Parents Getaway Review 

Pan Pacific Hotel, San Francisco
by Kathy Chin Leong

Some couples thrive on the excitement of a bustling city. One of my friends told me her ideal getaway means zipping to San Francisco where noise and gas fumes joyfully send her senses soaring. If you are like her, and cuisine, theater, and high-end shopping give you goosebumps, then a weekend away to the Pan Pacific Hotel may be just your cup of tea.


This traditional business hotel is a classy, sky-scraper property located one block away from the heart of Union Square. Union Square is THE place for shopping in San Francisco, where infamous stores such as Gumps, Tiffany, and Neiman-Marcus hang their prestigious shingles. With the Geary Theater and a plethora of restaurants and hotels within walking distance, the Pan Pacific gets a thumbs up locationwise.

One thing that isn't so great is the parking. Since the hotel does not have its own garage, you'll have to spend anywhere from $30 to $40 to park your car overnight. We found that the Union Street Garage, about a block and a half away worked out best for us. It cost $30, and we budgeted that into the price of the hotel stay.

Our recent overnighter was a treat after Christmas because every store featured a sale…even at Gumps. With holiday decorations lighting up the building faces, it was thrilling to walk the square after dark and do some people watching along the way.


Unlike other hotels, you'll find the lobby upstairs. You check in and take your own bags to the room. I personally like this because you don't feel pressured to have a bellhop follow you every step of the way. If you want one, you can request luggage service.

Each Pan Pacific room is decked out in sleek business modern furnishings. Plenty of chrome, gray and muted colors set the stage. A marble desk with Herman Miller chairs are the ultimate in comfort and style. You can raise them up and down, and you will be more than content writing those postcards home or logging into your email. Techno-philes will love the subtle touches of the Bose Wave radio by the bedside, the Gateway flat screen TV, the wireless high-speed Internet connections.

Bathrooms feature deep tubs with marble countertops. There are large mirrors and irons/ironing boards to help you get ready for your big night on the town. There is a button on your wall to access your personal butler. No kidding. Do you want your pillows fluffed? Shirts ironed? You name it.

I didn't have the guts to request anything from the butler, but it was a novel idea.

The room was an ample size, not too big, not too small. Most run between 350 to 450 square feet. The view of the downtown area with all its glitz and glamour was a romantic touch. Do request a room with a view when you come. It adds a wonderful drama at night as you leave the curtains open in your high-rise boudoir.


This hotel features a workout room with about 20 professional-quality treadmill and elliptical machines, and free-weights and floor pads for personal exercise. I figure about 10 people can exercise with room to spare. Equipped with lots of small flat-screen Gateway televisions, water, extra towels, and apples, this little gym was a great find.
The lobby features its own restaurant, which we didn't try since we went out to dine, and a huge fireplace for lounging. Since you are in this spectacular city, chances are you won't be lounging too much. Save the lounging for Napa or Sonoma!

I was somewhat disappointed there was no pool, but those are a premium in San Francisco hotels. Since it is often too cold to swim, Pacific put its effort into creating a professional city hotel by providing creature comforts such as a daily paper at your door and 24-hour room service. Want San Francisco luxury? Visitors with a penchant for sleek décor and simple elegant tastes will appreciate the Pan Pacific's prime location, modern rooms, and city views.

Rates for the Pan Pacific rooms run $149 to $479, which is reasonable for this eclectic city. The   Pan Pacific San Francisco can be found at 500 Post St. Call  415/771-8600 for more info.



*Bring your workout clothes; they have a great gym.
*Check out the local plays ahead of time.
*Enjoy watching a movie on its fantastic flat-screen television.
*Try using the butler service and feel pampered.


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