The list of hotel choices in San Francisco just got longer. After a multi-million dollar makeover, The Jay, An Autograph Collection Hotel is now open in the city’s Embarcadero neighborhood.
Folks familiar to San Francisco might recognize the hotel’s address. Formerly the Le Méridien Hotel, the concrete exterior remains, but step inside and everything has changed. An eye catching, circular staircase leads the way to the compact hotel lobby. You can also hop on an elevator, but the stairs are more fun.
Check in was fast and efficient and staff were genuinely friendly and outgoing.
I stayed in a one-room Studio Suite on the 23rd floor. Like all of the hotel’s 360 rooms and suites, the room was fresh and new. Thanks to a neutral color palette of creams and wood tones with brass accents, the sleeping area was warm and welcoming. In addition to a king bed, spacious desk, and 65” flat screen television, electric outlets, USB, and USB-C ports were plentiful and easy to access.
The separate, spacious living area offered room to spread out; along with a sofa, there was a coffee table and bonus cushy chair. Floor to ceiling windows covered a majority of the exterior wall and provided city skyline views.
The bathroom featured a walk-in shower with wand and shower head. The single sink vanity was a bit of a squeeze for the toiletries that typically travel with two people, but the bathroom also featured a separate dressing or makeup table with stool to handle any overflow.
Instead of a dedicated coffee machine, there was an electric tea kettle and single serve bags of Steeped Coffee. There were a couple tea bags, but serious tea drinkers will likely find the selection disappointing. A small refrigerator is nearby, but it was chock full of minibar items, allowing little space for personal use.
Onsite eatery, Third Floor Restaurant & Lounge, serves three meals a day. The dinner menu offers classics and dishes with an Asian flavor. Think everything from a cheeseburger and crispy chicken sandwich, to duck soup, chicken tsukune, and cheesecake with shiso ice cream. Steps outside the restaurant, a coffee bar offers a morning dose of caffeine and fresh pastries daily from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
From free weights and yoga mats to Peloton bikes, the generous 24-hour fitness center boasts everything you’ll need to get a good workout. A nice perk worth noting is that the Jay provides complimentary gym laundry for all guests.
The gym has everything you need to get in a good workout, but if you’re willing to head outdoors, you can see the sights while getting those steps in. Loaded with shops and eateries, the San Francisco Ferry Building and marketplace is about a 10-minute walk. The Embarcadero walking path provides lovely bay views; if you’re feeling especially energetic, in a bit more than a half-hour you’ll reach Fisherman’s Wharf, home to snoozing sea lions and the launching point for ferries to Alcatraz Island.
The Jay features 13,000 square feet of meeting space. It doesn’t have any impact on a stay, but leisure travelers should expect to share elevators with business travelers.
San Francisco International Airport is a 14-mile drive; Oakland International Airport is a touch farther, requiring a 20-mile stretch behind the wheel.
The Jay allows dogs 50 pounds and under. There is a $125 fee that includes a dog bed and bowl. (If you dog is on the larger size, call ahead to confirm a big dog bed is available.) 25% of the pet fee is donated to nonprofit senior dog rescue, Muttville, in San Francisco.
Review and photos by San Francisco Bay Area travel writer and television correspondent Dana Rebmann. Her stay was organized by the The Jay, An Autograph Collection Hotel, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.