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“A Real San Francisco Stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Drisco

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Hotel Drisco
2901 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94115   |  
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Ranked #1 of 236 hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersSilver level
australia
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“A Real San Francisco Stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

What I loved about this hotel is exactly what may put some people off from staying here? It's no where near the touristy Fishermans Wharf and Pier Nine and the hustle bustle of Union Square. Where it is though is perched way up top of one of the most beautiful areas of San Francisco...Pacific Heights. What a stunning area! The hotel fits right in with the neighbourhood. It is a charming older style boutique hotel, with rooms that reminded me of my life when I lived here 25 years ago i.e. a real San Francisco experience rather than a hotel like you could have in any other city in the world. The included wine and nibbles happy hour, all day coffee and iced water in the sitting room plus continental breakfast is a real treat, and the staff are simply unbeatable. It seems to be run extremely well, the staff seem very content to me! As we did not have a car, we found that we could very easily use the myriad of public buses around the hotel that took us everywhere we needed to go. We also loved that there was no airconditioning, such a pleasure after 4 weeks in hotels with noisy, stuffy airconditioning. We just opened our windows a chink and that lovely SF fresh air was so invigorating, much better than AC anytime! The surrounding area is very quiet as well.

I cannot imagine staying anywhere else next time we come to SF. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed July 2013, 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 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, July 30, 2013
Dear Guest,

I don't think I could have written a more flattering review myself -- much obliged! I look forward to welcoming you back.

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.
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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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Bulkington
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013 via mobile

We have just finished a 3 night stay at the Hotel Drisco in San Francisco. We booked this hotel based on the fantastic Tripadvisor reviews and as part of a California tour to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.
The hotel is beautiful and located in a very classy area in the city and after walking most of the sights we were very pleased to have chosen this location as some of the other more touristy areas were a little too lively for my liking.
That said the hotel is a good walk up the hill and you need to be either very fit and able to walk or prepared to book taxis back after a day/night out, we choose the active option and walked the hills and my legs certainly know about it !!
The hotel offers some lovely little added extras, which includes plentiful complimentary bottled water in the rooms, luxury toiletries and morning papers.
The breakfast is continental with a wide selection of bread and pastries with jams and preserves, a good selection of teas and coffee and fresh fruit or porridge plenty to start the day off well and we found that we didn't need to eat again until mid afternoon
Every evening there is a complimentary wine and cheese event which lasts from 5 to 630pm which gives guests the opportunity to sit, relax and have a chat after a busy days sightseeing.
We stayed in a suite (room 103) which was very spacious, with beautiful views over the city, the room though was on the lower floor and I found it to be fairly noisy of an evening and so had restless nights as you can hear quite clearly noises from neighbouring rooms, I am not sure if rooms on the higher floors may have been quieter, I also believe there are supposed to be coffee machines in the suites which we didn't have in our room, however as we were on the ground floor near the sitting room it wasn't too much of a bind to pop and fetch a drink from there and there was always a good selection with the area kept exceptionally clean and tidy.
We found all of the staff very helpful and friendly and overall had a very lovely stay in a beautiful city.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, July 30, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thanks so much for your thorough review!

Many of our guests appreciate our ground floor suites' ready access to the Dining Room, Sitting Room and entry/exit from the hotel, and the double sets of doors in between your suite and the main hallway are usually enough to mitigate any noise issues. I'm very sorry if this was not the case at several points during your stay.

When you stayed with us we were in the process of installing Nespresso machines in all of our suites. I am pleased to report that the process is now complete.

Thanks again for your lovely review.

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.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

We used Trip Advisor for our choice where to stay in San Fran, so happy we came across this hotel. Pacific Heights is a very very expensive neighbourhood and beautifully set up high in San Fran away from touristy hotels. You are amongst the rich and famous here.
Upon checkin we were upgraded to a suite which was amazing. We had 4 night here. Felt so special. We had 3 rooms (6 adults) This hotel is old charm and very well managed and excellent staff.
Breakfast was a pleasure and having our daily chat with Amira, food & beverage Manager was a joy. We will miss our mornings not seeing your lovely smile and chats.
It's a sort walk to Filmore Street which has great restaurants and boutique shops.
Another treat was a 5 min walk from hotel to Lion Street steps, wow what a lovely spot.
Would love to visit again. Worth every penny thank you from The White party.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 6
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, July 30, 2013
Dear Guest,

I'm very pleased that you found us on Trip Advisor and decided to book, and thanks for your terrific review! By the way, I shared your review with Amira and she says hello and hopes to see you again soon!

