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“Best Hotel in San Francisco, hands down!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Drisco

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Hotel Drisco
2901 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94115 (Pacific Heights)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Complimentary Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Santa Monica, California, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best Hotel in San Francisco, hands down!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2012

Being a magazine editor at one of the largest magazines in the country, I get to stay at some pretty amazing hotels whenever I go traveling. My husband lovingly teases me that unless it's a five star hotel, I won't even enter the property. He's kind of right...but I do love the luxury of a amazing hotel room. As a former San Francisco native, traveling to San Francisco is always something extra special and there is nowhere more special than staying at the Hotel Drisco (and I've tried all of the top 5 star hotels in this city). Location-wise, you can't get any better than this. You're living in the most gorgeous residential area in the city, with walking distance to Fillmore Street and Union Street. And the hotel? Absolutely lovely. The building is a historic Victorian with all its charm and beauty. Every part of the property, from the inside out, has been lovingly restored. The entire building was recently renovated and the new interiors are beautiful, soothing and pristine. And the staff! They're simply incredible. They make you feel as if you're a long-lost relative. The amazing breakfast buffet and the lovely wine and cheese hour every night (both included in your hotel room price) enhances the feeling of you staying with family. I love this hotel so much and it's the #1 hotel I recommend to anyone who is visiting my favorite city in the world: San Francisco. Stay here! You will never stay anywhere else.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DriscoManager, General Manager at Hotel Drisco, responded to this review, May 31, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thanks very much for your wonderfully kind comments. I am so glad that you love the Drisco!

I have always loved the Drisco, well before I ever became the General Manager here. This property reflects my personality and meets my needs better than any other hotel in San Francisco. However, it is so important to us that our guests enjoy their stay here, that I feel compelled to point out that the Drisco is not the perfect hotel for everyone.

For example, if you are looking to be in the center of the action, if you thrive on the vibrant pulse of jam-packed crowds, if you want to be within 60 seconds' walk to shopping and dining, then there are simply other hotels better suited to you in San Francisco. If, however, you feel at home tucked away in a high-end residential neighborhood at the top of a hill, but still close to world-class shopping and dining, then you can't beat the Drisco.

If you require an environment completely free of ambient noise, there are other hotels in San Francisco that have been built much more recently, with state-of-the-art soundproofing. The Drisco was built in 1903 with traditional wood-framed construction. The floors can creak a little, and the windows open wide to let in both the fresh air as well as the sounds of the neighborhood.

If you always look for the hippest, hottest and newest hotel, there are more modern hotels than the Drisco, to be sure. However, if you appreciate classic elegance and warm, friendly service, you simply cannot do better in San Francisco than a stay at the Hotel Drisco.

Kind Regards,

John Spear
General Manager
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1,079 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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English first
Naples, Florida
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

This hotel was recommended to me by another small hotel I have stayed in that could not accommodate me. They made a mistake. I will always try to stay here when visiting San Fran in the future. Not only is the property immaculate, in a quiet safe neighborhood, and full of San Fran charm, with an outstanding complimentary breakfast and wine reception (both way beyond expectations) but the real stars are the staff who understand hospitality at a level I have never experienced. To the person, they seem genuinely happy to meet you and go out of their way to help you have an outstanding visit. We were in San Fran on very unpleasant business, but because we stayed at Hotel Drisco, we almost felt that we were on a mini vacation. Hotel Drisco will be my first choice whenever I travel to San Fran in the future. Do yourself a favor and make a reservation. You'll not regret it.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
DriscoManager, General Manager at Hotel Drisco, responded to this review, May 31, 2012
Dear Guest,

I am so pleased that you found a new hotel in San Francisco! Thank you for your lovely comments about the hotel and the staff.

