Since Alex used to live in San Francisco, he picked a hotel close to the area that he was already very familiar with. That put us at The Donatello, just a block away from Union Square. The hotel is in an area that is relatively safe, but it is adjacent to some neighborhoods with higher crime rates. Now, I felt very safe being with Alex who actually used to live in the Tenderloin, but we would not recommend walking too far south at night alone or unaware. Just like in any city, always be safe and aware. San Francisco is notorious for car break-ins, so you never want to leave anything in your car that even looks like it could have value or have something valuable in it.
We absolutely loved this hotel. The location is convenient to the most popular landmarks and destinations. Since we drove in, we were actually looking for somewhere we could be guaranteed safe parking. The Donatello has a gated parking garage with security and 24 hour in and out privileges. Parking is $45 a night, and while that sounds expensive, you will find that you can hardly put a price on peace of mind when it comes to your car in the city.
We stayed in a Studio Suite, 1 King Bed with Sofa bed and Kitchenette. The room was very spacious and equipped. The king bed was comfortable, but we did not test the sofa bed. The kitchenette had a mini fridge and a microwave along with some nice extra touches like dish soap and a sponge, a full set of silverware, coffee cups and drinking glasses. We had to ask for plates, but they brought them to our door. One of our favorite things about the kitchenette was the full-size coffee maker. What a luxury in a hotel room!
We were randomly assigned to an accessible room, so we feel like that may have provided a bit more space in the bathroom. You are provided with a few toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, and lotion, but favorite was the makeup remover wipes! The closet was stocked with hangers, an iron, a mini ironing board and an amazing makeup mirror that I used every day.
The staff was very friendly and helpful. We were warmly greeted and wished a good day each time we came and went. They even offered to hold our luggage for a while after checkout since we had a few more places to hit and didn’t want to leave potentially appealing loot in our car.
When open, the “Muni” (Municipal Transit) is a highly accessible and affordable option for travel within the city. Driving your own car is an option, of course, but if you factor in potential traffic and ability to find a parking space, it may not be worth your time and the extra cost. Parking can be as high as $10-$20 an hour. Or, you could get lucky and find a meter for $3-$6 and hour. Or, you could get extremely lucky and find free 2 hour parking. But, pay close attention to all parking signs. Just like in any city, hours and days are limited on most streets. We went in March 2021, so the traffic was low and we were actually able to drive around everywhere and park with relative ease. But, things are quickly changing.
San Francisco has bikes and scooter for rent all over the place, and even car shares! It is an extremely bike, scooter, and pedestrian friendly city. Most locals walk or wheel places, so everyone is very used to looking out.
You can watch the hotel walkthrough video [coming soon]:
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