...well, more like a ladleful of France, to be honest!
I really liked this hotel. I've seen it described as a 'hidden gem' but, for me, it just felt very comfortable indeed (probably because i'm used to European hotels).
It's right on the Powell/Mason and Powell/Hyde cable-car lines, just a couple of blocks from Union Square, and 5 minutes' walk (downhill..probably 10 going uphill!) from BART. It's away from all the hassle, hustle and crowds but near to shops, places to eat, hop-on buses etc etc. And the area felt perfectly safe for me, a solo female.
The hotel is (French) family-owned and decorated in French style. The lift is particularly wonderful; it's the old-fashioned type with an open grill so you can see exactly where you are. And it's effective too, faster than some of the more modern lifts I've encountered!
The rooms are not huge but are certainly big enough, beautifully clean and with everything you might want (iron & board, TV, alarm clock, coffee machine). There's no air conditioning (there are ceiling fans) although I suspect that's not usually a problem in SF. My room had windows on two sides, so I could easily get a through draught if required (but, other than when I first arrived, it wasn't!).
I found the staff to be courteous, helpful and pleasant. Breakfast is included in the price and is served in the basement restaurant (the hotel has a good reputation for French food). Cereals and a choice of either French toast (delicious) or eggs, bacon, hash browns (both with random fruit, of course). Good coffee, replenished as required, and juice.
Free wifi worked efficiently in my room and there is also a computer and printer for guest use (1USD for 15 minutes) from which I was able to print out my boarding pass with no problems.
For me, this was a super base to explore SF. If you're not used to European hotels you might perhaps find the rooms a little small...but maybe you should try something different? You might just be pleasantly surprised! :-)
PS The only downside was that I didn't have the pleasure of meeting Noel, the Golden Retriever. :-(
Unique Quality: Unique (for SF) decor and French feel.
Directions: At the junction of Bush & Powell.
This is a cute little boutique hotel near Union Square. The rooms are clean and nicely furnished in a French motif. This was a great value we found by calling an 800 last minute reservation number for boutique hotels. I forget the number at the moment. A nice, simple breakfast was served in a cozy, basement area. Would definitely return in a heartbeat.
The Cornell is a French-themed bed-and-breakfast hotel. The location is excellent, halfway between Union Square and Nob Hill and just off the Powell streetcar line. It reminded me of a small European town hotel. Each floor is named after a French painter, and the corridor is decorated with art reproductions as well as Jeanne d'Arc memorabilia (that's also the name of the cozy French restaurant in the basement, where complimentary breakfast is served.)
I got a superior-grade queen room on the fourth floor ("etage Chagall"). It was rather small (made me wonder what size a standard room would be like) and plain, but clean and comfortable, and it had most amenities a regular traveler would need. The bathroom had a nice, deep claw-footed tub.
Although the hotel is French the breakfast is American! It was not overwhelmingly big - coffee, juice, two eggs with a slice of bacon and toast - and I thought was just right.
Overall I thought this hotel was an excellent deal for San Francisco, especially for the location, overall coziness, and breakfast.
495 Jefferson Street at Hyde, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
665 Bush Street, San Francisco
433 Powell Street, San Francisco
12 Fourth St, San Francisco
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Address: 715 Bush Street, San Francisco, California, 94108, United States