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“Great value in down town San Francisco” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Union Square Plaza Hotel

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Union Square Plaza Hotel
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   432 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Union Square)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #174 of 233 Hotels in San Francisco
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great value in down town San Francisco”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

I was a bit worried when I booked this hotel after reading the other reviews. I just needed a centrally located hotel near the Hilton for a conference, and didn't want to pay $300 a night for a room I would only be sleeping in.
When I arrived at the hotel I was very impressed by its location, a block from where I needed to be, and opposite a theatre. The front desk staff where very friendly, and as my luggage hadn't made it over with me they suggested a couple of local options for buying some essentials.
The room was clean and tidy, a little aged, but I would classify it as charming and quaint. The bed was comfortable, the TV worked well, and it had a decent size bathroom and closet. It didn't have air conditioning, but did have opening windows, and San Francisco is not exactly warm in October, so it wasn't an issue.
Everything I needed was within walking distance, fast food for late night cravings after a 16 hour flight, decent restaurants on the other side, drug store, and decent shops a few blocks away.
If you are after 5 star opulence, then pay the $350 a night down the road. If you need a clean functional room near the centre of town, this is perfect.

  • Stayed October 2012, 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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388 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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English first
Barrington, N.J. 08007
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

The hotel was in need of a face lift...was not a 4 star as advertised. On the positive side....the sheets were clean and the bathroom, although dated was clean. The noise on the street was a bit much especially on weekends, but the price was cheap for San Francisco...so you get what you pay for.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012 via mobile

The 1st thing that ' greets ' you is the smell , which rather resembles a body decomposing at a guess .
On entering our room it was quite apparent they've never hired a window cleaner . The wallpaper hanging off the wall was just as obvious as the window sill crumbling away .
It looked like the rust on the radiator had merely been painted over . The wooden block propping up the radiator to stop it falling off the wall was a 1st for me .
We ordered a roller bed for the room . When this eventually arrived , we had to remove some furniture to get it in . Needless to say , when we tried the door to the room it couldn't fully open .
We booked this room for 2 nights . How we managed to stay just the 1 is beyond me .
The following morning we packed our bags and checked in at the hotel 2 doors up , deciding to take a hit on our money rather than deciding to stay another night .

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Fort Myers, FL
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

This was my first trip to San Francisco, CA. We chose the hotel based on its "quaintness" and location. Loved the location and wasn't expecting a 4 star room. It was small, but adequate. Was surprised there was no refrigerator or ice machine. (The Jack in the Box nearby has a great $1 Lg. drink special - we ordered that and asked them to hold the soda!) Our room overlooked the alley and, living in Florida, we were looking forward to opening the windows. During the day, the city noises are not too overwhelming. At night, windows open or closed, you're going to hear lots of noise: street people rummaging through the trash bins for bottles or arguing amongst themselves; being jarred out of a sound sleep between 2-5 am by the trash trucks - and they don't all come on the same day; and nearby employees park their motorcycles in the alley. Windows offer no muffling of the noise, you will wake up! You WILL also be awakened each morning at 7 am by a group of protesters with bullhorns at a nearby hotel. That got us up and out early, at least the city wakes up early. We simply turned in early each night - had to in order to get some sleep before the noise started!

Room Tip: Do not get a backside room!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

I knew exactly what I was going for but the hotel (more like a motel though) was very much beat down. Well for $100 a night in San Francisco, you actually cannot expect too much. However, i could not dream of a better LOCATION than Union Square. Everything was close, from the Chinatown to the malls to Japan Town. We even had supper downstairs at the Japanese restaurant Katana-Ya where it was simply delicious. Fisherman's wharf was 30 mins walk away and we did not need a car to travel around. This hotel/ motel is perfect if all you need from them is a place to sleep.

The 7th floor where we were had a strong smell of musk and urine. The room was decent but the bathroom and toilet were tiny. No air conditioner in the room but as per previous comments, who needs air conditioner in San Francisco? The bed was a queen one with clean sheets. The window was not insulated, therefore you could hear the noise from the street, especially when the garbage trucks showed up early morning. Our toilet got clogged up and we were moved to the 2nd floor where the smell was less intense but the room was noisier. The windows were even worse there. The front desk guys were more or less helpful but did not seem to care about their job.

To sum up, if I were on a budget and asked to go there again, I would. After all, in downtown San Francisco, where else for $100 per night could you get a room with your own bathroom/ toilet and at a safe prime location such as Union Square?

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

Negative star!

That's right. I gave this horrible venue a negative star. Run down, dirty, sketchy hotel with horrendous room.

To top it all off, they charge $500 a night??? No thank you!

Thanks for "almost' ruining our girls trip. We got to SF bright and early few weeks ago. It was SF marathon weekend and most hotels were booked in Union Square area. We needed 2 beds for 4 girls.That's fine. If we are paying that much, we expected a decent room. Mind you, this was Not my first trip there. Maybe 20th trip. Or even 25th trip. So we know the prices. Given how run down it looks from outside, we decided to give it a chance. It was too early to check in, so we were told to leave our luggage next to the elevator. The guy from reception went and put a fish net on top after. So safe!

After a very long brunch, we came back and we were able to go to our "room". You think downstair was bad? Wait till you see the twilight zone of a room! Went up the creaky elevator to second room. Holy mother of skechiness. If I was paying $2 for a room in Thailand, maybe I should expect this. Not when I'm paying $500 right in the middle of SF!

