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“hilton experience jan 09” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hilton San Francisco Union Square

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Hilton San Francisco Union Square
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   333 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102   |  
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Special Rate
$179 (USD)
Ranked #108 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
n. ca
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“hilton experience jan 09”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2009

We stayed here jan 29-31, this is the first time that we paid for an upgrade. we got a fantastic view on the 43rd floor. was great. the room was big and clean as was the bathroom. we had a big window and a clear days and nights (yes were WERE in SF!!)so the sunsets were magnificant. anyhow, the staff when we checked in, out and when we left our bags for a few hours after check out were very nice. the concierge was actually THERE and very nice. we know the city so we asked about a specific restaurant and tickets to Wicked. both questions were answered in a knowlegable way. with our paid upgrade we got access to the executive lounge. initially we were told that drinks and wine were included...they were not. but the claw soup and bread bowl, cheese, crackers, fruits, starbucks coffee, soda and other niblets were ok. the view here is fantastic..you are on the 45th floor. i dont know why in the world you have to ask for water, but, there you go, at least it was free (unlike the water in your minibar which is 8.00). continental breakfast was included in our upgrade. ..your basic pastries, oj, grapefruit juice, yogurt, cerels , bagels (man, i hope they freeze them since the sell by date was jan 19 and i was eating them on the 30th!!)...oatmeal, starbucks coffee...again the view was fantastic!! the service wasnt. i mean it is help yourself, but with as many people working up there, they should never run out of bread, or oj, or hard boiled eggs, etc. the tables were not bused very fast and alot of "regulars" to the hilton EL were really angry. i just moved the plates and sat down... the WORST part is that the hotel sticks out into the tenderloin district. dont go out the wrong door or walk down the wrong street (taylor to market for one) ...really bad nieghborhood. CAN NOT stress that enough. if you go out onto ofarrell,go towards union square before you turn toward market...there are homeless and street people everywhere in the city, but this visit down taylor street and market st. they were really really aggressive. i mean they wanted to beat us up and rob us. THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE HILTON by the way, they do have security around the building, just a fact of SF. all in all it was a good stay.

  • Liked — view
  • Disliked — surrounding area
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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
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San Jose
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2009

We had a great weekend at the Hilton on O'Farrell. We had stayed there before. All the staff is really excellent. The bartenders at Urban Tavern, the staff at the Front Desk. Staff at the Front Door. Our room was really nice and looked out on S.F. towards the Bay. Pool and jacuzzi were both warm on a very cold day. The Executive Lounge was helpful to have breakfast in the morning.

One thing that happened were the idiots in Tower 1, room 4283 on January 25th, 2009. Raising hell in the hallway and in their room from 2:30 to about 4:00 in the morning. So we didn't sleep well because of that. They sounded like suspects from the show "Cops". Security was out there with them.

Also, in that same timeframe, security came by at 3:30AM and wedged our bill in through the space between door and frame. We thought someone was breaking in because normally those are just slid UNDER the door. WTF? Was security too tired to bend over and slide it under?

One of the cab drivers that drove us to dinner took the long way. I guess he thought we didn't know the City. I guess you should watch out for that. Too bad one cabbie has to pull stuff like that and give a bad rep to the rest of the guys like the ones who did a great job for us all weekend.

The rates on the rooms were excellent and fair. I notice though that the City taxes are really starting to add up.

We had a fun time. Thanks to Hilton S.F.

Stayed January 2009
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brasil
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2009

I was there for christmas Weekend . Every person I encountered was just rude.
the breakfast was arghhhh...., ice scramble eggs , and if you look at the ham, you will see the mark of the "last night decoration" on it ,and i spent $100 for that .( 2 adults and 2 kids) .
The rooms were nice ,great location ,but the service damaged everything.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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SF Bay Area
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2009

This hotel needs more staff at the front desk -- it's odd to get into the HiltonHonors line and be told to go stand in another, longer one with no staff visible at the counter there... At check-out, when I mentioned that the breakfast in the restaurant (American breakfast, scrambled eggs etc., from the menu) had been all but inedible, coffee almost undrinkable, and this for $30 -- I was told that this wasn't their concern as they don't operate the restaurant. I was advised to talk with the restaurant manager, which I did -- and she did not seem at all perturbed. I hadn't complained during breakfast as no one came around to ask how the food was and in any case, I had a meeting to go to and didn't have time to wait for anything else to be prepared.

The room was very nice, but the loudest HVAC system I've heard maybe ever -- I travel with earplugs, so no problem. The hotel is pretty and sparkling clean -- but why not have a ramp from the front door down into the lobby so I don't have to bump my suitcase down the steps? I didn't see one.

And don't pay the valet parking -- public garages right across the street are $29 for 24 hours.

  • Liked — Cleanliness, decor
  • Disliked — Restaurant -- way overpriced and low quality
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Los Angeles
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2009

I had a 4-day stay at the Hilton to be there when a relative had surgery, and for a bit of recovery time for her. I needed two adjacent rooms, with two adults in each, which was handled without a problem. Due to a rapid recovery, I shortened our stay by a day, which was handled without problem. The rooms were clean and well-appointed. Bath was hotel standard, except that bathrobes are NOT provided. Mattresses were comfortable and linen good.

