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“Early 1900's Elegance” 5 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   |  
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Ranked #7 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
Portland, OR
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Early 1900's Elegance”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

We were in town for the Bay to Breakers. We stayed at the White Swan for two nights.

The hotel features impeccable service, spotless rooms, fabulous breakfasts and afternoon tea/wine reception. There is a very quiet little deck located just off the meeting room that is a great place to get away from the bustle of the city. This hotel will take you back to the time when flawless service was the expectation combined with 21st century friendliness. Thank you to Rebecca, and the staff.

BTW, the location is perfect - a short walk to good restaurants, cable car, bus or China Town gate, and a little farther to the embarcadero. Just enough local foot traffic to feel safe, not too noisy, and not deserted on a weekend like the Financial District. Try Borobudur just up the street for great Indonesian food.

Room Tip: I always ask to look at the room first. We had a beautiful King Suite overlooking Bush street. Sur...
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  • Stayed May 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
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928 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
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Edmonton, Alberta
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

We also just returned from 5 busy days in San Francisco and our stay at the White Swan was well...not what we had in mind. Upon my extensive reviews of this inn I decided it would be kind of not so "Sheraton" like and more of an experience. I was right! Some of the modern conveniences we take for granted such as air conditioning are not so at this QUAINT inn. The floors are very tired and need of renovation. The rooms are spacious with a bathroom, dressing room, bedroom area and sitting area yet lack the feel of luxury when spending $549.00 a night luxury should be included.The breakfast was great, the wine hour was great but would I go back? Not until I was 80 and maybe then appreciate the flowered walls, teapot decorations and squeaky floors with antique elevators. The inn is situated on a moderately busy street and noise levels are concerning as you need to keep windows open as it can be quite warm and the sirens are in abundance. My advice would be go to the Sheraton unless you are over 80 then you will love this hotel.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Molly C, Manager at White Swan Inn, responded to this review, May 26, 2013
Thank you for your feedback, and for choosing us for your stay in San Francisco. I am sorry your visit did not meet your expectations, and we sincerely appreciate your candid feedback and your kind comments regarding breakfast and your guest room. We delight in welcoming travelers of diverse backgrounds, and hope that you will try us again on a future visit.
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Glendale, California
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
354 helpful votes 354 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

We just got back from our trip to San Francisco. One of the highlights of our trip was staying at the White Swan Inn. We had a large room on the 5th floor at the back of the hotel. Our room was very comfortable with a cushy bed and an inviting fireplace. Because it is an old hotel, it isn't perfect. But we don't like perfect hotels - they completely bore us. We love character.
Yes, the bathroom was small. But it was big enough. And there was an additional dressing room with a large sink and a big counter to spread out on. We loved the squeaky old elevator with the pocket doors and the metal gate that you have to push open. The inside of the elevator was red, gold and black with a lot of metal work. It was gorgeous!
We enjoyed the breakfast and the afternoon tea and drinks so much. At breakfast, there was a flourless quiche that was delicious. Plus there was delicious fresh fruit. One morning we had grapefruit. The guy at the front desk recommended a great restaurant nearby. We ate there and loved it!
On future trips to San Francisco, we look forward to staying at the White Swan again! Can't wait! Such a romantic inn.

Room Tip: Get a room on an upper floor that is in the rear so that you don't hear street noise. I recommen...
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  • Stayed May 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flower Mound, Texas
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

On our return from a 2-week Hawaiian paradise vacation we paused for a day in glorious San Francisco to wrap up the trip with a wine tour before returning to Dallas. Upon searching for hotels with a wine tour bus pick-up, I chose the White Swan after reading glowing past reviews. After an early morning BART excursion from our Oakland airport hotel, we arrived cold and damp at 8am at the front door of White Swan, where we were warmly welcomed, given our room immediately, and invited to enjoy an abundant delicious French breakfast (superior to fine restaurant quality) before the tour bus arrived. While the wine tour was fun, we were excited to return to the White Swan, which provided a fabulous wine reception. Our 5th floor suite was beautifully decorated with floral wallcovering and also had a gas-log fireplace further adding to the romantic setting. The high-quality bed and bedding gave us a well-rested final vacation night. What a perfect finale for a trip in paradise. Absolutely loved this hotel, the staff, the food, the decor, the location....the overall ambiance! Would definitely stay at White Swan on all future trips to San Francisco and have already told friends to stay there. WOW!!!!

Room Tip: We had a 5th floor room and enjoyed using the stairs, which we chose to do for extra exercise. The e...
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  • Stayed May 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

Chose to stay at the White Swan Inn during a business trip, as I was tired of all the standard chain hotels and had heard great things about this place. Spent two wonderful nights here, and would certainly return in the future.

Pros

1. Fantastic location in Nob Hill/ Union Square. 3 - 5 minute walk to Union Square, easy access to various buses, great safe neighborhood.

2. Large rooms! Room is covered in dizzying florals from head to toe (on practically every surface) adding to the charm of the historic inn, however the size is great. My room featured a queen sized bed, a window reading nook, two lounge chairs, and a wonderful fireplace that worked with the flip of a switch.

3. Hotel features really great extras, such as free wifi, fresh baked cookies in the lobby, coffee/tea available 24/7 in the dining room, free soft drinks in the in-room mini fridge, free wine and snacks each evening, and free breakfast each morning. As some of the others have commented, the breakfast wasn't exceptional but it was beyond your standard "continental" breakfast and was quite good. Also a really friendly staff that was more than willing to provide suggestions and meet your needs.

Cons

Really not many here at all - the hotel is older so you will not be getting a top-of-the-line luxury bathroom. While the elevator works, it is truly an antique, so it was often faster for me to take the stairs than wait. The wifi can be a little slow at times, but it often is at hotels, so that is nothing new.

Overall a really fantastic hotel with lots of charm, will certainly stay here again!

Room Tip: I asked for a room on a higher floor - did not have any noise issues.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

Spent 3 nights at the white Swan Inn in April. The Union Square location is perfect and we were amazed to find this type of accommodation in the centre of a big city. Our room was very clean and comfortable and the common areas downstairs were lovely. All the staff were extremely helpful and friendly. The breakfast buffet was very good and the wine and appetisers and cookie jar were great! If I'm lucky enough to visit San Francisco again I would definitely stay here again. The Anniversary gift was a lovely touch- thanks Alex and all the staff.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Ottawa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

This hotel had it all for my wife and I. Each morning was launched with a terrific breakfast. The central location, means all the transit, restaurants were in easy reach. The hotel has an encompassing atmosphere, that made you feel welcome and at home at the same time. Great to stay at, easy to recommend.

Richard and Helen

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
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
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#7 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#8 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#8 Romantic 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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