Kind Regards,

John Spear
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

Let's start by saying this is not a cheap hotel. At nearly $300 a night (tax inc) you surely should bring high expectations. We did, and this hotel did not disappoint. First of all, the location. For us this was a great discovery. We loved walking around the neighbourhood looking at the beautiful mansions. It felt really good and we enjoyed the area (albeit quite tough to walk anywhere given the steep hills so common in this city). The room itself was very nice, classic style, ours was in what seemed like a lower ground floor but the nice flower arrangements outside of the window made it look like a little patio. Everything was clean and highly customized, so the premium feel was present throughout. Parking was never an issue, finding a place was easy and the staff looked after your car to ensure you don't get a ticket. The wine tastings in the middle of the afternoon are a nice classy touch. Breakfast could probably be improved, but nothing alarming. Staff was welcoming and helpful at all times, and the sanwich selection for room service, although short, is quite yummy. Is this SF's best hotel? Can't really say, but is one that definitely raises the bar

  • Stayed April 2013, 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, July 30, 2013
Dear Guest,

I am so glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. We usually get high praise for our lavish continental breakfast, but I am pleased with your conclusion overall that we "raise the bar" for San Francisco hotels!

Thanks you very much for your review.

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.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

The Hotel Drisco has many wonderful things to recommend it - beautifully appointed and spotlessly clean rooms, wonderful old-world charm, fantastic breakfast and evening wine receptions, truly impeccable service. Great bath products, many complementary services that you pay for at other hotels. During my stay I felt that the staff did everything possible to make my experience as wonderful as possible. I also love the neighborhood, and did not find parking to be an issue.

I would suggest to the management that they make a point of letting patrons know that the hotel is not air-conditioned, which normally would not be an issue in San Francisco, however in the summer months it can be. It was quite hot while I was there, which meant sleeping with an open window and a fan....and street noise. I did not sleep well because of this. For people considering staying at Hotel Drisco, I would recommend asking for rooms on the upper floors toward the back. The overall feeling at this hotel is one of a high-end B and B, which is fine with me. I would stay there again with the aforementioned adjustments. The staff was amazing!

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the upper floors toward the back of the hotel; there is an elevator. Stay away fr...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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, July 30, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your review, your lovely comments and your suggestion that we highlight our lack of air conditioning a bit more. We do mention in a variety of locations (both printed and electronic) that the hotel relies exclusively on radiant steam heat for heating and cool Pacific breezes and open windows for cooling (which 99.9% of the time is all that is required in San Francisco!). However, I think your point is a good one that we should highlight our specific heating and cooling scenarios in more places. Thanks again!

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.
Tauranga, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

We stayed here for our last night of a 5 weeks holiday in USA and Canada. We wanted to treat ourselves and were not disappointed. The location is in a quiet residential area. The parking was on the street but there was ample and the staff were very on to it when it needed shifting to avoid any fines. The service was top notch. The availability of tea and coffee off the foyer 24/7 was greatly appreciated. The complimentary wine tasting with hors d'oeuvres was well attended and fun. The breakfast buffet was delicious. The staff were very attentive to our needs. It was more pricey than our other stays but we felt well worth it.

Room Tip: We had a room on the top floor 4th with lovely views of the city.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
302 reviews 302 reviews
89 hotel reviews
Reviews in 121 cities Reviews in 121 cities
260 helpful votes 260 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

We booked this hotel when Expedia let us down by putting us in an awful hotel. So we booked the number 1 hotel in the area according to trip advisor and will never trust expedia again.The hotel is lovely, it's in a lovely quiet neighbourhood it has lovely furnishings and decor. It's public areas are quiet. It holds wine tasting and light food in the afternoons and has biscuits and coffee early afternoon.

