“ Hotel located at Fisherman´s Wharf, San Francisco, California. „
The Best Western Plus Tuscan Inn in San Francisco was the first point of call on our recent trip across the USA and it proved to be a great starting point that set the example for all our other hotels to follow. It's not like the usual style of basic to mid range hotel chain that it falls under. Perhaps it's the 'plus' in the name that makes the difference, but unlike usual Best Western hotels, this one has a bit of character and is a little bit luxurious but is still reasonably priced and is in a good location.
-Booking and Price-
We booked our room through a hotel search website and paid around £110 per night, which was about ten percent less than booking directly with the hotel. If you are thinking of booking, I'd still consider having a look at the website (http://www.tuscaninn.com/) because they do often have offers on there that aren't available anywhere else. The price we paid turned out to be very good value for a number of reasons. Breakfast was included for one - our invoice said it wasn't but the hotel only offers bed and breakfast, so it is automatically included for everyone. They offer free tea and coffee in the lounge throughout the morning and the manager hosts a wine evening every night where you can join him for a glass or two between five and six. So if nothing else, the hotel saves you a fortune on drinks!
The location for me was the absolute winning factor in a list of things that made this hotel pretty much perfect for our needs. Before we booked, we were certain we wanted to stay in Fisherman's Wharf despite its reputation as being a bit tacky and brash. The other area where there seems to be a high concentration of hotels is in the city centre around Union Square. Whilst rates seem to be a little cheaper here, the main attractions (such as Alcatraz, Pier 39, Golden Gate Bridge) are all a tram / bus ride away at the very least.
The Tuscan Inn is a block back from the sea front, meaning that it is quiet and away from the hustle and bustle when you want to rest, but it is literally a couple of minutes walk away from the sea front when you are ready to explore. Pier 33, where the cruises to Alcatraz depart from, is a ten minute walk at most if you turn right out of the hotel and follow the road to the end. The main cable car turn around point is a block to the left. There are literally hundreds of restaurants, bars and attractions within walking distance of the hotel as well as a grocery store and bank. There is actually nothing you could want that isn't nearby, the location really is that good. We considered staying in the Argonaut, which is considered to have the best location in San Francisco, but on reflection I honestly don't think it would have beaten the Tuscan Inn.
-Checking In and Staff-
Checking in was very easy and quick. We were offered the choice of a king size bed of two queen size beds; unlike in many cities, space isn't at a premium in San Francisco, so hotel rooms are a little bit bigger than their counterparts in say New York for example. We were also given our breakfast cards and some useful information about the hotel and the local area.
The staff were all lovely - professional yet very friendly and helpful. They have a bell boy who will help with your luggage (whether you need it or not) and the reception staff are happy to help with any queries - we asked them for help finding a cash machine in an actual bank and they gave us more than one option and even knew which one was cheapest for drawing out cash on a foreign debit card! They are knowledgeable and are happy to help out with honest restaurant recommendations.
As I said, space isn't at such a premium here, so the rooms are quite generously sized. The king sized bed we went for was lovely and comfy and furnished with dark leather cushions that gave it that extra feel of luxury. We had three really good nights' sleep. Everything about the room was good - it was clean, well designed and had a touch of class, although I do have to say that, whilst everything was in good condition, it was a little bit dated. There was a huge television that had an unnecessary amount of channels available as well as new release movies on pay per view. There was also a fridge and a coffee machine as well as the usual arm chair and desk. The bathrooms were nice and clean. There was only a toilet and bathtub in the actual bathroom, with the sink being located outside. I thought this was a very good idea and was much more convenient and it turns out that it is the common way of laying out rooms in this area of the US. There were lots of little potions and lotions provided, which I absolutely loved as well as a hair dryer and an iron (which I didn't use, of course). My husband was quite so excited by these things although he was impressed with the free in-room safe and the free WIFI which was fast and easy to get onto (you just ask for a password at reception).
Breakfast is lovely. Unlike the usual buffet affair where everyone queues endlessly and sneezes at the hot food counter, breakfast at the Tuscan Inn is taken in the adjoining restaurant, where the service and food is excellent. As a hotel guest, you are entitled to either a free continental breakfast or $5 off one of their hot breakfast items, which include huge portions of bacon and eggs for around $15 or even huger omelettes for slightly less. My husband doesn't like eggs, so we opted for the free continental breakfast which turned out to be more than enough. You get a fresh fruit salad full of strawberries, melon and pineapple with your choice of toast, muffin or croissant, fresh juice and coffee as well as a selection of jams. Everything is brought to you table and the ambience is lovely and relaxing. It proved to be a very nice way to start our day.
The hotel is pet friendly, with dog treats laid out in reception and certain rooms available for those travelling with their pets. I actually found that the corridors smelt of wet dogs in places. Not a problem as long as it is only in the corridors and not in the rooms!
There are two huge lifts that service all floors and unlike some places, they seemed to be always in working order and they operated quite quickly.
If there is anything I have missed you can find more information at the website I gave earlier.
I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending the Tuscan Inn as it offers a very comfortable place to stay in an absolutely brilliant location for a good price. Factor in the breakfast and free drinks and it turns it into a bargain!