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Semi-Stream of Conciousness Hotel Review: Hotel Diva in SF

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  Site Where: 440 Geary St [map], San Francisco, ca, United States, 94102
March 13, 2007 at 3:45 PM | by | Comment (1)

Hotel Diva, a memeber of the up and coming Personality Hotels Group, is a hotel we have been wanting to check into for some time. Last week Hotel Diva announced their "Britney Breakdown" packages, and while we passed on celebrating the pop princesses mental crisis, we did manage to spend a couple days as a guest at Hotel Diva late last week.

Check In
Super-friendly staff, even after 3 AM, which is impressive. Easy, no hassles, but you have to really push the room key in the door with some force to get it to open.

Common Areas
There's a mini "Walk of Fame", which is more like sidewalk slab of semi-fame, right outside the hotel. Here is where Hotel Diva collects hand prints of famous guests, though we didn't really get a chance to see who's been a guest since that section of the sidewalk is particularly busy.

Parking
$35.00 per night with in and out privileges. Yikes, that is a ton of cash. Almost worth trying to find street parking or an alternative garage. However, lately we have not fared well with that strategy (read: parking tickets) and Union Square is a parking nightmare, so we begrudgingly paid the $35.00. We strongly recommend you ditch the car when staying here if at all possible.

Room Reaction
Room 616 is a Studio Suite, which is bigger than a standard room but smaller than a true suite. This small suite is actually quite roomy. The comfortable queen bed is set in the back of the room while a desk, a table, and a flat screen television on a swivel dominate the front living area of the room. The bathroom is small, but adequate. Also, the lights above the sink are full blown fluorescence, so you know what that means--lighting that shows absolutely ever wrinkle and blemish as you get ready.

While the decor is definitely sexy, it does not hide the fact that this is an old building. Old windows with no screen or insulation mean you could be counting on your in room heater quite a bit.

Property
There is a Starbucks attached to the lobby, a huge convenience for corporate caffeine addicts--yes we appear to be in that group. On the other side of the lobby you will find Colibrí, a Mexican Bistro and Tequila Bar that we highly recommend. Great drinks, cool atmosphere, and a refreshing non-Union Square feel.

WiFi
The WiFi is free in both the lobby and in your hotel room. Room 616 had strong four bar WiFi throughout our visit, while the lounges (five total scattered throughout the hotel) were hit or miss. Every lounge had access, but we found the connection in the hanging dress lounge* (our name, not theirs) especially spotty.

Service
Top notch. All staffers are constantly smiling and usually helpful. The housekeeping service is in your room as soon as you leave for the day, so you will not come back to an unmade room.

Location
Let us state our bias upfront--we lived in SF for over six years and completely detested having to go to Union Square to meet up with our friends from out of town. That said, this hotel, like many hotels in SF, is in Union Square. In actuality, if we put our bias aside, Union Square is a fine place for a hotel. BART and Muni are within spitting distance, cabbies are constantly going up Geary right outside Hotel Diva, and there is plenty of shopping in a couple block radius. Be prepared to fend off, or accommodate homeless folks looking for handouts--this area of town has a large homeless population.

Don't expect a room with a view at this hotel. First, the rooms in the back of the property do not have a view, and the ones in the front look down Geary Street. Waking up to a view down Geary is hardly worth the obvious late night street noise that comes with such a view. Opt for a room out back and skip the view here.

Cost
We paid $192 per night in all (with taxes & fees).

Bottom Line
If you have your heart set on staying in Union Square (or need to be there), you can go ahead and put Hotel Diva on your short list. The rooms are large and comfortable and the cool local lounges, tequila bar and Starbucks, off set the fact that there is no lobby to speak of. Don't go in expecting new construction or sweeping views of SF. Instead, bank on the fact that you will get above average service for a decent price.

*--Ed. Note: Actually, this is a lounge designed by the fashion designer, Colleen Quinn which Personality hotelier Yvonne Lembi-Detert told us about last September.

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Re: Hotel Bars

Every time I hear "tequila bar" and "hotel," I think of the bar scene in The Matador.

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