Kind Regards,

John Spear
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tallmadge, Ohio
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

Very quaint area. Loved walking the neighborhood and looking at the houses. The staff was FANTASTIC! It was like staying with family, but without all the obligations! The staff remembered our names (nice customer service touch), and they were VERY courteous and helpful. The continental breakfast was great; nice selection...so many temptations...just throw the diet out the window and dig in! The tea/coffee room was a nice touch. We took a cup of tea back to our room every evening. The water adorned with sliced, fresh fruit was tasty too. We didn't have a chance to try the wine and cheese tasting in the evening, but it sure smelled wonderful! Well done all the way around. Nice amentities (loved the chocolate dipped cookie each evening), comfortable/clean rooms, friendly staff, quiet neighborhood...what a GREAT find!

Room Tip: The top rooms have a beautiful view. We opted for an inside room, which cost less per night. Since...
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  • Stayed April 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DriscoManager, General Manager at Hotel Drisco, responded to this review, May 31, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your very kind comments about your stay with us. I'm very pleased that you felt the staff were like family! I especially appreciated your "room tip" about the more expensive rooms with views and the less expensive rooms without views, since this topic generates a lot of comments form our guests, and I would like to take this opportunity to describe our rooms in some detail:

We have 48 guestrooms here at the Drisco, of which 19 are suites. Every suite faces the exterior of the building, with the City View Suites and Two Bedroom Two Bath Suites providing wonderful city views and the One Bedroom Suites looking out on our lovely neighborhood. The other type of guestroom that faces the exterior and offers city views in our City View Deluxe King guestroom. If a room that faces the exterior of the building is important to you, you will want to book one of the room types mentioned above. Because of their larger size and the more expansive views offered, these are also our more expensive room types.

If you would like to experience all of the wonderful complimentary services and amenities we offer here at the Drisco, but at a slightly lower price, then choosing one of our Deluxe King or Deluxe Queen rooms is the way to go. The majority of these rooms face our interior courtyard. We keep our courtyard very neat and tidy, but there are no city or neighborhood views from the majority of these guestrooms.

Lastly, if you are a real bargain hunter, I will let you in on a secret here on TripAdvisor that you will not find on our web site -- what we call our Detached Bath Guestrooms. These are our least expensive rooms (while still offering all our wonderful complimentary services and amenities). The important things to understand about these rooms are: 1.) The rooms have completely private bathrooms but your private bathroom is located across a public hallway, 2.) the rooms are very small and do not have desks and 3.) There are no views from these rooms.
Our Detached Bath Guestrooms are not available online -- please call the hotel directly and specifically ask if one of these rooms is available for your dates of stay.

Thanks again!

John Spear
General Manager
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Alexandria, Virginia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

I just spent 3 nights at the Hotel Drisco as a special birthday treat from my son and daughter. The three of us stayed in room 408, a large comfortable suite with an amazing view. From the minute we arrived at the hotel the customer service was outstanding. The room was exceptionally clean and was outfitted with everything you could possibly need. A call to the front desk for extra pillows had them at our door in 5 minutes. The continental breakfast was delicious and beautifully presented (the lattes were wonderful!). I even took advantage of the gym which, although small, had everything I needed.
We walked to Union Street when we first arrived and had lunch at Rosa's Cafe...another great find! The hotel is in a gorgeous, safe neighborhood within walking distance of the shops and restaurants on Union St. if you love to walk.
I fell in love with San Francisco on an extended visit in 2010 and now I have fallen in love with the Hotel Drisco. I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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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DriscoManager, General Manager at Hotel Drisco, responded to this review, May 31, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thanks for your kind words! So glad to hear you have fallen in love with the Drisco!

In your review you mentioned walking to Rose's Cafe (one of my favorites), and I wanted to take the opportunity here to describe a few of the other restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.

