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“A little Gem of a Boutique Hotel” 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
Orlando, Florida
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“A little Gem of a Boutique Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

A little gem of a hotel. Beautiful boutique hotel on Pacific Heights. No 2 on Trip Adviser and I'm only surprised it's not No 1 (but I haven't actually stayed at the Fairmont so perhaps I'm biased).
Our room (suite) was fabulous with every little comfort and the king bed was so comfortable it was difficult to get up in the morning. Breakfast was superb, even with little jars of English clotted cream to put on your scones! Every evening they host a complimentary cheese and wine session lasting 1.5 hours.
It is a liitle way from the downtown or Fisherman's Wharf action but they do provide a complimentary chauffeured car to Union Square in the mornings and you can use a cheap 1/3/5 day bus/cable car pass to get around after that.
Car parking is on street and handled by the hotel staff who move the cars around as needed. The reception/concierge staff are so polite and helpful and make you feel really important.All the remaining staff are also friendly and helpful. In my opinion it is very good value for money and you will leave feeling really good and wanting to return.
One tip to end with...do try to see Beach Blanket Babylon at Club Fugazi while in town.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 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, September 19, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thanks for staying with us instead of the Fairmont Ghirardelli Place! Actually to be fair to my friends at the Fairmont, they have a lovely property. I've stayed there myself -- the rooms are great and the service is excellent. You don't get to the #1 spot on Trip Advisor by running a second rate hotel! Having said that, I just absolutely love the character, the experience and the fantastic service we provide here at the Drisco (usually at half the price of the Fairmont, I might add!).

Rest assured that our little jars of imported English clotted cream will be waiting for you on your next visit with us.

Thanks so much for taking the time to post a review.

Kind Regards,

John Spear
General Manager

P.S. I concur -- do not miss Beach Blanket Babylon at Club Fugazi!
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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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Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012 via mobile

We stayed at the Hotel Drisco for 5 nights at the beginning of our adventure in CA. Although slightly small our room on the 3rd floor was luxuriously appointed and immaculately clean. Much thought has been put into the decoration and finish to all of the public areas and you definitely feel like you are staying in a top quality hotel. All of the staff were incredibly helpful and pleasant to deal with particularly Bob and Jon providing helpful and useful advice to travellers new to SF. Breakfast is served in a very pleasant room and consists of a European style buffet. Once again it was excellent.

The hotel is situated in the Pacific Heights area of the city. Pacific Heights is a high end area a good distance from the city centre and touristy type attractions. We found getting to and from these areas difficult. SF isn't blessed with large numbers of taxis on hand and more than once we struggled to get back to the hotel. Public transport within SF doesn't seem to be at the standard of major european cities. For the same reason dining out is challenging. The nearest restaurants are on Fillmore a good 20 minute walk. Perhaps the hotel could form an association with a taxi company and help alleviate these issues?

Overall we loved our stay at the Drisco and would recommend it to all

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, September 19, 2012
Dear Guest,

I am so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us, and I will convey your thanks to both Bob and Jon. I am grateful every day for the excellent staff here at the Drisco that take such good care of our guests.

I am particularly pleased that you enjoyed your Drisco experience despite the transportation challenges you described. For the benefit of our future guests I think it would be helpful for me to mention a few points about transportation in San Francisco, and specifically in our beautiful Pacific Heights neighborhood:

1.) First and foremost, there are simply not enough taxis in San Francisco. And because of our location in an upscale residential neighborhood outside the tourist frenzy of Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf, when the City gets busy and/or the weather turns rainy, it can sometimes be challenging to get taxis out to the Drisco in a timely manner. If you have an important meeting, a dinner reservation,a boat to Alcatraz, please do make advance arrangements.

2.) Public transportation in San Francisco can be a wonderful experience in and of itself -- including the historic F line and of course the cable cars -- but there is simply no comparison with the underground systems in cities like London and Paris for fast and efficient public transportation. The MUNI bus lines, however, are quite comprehensive, and we highly recommend making use of the bus system. Several lines are very convenient to the Drisco.

3.) We offer complimentary chauffeur service every weekday morning from the Drisco to points in the Presidio, Union Square and the Financial District. At other times we charge $25 for this service (airport service costs more). In order to assure there is space available, you will need to reserve these services in advance.