It was over. We got into the dirty, dark and very very run down room. Of course, the bed sheets are dirty. And they have stains all OVER! Hair, stains and possibly bed bugs~!! This was the worst hotel experience of my LIFE! And I have been all over the world. At this point- I didn't care how much it will cost me, I just needed to get out of there.

After calling Expedia-Thank GOD! , we were told that we had 3 mins to get out if we want out money back. Four of us girls never ran as fast with luggage's! Of course, we've already asked the front desk guy about it and he said no. But thanks to Expedia, our lives and health were saved. God knows what else is in those rooms. They need to be ashamed of themselves for letting people stay in those rooms, let alone charging them for it!

Room Tip: Avoid all the rooms! Avoid the hotel period.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

I waited awhile after staying at this place so that there wouldn't be any repercussions. The location of the hotel was exactly what I expected, although I wouldn't call it a "hotel" by any means. There we so many things wrong with this place, I will keep it to the major one's that I think you should know. This is because I honestly believe you could end up in the hospital from staying here.

I am the type of person that usually doesn’t complain about things and will just stay somewhere else instead. This place was so horrible that I feel compelled to warn people in an effort to protect them. This is an honest appraisal of this place.

The location and price were reasonable and what I was expecting. We got there in the late afternoon and the man at the desk was very nice and extremely helpful in helping us unload our luggage and helping us with parking. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about him and I think others in the service industry could take lessons from him. The lobby was very tiny but it was fairly clean.

My family and I had 2 rooms on the second floor for our overnight stay. I noticed almost immediately up reaching the second floor that my eyes started burning and I got a weird tickle in the back of my throat. When I entered my room, the sensations got worse. The room had absolutely no ventilation outside of leaving the front door open so that anyone could see into your room. This place is not in a very safe area, so we had to close the doors. This completely intensified what I was feeling.

I am from Seattle and due to the amount of moisture that is in the area, everyone knows about mold and are extremely diligent to identifying it and getting rid of it. Because of my experience in Seattle, I could identify that what I was feeling was due to the presence of a lot of mold.

The size of the room was extremely small. There was a foot in between the side of the bed and the wall, and also a foot between the end of the bed and the entertainment center. The only room four our suitcase was on the other side of the bed in between the side of the bed and the bathroom door. If you laid down a normal size suitcase and open the top an lay it down, there was no room for anywhere to walk without stepping over the suitcase.

In the bathroom, if you were to sit down on the toilet and shut the door, there was 6 inches between my knees and the door. I am of a slim build so I was able to make due with the size. I cannot imagine trying to use that bathroom even if I was slightly overweight. When I went to take a shower, the shower itself was clean, but there was a massive amount of mold on the inside of the shower curtain. Because we didn’t want to touch it, we didn’t use it. This caused the bathroom floor to flood and the water seeped into the carpet of the room.

I could tell that this is probably a reoccurring issue because they had a sign in the bathroom requesting that you use the shower curtain. I think that this can explain a big chunk of the presence of mold. That and the fact that there was no ventilation.

After I showered I inspected the room further. I found many stains on the walls of multiple colors. A couple looked like blood, there were a bunch of yellow stains, and then I finally found a brown patch on the wall. It looked like feces to me at first and it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned because there were still particles of whatever it was on the area. It looked like it hadn’t been cleaned at all. Upon further investigation, I smelled it and it was indeed feces. Let me repeat this. THERE WAS LITERAL FECES ON THE WALL.

At that point I was so tired that I ignored everything that was wrong with the room and decided to not even bother to try for another room. If I had have had any energy left I would have tried to get another room.

The next morning we left in a hurry. 3 out of the four people in my group were having the same health concerns from 2 different rooms. We got all of our stuff out of there and then proceeded to check out with a new person at the front desk. This gentleman was different than the person from the day before.

I decided to tell the person our concerns with the rooms and hotel, in an effort to let them know that they might need to check with there cleaning crew about the state of the rooms. This person had an extremely volatile attitude towards us from the beginning.

His response to me was word for word, “I don’t care”. When I told him about the feces on the wall, he said he didn’t care about that either. When I asked for the General Manager’s contact information, he said that he was the General Manager. When I told him that I was sure that the Health Department would be interested in what I had found, he said that he didn’t give a [--]. Then he asked me, “What are you going to do about it”?

At this point I completely gave up and got out of there as fast as I could. This gentleman was in his mid 40’s and was pretty much bald. I would look out for him if you were staying there.

I have personally been to over 15 different countries outside of the continental US, from Asia to Europe, to the Middle East. I am not making this up when I say that this is literally “The worst place I have ever stayed in my entire life”. This includes overseas hostels.

I hope that you find this helpful. The main reason that I am writing this much is because I believe this place is a health hazard and you could get sick, let alone small children and infants. Please be forewarned. I am a real person and this was my real experience. DO NOT EVER STAY HERE.

Because my experience was beyond words, I have notified the following sites about it: Booking.com, Priceline.com, Hostelworld.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Hotels.com, and Hotwire.com. They all said pretty much the same thing. They said that they would look into it and see if there were similar complaints. They also stated that they will put this hotel under investigation as to whether or not it will remain listed on their sites. Since then, I have had a couple of responses from them and they are going to actively ask for other people’s experience to corroborate mine.

I hope this has helped you make your decision.


“Yes, feces on the wall.”

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Union Square Plaza Hotel

Address: 432 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #174 of 233 Hotels in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Union Square Plaza Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 72
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Also Known As:
Hotel Union Square Plaza
Union Square Plaza San Francisco

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