The Cartwright Hotel Union Square, a Best Western Premier Collection Hotel, offers small, nicely renovated rooms in a central location with friendly service, making it a great choice for a shorter visit! It’s one of the more affordable chain hotels that allows you to earn and redeem reward points and it offers competitive prices, adding it to my list of recommendations for San Francisco, the city I fell in love with!
Location: The Cartwright Hotel is just one block North of Union Square in the heart of San Francisco. You can walk to Union Square and all the shopping your wallet can handle in a few minutes. There are also plenty of restaurants in walking distance and the famous Cable Car goes by on Powell Street around the corner. Powell Street Station, with access to the airport via BART or the rest of the city via MUNI subway is a 10 minute walk and the airport around 45 minutes by BART or taxi. Streets around the hotel have some of the worst traffic and most expensive parking in San Francisco, so I wouldn’t recommend staying here with a car or relying on taxis/uber!
Service & Rewards: The front desk was surprisingly friendly by San Francisco standards, attentive and genuinely interested in a pleasant stay – that’s something even many 5-star or boutique hotels in the city can’t pull off. I was checked in in a few minutes and got all the information about the hotel I needed. Housekeeping had done a thorough job preparing my room – it was clean and fully stocked.
For the first time, ever, my Best Western Diamond status was recognized and I received a welcome amenity – what a pleasant surprise. That alone earns The Cartwright it’s Best Western Premier Collection branding. I didn’t receive a room upgrade, but my room was quiet and to the back of the property, as I had requested.
Room: I had a standard room with a queen bed. It’s small and stylish, as you’d expect in San Francisco and was modern without being over the top. The bed had a padded, purple and wood headboard, set against an accent wallpaper. The mattress, sheets and pillows were comfortable – I slept well! Wrapped around the corner are a small desk with chair, a tiny corner sofa and a cupboard with coffee/tea facilities and the TV. They are making the best of the small room, but you don’t have much space left. There are windows over the corner walls, providing plenty of light, as well as a small, padded chair in the corner.
The closet is small and built into the wall opposite the (equally) small bathroom. It has a small sink near the door, a good-size, glass-enclosed shower in the corner with another window and the toilet. It’s held in white/grey tiles and looks upscale despite the small size.
The whole room seemed recently renovated and was in good condition. There is an air conditioning window unit – not a given in this price category in San Francisco!
The free WiFi internet was fast at an average speed of 14Mbps, but varied between evening and daytime greatly, so get any work done in the morning.
Restaurant & Amenities: The Cartwright Hotel occupies one of the oldest buildings, built just after the great fire of 1906, so you won’t find a gym or rooftop pool here! But it does have a business center with PCs and a printer for your boarding passes, tickets, etc. There’s also a restaurant, but I didn’t try – this is San Francisco after all!
Bottomline: The Cartwright Hotel San Francisco, a Best Western Premier Collection offers small, but nicely renovated rooms in a central location with friendly service. It’s comparable to many independent boutique hotels in San Francisco and current prices determine whether it’s good value or not! I stayed, during a promotion for 10,000 Best Western Rewards points (worth about $70), a great discount from the standard rate of 36,000 points. Alas, this was in winter with a cash rate of $100, still good value on points and a good deal for this hotel. Cash rates can exceed $200 in summer or during conventions and other, similar hotels like the Diva Hotel or Hotel Union Square might offer better value, so compare before you book!