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“Our favorite staycation location for a minivacation.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Palomar San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel

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Hotel Palomar San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   12 Fourth St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (SoMa)   |  
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Enjoy cocktails for $1
Ranked #39 of 233 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersSilver level
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Our favorite staycation location for a minivacation.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014

The remodel is amazing with a top quality bar/restaurant. Really, the best part of the experienced is the most amazing custome service. We love the staff, and even our toddler named her favorite stuffed dog after one of the valets. Oh yeah, and world class hotel with world class shopping everywhere. Our fourth stay in the last year.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
ChrisSmithGM, General Manager at Hotel Palomar San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, September 2, 2014
Thanks for making this your home away from home. We still have a few more upgrades on the horizon, and look forward to having you experience them on your 5th stay! Come back soon!
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1,478 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (318)
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Oakland, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014

Others here have complained about the lobby, and I admit, I had a similar impression. It is quite small, and not very interesting, with only a few places to sit. The lobby is a first impression, and this was not a great one. That said, I have been to hotels that have amazing lobbies and the rooms are crap. That was not the case here.

We had a very nice, fairly large room looking into the central atrium. The room was well appointed with nice furniture, a comfortable bed, big screen TV, and a nice bathroom. Like others, we had read reviews about noisy rooms, and requested a quite one. We were put on the top floor at the opposite end of the atrium from the outdoor restaurant/bar on the 5th floor. However, it was still not quiet, and I can imagine how bad it would be if closer. This hotel makes a major error with their 5th floor outdoor atrium bar and restaurant. There are guests there until 1 AM on weekends, and you can easily hear them talking and laughing from ANY atrium room. They really need to enclose the bar/restaurant area in glass and give rooms some quiet.

They are in a GREAT location right on Market, right at a BART exit, and only a few blocks from Union Square and lots of other shopping. Yes, there are homeless on the streets, but this is not the hotel's fault. It is San Francisco's.

Unlike others, we arrived a bit early, but had no trouble checking in, so I guess this depends on how busy the hotel is. But, this is where a great lobby would come in handy. There is no place to sit and wait in this tiny space if your room is not ready.

They are understaffed at the front desk. When not crowded, there was no wait issues, but at check out time, there was a WAY too long line. And with only 1 doorman, if cars and taxis are arriving, getting your luggage checked can also take some time.

My last nitpick was the TV. This is a beautiful HD large screen TV in the room, but the channels are not in high def, which makes the screen look awful. I know, a nit, but for such a high end hotel, this bothered me.

All this said, I would stay there again. The location makes up for a lot, and noise stops by 1 AM at the worst. The comfortable rooms and reasonable good service from the albeit small staff makes up for small problems.

Room Tip: Ask for a room FAR AWAY from the 5th floor restaurant and bar. Atrium rooms may all be noisy if the...
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Green Features: Like most hotel's today, they ask people to reuse towels and sheets. But there is no recycle container in the rooms for paper and cans.
  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChrisSmithGM, General Manager at Hotel Palomar San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, September 2, 2014
Thanks for staying and your feedback. Indeed each day, we are continuously improving. Our new TVs that were just installed will have the HD feed in about two weeks. We look forward to seeing you back soon.
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Greensboro
Top Contributor
235 reviews 235 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2014

We never were told about the "construction"... no lobby... looked like we were entering a service hallway.. .. garbage at the main entrance... no doorman/bellhops..... staff was clueless .... rooms were ok but not worth what we were charged... the "spa" tube did not work... fight and threats of violence in room across hall and staff did nothing... the list goes on and on and on...

Room Tip: Pick a room in another hotel....
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
ChrisSmithGM, General Manager at Hotel Palomar San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 27, 2014
Although your positing has come up on Trip Advisor in August, it looks like your stay was back in February an indeed during our renovation period. Sorry that you were inconvenienced, yet please come see us again soon. The renovation is complete and the hotel is looking great!
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Oswego, NY
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

A hotels lobby gives you the initial impression of a hotel. The lobby of the Hotel Palomar is drab and very unwelcoming. It makes you want to turn around and walk back out. We have stayed in other Kimpton hotels and this was the worst lobby. I had requested a quiet room and had even called the day before arrival to make sure the request was received. I was assured it was. Upon check in we were assigned to a noisy 5th floor room. Since I had read other review on TA, I knew this was a noisy floor. Fortunately the front desk person found us another room which did turn out to be a quiet one. The room was small but comfortable and the hotel is located near shopping, restaurants and public transportation. I had asked one of the people at the front desk for a restaurant recommendation and her response was "I really don't eat out much in SF so I don't know much about the restaurants". Since there is not a dedicated concierge I would hope the front desk would be more knowledgeable. We ended up finding our restaurants using online reviews.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
ChrisSmithGM, General Manager at Hotel Palomar San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 25, 2014
Thanks for staying with us. I'm glad the team found you a nice quiet room. I appreciate your comment regarding expanding the knowledge of our front office team so they can better assist with more dining options etc. I will work with the team on this!
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Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

We were on our 7 year anniversary trip, so we splurged for the $700 a night King Deluxe Suite that boasted a large room with a jacuzzi tub.

The pros were definitely the large space, quiet, comfortable bed and LOVED the jacuzzi!

However, for that cost, I expected much more. The location - although wonderfully close to some great shopping - was crowded with homeless people and there was a lot of construction going on. It is a little scary to walk to and from our hotel with the homeless outside shouting.

