We needed a place to stay for a long weekend trip to San Francisco. I had a 50,000 point free night from my Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX card, so I started by looking at some of the nicer Marriott properties. We had stayed at the Palace Hotel before, when it was part of the SPG program and enjoyed our stay, but we decided to try to find something different.
We wanted to find somewhere that was reasonably close to public transport when we needed to get to the airport or around town. One property looked interesting as it was part of the Autograph Collection. These tend to be nice, but unique hotels that don’t fit easily into any of Marriott’s categories.
The hotel was built in 1929, has 171 guest rooms, and was renovated in 2019.
550 Geary St.
San Francisco, CA
For our 4 night stay, I used a 50,000 point certificate from the Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX, 40,000 points for one of the nights pricing at off-peak and paid $165.44 for the other two nights after taxes. This hotel doesn’t charge any resort fee.
To get to the hotel, we took the BART to the Powell St. station from SFO airport. We walked the rest of the way to the hotel. For San Francisco, it wasn’t a bad walk and there’s not much uphill walking on this route. I’d suggest following the map and taking Powell up to Geary. Otherwise, you’re walking through the Tenderloin (as we did on our way to the hotel).
When we got to the hotel, the inside didn’t match the exterior of the hotel. It was much nicer.
There were only two check-in spaces and only 1 person working when we arrived. We only had a few minutes wait before we were called to the desk.
Check-in was fast, with the standard Marriott service. We were thanked for our Platinum status and offered welcome amenities. We chose daily breakfast over points or a credit at the hotel bar. Our room was on the 6th floor, and the elevators were just behind the lobby. Just off the lobby was the bar/dining area. They called it a restaurant but there were only high-tops and not any dining area to speak of.
We noticed that only one of the two elevators was working, a trend that continued for most of our stay.
Once to our floor, it was a quick walk to our room because there were only 12 rooms on our floor.
There’s no question of the age of the hotel with all of the exposed pipes in the hallway. No amount of fancy lighting fixtures are going to hide that. We didn’t mind as it’s part of the charm of staying in an old hotel.
Entering the room, the bathroom was to the right. Through the arched entrance was the bedroom area.
The bathroom was split into two areas. The sink was outside and the toilet and tub/shower combo was through another doorway.
The hotel stocked Beekman toiletries, which we had never seen before since this was our first stay at an Autograph Collection hotel.
The bedroom was quite large for a hotel in San Francisco, especially a hotel that was built almost 100 years ago.
We had a king-size bed, desk with an office chair and a sitting chair with a table (which became my office for the duration of our stay). There was a flat-screen TV set into the wall, which we never turned on for our entire stay.
One negative was that each light fixture had to be turned on/off individually. Now I see why Obama prefers staying at a Hampton Inn instead of a luxury hotel.
The only drawback was that for a hotel that was refurbished less than a year ago, there was noticeable wear and tear. We had loose and cracked tiles in the bathroom area.
One of our drawers had a mind of its own and this was its preferred setting.
We ended up using the arm of the office chair to keep the drawer closed.
These issues weren’t big enough to make a stink about during the stay and ask for compensation but still not something that should happen in a newly refurbished hotel.
This was one of our last Marriott stays as a Platinum member. We took advantage and had breakfast in the hotel each morning. Breakfast was served in The Green Room.
As we entered, we were asked if we had breakfast vouchers, which we did. The staff informed us that we could get the continental breakfast for no charge. We could also order anything from the menu and only pay the difference. The price difference was only $3 -$5 per plate, so we had cooked to order breakfasts each morning.
I had the Eggs Benedict one day while Sharon always had the Breakfast Sandwich on sourdough bread with fruit. One day we had to pay an extra $7, and another day we paid $10.
The hotel also provided coffee and tea free of charge round the clock.
The hotel didn’t have a gym or business center. They did have a sitting room with a TV located between the lobby and the breakfast room.
In all, I liked the Hotel Adagio. We enjoyed our 4 night stay there. Having one of the hotel elevators broken for 3 of our four nights was an inconvenience but not a dealbreaker. The hotel breakfast was great (and almost free) since there wasn’t any Starbucks or coffee house nearby.
The hotel’s location on the fringe of The Tenderloin neighborhood could be a turnoff for some, which is no doubt the reason they can’t charge more for their rooms. The view from our windows wasn’t much to look at and isn’t what most people think about when they imagine “San Francisco.”
Paying $160 a night for a room that would cost $250 if it was two blocks away is a tradeoff we’re willing to make. If I was booking a room with points, I think I’d instead go back to The Palace as both hotels are Bonvoy category 6 properties. If I were paying cash and could get a room here for the same price we paid, it sure beats paying $250 for a night at the Holiday Inn Express at Fisherman’s Wharf.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary