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“Decent hotel, good location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway

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Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1500 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109 (Nob Hill)   |  
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Ranked #94 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Decent hotel, good location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

This hotel is a bit of a mixed bag - the public parts are dated, although in quite a good nick. The staff is polite and friendly and the rooms are in a very good conditions, fairly spacious with good furniture, be it slight dated as well ...and comfortable beds. On the first day they gave me a room at the back but near the lifts (blame Expedia I was told...), so there was a frequent (tolerable) whoosh during the day - on request they have moved me the next day to a room away from the lifts (There are plenty of lifts and they are very fast!).
The location is good, on Van Ness, close to many shops and cafes, especially on Polk St. - yes, it is not that close to the tourists attractions, but if you don't want to walk for about 20 minutes or so to the town centre, then use public transport or take a cab. The hotel offers a decent shuttle service to SFO which is fairly cheap ($14 per person) and it takes approx. 45 minutes.

Room Tip: Ask for a refurbished room at the back, which has nice view and is fairly quiet ...away from the lif...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ru P, Manager at Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
You’ve noticed the difference between our guest rooms and public areas. All of the rooms are recently renovated, and the restaurant, lobby, business center, and fitness room are almost finished. I’m happy to hear that the staff were friendly and assisted you with a change of rooms. Thank you for staying with us.
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1,119 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (203)
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Winchester, Ontario, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

I stayed three nights at the Golden Gateway March 1-3. I had been a bit leery after reading some of the reviews. I have no idea what happened to other people but my experience was fantastic. The room was large, comfortable and well equipped with a gorgeous 24th-floor view to the west, really comfortable King bed with fantastic pillows, and a beautiful bathroom. Staff were amazing, and gave me a big warm welcome on arrival. The restaurant is being reno'd so they are using a conference room as restaurant temporarily but staff were great about it and lots of specials during Happy Hour. There is a Starbucks attached to the hotel just a few feet up the sidewalk for addicts like me; California line cable car runs right to the corner by the hotel; Whole Foods up the block if you want groceries or take-out. I have no idea why anyone would complain about this place - my experience was fantastic and I'll be back.

Room Tip: My high floor west view was fantastic - great to watch fog roll in from the sea across the city.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 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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Ru P, Manager at Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway, responded to this review, March 10, 2014
Perception is paramount and individual for each guest. We are excited that the rooms, service, and view were just right for you. You may find this hard to believe, but that amazing fog has actually been given a name, Karl. I also love watching it creep over the hills and through the city. Thank you for your glowing review. See you soon!
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hong kong
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

I can't imagine why anyone would want to stay here unless they had no other choice. Location hopeless for the downtown area unless you have a car or wanted to catch a taxi or bus. First impressions come in the foyer in which one felt like the ceiling was about to drop even lower than it is already! No good coffee places nearby either. The air conditioner made a loud noise every time it maintained the temperature. Very pokey bathroom and small room which could have been cleaner. The rooms on Van Ness are very noisy. The whole hotel seems very tired as we felt when left!

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Ru P, Manager at Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway, responded to this review, March 2, 2014
Our location, while centrally located to so many of the area sites, is not in the financial district. You're right, a cable car, bus, or taxi is most often used to navigate the city. You will be happy to hear that the last part of our renovation (Lobby, restaurant, workout room) will be completed shortly. I appreciate that you gave us a chance, and I hope to earn your business back in the future. Thank you.
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Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

From before we even arrived, our experience was ominously poor. I was traveling for work and was planning to bring my wife and toddler for a little San Francisco vaycay. I called in advance to explain that my company was paying for four nights and that I'd like to add four nights on my own personal credit card. They said this would be fine and gave me a confirmation number. I also called to ask about a crib. I spoke to a central Holiday Inn staffer who said she would make a note on my account, but that I should call back to verify they got it. I did that but the person on the phone at the hotel said there was no note. So I asked them (again) for a crib. They said they'd make a note on my account (sound familiar?) but that there was no guarantee. I asked why not, and the woman said, "We don't know how many people will want a crib." You don't!? Couldn't you reserve them according to request, like for example, hotel rooms?? She said no they couldn't.

We got to the hotel and only my personal reservation was honoured. The one my business had reserved was not being recognised because apparently a Holiday Inn form had not been completed. I took the form so I could email it to my work.

I had also asked about a crib, and surprise surprise, there was no record of a request for a crib. Luckily, they had one available. It was metal and tiny, what one might expect of a 19th century orphanage. The staffer thanked me for being a points member and said she would upgrade our room for free. (On the phone I had asked if we could have a larger room since 3 of us would be staying for a week, but they said they only have one size of room.)

We went to the room and it was absolutely minuscule. The king sized bed sucked up the majority of the floor space. The tiny crib came up and there was literally nowhere it would fit. We had an Ottoman removed to make room for the crib. I called down to see if our upgrade was actually to a smaller room, and if so if we could have the larger room instead. The attendant said there wasn't a larger room. Still not sure from what the supposed upgrade was all about. (Throughout the stay, we regularly felt like the hotel staff were all full of it.)

I spoke to the person at home who had booked the hotel reservation. She said she had personally spoken to "David" (some manager), and that he had told her that everything was in order. I went to verify that with the front desk, and they said they were still waiting on that form... and David was not available for me to speak to. The next day I checked again. This time the front desk staff went behind a closed door to discuss with David because the reservation still read as though there was a form outstanding. She came back saying David had told her it was ok. (How is this a system at a 26-storey hotel!?)

For the rest of the week we had several minor requests (e.g., a bar of soap, a sheet for the crib, fix the TV). In absolutely every case, we called more than once because over an hour would pass with no word from anyone. In every case, they told us "5 to 10 minutes." In the case of the bar of soap, we couldn't wait any longer, so I went down to the front desk. The clerk who was clearly annoyed with me told me she probably didn't have any, and that I would have to keep waiting for the housekeeping staff to deliver one. She ultimately found one behind her desk for me.

Perhaps I'm naïve, but in all my (and my wife's) frustration with the hotel, it took my brother (who came by to babysit one night) that the hotel was crawling with prostitutes. (This became clear to even me once my eyes were open to the suggestion.) I remember being in Thailand where hotels had explicit policies not to tolerate prostitutes!

Seems strange after all this to find something positive to say, but the hotel was clean and it was well located. It, however, is run very poorly, which became clearer and clearer to us the longer we stayed there. Really unfortunate experience.

Room Tip: If there are more than two of you, find somewhere else to stay.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Ru P, Manager at Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
I cannot defend so many issues that resulted in such a poor experience. We clearly have many issues to work out. You spoke of us not recognizing your business reservation. I think you are referring to an authorization form they must send to us for billing purposes. This remains a fax and email based system between the two parties. Our manager’s are the only ones to handle those transactions. As a reward member, we provide a complimentary drink and an upgrade when available. This would have put you higher in the hotel as that is the most sought after element of our location. The views can be magnificent. I cannot fathom how your family came to think we are crawling with prostitutes. This is simply not the case. We are an international city, hosting conferences for people from all walks of life, and we have 24 hour security to handle unwelcome guests. Although I cannot turn your memory of our hotel around, your comments on our service will be taken seriously. Thank you.
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Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

We found the location of the hotel to be really convenient to everywhere. The bus runs in front of the hotel and the California cable car starts and ends at Van Ness and California. One can get practically anywhere with these public transport options. We did the CityPass option for 7 days so you flash this and your transport needs are taken care of for the week.(California Cable car is pricey at $6, bus has a fare of $2)
OK, onto the hotel room. Almost typical Holiday Inn room. We had two double beds and were on the 24th floor. Very nice view, however obstructed by pitifully dirty windows. The desk that stretches the full width of the room was nice, convenient and had plenty of tabletop space for computer, ice bucket, coffee maker, and personals space. Three drawers for clothes or miscellaneous, and a refrigerator which is almost an absolute necessity these days for a week long stay.
The room had nice fixtures and lamps, the beds comfortable, the bathroom had been remodeled with marble tile shower stall and sink vanity. The sink water fixture was cool. We left $4 per day for "maid service." All the cleaning people we encountered in the hallways were always ready with a "good morning or afternoon" even if they weren't the personnel who would be cleaning your particular room so it was nice they were friendly. We asked for 4 cocktail glasses and got them and didn't seem to be any hassle. They always left enough paper cups for the coffeemaker which is one of the Kuerig, single cup coffee dispensers and freshened the coffee everyday without fail. Our room seemed to be cleaned well everyday and it was refreshing to walk into the bathroom which had been cleaned and refreshed with clean towels everyday we requested them.
The A/C unit was a real problem for us. It was noisy and disturbing even when you weren't trying to sleep. It cooled I guess, but it was really disturbing. We reported this to the front desk clerks multiple days. They always sent someone up while we were away and they must have serviced the unit but within a half hour of it being on, it would do that rumbling, horrible take over the room noise. After the second time ( I went down to the desk at 4AM to report it.) we decided it wasn't a priority for the hotel to fix it. Yes, they sent someone up while we were away but again, it was noisy within no time at all after putting it on. We bought ear plugs at Walgreens and that seemed to work. This really was the only thing we couldn't live with. The unit failed to put out cool air on the last day we were there and we reported this to the desk at checkout. Room 2402.
All the desk people were polite and bellmen were quick to welcome you back as you entered the lobby, so again, very friendly atmosphere.
The elevators were super fast and that was an amenity which was appreciated at all times.
The pool was nice and while we were there no other visitors showed up. It was sunny and in the high fifties, maybe low sixties but with the sun it was perfect! Nice views out from there as well.
Overall it was an OK experience. We would probably go back if we needed this location again. The rooms had been remodeled and redecorated. Now if they had the A/C unit updated/replaced with a new unit, this would have been a better review and a better stay with them. I in fact told the desk clerk what we expected when we checked in, and he offered us another room if this one didn't work out but that never came to fruition. We spent most of our time away from the hotel.

