As with real estate, the three operative words for hotels are location, location and location. Guests at the chic Hotel Monaco are just steps from Union Square's high-end shopping and entertainment, the Moscone Convention Center, financial district, world-class theaters, cable cars and light-rail trains.
Occupying a 1910 Beaux Arts building, the hotel features French-inspired architecture, sensually rich décor and evening wine-and-cheese receptions complete with tarot- card readings and massages. In addition to enjoying freshly baked, complimentary cookies, guests can pamper themselves in the hotel's health club and Equilibrium spa, which features manicures, facials and hot-stone massages.
The hungry will enjoy the hotel's Grand Café, a French brasserie that resembles a 1920s Paris train station. The bar even offers five kinds of Manhattans and other sophisticated concoctions.
Decorated with lime-green-and-yellow wallpaper against red chinoise canopies, guestrooms feature Chinese-style armoires, bamboo writing desks, Italian Frette bathrobes, pillow-top beds, European linens and fancy Aveda bath products. Some rooms feature high-speed Internet access. Lonely guests can get "pet" goldfish for company.
Meanwhile, the hotel also features pet-pampering services, such as Bone-A-Petit packages of bottled water, bowl, Good Dog towels, chew toys, gourmet cookies, temporary tags, and clean-up bags.
The Hotel Monaco provides plenty of eye candy for business travelers, 40ish couples, European families and pooches who mostly frequent the place. Although located only two blocks from Union Square's hustle, the hotel's air of comfortable calm is in the tarot cards.