Located just steps from the Powell Street BART station, Parc 55 (www3.hilton.com/parc-55/) is an excellent lodging choice for any San Francisco getaway. Although this 1024-room property has all the required business and conference amenities, the overall layout and design conjures up a decidedly boutique hotel ambiance. Even better, management has a collective social conscience, with a long track record of giving back to the local community. And with such an altruistic attitude, it’s no surprise that this property also boasts some well appointed wheelchair-accessible guestrooms.
A Room with a View
The accessible entrance to the property is located near the valet station, with elevator access up to the second-floor lobby. There’s good pathway access around the lobby and plenty of room to maneuver a wheelchair in the open floorplan. The hotel is also equipped with smart elevators, which eliminate congestion. Guests simply enter their destination floor on the keypad outside the elevator, and they are directed to the appropriate car. And no congestion means other guests don’t crowd in front of wheelchair-users.
Room 2911 is one of 28 accessible rooms at the Parc 55. Access features include wide doors, lever handles, good pathway access, a lowered closet rod and low-pile carpet for easy rolling. It’s furnished with a 26-inch high king-sized bed, a desk with a chair, a chest of drawers, and a refrigerator. It also includes two easy chairs tucked away in an atrium-like alcove, that offers an impressive city view. And this isn’t the only room with a good view. Because of the building design, all rooms above the eighth floor offer equally impressive views.
There’s a wide pocket door that leads into the bathroom, which is equipped with a roll-in shower with grab bars, a hand-held showerhead and a fold-down shower bench. Other access features include a roll-under sink, and a toilet with grab bars on the back and left walls (as seated).
And if you’d like a little more space, an accessible suite is also available. It has the same basic access features as room 2911, except that it has a separate parlor and bedroom.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
There’s barrier-free access to all of the public spaces as well, including the gift shop, expansive meeting space and the ballroom. The fitness room features free weights and machines, and offers a nice view of the busy San Francisco streets below. And if you just want to chill, there are some quiet nooks and crannies tucked away all around the second floor.
Cable 55 Restaurant, which is located near the registration desk, includes good pathway access, with plenty of room to maneuver a wheelchair. It’s open all day and serves up a collection of American classics with a distinctive San Francisco flair. And if you’d just like a quick drink, there’s also barrier-free access to the adjacent bar.
For a real treat, check out Kin Khao, which is also on the second floor. This popular San Francisco eatery offers good wheelchair access, and serves traditional Thai fare. Kin means eat in Thai, while Khao means rice, so literally translated the restaurant name is “eat rice”. But you’ll find much more than rice on their creative menu, which includes specialties such as Yaowaraj Noodles, Saeng-Wah Salad and Laab Kua. Top it off with a little Black Rice Pudding for dessert and you have a complete Thai experience. Give it a try – you won’t be disappointed.
Art for Everyone
As part of its commitment to the local community, Parc 55 recently unveiled Abstract Diversity, a contemporary exhibition that features 30 pieces by 13 local artists. A continuation of the Art at the Parc series, the show is curated by Josefin Lundahl Peterson for stARTup Art Fair, and will be on display until April 7, 2019.
The exhibition is meant to reflect San Francisco’s vibrant spirit, with artwork that includes diverse colors, themes, and materials. Says Peterson, “Our hope is that visitors will see something of themselves, and therefore something of San Francisco, in the artworks they encounter and in the exhibition as a whole.”
The artwork, which is on display in the spacious public areas on the first three floors, includes sculptures, collages, murals and paintings. You can’t miss the towering Matt Gil sculpture near the front entrance, but there are also smaller works tucked away in less trafficked areas. And if you see something you like, all of the pieces are also for sale. Best of all, the exhibition is free, so that’s just one more reason to stop by Parc 55 on your next San Francisco visit.