Which Starwood for an Award in San Francisco?

A reader at HotelChatter.com wants to know which Starwood hotel to use for an anniversary stay.

    The choices are:

    1. Westin St. Francis
    2. W San Francisco
    3. Palace Hotel
    4. Le Meridien
    5. Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf

The St. Regis – not on the list above – is absolutely outstanding. Of course it’s category 6 property so 20k – 24k points per night!

The choice depends on how many points this person has to burn in their account….

The other key question is whether they have any status with Starwood. The Westin St. Francis has some absolutely teeny rooms at the entry level, so I don’t think I’d stay there unless I was a Platinum and thus reasonably assured of an upgrade. (The St. Regis does a good job upgrading Platinums to suites, by the way.)

The Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf really isn’t honeymoon material. It’s a good touristy location but not a good hotel.

The Palace — love it or hate it, and lots of folks hate it — is sometimes available real cheap ~ $129 a night in which case I might choose it and pay instead of burning points, and hope for a Platinum upgrade.

The Le Meridien is the former Park Hyatt which was a great hotel, but I have no recent experience.

Without status and without enough points for the St. Regis I’d opt for the W. The W San Francisco is certainly one of the better W properties, up there with Seattle and San Diego.

The other thing to check on — if the person posing the question isn’t a Platinum and has gobs of points, ask whether upgrades are available for additional points. Better views and the like are usually 1500 points and double points garners a suite at time of booking, providing the hotel is offering the option. That’s something which Starwood Preferred Guest has over, say, Hilton or Priority Club.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Seems reasonable. The St. Regis is the best of the bunch but if that takes too many points, I’d say the Palace or the W–depending upon whether you prefer somewhat overly frumpy or somewhat overly trendy. (I certainly don’t hate the Palace but the public rooms are definitely the main attraction rather than where you sleep.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *