Brilliantly located, rooms are a litte stuffy, great staff.
The Orchard Hotel is perfectly located at the “top” of Union Square, which allows you to walk around the area easily and safely. Across the road is China Town, which again is a breeze to get to, and just down the street are a couple of bars for a drink or five. The rooms are nice, but a little stuffy due to not being able to open the windows.
Getting to the Orchard from the Airport took me about 40 minutes in mid-afternoon traffic. One simply walks out of the airport and then you can open up Uber or Lyft on your device of choice and have a ride pick you up in less than 5 minutes. If there is one thing that is great about San Francisco, it is that you’ll never be waiting too long for a rideshare ride.
Check-in at the hotel was pretty quick, with no queues when I got there. The hotel lobby is very small — you’ll almost walk past the entrance if you are not paying attention. You’ll also notice the restaurant next to the lobby, but outside of breakfast, I think it remains closed. I had breakfast there one morning and it was pleasant enough to fuel your sightseeing for the morning.
The rooms are nice and spacious. As others have said, the bed is very comfortable, so you should expect a good night’s sleep. I personally found the rooms to be a little stuffy as none of the windows open, and the view wasn’t particularly great with the room looking straight across to another building. The bathroom was also spacious, the shower was nice and powerful — very hot, I could have stayed in there for hours!
One, if not THE, main reason to book this hotel is for the location. It effectively sits atop Union Square, which grants you easy access to almost anything in that area, including China town just across the street. There is also a selection of bars right on the same street as the hotel. One is a newly renovated sports bar in a similar style boutique hotel, and a couple of small late-night bars to keep the drinks flowing until 3 am with the barflies. The great thing about SF is that you can just walk around and take in the sights without ever really feeling uncomfortable. It is super easy to just fire up Google Maps, type in what you fancy, and then find a selection of restaurants just a short walk away.
Checkout was also straight forward, with it again being very easy to just hail rideshare to get to the airport. I had a couple of issues with some packages that I had left for collection, and Shane was super helpful in helping me sort them out despite already having left.
At The Orchard, you’re not going to get a modern room or a decadent lobby, or a hotel bar serving up cocktails, but you can’t go too much wrong with The Orchard if you are effectively using it as a business base or somewhere to crash after sightseeing.