The Drisco is located in a quiet residential neighborhood, so there are no commercial establishments in the immediate vicinity of the hotel -- just tree-lined streets and lovely homes. One of the closest restaurants, Garibaldi's, lies seven blocks southwest. It's a San Francisco institution and is known for delicious and inventive California-Mediterranean cuisine. Just a few paces further in the same direction is Osteria, a family-owned traditional Italian restaurant. In the other direction, eight blocks away, lies Rose's (mentioned above), a restaurant specializing in local California products but drawing creative inspiration from Italy. Just beyond Rose's on Union Street are dozens of additional wonderful restaurants. There are even more restaurants located on Sacramento Street 10-12 blocks to the West ((including Spruce, consistently rated one of the best restaurants in all of San Francisco) and on Fillmore Street six to ten blocks to the East.

One advantage to our location atop a hill in Pacific Heights is that every one of these restaurants are a downhill walk from the hotel. However, when it comes time to return, it's a very steep walk back up the hill. For this reason many of our guests choose to walk to their restaurant of choice and then take a taxi back. But if your'e fit and want to burn off that creme brulee you just had for dessert, it's a lovely walk both ways!

Many thanks again,

John Spear
General Manager
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Shiloh , VA
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2012

After reading the great reviews on Trip Advisor, we booked two nights at Hotel Drisco. We were not disappointed. The Hotel is lovely, in a great neighborhood. Breakfast was great, a lovely variety of pastries, delicious granolas, fresh fruit, etc. Tea 7 coffee 24/7.
The wine & cheese each evening was very nice, good wine, olives, cheeses, pleasant staff!
The room was nicely done, and very comfortable, quiet.
Would love to return!

  • Stayed May 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DriscoManager, General Manager at Hotel Drisco, responded to this review, May 31, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your terrific review! We would love to have you return!

Kind Regards,

John Spear
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lafayette, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2012

Love Period Buildings, Pacific Heights Mansions, and top of the world views? Want to have excellent, comfortable, friendly service that will make you feel as well cared for as Lord & Lady Grantham of Downton Abbey? Then Hotel Drisco is an excellent choice! Both the building and the staff are wonderful and give you that stepping-back-in-time-to-a-better-time feeling. From the moment you arrive you will be impressed with how friendly, pleasant, and helpful the whole staff is (true career professionals- no disgruntled staff here!) The neighborhood is wonderful - it's worth staying here just so you can step out for a stroll around the very peaceful neighborhood and take in views from all directions, all the while admiring the many beautiful mansions and how fabulous it would be to live in any one of them! The room is perfect: solid and comfortable, and very appealing in the traditional white trim wood kind of way, but with all the modern conveniences you'll want, like large flat screen TV. The bed and bedding are really wonderful too. Love staying in an ultra-modern space with lots of metallic decor and floor to ceiling glass windows? Then go somewhere else, because at the Drisco you get the real, traditional, white wood framed, "hoist it open by hand" windows, which all add to the back in time feeling I love so much. (If you are the type of person that likes modern Vegas hotels and demand everything to be sleek and slick, then you aren't going to understand the true beauty of the Drisco, and fellow Drisco lovers certainly won't understand you either :) The icing on the cake is the complimentary wine reception at 5pm (the Merlot served was a really great choice to compliment the gourmet assortment of cheeses and hors duerves which were so tasty, it was almost a dinner, and some of the best food I had all trip), as well as the wonderful breakfast downstairs, again with really nice fruit, breads, cream cheese, and to-die-for Salmon Lox, etc, in such a pleasant little room with many tables, and more great staff, all which add perfectly to the Pacific Heights feeling of your stay. One other thing I really appreciate, is that, although it’s not the cheapest place to stay, once you’ve paid for the room, you’ll find that they’ve included so many other wonderful things which are either free (such as the Wine Reception, and Breakfast) or very reasonable, such as the $10 panini’s and sandwiches which can be delivered to your room (in contrast to so many other hotels which seem to gouge you at every turn once they’ve got you captive ) Can you tell I give the Drisco a major thumbs up? :) To be fair, the only things to watch out for are: Know what you are looking for - if you want location near all the cheap touristy attractions, or if you insist on a new & modern kind of thing, then this is not the place for you. This place is for people who want to experience a prestigious bit of old SF, in a prestigious old SF neighborhood. Also, since it is an older building, I suppose you may hear a bit of room to room noise occasionally (although we did not) however the Drisco even provides each room a really nice sound & clock radio which allows you to drift off to ocean waves or many other nice sounds - just another example of how well they will take care of your every need to give you the perfect Pacific Heights experience at the Hotel Drisco!

