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“Nice Hotel in a Central Location!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Chancellor Hotel on Union Square

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Chancellor Hotel on Union Square
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   433 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Downtown)   |  
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Ranked #10 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Hoboken, NJ
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Nice Hotel in a Central Location!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

This was the first stop on a PCH trip from San Fran to LA and we thought this hotel was great. Had a very European feel with a great location and was easy to transport around to other parts of the city. Cab's were hailed for us immediately from right outside our front door and if you wanted to use the cable car, there was a stop right down the street. I always think it is comical when people complain about street noise when you are in a CITY! Yes you can hear the noise from down below, but what do you expect when are in a central square of a metropolitan city. The cookies and tea that were out every day were such a nice little treat and we took advantage of this daily. Now if only San Fran was a little bit warmer, it would have been a flawless weekend :)

  • Stayed September 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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3,782 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (729)
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

The Chancellor is an old hotel just off Union Square. If you like:

Tiny rooms (even compared to European rooms)
Bedroom walls with no wallpaper and rough looking walls
A tiny bathroom with no space to put anything
Bathroom tiles and bath which have been painted but are now chipped
A shower with no pressure
Narrow corridors
No aircon
Only two lifts to serve all of the floors and the cleaners
A hotel bar that closes at 9.30pm (sometimes - it was open later on our first night)
Helpful porters
Original features (interpret this as you wish)
Bedrooms where you can hear what's going on next door
Noisy toilet flushes (you can hear next door's as well as those above)
Comfy beds
Clean rooms
Good wifi
A central location

….then it's for you. Otherwise look elsewhere. There are plenty of alternatives around the area.

Room Tip: Rooms at the back are quieter but only have a view of the back of other buildings.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wes_Tyler_GM, General Manager at Chancellor Hotel on Union Square, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
I posted comments on the other two reviews that also applies to this party, but here is my response to these particular comments:
*Tiny rooms (even compared to European rooms) - I disagree. Very comparable to 3 star hotels throughout Europe and big city historic hotels in the U.S. like New York, Boston & Chicago.
*Bedroom walls with no wallpaper and rough looking walls - that is how the hotel was built. It is plaster over terra cotta bricks. We like it.
*A tiny bathroom with no space to put anything -Yes. Do you have a suggestion? I am open.
*Bathroom tiles and bath which have been painted but are now chipped. Yes. They have been re-glazed. They get chipped and we re-glaze them again. There will be a time between the chip and re-glazing that some folks may experience. Sorry.
*A shower with no pressure - Everyone has a different opinion of what this means. I can tell you that sometimes it can be the shower head and we can fix it. Other times it depends on the volume of usage at that particular time and it may be stronger at an off peak time.
*Narrow corridors - Yes. They are. And? Should we tear the building down? Make the halls wider and the rooms even smaller? Put mirrors so they seem larger?
*No aircon - Yes. The slightest amount of research prior to booking would provide that information. There should be no surprise there!
*Only two lifts to serve all of the floors and the cleaners - Yes. That twice as many elevators as several other hotels our size have. What should we do? Make the room cleaners use the stairs with their carts and supplies?
*A hotel bar that closes at 9.30pm (sometimes - it was open later on our first night) Very common. Hours depend on business. We are open later on Friday and Saturday. If the business sustains it, we stay open later. Unfortunately, it does not make business sense to stay open for hours to serve a few drinks. We do need to make a profit.
*Helpful porters - Thank you. That is one of the few things we really have control over, so that says a lot about us.
*Original features (interpret this as you wish) - Some like it, some don't. Figuring that out and making the right decision is what this site if for.
*Bedrooms where you can hear what's going on next door - That can happen - for a variety of reasons. I have experienced it at some hotels (nice ones) as well.
*Noisy toilet flushes (you can hear next door's as well as those above) Sorry.
*Comfy beds - Thank you. Another thing we have control over.
*Clean rooms - Thanks again. This is a big one. This is a huge measure of the quality of a hotel operation and we passed!
*Good wifi - Very important to guests. We try to stay ahead of the curve on this and I guess they agree we are doing our job in this area as well.
A central location - Yes. That is one of our best features.
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Rotorua
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

This was the last hotel we stayed in after 5 weeks travelling in various destinations around the world, and stands out in my mind as one of the best. One of the reviews I read said that it was just like 'coming home' at the end of the day, and this sums it up nicely. The room was spacious, quiet, clean and well appointed, and the staff were fantastic.

OK, it's an old building and you might find some cracks or areas that need a bit of attention but overall it was clean and comfortable. The location is ideal being right across the road from Union Square and it's ideally situated for shopping and entertainment - Biscuits & Blues just a few minutes walk away!

The restaurant served great food at very reasonable prices. Free tea and coffee for guests 24 hours in the lobby, with apples and cookies - nice touch. The shower worked well - a blessing after the piddly stream we endured in some hotels, and the toiletries supplied very nice. Walk in wardrobe with safe and room to stash the suitcase. The room was nicely furnished with desk, table, chairs and drawers, lamps.

Free wifi was one of the essential requirements for my choice of hotel, and although this was available it was a bit slow and sporadic However, the hotel was full as there was a large conference on at the time.

