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“Central location, daily housekeeping, very clean” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Powell Place

Powell Place
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Powell Place
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730 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94108 (SoMa)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #20 of 69 San Francisco B&B and Inns
North Billerica, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Central location, daily housekeeping, very clean”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

We called ahead for advice on which BART stop we should take to get to Powell Place (Montgomery stop), the Front Desk also advised NOT to walk from the stop to the hotel/timeshare even though it was less than 1/2 mile away. Instead she suggested a taxi (which was under $10); it was worth every penny. Powell Street is STEEP, we strongly suggest you adhere to this tip if you are taking the BART from SFO. Front desk personnel changed often and the personalities ranged from aloof/snobby to very friendly and helpful. The Hotel's front entrance is locked and you must be buzzed in; I thought this was a very good security measure although the area seemed very safe. We took several tours from two different tour companies and we were picked up very close to the hotel; very convenient.

Although the unit we had was described as a studio (4th floor/walkup only) we were pleasantly surprised of the layout of the unit. The kitchen was down a short hallway from the bedroom you'd pass the bathroom on the way. The kitchen had no ventilation and was very stuffy, so we only cooked there and ate our meals at the table in the bedroom; it worked out just fine. A lot of guests must do this because there is a tray in the kitchen for this use. There was adequate kitchen utensils and cookware. There was also a full-size refrigerator, gas stove/oven, toaster, toaster oven and microwave. We especially enjoyed the canister of coffee supplied in the kitchen; housekeeping topped it off whenever needed. Housekeeping also left a couple pieces of chocolate each day (Ghiradelli of course) and a newspaper was delivered daily, early in the morning to the room, no charge.

The bath seemed to be recently updated w/a full tub, magnifying mirror, hairdryer and plenty of lighting. Hair/body soap was provided; mounted in the shower. Housekeeping came by every day they washed any dishes that were left in the sink, replaced any towels left in the tub and made up the bed. I recall to have the sheets replaced was pretty costly; around $35.00. There is also a $5/day energy charge. The housekeeping staff was very friendly and likeable.

The bed was plenty big for two adults and very comfortable. We used the ceiling fan in the bedroom whenever we were there to keep the unit comfortable and the bedroom windows could also be opened to bring some coolness in.

We found it difficult to catch the Powell Cable Cars because it starts only one or two stops from our location; so no one seems to get off (yet); instead we walked up 1/2 block to the California and took the California cable line over to Embarcadero and caught the MUNI bus to the wharf.

We would return to Powell Place again.

Room Tip: There are no additional amenities. When booking room ask if there is an elevator to that room, othe...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
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32 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012 via mobile

The hotel gets a low score from me for severe lack of concern for patron's security. More on that at the end of the review.

The room itself was quite nice and comfortable, but if you're on one side of the building be prepared to hike up stairs. After long walks throughout the city and climbing up Powell's steep street from Union Square the last thing you want to do is haul your bum up to the fourth floor. It also made arrival and departure challenging with all our luggage. Certainly not undoable, just annoying on vacation.

Property management put together a nice binder in the room with instruction manuals for the room's equipment as well as local hot spots. The check-in agent recommended Uncle Vito's 2 lights down when we first got in. This little hole in the wall mom and pop shop was the perfect welcome to San Francisco.

The little restaurants surrounding the hotel kept us quite happy. Even three great breakfast places nearby.

The cable cars, while super fun, are hard to board near the hotel. The main loading station is at the base of Powell in Union Square. Its usually too full in the morning and early afternoon to catch it away from Union Square. A block away you can catch the bus that takes you straight down to Fishermans Wharf. We found the cable car/muni pass definitely worth while. I would not suggest getting a car in this city. Parking is expensive and hard to come by.

The only reason I would not return to this property is security, and that's a HUGE issue! Each room only has one key. They haven't updated to a key card that is the staple in most hotels. A regular key is fine enough. They attach a heavy weight to it because they want you to leave it at the front desk each and every time you step out so the key doesn't get lost and you get locked out. Fair enough. But what I REALLY had a problem with is NOBODY, not even once asked for our identification when we returned from our outings. Twice the people to hand us back our key were people we hadn't even seen yet. Anyone off the street could walk in and said they were in our room and they would have handed over our key with no questions. I'm sorry but this is such a glaring flaw in their security that I can't get past it. As a former hotel manager myself I will tell you that room security should be every properties number one concern above all else.

If they take the necessary steps to fix this issue I would stay here again. The resorts other little, minor quirks like the stairs gave it an overall homey touch to it.
Fix the security, and I'd up the raring to a 4, very good.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2012

we were in SFO in August of 2011 and stayed at Powell Place. What a great location! We were in a bachelor suite with a partial kitchen which is all we needed for breakfast and a couple of lunches. The rest of the time we were out and about anyway-who wants to cook in SF. There are some nice restaurants around the area and of course the city is full of them! We bought a weekly pass for streetcars and buses and certainly got our money`s worth. Steps to all street cars! It is older and small but friendly staff and very quiet. Next time we would prefer one of the larger suites so we wouldn`t have to use the bed as a couch but no other complaints. We celebrated our anniversary with dinner and drinks under the stars. Dinner at a michelin restaurant in one hotel, taxi to the Top of the Mark and a martini and live music to finish the evening -all for $80. pp-worth every penny and we walked around the corner to our home for the week! Wonderful!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Rockwood, Canada
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2012

This older time share hotel has a fabulous location and a lovely charm to it. It is located right on the tram line which is very fortunate as the road in front is on approximate 45 degree angle which otherwise provides a cardiac workout. We took the tram to the road above and then walked downhill to the hotel each day.

