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“Nob Hill location with very helpful staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of White Swan Inn

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White Swan Inn
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   845 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108 (Union Square)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
15% Off Winter Rates!!!
Ranked #5 of 234 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Conroe, Texas
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Nob Hill location with very helpful staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

I liked the old fashioned elevator with manual doors. You have to hold the button a full second for the relays to flip. Other decor also being dated is really the only downside. The staff is very pleasant and helpful. The morning breakfast is very good, and the afternoon 5-6:30 pm snack with wine is outstanding. A room in the rear of the hotel was quiet except for the inevitable ambulance siren.
The staff arranged a Gray Line tour to Muir Woods and Sausilito, which was very nice. We returned via the Powell-Mason cable car which is only two blocks away. (Bush Street is not an official stop, but the operator let us off there upon request)
The Petit Auberge inn next door is a sister hotel and is served by the same desk and staff.
We arrived via taxi from the airport; upon departure we rented a car from a Hertz local location about four blocks away and then traveled to Napa and Sonoma. While in the city, it is best to use taxis or public transport because parking is expensive and often not available.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,124 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
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English first
Leucadia, California
Level Contributor
71 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

We prefer small unique properties to the large generic hotel chains. The White Swan is a charming older building with largish rooms individually decorated. Our room was 4th floor facing the street so there was some street noise to deal with.(I always pack earplugs) The bathroom is small and old fashioned but perfectly adequate. The elevator is a classic antique that's large enough for three people and luggage. The valet car service worked well for us. We enjoyed the afternoon reception down in the Breakfast room/ Library area with a glass of wine and appetizers more reminicent of a B&B. Breakfast itself was a treat with a fresh garden vegetable egg dish as well as an assortment of pastries, juices, sausage, yogurt and oatmeal. The front desk has a list of suggestions for restaurants within walking distance. We tried B44,a tapas bar located on an alley full of restaurants about five blocks down Bush. Great place that we would highly recommend. We can't wait to come back.

Room Tip: Rooms at the back are quieter
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, Virginia
Level Contributor
72 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

i'm tired of fancy sky-rise hotels that have no personality and are a fortune ... so this was the perfect fit for me. room was quaint. decor was a bit off-beat, but a nice vibe. the room was interesting -- not a box! i'd say it is somewhere closer to a B&B than your normal hotel setup. the value was superb! i appreciate a fair deal these days. the service at the desk was excellent. i needed the car ready at 6:30AM -- it was there, sharp. very easy! i didn't like the breakfast though. i'd skip that part. fireplace was very nice. great job white swan!

Room Tip: i stayed in room 27. loved it.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
68 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

We stayed in a spacious "deluxe queen" on the 5th floor. The room faced the back so there was very little street noise. The room was large and pleasant, the bathroom was small and old fashion -- hot and cold water faucets, etc. -- but perfectly adequate.

Staff was pleasant, breakfast was fine.

The one reservation I would have is that the inn is not convenient to some things -- check your map before making your reservations.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

This bed and breakfast is very outdated. We stayed here because of the high rating online during our honeymoon. We had to wait around to check in because there was a staff meeting going on (right around 3:00pm, check in time) and we were told our room was not ready yet because of the staff meeting. We were on the 5th floor and usually had to take the stairs because the elevator doesn't always work. The rooms have no A/C because you are expected to sleep with your windows open. The shower was uncomfortable due to a slanted ceiling overhead so you can not stand up straight for the whole length of the shower. There is no grip in the bottom of the tub so they provide a rubber mat for you to put in the shower yourself.

The hotel provides valet parking. I don't remember the price but it takes 30+ minutes for them to bring you your car once you ask for it.

The breakfast was very disappointing. They have eggs and ham in warmers, oatmeal in a crockpot, bread and a toaster, granola and raisin bran. They may have offered a few other things but there was nothing else left when my husband and I went down around 10am on a Saturday morning (breakfast is open until 11am).

The staff gave my husband and I anxiety due to their constant rambling and apologies for everything. It was hard to get away. I will say that the front desk did recommend a few good places for drinks.

Overall, my husband and I would have switched to a different hotel if our reservations weren't non-refundable and our friends visiting with us had already booked this same hotel.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Molly C, Manager at White Swan Inn, responded to this review, April 25, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. I am so sorry that the inn and our amenities did not meet your expectations for your special visit, and we thank you for letting us know of your experience. Our team is very excited to be in the planning stages of a renovation for White Swan Inn, and I do hope you'll give us another try if your ravel will bring you to San Francisco in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Needham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

This turn of the century hotel has tons of charm even though it's a little worn at the edges in places -- not for those who like boring chain hotels with lots of glass and fake marble. It even has a quirky old fashioned elevator with a metal screen door, which was a novelty. My wife and I stayed here in February with our two girls, ages 11 and 13. The ancient boiler in the basement was acting up and making noise that we could hear in our ground-floor room, but the manager swiftly and politely switched us to two adjacent rooms on an upper floor -- two rooms for the price of one. Our rooms were beautifully furnished and decorated in the period style, and they had charming gas fireplaces. The free breakfast was excellent -- a nice array of choices. Easy walk to Union Square. Male striptease place down the street advertising "touch my junk," but the neighborhood did not feel threatening and we enjoyed walking around and up the hill. I would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Upper floors may be a better bet.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

Awesome - Location (Union Square), clean, cute, friendly staff, great breakfast, floral wallpaper, felt like you were staying at your Grandma's house which is nice when you're travelling, rooms were big we even had a walk in wardrobe!!! Not so awesome - on a hill which is hard to avoid in San Fran, not the hotel's fault haha.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about White Swan Inn

Address: 845 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#6 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#7 Business Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — White Swan Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a crackling fireplace in all 26 guestrooms and suites, the White Swan Inn is a romantic small hotel in the Nob Hill/Union Square area. The White Swan Inn is a visually stunning tribute to the intimate hotels of London. Dark wood paneling, rich floral carpets, comfortable furniture and enchanting English art and collectables set the tone. All guests enjoy a generous breakfast buffet and evening wine and hors d'oeuvres served fireside in the parlor. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
White Swan Hotel
White Swan San Francisco

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