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Hotel Palomar (A Kimpton Hotel)
12 Fourth Street at Market
San Francisco, CA  94103
Reservations 866.373.4941
Hotel 415.348.1111
Fax 415.348.0302
Cost: $$
Hotel Decor: 95 (warm and sleek contemporary design with silver finishings)
Hotel Amenities: 85 (Work out and business center as well as gourmet restaurant located on 5th Floor.  Don’t miss Happy Hour)
Neighborhood Scene: 90  (Urban touristy.  Not relaxed or perfectly safe at night)
Miscellaneous: 95 (Take a cab or park down the street in the 4th and Mission Garage.  It’s cheaper)
Overall Wow Factor: 87 (You can’t get this quality for this price.  Join the Kimpton newsletter to hear about their specials) 
Much like the Hotel on Rivington, the style of this San Francisco luxury hotel is modern but not too over the top.  The Palomar has picked up an animal (Leopard and Zebra) print theme that has expanded its brand to other Palomar locations in the US.  Unlike the hotel on Rivington, the Palomar successfully hides itself in this nieghborhood and whisks you off the hustle and bustle of downtown San Francisco.  Located five stories up (located above the 4 story Old Navy flagship store)  the décor invites closer inspection such as the nude drawings outside the 5th Floor restaurant by Sayles.  The lobby is located on the ground floor and is very similar in simplicity and style to the boutique hotels found in Paris.
The Hotel Palomar is centrally located near the SOMA district with easy access to great restaurants, the Moscone Convention Center, the Sony Metron, the MOMA, the Jewish Contemporary Museum and at least half a dozen other museums.  It is also three blocks away from famed Union Square, but just across the street you will find Barney’s, the Apple Store and the Virgin store.  Around the corner you will find the San Francisco Center (formerly Emporium) which houses a gorumet food court, hundreds of high end shops and a cinema multiplex.  The location makes this hotel appealing to those suburbanites looking to get into the city for some action or conventioners looking for an alternative to the Marriott (Jukebox) across the street, the loud and trendy W or the new Intercontinental blue eyesore.
5th Floor Hallway at Hotel Palomar

5th Floor Hallway at Hotel Palomar

Our King size room was quiet despite the traffic down below on Market Street and overlooked the Virgin store and Apple store.  The room offers Leopard and Zebra print robes and the generously sized bathroom offered a jacuzzi soaking tub which is very relaxing after all the walking you will do in San Francisco.  Definitely use it as the shower was lacking in size tucked into the corner when there was lots of room.
What do we reommend for food.  If on a budget, try Coriander (Thai food) in the San Francisco Centre food court.  Two items (Cripy Basil Chicken and Spicy Catfish over rice for just $8 is good for a conventioneer’s budget and don’t miss the Beard Papa Cream puffs ($2) also located in the food court.  If the hotel’s 5th Floor restaurant won’t do, other great restaurants within walking distance include Two (Hawthorne Lane off of Howard between 2nd and 3rd), Roy’s (Mission and 2nd), Lulu’s (4th and Folsom) and XYZ (located in the W on 3rd and Howard) offer great alternatives.  Also try the Samovar Tea House located in the Yerba Buena Gardens where you can sit down with a beautiful view of the area while going through all of your purchases.
If you joing the Kimpton’s newsletter you will see lots of special offers that will save you money so you can go on those shopping sprees.  Our King Size room only cost $159/nt on a holiday weekend making this hotel an easy urban getaway spot.
King Bed-Palomar

King Bed-Palomar

Sleper sofa with Virgin Store out the window

While  I am a local San Franciscan, I do have to add that the Cable Car line on Powell St. is just a block away.  You can catch the cable car all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square from there.

Soaking Jacuzzi Tub

Soaking Jacuzzi Tub