Tried & Tested

Hotel Check: Radisson Fisherman's Wharf

30 Nov 2012 by ScottCarey7

Background Formerly housing a Travelodge, Radisson spent upwards of $32 million to convert this waterside property over ten years ago. Please note that in the US the Radisson brand is different to the Radisson Blu brand people will be more familiar with throughout Europe, although both are owned by Carlson.

What’s it like? The lobby is starting to look tired, with the dark glass meaning there is a lack of natural light and the furniture isn’t particularly inviting. When I first entered the hotel this area was very busy, I think there was a conference in the hotel and there was a school group milling around.

I approached reception and was told that check-in was not until 1600, but that they would hold on to my bags while I explored the nearby Fisherman’s Wharf area. There is free wifi in all areas of the hotel and I was given a password at check-in.

Where is it? Located right on Fisherman’s Wharf, the popular tourist district of the city located on the North Eastern tip of the city by the water. Popular tourist destinations Pier 39 and Alcatraz landing are both short walks away and there is plenty to see and do all the way around the bay. There are the Mason and Hyde cable car stops nearby which run downtown as well as multiple Muni bus stops which will take you throughout the city.

Room facilities There are 355 rooms with some having private balconies and views of the bay. I had a courtyard room with a balcony, overlooking the swimming pool and some of the Wharf, with all the hustle and bustle that comes with an area dedicated to tourists. However there was little noise at night.

All rooms overlooking the pool have a balcony, with sheet metal walls surrounding them, although mine could certainly have done with a clean as it was covered in bird droppings. The balcony furniture was two plastic wicker chairs and a small table.

I was in a twin room, with two large beds, lots of pillows and a thick duvet. The room felt a little cramped and measures out at 28 sqm. The bathroom was small with a shower in the bath. The colour scheme is dominated by purple and green, with Golden Gate Bridge motifs recently being incorporated to celebrate the landmark’s 75th anniversary. This includes photographic murals of the bridge behind the beds.

There was no main light so I had to rely on lamps and natural light in the room. There are 37 inch LG flat-screen TVs with plenty of cable channels. There were two bottles of water waiting on arrival and there is an iron, ironing board, coffee machine, safe and hairdryer provided. Check out is at noon.

Restaurants and bars 

The hotel doesn’t have a restaurant or bar but a branch of the Johnny Rockets diner chain is attached to the hotel and serves breakfast. It is typical diner fare, famed for its burgers and milkshakes. There is also an International House of Pancakes (iHop) located adjacent to the hotel which is good for breakfast, however I didn’t visit either of these branches during my stay. There is a small grab-and-go cafe in the lobby doing self serve coffee, drinks and snacks.

There is a good selection of restaurants located nearby at the bay and the surrounding area, including the excellent Boudin Bakery (clam chowder in a sourdough bowl) and Fog Harbour on Pier 39, however expect tourist prices when dining in this area.

Business and meeting facilities There is a small business centre with two computers and a printer. There is a total of 160.5 sqm of meeting space for up to 200 guests, which can be used for a range of events. Catering, audio visual equipment and team building tours and outings can all be provided. There is one meeting room (Marine) which can be split in two and cater for 100 guests each or combined in to a single space for a maximum of 200 guests. The meeting room is located just behind reception and next to the swimming pool.

Leisure facilities Behind reception is the fenced off, unsupervised heated swimming pool, which is small but clean and towels and sun loungers are provided. There is also a fire pit with surrounding seating located near the pool, for keeping warm on chilly evenings. The small gym is just behind the pool and has two treadmills, an exercise bike and a multi-gym with towels and water available. The gym is open 24 hours a day.

Verdict: A great location if you want to be based by Fisherman’s Wharf with all the surrounding tourist attractions. The rooms look fresh but be aware that amenities are very basic.

Fact file

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 355 rooms with some having balconies.
  • ROOM HIGHLIGHTS Good TVs and a stylish colour scheme
  • CONTACT Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf; 250 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133; Telephone:  +1 (415) 392-6700; radisson.com
  • PRICE A midweek stay in a Deluxe Bay view room in mid-December start at $515 per night at best available rate and £564 for Bed and Breakfast.

Scott Carey

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