If you are aware of all three points above and can plan your important trips in advance, we're quite sure you'll head off most of the transportation challenges that San Francisco has to offer. We're still looking for a way around rush hour traffic though!

Thanks again for your review.

Kind Regards,

John Spear
General Manager
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Alamo, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

The Hotel Drisco has been our "home away from home" for nearly 20 years. We live only 30 miles from San Francisco but when we stay at The Hotel Drisco, we feel as if we are in a small but elegant European hotel.
The entire staff from the reception desk to the breakfast buffet is professional, friendly, helpful, and gracious. Exceptional service is the staff's highest priority. The reception desk has information sheets about everything of interest: walking tours, activities with children, local restaurants, shopping, arts and culture, and many more. They provide a binder listing hundreds of DVDs that may be checked out (at no charge) to be viewed in the room. And speaking of rooms: they are charming, clean, comfortable, and very well appointed. I look forward to the complimentary cookies and spring water as well as the nightly complimentary shoe shine. Each evening the staff offers a lovely selection of wines and appetizers in the downstairs dining room. And, the elaborate breakfast buffet each morning is a culinary delight with an immense selection of delicious food. We love the hotel, we love the location, we love the staff....and we have a reservation to stay again next month.

Room Tip: The rooms at the front of the hotel on the higher floors have lovely views.
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  • Stayed August 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 3
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, September 19, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thanks so much for your kind words, and for being a loyal guest of ours for the past 20 years! We absolutely love serving as the "home away from home" for so many long-term guests.

You really covered the bases in describing many of our complimentary amenities in your review!

Thanks again, as we'll see you again soon...

Kind Regards,

John Spear
General Manager
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1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012 via mobile

We just returned. The hotel was a disappointment primarily because of bad room and bad service. We were given a room on the first floor right in between the two primary staircases. Although the rom was a good size, it was very loud. Neither my husband nor I slept the first night due to foot traffic outside our door, thin walls, and a running fan and faucet in a neighboring room. When we asked about the noise the next day the staff suggested we ask the neighboring room to not use the bathroom at night. This seemed very u helpful especially since we had no idea who was next door. Also, when we checked in we were told there was no other room available which I find hard to believe as we checked in right st the checking time at the start of the weekend. It's like going to an empty restaurant where you've reserved a month in advance and being given the table in between the bathroom and the swinging kitchen door. Otherwise, if you have better luck on the room, the staff was unhelpful (when we checked out, total failure to ask how was our stay, or if we needed help with our bags). The breakfast was good, but for $400 a night, I'd stay somewhere else, buy my own breakfast at one of SF's many delicious bakeries. The hotel advertises a fitness room which it does have -- basically an extension of the kitchen, with one treadmill, one bike and one elliptical. Everything worked but again, for the price of the hotel, something better would be nice. Finally, don't stay here if you have kids (we don't). Location was quiet and we enjoyed being close-ish to chestnut street and marina.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
DriscoManager, General Manager at Hotel Drisco, responded to this review, September 11, 2012
Dear Guest,

I am so sorry that you did not have a great experience here at the Drisco. Please feel free to reach out to me personally so that we can discuss the issues that you experienced. I would also like to take the opportunity here to clarify some of the points raised in your review.

I always take great care to stress in my management replies here on Trip Advisor that despite the fact that we are located in a very quiet and serene neighborhood and that our guests are extremely respectful of others and well-mannered, the Drisco is not a super-modern super-soundproofed hotel -- sometimes the sounds of others’ lives are shared when we wish that were not the case! I realize that this does not bring back your night of lost sleep, for which I remain extremely sorry.

I think it also might be helpful to illuminate a few points about how hotels work operationally in terms of the assignment of rooms. First, at the vast majority of hotels rooms are assigned on the day of arrival and not before, no matter how far in advance you make your reservation, and no matter what time of day you check in. The reason is so that the hotel can best accommodate different lengths of stay in the different room types it offers. Certainly there can be exceptions to this here and there, but that is the reason for the way the industry works. On top of that, the Drisco is privileged to run at 100% occupancy very, very frequently, so often we have very limited flexibility (or none at all) to re-accommodate guests who do not take a fancy to a particular aspect of the room they have been assigned. But I should point out that my staff will try their best to make such accommodations whenever possible.

