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STAY SMART / SAN FRANCISCO HOTELS

Perks and quirks for $200

September 03, 2006|Beverly Beyette | Times staff writer

I visited these hotels, where I was shown rooms within the $200 limit. For more on these accommodations, go to latimes.com/moresfhotels.

Hotel Majestic

Parking: $20

Amenities: Room service. Internet access for a fee. Use of nearby health club with pool, $10 daily. Bellman. Free cab vouchers to the city center weekday mornings for corporate guests. No pets. Nonsmoking.

Pros: Lovely old mansion in quiet lower Pacific Heights. A fighting fish named Catherine Beta-Jones is at the front desk.

Cons: Nine blocks from Union Square. No air conditioning. (Ceiling fans are being installed.)

1500 Sutter St.; (415) 441-1100 or (800) 869-8966, www.thehotelmajestic.com.

**

Kensington Park Hotel

Parking: $35-$40

Amenities: No room service, but upscale seafood restaurant Farallon next door will deliver, as will Waiters on Wheels (from selected restaurants). Free Internet access. Business center with free high-speed Internet. Free morning coffee. Bellman and concierge. Small exercise room on-site and use of Hotel Diva fitness center. Pet-friendly. Smoking permitted on one guest floor.

Pros: Good location close to shopping, theater, restaurants.

Cons: The rooms could use updating. Only those on the three Royal Court floors have been renovated.

450 Post St.; (415) 788-6400 or (800) 553-1900, www.kensingtonparkhotel.com.

**

Hotel Union Square

Parking: $30-$36

Amenities: No room service, but Waiters on Wheels delivers. Free Internet access. Free morning coffee. Business center. Bellman and concierge. Free use of Hotel Diva fitness center. Pets OK ($50 fee). One floor permits smoking.

Pros: A good choice for fans of mystery writer Dashiell Hammett, who loved the hotel.

Cons: Powell Street cable car clang-clangs past the hotel, and there is also heavy foot traffic. No air conditioning.

114 Powell St.; (415) 397-3000 or (800) 553-1900, www.hotelunionsquare.com.

**

Serrano Hotel

Parking: $39

Amenities: Room service (breakfast and lunch). Restaurant. Free high-speed Internet access. Free morning coffee. On-site fitness center. Air conditioning. Bellman and concierge. Pet-friendly. Limited number of smoking rooms.

Pros: Attractive restoration of a 1917 Spanish Revival building.

Cons: The hotel's standard rooms are small.

405 Taylor St.; (415) 885-2500 or (866) 289-6561, www.serranohotel.com.

*

Cartwright Hotel

Parking: $35

Amenities: Free Internet access. Free breakfast with make-your-own waffle bar. Concierge and bellman. Use of off-site Club One fitness center and pool for $15 day. No pets. Smoking permitted in guest rooms on one floor.

Pros: Excellent location just off Union Square, inviting public rooms.

Cons: Only one floor has air-conditioned guest rooms.

524 Sutter St.; (415) 421-2865 or (800) 919-9779, www.cartwrighthotel.com.

*

Hotel Carlton

Parking: $30

Amenities: Restaurant. Free wireless Internet access in deluxe rooms. Internet access in lobby. No room service or air conditioning. (Rooms have ceiling fans and windows that open.) Bellman. Free morning car service for corporate clients to Financial District, Civic Center, Moscone Convention Center. Pet-friendly. Nonsmoking.

Pros: Upper-floor rooms with unobstructed city views. Quiet location. Trendy diner, Canteen, is nearby in Hotel Commodore.

Cons: No room service. No air conditioning. No fitness center. Location in lower Nob Hill is seven blocks from Union Square.

1075 Sutter St.; (415) 673-0242 or (800) 922-7586, www.hotelcarltonsf.com.

**

Under renovation

I also visited a few properties that are worth watching. They are slated for extensive renovations.

Maxwell Hotel

Parking: $35-$48

Amenities: Room service from the popular Max's on the Square next door. Free Internet access. Free morning coffee. Bellman and concierge. Use of Club One facilities nearby for $15 a day. Air- conditioning. No pets. Nonsmoking.

Pros: Great Union Square location near shopping, dining, theater.

Cons: Rooms need sprucing up.

386 Geary St.; (415) 986-2000 or (888) 734-6299, www.maxwellhotel.com.

**

Chancellor Hotel

Parking: $30-$41

Amenities: Restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. Room service Wednesdays through Saturdays. Lobby bar with small plates at dinner. Free Internet connections. Self-help coffee bar in lobby. Free use of pool and fitness center at nearby Club One. Bellman and concierge. No pets. Nonsmoking.

Pros: Wonderfully located on Union Square.

Cons: Rooms facing Powell Street can be noisy. Guest rooms need renovation (and are scheduled for updating by early 2008).

433 Powell St.; (415) 362-2004 or (800) 428-4748, www.chancellorhotel.com.

**

Galleria Park Hotel

Parking: $33-$48

Amenities: Room service from Perry's restaurant in hotel. Free Internet access. (All will have wireless when renovation is completed.) Bellman and concierge. Jogging track. Air conditioning. Free morning coffee and wine hour. Pet-friendly (though the policy may change). Nonsmoking.

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