Room Tip: The back of the hotel faces east so you will probably have a view of the Transamerica building, and...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ru P, Manager at Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
Thank for so many specific recommendations. These are helpful and encouraging. I agree that the muni passes are a great deal for guests who will be out seeing the city. I will be sure to share your thoughts on the Housekeeping, Bell, and Front Desk staff. We are in fact replacing those A/C units, so I expect your next visit to be free of that unpleasant distraction. Thank you for your visit.
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Versailles, France
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

I travelled almost 15 time to SF in th last decade, tried many different hotesl and configurations; When arriving this noon at Holiday Inn Golden Gate for my 2nd stay, they annonced " we took care of you ". They really mean it. My room is entirely refurbished, the view is astonishing, I do not even need to swith TV on ! Great Refurbishement, great price, great value, much more balance then some other multiple Stars hotel downtown. Happy traveler is me with a reduced cost (Happy P&L) and a Happy stayer (Happy Worker).

Room Tip: Ask for Corner bay View (East Side) upper floors. Added price but added value and so dramatic scenic...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Ru P, Manager at Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
Welcome back! Thank you for staying with us again. I can’t be more thrilled that you find the hotel and value to be just right. See you soon.
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Austin, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

I stayed here on business, and it was a reasonably-priced hotel in a very central part of Nob Hill. The location was excellent, and they even upgraded me to a higher floor with a better view. The front desk staff were incredibly helpful to me and everyone else I observed at the desk, but man was this hotel BUSY! Just pulling in your car to get checked into the hotel was a real hassle. And they don't offer any valet parking - it's all self park, but that's not very clear until you ask someone where the valet is. Also - the entrances to/from the garage into the hotel itself (once you've parked) are extremely awkward. They've obviously renovated an older building, but it's like you have to walk through this awkward (and slightly unnerving) inner closet to get between the garage and the interior hallways with elevators. You also have to drag your luggage down a short flight of stairs. Minor inconveniences, but worth noting. The room they gave me had 2 double beds, and I did notice the beds were rather small and not that comfortable, but the view was spectacular. The room service was also excellent...

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Ru P, Manager at Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway, responded to this review, February 23, 2014
We sure appreciate your business and review. I'm especially excited to hear that the staff took good care of you. I was surprised to hear about the bed comfort issue, since we get so many raving compliments on them. All of our beds are either king or double, no funny business with the sizes. Thank you for staying with us.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway

Address: 1500 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Nob Hill
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#81 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway 3*
Number of rooms: 499
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Take a video tour.The Holiday Inn Hotel San Francisco Golden Gateway is located in the center of San Francisco, just steps away from the historic California Cable Car turnaround. Located in lower Nob Hill, the Holiday Inn Hotel San Francisco Golden Gateway is near all major attractions: Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf , a few blocks from Union Square and Chinatown, and the hotel is less than 10 minutes from Moscone Convention Center and a couple blocks north of City Hall/Civic Center. The 26-story, 499 room Holiday Inn Hotel San Francisco Golden Gateway offers fantastic city and bay views. Our tastefully appointed guest rooms begin on the 6th floor of the hotel and all offer flat panel TVs and free wireless Internet access. Cafe' Marlette offers a daily buffet breakfast for quick and easy service, as well as a delicious a la carte menu. Interlude Bar & Grill is a casual bistro and sports bar, with pool tables, and large screen TVs. The Holiday Inn Hotel San Francisco Golden Gateway is the perfect location for business or pleasure in thecity by the bay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway Hotel San Francisco
San Francisco Holiday Inn

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