I am very sorry that our Fitness Center was not to your liking. We remodeled it last year at a substantial cost, and as I have pointed out in a previous review reply here on Trip Advisor, it is the largest and best-equipped Fitness Center I have ever experienced at a hotel with fewer than 50 rooms. It contains the following equipment, all under one year old: Treadmill with integrated LCD TV, elliptical with integrated LCD TV, stationary bicycle with integrated LCD TV, universal gym that can be configured for 28 different exercises, 18 barbells, three exercise balls, two yoga mats and two bicycles that are available for our guests to ride around San Francisco. The Center is open 24 hours a day and it is stocked with fresh cucumber water as well as complimentary ear buds for the three TVs. However, we still recognize that some of our guests require the services of a fully-equipped fitness facility, which is why we offer unlimited complimentary passes to the excellent Presidio YMCA. There is a photo of our Fitness Center on our web site.

In sum, I remain extremely disappointed that we let you down on your recent stay with us, and I have already reiterated with my staff that it is their responsibility to do everything in their power to make our guests happy (including asking them how their stay was at check-out!). In my experience we are able to provide outstanding service here at the Drisco and please our guests very close to 100% of the time, and I think the other reviews here on Trip Advisor bear that observation out. However, that was clearly not the case with your experience here and for that I am deeply sorry. I will end by asking you again to please feel free to reach out to me personally if you would like to discuss any aspect of your stay. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Kind Regards,

John Spear
General Manager
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Brentwood, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

We chose Hotel Drisco because of the area initially. It's a beautiful location within easy walk (5-10mins) of good bars and restaurants on Fillmore. It's also a short walk to the Presidio. Buses are pretty good and get you around easily. The Hotel itself offers great views of the city and some old-world charm inside. The over-riding memory is of the friendly staff though. They could not have been more knowledgeable or helpful - from pointing out shortcuts, best bus routes, restaurants to go to and making bookings on our behalf - they were all fabulous. We would highly recommend this hotel

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the City
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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
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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, September 11, 2012
Dear Guest,

I am so glad that the staff was so helpful on your recent stay with us! Thank you for posting your review.

Kind Regards,

John Spear
General Manager
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Cambridge, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

stayed 3 nights at this jewel of a boutique hotel in the upscale quiet neighbourhood of Pacific Heights in San Francisco in August this year. From the moment we entered the hotel we could tell this was going to be a fantastic experience. Greeted warmly and quickly ushered to our large room beautifully fitted out with amenities. Quiet room near the dining area where each morning a continental breakfast with extra trimmings was laid out. A server emerges as you enter the dining room and asks if you would like a cappuchino or a latte. Ahhhh nice way to start the day. Each evening a wine and appy reception from 5-6:30, with beautiful wines from Napa and Sonoma. Transportation by city bus to downtown available nearby. Great spot away from the hustle of downtown but not far from there if you want to go.

  • Stayed August 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
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, September 4, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your wonderful review! Among the many amenities you mentioned are two areas that have recently seen upgrades here at the Drisco -- we just got a brand new espresso/cappuccino maker and the guest reviews of the new coffees have been outstanding, and we have recently upgraded our wine selections available at our evening wine reception. In my experience, the wines available at the vast majority of complimentary hotel and B&B wine receptions are marginal at best -- not so here at the Drisco! I invite you to return again next month to experience a new lineup of exceptionally good wines!

Kind Regards,

John Spear
General Manager
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Bristol
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

Stayed at Hotel Drisco in a suite for a few nights in July this year. The room was attractive and spacious and the bed very comfortable. The breakfast was very good and the staff were always helpful and pleasant. The hotel reminds me of a mini but rather tired version of the Ritz in London. The real bonus about this place was that you could sleep without any disturbance - no traffic, no air conditioning, no slamming doors, no people shouting. It was wonderful to be able to sleep as well as I do at home so I would definitely stay there again if I was in San Francisco.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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, September 4, 2012
Dear Guest,

I am so pleased that you enjoyed our quiet and peaceful atmosphere!

One of the more difficult challenges we face here at the Drisco is maintaining our turn-of-the-century (1900s, that is) charm while providing all of the modern conveniences necessary for a really outstanding experience. All of our fittings, finishes and appointments are either very new or lovingly restored, so I am concerned that you found some aspects of your experience tired. Please feel free to share any specific observations you have with me -- we really love constructive feedback in addition to all the wonderful compliments here on Trip Advisor!

Many Thanks!

John Spear
General Manager
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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 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#2 Business 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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