We were on the 12th floor, right on Ellis St., and did not find street noise to be a problem. The view from both rooms was good, but not spectacular. There were sufficient hangers, which I find to be a rarity these days.

We booked "sight and sound" rooms, which come with a 42 inch flat screen (LG--very nice). They advertise "surround sound," but it is really the Yamaha sound projector, which may give the impression of surround sound if you are in the middle of a room with hard walls, but does little when you are lying in bed at the edge of a room with drapes. I never could find an adjustment to increase the treble, but otherwise the sound was good.

The unit also has inputs for all kinds of portable digital players, so if you want to avoid the approx. $10 charge per movie, you can rent or bring your own.

As others have noted, there are charges for everything. Room service is limited and pricey. There is a charge for the spa/exercise room. There is a charge for high-speed internet (which is ethernet only in the rooms, and WiFi (again with a charge) in the lobby). Since all I needed to do was check email, I finally figured out I could avoid that charge by using dial-up, which only cost $1.50 for the connection. (It is 10 cents a minute after an hour--I do not know whether that is cumulative, or if you could just disconnect and avoid that cost.)

Parking is very expensive--but it is San Francisco where parking is at a premium. You should really think about whether you need a car, anyway, given the costs of keeping one in the City. Taxis and other public transportation is (are?) readily available.

The only food service (other than the lobby bar) actually in the hotel is a Starbucks in the lobby, which closes remarkably early (there is another about 1.5 blocks down O'Farrell). The hotel connects to the Urban Tavern restaurant, which is expensive, but very interesting. I can absolutely recommend the goat cheese polenta (see what I mean about interesting)?

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Acton, Maine
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2009

This is the biggest Hilton and possibly the biggest hotel I have ever stayed in. The lobby reminds me of grand central station with nice furniture.

The woman at the front desk was, how do I say this, unpleasant. I asked for an upgrade b/c I'm a diamond member and she actually challenged me a bit (normally I don't have to even ask).The suite was unbelievable. Panoramic views of San Fran with a balcony.

The weirdest thing about this hotel is the parking garage. You drive up this enclosed catacomb like ramp (I'm from Boston where we invented the small parking garage and I was still freaked out). You drive up for what seems like a half hour and then you park your car. You open a steel door thinking it will lead you to a staircase and BAM...you are in a hallway of guestrooms. I have never seen a hotel where the separation between rooms and cars was a door. Also there was a cig butt in the hallway which I noticed hadn't been cleaned the next day. Make sure that your room is nowhere near the parking garage. Other than that it was good. Typical full service Hilton in that you have to pay for everything extra (parking, internet, business center)

The place was fine. It is huge though and can be a little overwhelming.

  • Liked — The view from my suite and the location.
  • Disliked — The impersonal reception I got at the front desk
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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CA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2008

One of the worst Hiltons: it's like the airline industry in that you pay extra for absolutely everything (17 for ethernet, not wireless; 16 for the gym [which hotel makes guests pay for a gym?]; 51 + tax/day for parking; and don't get me started on the prices of the hotel and restaurant).

The air quality in the rooms is terrible. Don't look at the vents; you will be scared.

They don't give you lotion or shower caps for the rooms. I guess this is the new economy: cut absolutely everything except CEO salaries.

Shower only (but no shower caps). No tubs.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HSF1, Executive Assistant Manager at Hilton San Francisco Union Square, responded to this review, January 2, 2009
Dear DiMe2,

Thank you for your comments regarding your most recent stay at the Hilton San Francisco. Your comments regarding the pricing for internet access, fitness center access and parking will be helpful to us as we are continously reviewing all of our pricing. We have just completed a survey and found our rates for the above areas to be in line with other comparable hotels in the area. All of our rooms have lotion as part of the amenity line and it is possible your room was missed. Shower caps are available on request. With regards to the air quality and vents, if you could please e-mail directly at mark.coulter@hilton.com with your room number, I will ensure this is corrected. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you on your next visit.

Thank you,
Mark W. Coulter
Executive Assistant Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton San Francisco Union Square

Address: 333 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#40 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#66 Business Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton San Francisco Union Square 4*
Number of rooms: 1915
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our hotel is within walking distance to all the excitement of the Bay Area. Whether you're on business or vacation, there's something for everyone in the heart of the city! Among downtown San Francisco hotels, no other destination matches our blend of style, service, and setting. Find yourself within walking distance to famous neighborhoods like Chinatown and Nob Hill, the iconic Cable Cars, fabulous shopping, and dining all located in the heart of the theater district. Our dynamic Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel features splendid resort-style touches – a heated outdoor pool and whirlpool perched atop the lush 16th floor deck, and delicious dining at the stylish Urban Tavern Restaurant. For corporate guests, we offer over 134,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting facilities, where the Bay views are stunning and the service flawless. With its history and grandeur, the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel offers everything you need for extraordinary business trips or vacations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel San Francisco
Hilton Hotel San Francisco
San Francisco Hilton

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