A Shining Review
As you walk in to the hotel, you'll find the San Francisco Maritime Museum on your right, so naturally, the entire hotel is decorated in a mariner motif. (As if on cue, a passerby mentions that the big glass structure is the actual lens from the Farallon Islands lighthouse.) The lobby is full of nautical geegaws and doodads, giving you the impression that you're actually on a cruise, but the flat panel Sony Vaio with Internet access reminds you that you're safely on dry land.
It's a nice place, but clearly, the lobby isn't why we're here. I take the elevator to the fourth floor and step out. The hallways are quiet and dimly lit just the way I like it. After all, this isn't Vegas. But then a queasy feeling comes over me. At first, I think it is perhaps the dungeness crab I had for dinner along the wharf, but then I realize it's the hideous carpeting. I imagine that when picking it out, the designer had a Grateful Dead flashback and the colors started singing to him. The carpet, coupled with the mile long hallway, reminds me of the hotel in The Shining. I wouldn't have been surprised if a little boy rode by on his tricycle and twin girls were standing at the end of the hallway. It's a wonder I didn't run screaming back to the lobby.
Mustering up my courage, I press on. Once you step into the room, it's as if the hallway never existed. A little history lesson here. The Argonaut was constructed from the old Del Monte processing plant, which included the warehouse and the "Cannery" next door, and this is what gives the hotel its charm. The rooms are gorgeous and immaculate, the view (if you have one) is spectacular, but it's the original red brick walls that sets it apart from other hotels. It doesn't matter that the hotel is central to all these tourist attractions, I could spend all day here with these brick walls, staring out the window at the Golden Gate bridge from my bed.
Finally, if you want to splurge, there are 13 suites available. If there's no reason to leave a regular room, they you most certainly will never leave a suite. Simply order room service and run your empire, Howard Hughes style, from the parlor, or relax in the spa tub and let your minions worry about the details. If you're not the mogul type, then bring your significant other and you can still spend all weekend in the tub.