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“Hip, dog friendly, nice decor” 4 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 #38 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersSilver level
Italy
Top Contributor
321 reviews 321 reviews
90 hotel reviews
Reviews in 95 cities Reviews in 95 cities
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
“Hip, dog friendly, nice decor”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2010

I tried to think of the first three things which came to mind regarding this hotel. First of all, it's very hip/trendy. The decor is nice and even a little quirky. I mean who really gets to use leopard print terrycloth robes outside of their own home? The rooms are small, but well appointed. I was a little taken aback by the number of dogs I saw entering/staying on the property, but my fears quickly subsided . . . I didn't hear one bark, see any fur balls or any "signs" of the furry critters! The staff are generally nice. I was really impressed to see two iced down water containers with my choice of either mint/lemon or strawberry infused water. Gratis! This is a lovely hotel, although it's almost impossible to get a taxi from this spot which was probably the only detractor I can come up with. The hotel is VERY convenient to shopping and also the BART. And, when the going gets tough, there's Blue Bottle Cafe just around the corner! Eat your heart out Starbucks!

  • Stayed August 2010, 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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1,431 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 (302)
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Long Beach, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2010

The Palomar made our trip to San Francisco more special by allowing us to relax in their comfortable beds at the end of a hectic day of sightseeing and shopping. Love that this hotel is pet friendly and Maverick, the animal ambassador, was there to greet everyone coming and going. Also enjoyed the goldfish sent to our room - such a unique way to make one feel right at home! The staff are all friendly and knowledgable - looking forward to staying there soon! Thank you Palomar!!

  • Stayed August 2010
    • 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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St. Albert, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2010

We were very impressed with everything this hotel had to offer. I had read on line earlier that you should join the Kimpton Hotel group facebook page to receive the membership and "secret" word. Well it was well worth it as we were upgraded right off the bat along with having a bar credit and the free wifi in our room. The room was awesome, very large for the two of us. The only - and only - complaint we would have is that there is not a/c and the windows do not open. We came to realize though , that is the norm is San Francisco.
We took advantage of the wine tasting hour on 2 nights. It was great - tasted Australian wine which was too bad! But not to complain! wine is wine and when it's free it even tastes better.
Front desk staff and Lauren at the concierge were very helpful. Lauren booked our tours (Napa Valley Wine Country Tours - highly recommend and Alcatraz) and sent us up a special gift for our engagement. What a surprise that was!
Emilie (front office manager) seemed to wear a couple of hats which included the wine tasting hour and helping us try to fix a reservation mishap.
We didn't try the 5th floor restaurant , instead we went down the street to Mel's Diner for breakfast every morning and supper once. The price is right and they give you an insane amount of food.
The location is perfect - for the cable car and the shopping. We recommend buying the weekly pass for $26 per person instead of $5 for each time you hop on.

  • Stayed August 2010, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2010

We were travelling with our 18 month old daugther so location and amenities were important to us. Hotel Palomar is located right in the centre of town so we caught the BART from SFO to Powell St Station. Once we emerged from the station, the Hotel was just around the corner from Old Navy and Walgrens (a quasi pharmacy / supermarket type store). Other conveniences include a a Westfield Mall next door which had a Food Court and upscale supermarket. It's also a 2 block walk to Union Square and equally as close to the Powell & Hyde Street Cable Car turnaround point.

As for the hotel itself, it's clean and well run. We had no problems checking in and the microwave we requested was already in our room. As we were travelling with an 18 month old, we were concerned about milk and feeding her. The fridges are tiny but we managed. The room was also quite small which surprised me. The bathroom was right next to the bed so when my daughter when to sleep, we all pretty much had to sleep as well. The housekeeping staff a good an come early so don't forget the 'Do Not Disturb' sign. Continental Breakfast Buffet (on Level 5 if they forget to tell you) was included when we booked through Perfect Escapes. Sign up for a Kimpton In Touch membership and you get free wifi. We didn't try the hosted wine reception at 5pm but

I think I would prefer to stay at a Marriott or a more family oriented hotel next time. The lack of space was just too difficult. It's a great location for shopping and night life but not so much for toddlers.

