The Wharf is great but it can be very very congested with pure tourists. Just as Kristal mentioned, the Hotel Vitale is a great location. You'll be close to the Embarcadero Center which will take you all along the waterfront, and as far as the Golden Gate Bridge (Embarcadero will turn into Beach street ;) ) I have a lot of fun stuff on things to do in San Francisco on my blog as well: Ramblist.com . I'm originally from there...so please let me know if you'd like any tips/suggestions on anything else for your trip!. :)

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    • Evandro A.

      Evandro A.

      Valerie, Thanks again for your quick answer! Full of nice insights and made it a no-brainer to me specially that Vitale is double the price than the Marriott US, for 2 rooms...Maybe Vitale next time for a more intimate trip only me and my wife! Loved your blog and I'll spread the word btwn my friends... Cheers :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Kevin Beach

    answered by

    JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square is great. More central to the city and still close to the Embarcadero Center

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  • Peter Olfe

    answered by

    Union Square is a bustling, not very attractive part of SF.

    Given your options, I'd definitely take the Embarcadero option.

    You're close enough to the MUNI. That'll take you to the more attractive parts of town, the Mission, the Haight, the Castro, etc.

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  • Cherie Eyer

    answered by

    Hotel Vitale is our favorite and the location is excellent. You can walk to AT&T Park, Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market , boats and Beach! Our Adults kids do like Union Square and a couple of pubs there.

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  • Krista Gray

    Trippy Ambassadors are elite members of the community, hand picked to help you travel better! Interested? E-mail us at ambassadors@trippy.com.

    answered by

    Hi Evandro,

    This is a great question, and finding a hotel in San Francisco can be tricky. The good news is that the city is relatively small, with many sights clustered together. Here are some things to know about each area:

    Union Square

    Union Square is home to most of the large shopping centers. It's pretty chaotic, and not terribly far from some of the more seedy areas, like Market Street Railway and the Tenderloin neighborhood. I typically advise people against staying downtown as it's majorly flocked with tourists and many eateries are closed on weekends, etc. If you do elect to stay in this area, I recommend JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square or Grand Hyatt San Francisco. I've heard awful things about Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco - Union Square and Hotel Whitcomb.

    Ghiradelli Squareimage from examiner.com

    Pier 39 While touristy, this section of the city is on the waterfront and is actually quite charming. In addition to the Pier itself, you'll be close to many main attractions, like Ghiradelli Square, Marina Green Park, Crissy Field and the North Beach neighborhood. Additionally, you'll find that Union Square and Ferry Building Marketplace are a short Uber (or Lyft/Cab) ride away. I highly recommend staying at Argonaut Hotel - A Kimpton Hotel if you choose this area. :)

    Enjoy your time in the City by the Bay!

    Cheers,
    Krista

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    • Evandro A.

      Evandro A.

      Krista, Thanks for your prompt response! Lots of nice insights! I guess I will stay in the US region, specially because, in the end for 2 rooms, the Vitale is exactly double the price of the SF Marriott US... Cheers! :) · (1 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Union Square (attraction)
    2. Market Street Railway (attraction)
    3. Tenderloin (neighborhood)
    4. JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square (hotel)
    5. Grand Hyatt San Francisco (hotel)
    6. Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco - Union Square (hotel)
    7. Hotel Whitcomb (hotel)
    8. Pier 39 (attraction)
    9. Ghiradelli Square (attraction)
    10. Marina Green Park (attraction)
    11. Crissy Field (attraction)
    12. North Beach (neighborhood)
    13. Union Square (attraction)
    14. Ferry Building Marketplace (attraction)
    15. Argonaut Hotel - A Kimpton Hotel (hotel)

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