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An evening in at the JW Marriott San Francisco

I must have walked past the JW Marriott San Francisco dozens of times when I lived in the city. Being only one block from Union Square – one of SF’s most popular hangouts – the hotel is in the sort of location you would happen upon as often as not.


But as memorable as the building is, sometimes it’s the little things you notice most – for me, it was the cosy-looking sofas in its driveway that always caught my attention. After many a hilly SF walk, how I longed to one day lounge there too. So on my first visit back to the city I jumped at the chance to stay at the JW – and I’m glad I did.


Finding your way to the property – situated on the corner of Mason and Post streets – is simple. With ritzy Nob Hill to the north, vibrant Tenderloin to the west, and popular Market St and Union Square to the south and east, the hotel is in a great position. But it only gets better inside.



After a quick check-in, aided by some very affable staff, I get a chance to admire the hotel’s wonderful lobby space. With an elegant bronze sculpture by noted 20th-century American sculptor Elbert Weinberg at its centre, it’s one part New York art deco, one part contemporary Californian. 


The fireplace area is a super spot to warm up pre or post night-out – or as I later discover, while away a cool SF evening inside. Though perhaps nothing is more impressive than the hotel’s atrium, which almost feels like it’s brought the outside in, kissing the sun some twenty-one floors above reception.   



After enjoying the ride up in the fantastic glass elevator, I arrive at my room hopeful the view is equally amazing. And despite not quite offer the sweeping views of the city I’d imagined, its lovely semi-circle windows do douse the room in a lot of natural light. Designed to “envelope you in comfort”, the room’s soft golden colour scheme does just that as well.


A super comfortable bed - lined with a pillow top mattress - I realize is an addictively good place from which to view the room’s 46-inch LED HDTV or listen to some tunes through the Bose radio. But with a cosy Herman Miller Aeron chair, an ergonomic work space and affordable wifi ($10 a day, or free in the lobby and public spaces) the room is well suited to those looking to work as well as play. Taking its accommodation offering one step further, the hotel even offers special ‘PURE’ rooms, which cater to those with extra sensitive allergies.


Those looking to head out for the night won’t find any shortage of places to eat, drink and be merry: San Francisco has more eateries per capita than any other city in the US and the JW stands within a stone’s throw of many of them.


But with the property’s Level III Restaurant even closer, I decide to eat in – but not before enjoying a couple of cocktails at the elegant, but relaxed Level III Bar. Particularly good are the refreshing Passion Fruit Margarita and Lawrenceburg Lemonade cocktails (both at a reasonably priced $13). But, almost willing to be challenged, the friendly bartenders here will fix you just about anything. Try them.



After feasting on some great locally sourced fare in the ‘Modern Californian’ restaurant – a zesty kale and quinoa salad followed by a pumpkin ravioli (yes, they use it in more than pies here), I’m drawn back to the bar by the promise of a nice glass of NorCal Merlot. Lounging beside the lobby fire, I’m so comfortable that within half an hour I’ve almost dozed off in one of the sleep-inducing armchairs. Fortunately though, I manage to drag myself up to my room before that happens, happy in the knowledge that check-out here isn’t until midday.


Sure, San Francisco is a great city. But if you’re staying at the JW Marriott, you will be tempted to forgo a night on the town for a night in. The JW Marriott is just that nice.


For more information on the JW Marriott, click here.



Images JW Marriott SF 


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 3 November 2014

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