We arrived in San Francisco at 9am on Saturday. Check in is at 3pm, and you better believe that they hold to that time. We spent most of the day trying to pass the time after a 5 hour flight when all we wanted to do was put our feet up in our cozy room. So, tip - plan on checking in at 3pm and no earlier.

My husband had a migraine, and so we checked in and went to our room expecting to have a cup of coffee (the coffee that had been in the sparse lobby in the AM was gone). Our room did not have a coffee maker. I read the list of amenities and you could request one, so I called down to the front desk and they brought the coffee maker - but no coffee mugs. Instead of calling again to the front desk, we proceeded to drink coffee out of glasses. All the while, I kept thinking, we paid how much for this room?

I did enjoy a long luxurious soak in the jacuzzi tub, and felt it was all worth it after walking all day, until I got out and tried to watch TV.

Both of our televisions kept turning off periodically, and we had to memorize the channel so we could switch back to it when it came back on. But, hey, we had a goldfish in our room?

We did not take advantage of the free wine in the lobby in the evenings because we were either out or there was no place to sit. We did order breakfast in our room, which was little late but thought it was odd that they did not include syrup with the french toast. And for $90.00, including water and nuts from the mini-bar, that was a big oversight.

I wouldn't have been so disappointed if the cost per night were less. It was a great trip. We didn't spend a lot of time in our room, though I took advantage of the jacuzzi for all it was worth.

My advice, if you are going to spend that kind of dough, spend it at the Four Seasons and get the breakfast package for two in the Deluxe Room View.

Room Tip: If you have to stay here, stay on the 7th floor. Very quiet.
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Green Features: How are they environmentally friendly? Is that why we didn't get stir sticks for our coffee?
  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
ChrisSmithGM, General Manager at Hotel Palomar San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 25, 2014
Glad you were able to enjoy the deep soaking tub, yet incredibly sorry we did not exceed your expectations in the other areas. I'm grateful for your candid feedback and have just meet with my team leaders to discuss ways that we can improve in the future. I promise we will.
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

We were initially allocated a room right by the bar, which was noisy, had no view and was very small. Reception staff were most helpful and although We couldn't move that night, our luggage was transferred to a lovely room while we were out the following day. All staff were consistently polite, pleasant and helpful. The location of the hotel is very convenient to shops, restaurants and transport by bus or tram to explore the city. A lovely hotel, welcoming, comfortable and spotless.

Room Tip: Just avoid anything near the bar. There was no noise on the higher floors.
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Green Features: Good recycling policy and polite reminders to conserve water.
  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
ChrisSmithGM, General Manager at Hotel Palomar San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 25, 2014
Thanks for the positive praise and for staying with us. Our new restaurant has become quite popular and we are working diligently to minimize noise form the restaurant bothering any of the guest rooms.
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Ithaca, NY
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
159 helpful votes 159 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

I am an Inner Circle Member for Kimpton and stayed here for 6 nights. As such, I was upgraded to a large room on the 7th floor Executive King overlooking Market Street. It was a well-appointed, quiet, comfortable, and spotlessly clean room.

My Inner Circle amenity was fairly pedestrian and the staff did not really pay attention to my request. Instead of chocolate as I requested, I was given stale crackers and cheese. The wine was also chosen with little thought I felt. They also struggled, at least initially, to get me in-room coffee and mugs for it over my six-day stay.

My biggest complaint about the Palomar is the awful lobby, where they uncomfortable host the evening wine hour. There is seating for precisely 6 people in the lobby, for a room with dozens (actually well over 100 rooms I believe). They then expect people to stand in the small lobby with their wine as people traipse through for the elevators. I was told at check in that the lobby was where wine hour was held and I commented that there was nowhere to sit. Bryan, the agent at the desk, told me "people like to stand". Bryan is wrong. It was, by far, the worst space at any of the 15+ Kimptons I have stayed at (already 11 this year alone). They seriously need to address this in my opinion. I stopped going to the wine hour for the most part because it was not enjoyable in any way. I contrast this with the welcoming living room at a property like 70 Park Avenue in NYC and it really shows even more how poorly designed this space is compared to the inviting atmospheres of other Kimpton Hotels.

The staff was, on the whole, really friendly and gracious. This was a really strong attribute of this property, in my opinion.

Overall, the rooms are great. The staff is sincere and caring. The attention to Inner Circle members needs to be improved and the lobby is not inviting at all and needs to be re-thought.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
ChrisSmithGM, General Manager at Hotel Palomar San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 25, 2014
Thanks for staying with us and your loyalty to Kimpton. We will work on improving our attention to the IC amenity as you referenced. You will be happy to hear that we have new furniture arriving (literally this week) for our lobby. It includes additional seating and will add warmth to the arrival experience. Sorry it wasn't perfect this time around, yet know we are getting better every day.
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Additional Information about Hotel Palomar San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel

Address: 12 Fourth St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > SoMa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in San Francisco
#18 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#24 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#35 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#37 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#43 Family Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Palomar San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 198
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Named one of the world's top 500 hotels by Travel + Leisure, the centrally located Hotel Palomar San Francisco offers a sophisticated urban sanctuary. This luxury boutique hotel occupies a beautiful historic building five floors above the bustling city streets. Showcasing the acclaimed Fifth Floor restaurant, the hotel is within easy walking distance of Union Square, Moscone Center, the Financial District, the thriving SOMA district and the best of San Francisco's theaters, shops and galleries. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Palomar San Francisco
Kimpton San Francisco

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