In one of the best cities in the world, there is a surprising lack of truly outstanding hotels. Even the various rating guides agree to disagree and there are only a handful of true 5-star properties. Taj Campton Place brings high touch luxury, gourmet dining and the smallness that San Francisco made famous with the boutique hotel trend. This week we give you a Special Report on India’s Taj Group’s entry into the city by the bay.
San Francisco has a number very nice hotels, yet only two that get five stars from Forbes Travel Guide – the Four Seasons and St. Regis. Taj Campton Place is one of five properties that get four stars. Interestingly, AAA gives only one hotel here five stars – The Ritz-Carlton.
Taj Campton Place is one of 18 hotels that AAA rates four stars for the city. I only mention the above because for a city of its size and stature of San Francisco it has fewer top rated hotels than one might imagine, and there isn’t even a consensus about which ones are truly at the top of the food chain. With that in mind, I returned to one of my favorites – although it has been at least 15 years – staying at Taj Campton Place as it was across the street from a conference I was attending at the Hyatt. I’ve always liked the near Union Square location and while not a high-rise, the quintessential city by the bay views. There are only nine suites out of the 110 keys so if you are looking for a grand villa palazzo presidential suite, you don’t need to bother reading the rest of this report.
Taj Campton Place in my opinion does a good job blending the smallness of the boutique hotels for which San Francisco is famous with the high touch, high-end luxury service for which India’s Taj Group excels. That said, the service was not flawless. More on that in a minute.
The hotel gets some good press. The Telegraph calls it “A five-star luxury property just a block off San Francisco’s vibrant Union Square. From changing lobby artwork to an on-site Michelin-starred restaurant, the Taj Campton Place is a place even non-guests can enjoy.” In addition to praising its location close to Chinatown, the theatre district and the famed cable cars, the paper wrote, “overall space exudes elegance, with a classic European-style décor that includes contemporary touches, all done up in natural tones with occassional bursts of color.” The restaurant was recently named one of San Francisco’s most romantic by Thriller while Smarter Living called the hotel “best for foodies.”
The smallness of the hotel enabled me to get from the conference area in the basement of the Hyatt and back up to my 11th floor corner room in less time than if I was staying at the Hyatt. Room service was fast and efficient and my standard club sandwich was fine. Trip Advisor rates Campton Place with 4.5 stars. There are 830 excellent ratings and 294 very good ratings compared to just 37 guests who thought it was terrible. The bad reviews mainly dealt with a $30 facility charge – question what it’s for which is legitimate since it’s a city hotel and there isn’t really any facilities such as a pool or extensive fitness center.
There are just eight suites available as one suite, its Luxury Suite, is booked by a long-term guest.
Executive Suite (2 in this category)
Guests in the 759 sq. ft. Executive Suite enjoy looking out over Union Square and the sweeping views of San Francisco. You can order room service from Campton Place’s award winning restaurant and enjoy a special dinner for two at the lovely dining room set up in the suite. They will serve it by course on request. There is a dining table and living room. Bathrooms are tiled in limestone. Wifi is complimentary for all guests.
Campton Suite (6)
At 466 sq. ft., the Campton Suites are situated in the corner of the hotel and enjoy views of Union Square from the from a built-in window seat. There’s a separate living room.
Restaurant and Bars
Campton Place Restaurant
Michelin-starred fine-dining Californian-Indian Campton Place Restaurant continues to be a city favorite in a city know for great restaurants. Chef Srijith Gopinathan is changing the architecture of California cuisine as he blends California fresh ingredients and the use of its smoke, fire and brining techniques with India’s multi-faceted regional dishes, aromatics and traditional spice blends. Try Halibut with Green Strawberry Chutney, Curry Leaf, and Ghee or Liberty Duck Breast with Fava Greens, Morels, Rhubarb, Cipollini Onions. The again, The Slow Cooked Lamb with Green Garlic, Snap Peas, Pickled Carrots, and Yogurt is enticing as well. Dinner is served Sunday through Thursday 6:00pm to 8:30pm Dinner and 6:00pm to 9:30pm Dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.
Campton Place Bar & Bistro
The Campton Place Bar and Bistro offers a small bar and about a dozen tables in an intimate setting. Choice range from New York Steak to Roasted Fult Farms Chicken Breast, the Campton Place Cheeseburger as well as several Indian dishes. Hours aae 11:30 am to 11:00 pm daily with food served until 10:30 pm.
The Fitness Terrace is open 24 hours and includes TechnoGym equipment. There is one eliptical machine, two treadmills, on stairclimber, two recumbent bikes, one stationary bike, a leg press machine, flexibility anterior and exterior machines. There are also free weights and mats for stretching.
Meetings and Events
he 1,350 sq. ft. Campton Room has a built-in marble bar, mirrored credenzas, louvered ceilings,adjacent restrooms and a foyer. It can accommodate 72 in classroom seating, 120 theatre style and 150 for a reception. The Executive Board Room can seat 12.