Tips - bring your passport to Macy's Level 6 customer centre to get a 10% off shopping passport. It's valid for 3 days and gives you 10% off everying, ie you avoid sales tax.
Eat at The Cheesecake Factory on Level 7 of Macy's. On a clear day, you get a great view of the city as well as Union Square. Try the Hop On/Off Bus which stops just downstairs from Macy's. Not only will it save you from walking up and down those hilly streets but it was 3pm when we bought our 2 day tickets and the guy gave us a discount!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Honolulu
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2010

I've stayed in at least a dozen hotels in San Francisco within walking distance of the Palomar. Most cost a little less. For me, the slightly higher rate for the Palomar was worth it.

It's not a true luxury hotel, so don't go there expecting something extraordinary; if you're content with a basic, comfortable room, you can find many at a lower rate. But at the Palomar, my room was definitely larger than average. Although I don't spend a lot of time in my hotel rooms, over a period of several days a small room can feel cramped. The bed was fine, the decor was understated and classy. Everything was clean. Flat screen TV with DVD player, mp3-player clock radio, mini bar, bathrobes and umbrella in the closet along with an iron, selection of good newspapers. The bathroom was average--nothing remarkable, but no problems with the shower or anything else (not always the case in my experience; sometimes showers are cramped, or the shower head is too low, or the water turns hot and cold by itself). I was on the seventh floor, and although the windows were covered by plate plexiglass, which dampened exterior noise from the busy street below, I could hear an occasional honk or dumpster routine in the middle of the night. But it was relatively quiet; I've been to many hotels in the area at which dumpsters being emptied in the middle of the night have made sleep impossible; not so here. It has a free wine hour in the evening.

The location--around the corner from Market Street--is a matter of personal preference. It's a short walk to Union Square, but there are many hotels a few blocks closer. I always use the BART, so I liked having the station a minute from the hotel, instead of ten minutes.

I was particularly impressed by the service. Each and every one of the people I dealt with at the front desk was extremely helpful as well as friendly. I got a good recommendation for a breakfast place nearby, and the staff person called to make sure it was serving before I walked over. I had a problem with my check at the hotel bar (under separate management) and the hotel took care of it without any hassle at all. I The doorman always wished me a nice day and asked if I wanted transportation, but he was never pushy. The room was cleaned unobtrusively. These are all things we should expect, but just don't always happen, so when everything works, I think it's worth mentioning.

A few details: The hotel is pet friendly. If you're a Klimpton member, wi-fi is free. The lobby is small, so you won't want to sit in it a read a newspaper or hang out.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hartsdale, New York
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2010

I am a Kimpton member so I like staying at this chain because they give you free internet, wine evenings, and upgrades. I'm also a Facebook friend and they have monthly "secret words" on there to get you extra perks/upgrades. Well, I had a little difficulty with booking. I had booked 3 nights for my business trip, tried to extend another 2 nights but they couldn't give me the same rate. I had to book the extra 2 nights elsewhere to get a good rate. Upon check in I gave the secret word and was told that they were full so the word could not get me upgraded. They offered nothing in exchange for that. I said that since I have another reservation could they try for that second part of my trip? Yes, it was available then. So, 3 days we stayed in the regular King room (835), which was nice. A little small, but the hotel is boutique-ish so it's expected. Due to being a member, we also got a coupon to "raid the minibar" for $10. We tried to eat dinner at Fifth Floor (restaurant) but it was way too crowded and noisy (swanky party, I guess). I loved the coffee/tea in the morning and the wine tasting from 5-6. Nice perk. The fitness room is a joke. There is one treadmill, one elliptical, one bike, and a stretching unit. People were getting frustrated waiting for equipment each day. That really should be made into a larger area with more equipment. Then we checked out of the courtyard view King (courtyard overlooks the inside of Old Navy LOL), and into our upgrade #826. It was about 2 ft larger and had a chair. LOL It overlooked Market St. but wasn't much noisier than the courtyard room. Couple of things that were wrong with the room - the sink in the bathroom is cracked and the shower is missing the wire shelf to put shampoo on. Other than that, it's the exact same room as the other one. Had I known, I wouldn't have bothered moving rooms. But the staff was very nice. And everything was as described. I'd return.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Ireland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2010

This is a great hotel in San Fran. I like the Kimpton chain anyway, but loved this hotel. We had a room on the 8th floor and could hear no street noise. The room was great - quite large. The evening wine tasting is very nice and the morning coffee a lovely touch.

The hotel is located in a great area for shopping and restaurants - only a 2-3 minute walk to Union Square.

The service we received was excellent, from the front desk to the doorman to the restaurant staff.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and will definitely stay here if we visit San Francisco again.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
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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
#17 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#24 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#28 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#39 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#44 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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