Room Tip: Our room with an expansive City View was nice to have, but the neighborhood is so nice in general, t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DriscoManager, General Manager at Hotel Drisco, responded to this review, May 31, 2012
Dear Guest,

What can I say other than I could have written this review myself! You have managed to capture everything that we're about here at the Drisco while at the same time recognizing that there is a certain type of person that will especially appreciate everything we have to offer. If it's a sleek, ultramodern sensory-deprivation chamber you seek, you would do well to look elsewhere. For luxurious charm and fantastically friendly service, look no further than the Hotel Drisco!

Thank you for your lovely review!

John Spear
General Manager
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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2012

We stayed a night at the Hotel Drisco for our anniversary, and it was lovely. The check-in service was friendly and helpful, offering a map of the area. They had sparkling cider chilled and waiting in the room for our special event, along with a selection of chocolates from a local chocolatier and some nice bath salts in the bathroom. And the room itself (Suite 106) was also quite lovely, offering nice views of the city. We ordered panini from room service at one point, and those were good too. The room also had a refrigerator stocked with a selection of drinks as well as snacks on hand.

It's a nice neighborhood to walk through and look at the architecture and gardens, and the hotel was within walking distance to Fillmore Street, which has some great little restaurants and an eclectic variety of shops. Not sure how easy it is to park at El Drisco, however; we didn't drive ourselves, but did overhear other guests complaining about finding a spot.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DriscoManager, General Manager at Hotel Drisco, responded to this review, May 31, 2012
Dear Guest,

I am very pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us, and thank you for the great review!

You mentioned parking towards the end of your review, and I would like to give everyone a little more information here about just how convenient it is to park your car with us.

First and foremost, the Drisco does not operate a parking lot or structure of any kind and, as such, we do not have a parking charge. Because of our location at the top of a hill in a very exclusive residential neighborhood, street parking is usually plentiful, close and convenient (and free -- no meters). However, there are certain times, especially during popular citywide events, when parking near the Drisco can be a challenge. Fortunately those times are few and far between. We take pride in offering our guests a free and convenient parking option on the residential streets surrounding the hotel, however much as we would like to be able to, we simply cannot guarantee that close, convenient parking will always be available.

If you will be bringing a car to the Drisco, you should also be aware that there are parking time limits as well as street-cleaning restrictions. Fortunately, if you choose to, you may leave your car keys in the capable hands of our Bell Staff and they will move your car for you whenever necessary. There is of course no charge for this service.

Lastly, if you are not accustomed to driving and parking in a large urban area, please be aware that it is highly advisable not to leave any personal belongings in view in your vehicle. Even though we are located in a stunningly beautiful and safe neighborhood, our view is that you can never be too cautious in this regard.

Sincerely,

John Spear
General Manager

P.S. As an alternative (although one I do not recommend), you can choose to pay $57/night to park at the St. Regis Hotel, $58.14/night to park at the Four Seasons Hotel or $70.68/night to park at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. It's up to you!
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Additional Information about Hotel Drisco

Address: 2901 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Pacific Heights
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#2 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#2 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#4 Green Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Drisco, constructed in 1903, blends traditional elegance with the convenience, comfort, and amenities of a world-class modern hotel. Our warm hospitality, inviting atmosphere, and impeccable service are designed to please business and leisure travelers alike. Our complimentary services include a gourmet continental breakfast, evening wine reception, chauffeured sedan service to several popular San Francisco locations and complimentary high-speed Internet access. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Drisco Hotel San Francisco
Drisco San Francisco

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