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“Great location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Touchstone Hotel - City Center

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Touchstone Hotel - City Center
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   480 Geary Street, Between Mason Street and Taylor, San Francisco, CA 94102   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #124 of 236 hotels in San Francisco
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

We knew what to expect from other reviews and were pleasantly surprised on arrival to get two adjacent rooms for our four night stay so we had a mini-suite. Our rooms were at the back of the hotel but there was still some street noise reverberating through the period feature sash windows. We took ear plugs - it wasn't a problem and the convenience of the location more than compensated. The breakfast option in the deli downstairs was a great change from the usual motel bun-fest. Good food and friendly staff.

Other reviewers mentioned homless folks on the street: we used Google for hotel directions from the Powell Street Bart station (the Bart train is a great way of getting into the city from the airport by the way) and these took us west into bits of Tenderloin before heading up to Geary. Here's where you'll find the homeless and it felt pretty rough. Instead, from Powell St station follow the cable car line up Powell Street until you hit Union Square, then bear left up Geary for a block and a half to the hotel. No problems using this route.

Desk staff can give you a 10% off voucher for Blazing Saddles bike rentals round the corner. The bike over the Golden Gate Bridge exprience is highly recommended!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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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216 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
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English first
Washington DC
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

Thanks to the previous reviews, I knew to expect tiny rooms, small elevator and an urban environment. I was pleased to find the rooms and bathroom clean and cozy -- and I checked the bedsheets as soon as we arrived. The street noise was significant, so I was glad we had brought along a white noise machine.

The staff were very friendly and helpful, both on check-in and when I was trying to get a taxi. It's a tiny hotel wedged into a busy and a bit sketchy city block, so I appreciated the personal touch and attention. The rooms were nice but also tiny -- I was glad to get two adjoining rooms for myself and my daughter so we could use the shower in the larger room. the bathroom in the smaller room would've been hard to use. I liked the design touches in the rooms: plant in the shower, nice choices of accessories. They do a lot with what they have.

When we showered in the morning, we left the bathroom door open. The steam set off the smoke alarm intermittently for about 10 minutes. This was inconvenient for us and I hope it didn't wake up any other guests! Another note: if you use the 25% discount at the adjoining diner, make sure to tell the waiter before you order or they won't honor it. And avoid the potato pancakes, which were thick and tasteless. Everything else was yummy.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Lisbon, Portugal
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

This hotel is in a great location to visit the city. The hotel itself has small rooms and that could use a renovation. The windows are poor to isolate the exterior sounds and there is no central heating.
The room was quite clean and had a competitive price.
There are homeless people around but they are everywhere in this central area. This shouldn't be considered as a negative point for this hotel. If you want to avoid that you'd have to chose a different area, not just a different street.

Room Tip: ask for a room facing the back. The rooms facing the main street are noisier.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Phila. suburbs
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

We were not looking for a high-end hotel, but somewhere to get a good night's rest before each day's sightseeing. This hotel has a European feel (small elevator and one-person front desk), was very friendly and clean. Victoria at the front desk made us feel very welcome.

Room was modest in size. Bed comfortable. Bathroom large. Towels a little small for American tastes. Good hot water. Windows can open for fresh air. There is Wifi, and also there are a couple of computers available.

There was bottled water in our room waiting for us and sometimes apples available for a take-along snack. No coffee maker in room, but coffee shops just a few steps outside front door.

Touchstone provides a discount for the restaurant next door, though we did not eat there because of other arrangements. The restaurant and menu looked good, though. Loads of good places to eat in the neighborhood.

Suggestion to management: put a second waste can in the bedroom, not just in the bathroom. Put a towel bar near the bathroom sink. Provide a box of tissues.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012 via mobile

I enjoyed the European feel of this hotel. The place is not super clean but they have the best showers and water pressure I have ever experienced in a hotel. Indeed the location is ideal as it is within walking distance to many of the tourist attractions. But you must run the gauntlet of homeless and mentally ill each time you leave your room. There is no nice peaceful stroll down the street without being hit up for cash or the smell of pee in the air. I realize this problem exists everywhere, but when you are on vacation is really sucks to be in the middle of this depressing scene. We went to get in our rental car and a guy was pooping behind it while other homeless people were leaning up against it hanging out. The majority of the union square area is like this. Mostly at night it gets worse. Everyone says the location is great but I have to say I disagree. We paid a little more the next evening to stay near the Fishermans Wharf and it was well worth it. We felt safer, it was cleaner, and we weren't bothered for cash at all.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

I read lot of good reviews about this hotel and booked confidently. I am a budget traveler but still wanted to be in the downtown and so looked at this hotel.
The Good: The location is in the heart of the city and just blocks away from Market Street and Union Square. Loads of restaurants & pubs around which makes life easier. The rooms were clean and was equiped with LCD television with some good channels. The hot water pressure was very good and the staff was very helpful. They were very prompt in giving you directions, helping you in finding places etc.
The bad: I was kind of disappointed the moment I entered the reception area. There is no sitting lounge at all. You can barely stand in the reception area along with your lugguage and so felt it was little more expensive for $110 a day. The rooms were not that great and found them cramped. The window opened in the duct area and so no sun light and no outside view at all. My deal did not include breakfast and so I had to pay extra for breakfast and the menu was not at all impressive. I opted for it just for a day and then chose other restaurants around for next day. I know that the San Francisco downtown area is very expensive but still I expected a decent sized room with spacious reception atleast. It is good for one/two night stays and who do not expect much at this price

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

I booked this hotel at the last minute, concerned (as a single female) about the 2 stars, but reassured by booking.com's 'preferred' status. I was pleaseantly surprised - the front desk service was friendly and helpful-called me by my first name & I felt welcomed. Sure it's an older hotel but the bathroom was nice and clean, the bed comfortable - both fresh smelling - and the room overall good.. With new carpeting (and more vacuuming) it would be 3 stars. Will stay again.

Room Tip: In downtown SF it's noisy so bring ear plugs
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Touchstone Hotel - City Center

Address: 480 Geary Street, Between Mason Street and Taylor, San Francisco, CA 94102
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #124 of 236 hotels in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Touchstone Hotel - City Center 2*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the pleasant 2 star Touchstone Hotel-City Center, you will be located in San Francisco's Union Square, surrounded by famous restaurants, luxury hotels, high-end galleries and exciting night life. Nob Hill, North Beach, Chinatown and the Moscone Convention Center are a leisurely stroll from our doors. A short 2 min walk will take you to Union Square, which offers some of the most sophisticated shopping on the West Coast. The famed Cable Cars are close enough for you to hear rumble by. The Touchstone Hotel-City Center offers 44 rooms blending old-world charm, new-world convenience and small-world comfort. Simply but pleasantly decorated and equipped with organic toiletries and complimentary bottled water. All rooms have their own en-suite bathroom. Internet is available throughout the hotel at no charge. There is an original 1950's deli/cafe adjacent to the hotel. Hotel guests receive a 25% discount coupon. The hotel provides a left luggage office and valet parking service at extra cost for 24 hours with unlimited in-and-out privileges. The Touchstone Hotel-City Center is very close to the city's efficient public transportation (25 min train ride from SFO). Great central location for this budget San Francisco hotel! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Touchstone Hotel - City San Francisco

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