I'd struggle to say anything negative about this hotel and would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed September 2012, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Great Hotel. Very old fashioned, dating back to 1920's style and designs. But do not let that put you off. Rooms were very clean and good quality. Location is fantastic as just off of Union Square, and immediately next the Powell/Hyde cable car. That is the only downside as when the cables start running they are noisy.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

We stayed at the Chancellor for 5 nights as part of a 1 month vacation in the US. We booked this hotel online prior to leaving Australia based on reviews on this website. For some reason hotels in San Francisco are very expensive compared to elsewhere in America. Before arriving we had spent 5 nights in the Bellagio in Las Vegas which cost less than the Chancellor which is about a 3* hotel. The room we stayed in (1105) was small but the bed was comfortable and the windows double glazed. The Union Square area is relatively quiet after 10 - 11 pm with the occasional street performer and the noise of the cable car line the only distractions, but this also added to the vibe. There is coffee, tea and cookies available for free to customers at the bar and the hotel also provided a small fridge upon request for us to leave bottle water, drinks, confectionary etc. The hotel is well located to transport and shopping and has a tour desk in the lobby. We were able to buy a 7 day transport pass for $27 and this worked out well given that a single ride on the cable car costs $6. My wife is gluten intolerant and we were able to accommodate her dietary requirements without any problem.
Overall I would consider staying here again if in San Francisco, however I would not say that it is value for money considering that you also pay a $35 dollar per day room tax on top of the daily rate. But I am assuming that this would apply to any hotel in the city.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Stockholm, Sweden
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

We spent one night here, two adults and our 4 year old son, and really enjoyed the hotel. Perfect location, next door to the wonderful Sears restaurant, cable cars outside the door, Union Square and all the shopping at Market street very close by. The room was very clean and had everything we needed. We also had a nice view of Union Square.
Staff was very helpful and we really can't complain about anything.
What impressed me the most was the e-mail communication I had with Voula Theodoropoulos before our arrival - she helped me book with a special Facebook discount and also helped me when I needed to change our reservation. No matter when I e-mailed I always had a response within a few minutes.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia, Canada
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

My husband and I decided to spend our 10th Anniversary in San Francisco. I found the Chancellor Hotel by reading the reviews on Trip Advisor. It did not disappoint!!

We took the Bart train from the airport to the Powell Street Station. Cost was $8/person one way and was much cheaper than the $40 - $50 for a cab. The walk from the Powell Street Station to the Chancellor is about 5 minutes and was very easy to find.

We walked into the lobby of the hotel and it was perfect. We love staying in boutique hotels and we knew this stay was going to be fabulous. Check in was quick and easy and we were delighted to be on a high floor facing Union Square. When we got to our room there was a lovely surprise from the hotel. They had given us an Anniversary card, sparkling wine and chocolates. Very thoughtful and we were delighted. We found the rooms to be perfect in size and the closet was a huge walk-in that was perfect for our luggage. The windows do open a couple inches, which was nice to have fresh air and hear the sounds of the city. We loved hearing the cable cars and the ringing bells, there was a trumpet player at Union Square every night and it was nice to hear him from our room. Inside the hotel is extremely quiet and we were never disturbed by guests in other rooms. The beds were very comfortable and we did not have any trouble sleeping after all the walking each day. The lobby has coffee, assortment of teas, cookies and cold water available throughout the day. After a long day of exploring the city the tea and cookies at the end of the night was a great way to warm up and end the day. The hotel does have a restaurant and bar. We never tried the bar but looked like a nice place to have a night-cap. We tried the restaurant for breakfast on the last day and we gave it thumbs up. Great decor, friendly staff and good food. There is a tour desk in the lobby of the hotel. You can buy multi-day Muni passes, which are good for city transportation except the Bart train. The gentleman working here was very helpful and friendly.

The cable car turn-around is about 4 blocks down Powell street from the hotel. It's neat to see the cable cars turn-around, but not the best place to catch the cable car. The line ups are very long and I can imagine it would take a couple hours to catch a ride. Just walk back up Powell street a couple blocks and you can easily jump on. The hotel location is great and close to amazing shopping. Every store imaginable is within walking distance. Also close to Chinatown. So fun and vibrant area!

The front desk team were very helpful in recommending restaurants.....thank you for sending us to Osha Thai Restaurant, great food and good value.

This hotel is amazing and if we ever find ourselves travelling to San Francisco again we know where we will be staying!

Room Tip: Request a room on a high floor facing Union Square. The rooms at the end of the hallways will have...
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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.
Wes_Tyler_GM, General Manager at Chancellor Hotel on Union Square, responded to this review, September 23, 2012
Thank you very much. I am so pleased that you had a great time staying with us for your 10th Anniversary.

For others reading this:
=============================================
It is funny how this review can be so different from the one right before it. One says "very disappointing" and the other says "it did not disappoint!!!" They both mention the same attributes, just in a different way. Both reviews are absolutely right, but as I always say, it comes down to people making the right choice for themselves. Because as you can see, two people can stay at the same hotel, have the same experience and one hates it and one loves it.

Thankfully, most people make the right choice for themselves as these folks did and everyone is happy.
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Additional Information about Chancellor Hotel on Union Square

Address: 433 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#8 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#8 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#9 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#11 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#16 Best Value Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Chancellor Hotel on Union Square 3*
Number of rooms: 137
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The BEST LOCATION at the BEST PRICE...The Chancellor Hotel on Union Square is a historical, boutique hotel located in the heart of San Francisco where the Cable Car stops at the door step. Experience the best service and thoughtfull amenities while being surrounded by world class shopping, dining and theaters. From Union Square, ride the Powell Street Cable Car over Nob Hill, past Chinatown and North Beach, to Fisherman's Wharf. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chancellor Hotel San Francisco

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