Sounds great so what's the catch? Ok, first the location, lovely and quiet but it's not exactly central that's good and bad it's a posh area with lovely mansions and great architecture but its a trawl to get anywhere by foot, car or cab. So hire a car ..right? ...wrong...parking is the next issue, there is no parking specific to the hotel. So each night we would return and curb crawl the neighbourhood looking for a parking place...lucky there was no police around as we slowly cruised the area. Ok, on the odd occasion we had to leave our car parked near the hotel during the day you are only allowed three hours parking so your car must be moved a block every three hours. The hotel will do this but will take no responsibility if you get a ticket. Next point and the real bad point of our stay. First most of the staff were fantastic, however... We realised how remote from everything the hotel was and decided to hire a car, we went to reception. The guy at reception was busy so he said to come back later. We returned an hour later. There was a queue so we duly waited in line. It came to our turn and we started to sort out our "preferential great deal/rate" the hotel would get for us. We started answering questions handed over our driving licences and then someone appeared behind us. The receptionist stopped dealing with us and started dealing with this preferred guest obviously, was this man perhaps a film star pop star or just a big tipper me thinks..who knows but I and my wife felt somehow devalued and it left a very bitter taste. The receptionist had no idea what the man wanted because he asked him if he could help so it wasn't like the man had been there earlier. We took our licences and left them to it. We were shocked at this blatant lack of manners. Really poor customer service, purely awful. However, some good came of it as remember the super dooper rate the hotel was going to get us it turned out we got a massively cheaper rate from another provider and the hotel rate wasn't actually cheap at all.
However, that was just one person in what really was a great and helpful team of staff. One other slight criticism was there is no coffee and tea in the room. There is coffee downstairs in the lobby area but its not on early mornings when we got up to go on far away trips to Yosemite etc. it would be much nicer to get up and have your own coffee in your room. Now I'm sure the hotel will say ah yes but we would provide it. Ok so we get up ring reception we want coffee, we get ready and we are off out still no coffee...you get my point. So why not have a tassimo machine as well in reception if you can't put one in every room? Also often there would be no cream, and why cream why not different milks? Poor customer service again.

Also beware the hotel is a hollow square so you may get a room looking inside and everyone in those rooms looking at you...
I wouldn't stay here again as on our exploration of SFO we discovered union square so we would stay in one of the hotels on union square, much more central much more amenities for the tourist.

Room Tip: Get a high outside room.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
DriscoManager, General Manager at Hotel Drisco, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
Dear guest,

I'm sorry to hear that Expedia steered you wrong with your first hotel in San Francisco. Subsequently, it sounds like you stayed with us due to the fact that we are the #1 hotel in San Francisco on Trip Advisor. As I say often here in my Trip Advisor replies, the Drisco is a fantastic hotel, but we're not the perfect choice for all occasions. I'm referring to the fact that you mentioned our location and parking as aspects of your stay with which you were less than pleased.

Our guests that book us regularly love us for our location -- tucked away in a quiet residential corner of San Francisco. You're quite right to point out our location in your review. I would just add the following to other readers of this reply: If you want to be by the Wharf, pick a hotel by the Wharf. If you want to be steps away from shopping and taxi stands and cable car stops, by all means stay near Union Square.

Regarding parking, I regret that there may have been some misunderstanding about what we offer. If you choose to care for your vehicle yourself, then you should make yourself aware of our local neighborhood parking restrictions. However, we will also care for your vehicle for you if you wish, and of course we will be responsible for it while it is in our care. It's similar in some respects to a Valet arrangement, except that the Ritz will charge you $70 and we provide the service on a complimentary basis!

I am very sorry to hear that the Front Desk Host who worked with you on your rental car provided less than exceptional service. If you recall the Host's name I would be most grateful. I take an active role in making sure we are always providing the best service possible.

Lastly, we provide Nespresso machines in our suites, and coffee and tea is available to all 24/7 in our Sitting Room -- complimentary, of course.

Thanks for your review.

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.

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Additional Information about Hotel Drisco

Also Known As:
Drisco Hotel San Francisco
Drisco San Francisco
Address: 2901 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
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 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#2 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#2 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#10 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#23 Best Value Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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