Imagine being in family group of 3. One of the group being a 14 year old girl and wanting to holiday with you in San Francisco but not wanting to share a room. What can you do? There is no way to afford 2 hotel rooms, even if it were permitted by law. No there has to be another answer and we found it, The Archbishops Mansion by Sonder!
Just the name, The Archbishops Mansion is impressive enough. Located on the corner of Alamo Square this is a huge building with heritage and character. But be careful who you tell as it will impress and cause jealousy at the same time, people start asking how much you earn?!!
This really is a mansion and the best part is, Sonder has not ruined this beautiful building. They have instead provided, 5 star accommodation, with character to the discerning traveler.
We booked with booking.com and then through Sonder. We were so impressed with how Sonder worked that we wrote their very own review to help travelers understand their holiday model.
Our stay was in October 2019 and with the 14 year old being dragged through the airport and then thrown in the back of a taxi (we have all been there) we started rolling towards our destination. The address was 1000 Fulton Street, San Francisco and the taxi driver had no problem working out where we were going.
When the taxi arrived, it was a little disappointing. All we saw was a lot of scaffolding covering a massive complex. Clearly this company invested in their buildings and it was nice to see they were looking after it. It was a shame we could not see the impressive architecture but as we walked towards the front door our moods changed.
We had our codes ready, that had been emailed to us (see our other review about Sonder.com here) ready for us the use with the locks. Getting up the few steps, we stood in front of the doors, it made us all feel that we were about to embark on a stay that was going to be long remembered. Using the codes on the electronic locks we were in and then this place really hit us.
All 3 of us were stood in the door way, our jaws had dropped and we had to keep asking each other if we were in the right place. Speechless was probably the best way to describe our state. It took us a few minutes to start moving around and each room we visited the same thing happened.
Sonder provides a unique and different living space for people to holiday and relax, this place put their marketing and message in perspective. We abandoned our cases at the door and needed to explore. From coffee rooms, bars, dining rooms, meeting rooms, kitchens and social spaces it was all here and was part of our accommodation. More about these in a bit.
After a very quick run around the downstairs, the stairwell was an awe inspiring sight. Modern lighting and clean taking us up to our apartment on the first floor. There was a lift but putting the 14 year old to work, we climbed the stairs and took in the views. Walking around a mansion with so much to see needed to be savoured and not be to be stuck in a metal lift.
The room was just as clean, comfortable and amazing as the rest of the house. Everything had been thought of. From USB charging sockets behind the bed (think phones) to information boards, ironing boards and unique furniture that fitted with the style of the house.
The bed was massive and very comfortable. Apart from the obligatory night time kicking of the metal frame with bare feet in the middle of the night, there was absolutely nothing wrong with it, but that is just our holiday story telling….
Once we had unpacked our cases we made a second sweep of the mansion.The Archbishops Mansion has to be one of the most impressive locations we have ever stayed at. The kitchen is massive and stood at the work top counters we wished we were all better cooks. Water fountains and ice boxes made it easy to grab water for on the go. Fridge and larder spaces were separated for each room, making storing and cooking food easy (our sections got filled with cakes and pastries for breakfast time).
The dining rooms had space for large groups of people and later in our stay we realised that residents got together and made good use of them. Fish Taco night and group gatherings were our exposure to this unique way of holidaying. Every single one of the guests and residents were friendly, welcoming and fun.
The place was so impressive we had to try and get a video. Knowing videos need to be short we had a challenge to get around all the rooms and show off the immense rooms but we gave it a go… (it was Halloween)
The location of The Archbishops Mansion also needs to be mentioned. It is by Alamo Square and no more that 50 yards away from the famous Painted Ladies. The location is quiet, with access to the beautiful park.
We used public transport to get around especially when going into the city or to Fishermans Wharf. Again Google maps was our friend and with free Wi-Fi at the mansion we had our route planned and costed!
For $3 each we could get to tourist area of San Francisco and every day we rode the bus and the trams. If you want to pop into the city, leave the Mansion front door and turn left (down the hill) the turn immediate left again. Walk one block (about 50 meters) and then turn right (down hill) just down another block you will see a red bus shelter (on the right side of the street). There are live, electronic times shown for how long the next bus will be at each stop. We would hop on the number 5 bus and get off behind Macy’s. You can ride the Trolly’s from here (you will see the turning circle from the bus). If you need a break, find Working Girls Cafe (probably the best coffee places in San Francisco).
Then swap to the ‘F’ Line trams (numbers and letters shown at the front of the transport) and take it all the way into Fisherman’s Wharf.
If we wanted an evening of local entertainment we would leave the Mansion and turn right, going up the hill. Staying on this road for about 5 minutes we got to Divisadero Street. This street is full of shops, restaurants, take-aways and bars. It is vibrant and lively and great for the family to get out for the evening.
We loved The Archbishops Mansion, the place the location and the memories it left in us. If you ever want a memorable, magical stay in San Francisco check out what Sonder has to offer.