The hotel is located in the posh area of San Francisco, and is convenient to most potential tourist sites. Truly, we could not have found a more convenient hotel in which to stay.

The rooms are tidy and comfortable, with a daily cleaned washroom and shower, as well as a nice kitchenette for the guest's convenience.

The only downfalls were that the rooms were quite hot during the night, and the TV remote has a mind of its own and is quite tricky to use ( even the desk staff have differing opinions as to how it should work).

Room Tip: There is an elevator on site to help get to the 3rd floor. It is really appreciated after walking u...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2012

We loved our stay at Powell Place - the bedroom was cozy, the bathroom was nice, and while the kitchen appliances may have been a tad outdated, they all worked extremely well and finished off the unit with a full kitchen. The back deck was a very nice touch, and I enjoyed morning coffee out there while reading the San Francisco paper - which was delivered to our door every morning.

The cable cars all run right by Powell Street, so the convenient location really could not be beat. We loved our stay...if you get the chance, don't pass on Powell Place!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Healdsburg, California
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2011

We have stayed at Powell Place a couple of times and love the location. It is right on the Powell Cable Car line and less than 25 yards away from the California line. It is just 3 blocks down to Union Square-beware- it is a HIKE back up the hill which is when the cable car comes in handy. Just down the hill are dozens of great restaurants, shops coffee shops and attractions. You really feel like you are in the middle of it all without being down in the bustling, busy and sometimes grungy parts of SF. The rooms themselves are nice and very well equip although they could use some freshening up because they feel a bit tired. The walls and ceilings are very thin, possibly paper thin. We could hear the children above us running, jumping, screaming, yelling, bathing, and it was like they were in the same room as us.
The sofa bed is awful and I felt terrible that my 63 year old mother (who stayed only 2 of our 4 nights with us) had to sleep on it. It is barely adequate for a child.
The bed in the room was just OK, definitely not a heavenly bed if you know what I mean.
I have seen other reviews where people have said the staff is not so friendly. We too experienced some of that but not so much that it ruined our trip.
Self parking is really easy just down a block and a half. The guys at the garage are so friendly and helpful.
I would definitely suggest purchasing MUNI passes for the time you are there and utilize the cable car and muni system.
Powell Place is a great way to tour and see the city and still feel a bit like a local.

Room Tip: The suites are great and spacious but don't expect any adults to be comfortable on the sofa bed.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prescott, Arizona
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2011

We just returned from San Francisco and a week at Powell Place. It was a delight! We arrived on a rainy Friday about an hour ahead of the 4:00 check-in time. Our room was not yet ready. Knowing that we had a small kitchen, we asked where the closest place to purchase grocery items might be, and were directed to a small grocery store a half block down Powell. We left our bags at the hotel and headed out. We were able to purchase the staples we needed for our stay. Our room was ready when we returned.

Our room was perfect for our needs! Very tastefully decorated, with a large sleeping area/queen size bed, a lovely bathroom and a small kitchen. WiFi is available for $20 for the week. (What a bargain!) Each room has a coffee maker with a timer, and mornings we awoke to the delicious smell of coffee brewing. A San Francisco Chronicle was placed outside of our door each morning.

As with many of the boutique hotels in San Francisco, Powell Place is in one of the old Edwardian buildings. Very few of the rooms have a view of any kind. When we looked out of our windows, we saw the side of the next door building about 12 feet away. For us, coming to San Francisco was not about the view, so this did not bother us in the least. Being on the cable car line, you can hear the whirring of the cable and clanging of the bell from 6:00 in the morning until midnight. We delighted in this, considering it to be music of San Francisco!

Being directly on Powell Street has its advantages. It is about 8 blocks DOWN Powell to Union Square. The cable car runs right in front of the hotel, and there is a stop half a block away DOWNHILL on Pine Street. I stress downhill because the famous hills of San Francisco can be quite difficult for those who are physically challenged. There is also a stop on California Street, which is UPHILL.

The people at the front desk were always friendly and accommodating. They have menus from local restaurants that will deliver. (We HIGHLY recommend Uncle Vito’s Italian several blocks down Powell.) They desk can arrange tours, schedule airport shuttle pick-up and have a HUGE library of DVD’s.

My husband and I were on the go from the day we arrived in San Francisco until the day we left. We saw everything from Golden Gate Park to the Occupy San Francisco protest march down Market Street. (All public transportation was halted during this demonstration.) We still didn’t see everything!

YOU DO NOT NEED A CAR IN SAN FRANCISCO!!! Unless it is absolutely necessary, leave your car at home. Parking/driving is a nightmare, and overnight parking is ridiculously expensive. Transportation from the airport is easy. Take a cab ($50+) or shuttle ($16 each person). You can buy a MUNI pass and ride the cable cars and MUNI transportation all over the city. We would often hop on a MUNI bus just to see where it went. It was such fun to people watch from the bus!

Enjoy your stay in San Francisco’s Powell Place. We’ll be back for sure!

  • Stayed November 2011, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Powell Place

Address: 730 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > SoMa
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 69 B&Bs / Inns in San Francisco

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