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“very nice and classy” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel

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Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   450 Powell Street, Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Union Square)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #69 of 233 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
toronto
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“very nice and classy”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

The hotel has really nice rooms, very convenient location about 5 mins walk to union sq and cable cars were right outside the hotel. Bed was not really comfortable, didn't sleep very well. All the staffs were really kind and offered great service.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
Jim G, General Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear wkong:

The Drake IS the place if you want a convenience, great service and the history all packaged into one! Hope you'll come back and stay with us soon.
Happy 2013
Jim Gross, General Manager
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2,067 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    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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1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

In San Francisco for a conference and stayed a couple of extra days. Made it a point of going to the hotel since had heard so much about. Very disappointing. From the bellman at the entry more involved in texting than greeting guests....to sitting at the bar for 15 minutes without being acknowledged by the staff. Granted, it was very busy with only 4 other people at the bar. Can only say, been there, done that, and won't do it again.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Jim G, General Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Paravars:
I appreciate your specific comments on your recent stay. I'll address these to my department heads.
Regards,
Jim Gross, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

I stayed at this hotel overnight on a business trip and it was perfectly lovely. I was particularly pleased with the stylish décor, the cleanliness, the comfortable beds and the lovely bathroom, which featured updated fixtures and marble. The hotel was quiet, comfortable and I would definitely stay there again on business. Note 1: The beds were full size beds, so the double room accommodates only two people (or possibly an adult and two small children). Note 2: There is a Starbucks practically next door for morning coffee and Union Square is right next to it. Note 3: There is no refrigerator.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Jim G, General Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Dear aklindsay:

Thanks for appreciating our stylish decor! There are several types of rooms which you can choose from: regardless, our beds are known to be very comfortable and our rooms are very very clean! Hopefully, you got to enjoy the convenience of our location, especially to the surrounding restaurants and shopping! If you didn't, these are on your "to do" list on your next visit to the Drake!
Hope to see you soon!
Jim Gross, General Manager
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Brisbane
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for a week the hotel is very close to union square and the cable cars stop almost out front. There is a Starbucks you can get to from the hotel and across the street a Walgreens and Sears Fine Food. The hotel is lovely old world charm we had a couple of issues however the management and staff addressed them immediately very grateful for their prompt attention. Lovely time sitting in the lobby bar having a couple of drinks.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Jim G, General Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Dear LizSloman:

Thanks for staying at the Drake! Our location can't be beaten, can it? I'm glad to hear that things were taken care of. We all strive to make our guests' stay as pleasantly as possible!
Hope to welcome you back at the Drake soon!
Best,
Jim Gross, General Manager
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Pleasanton, California
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Spent the night at the Sir Francis Drake over the holidays and had a wonderful time in this old San Francisco landmark. It is a Kimpton Hotel, so, you know that the refurbishing is at its best (no one takes care of the old classic hotels better than the folks at Kimpton). The location is perfect: right next to Union Square on the Powell Street cablecar line. The doorman, dressed in his classic Beefeater attire, greets every guest as they arrive. The lobby is beautiful and teeming with excitment. The reception desk is terrific with a friendly, helpful staff. We were given a top floor, corner room that had a view of Nob Hill. It was perfect for us and decorated beautifully. The bathroom was a bit small with a tub & curtain for a shower (but those smart Kimpton folks mounted large bottles of bodywash, shampoo, and conditioner so you just pump out what you need saving us from those little bottles that are so wasteful). The bed was very comfortable and made up with good, quality linen. The walls are a bit thin but, remember, it is an old, landmark hotel. Sometimes what you hear can be very inspiring! Now, those of you that read our "2forever1" reviews, know that we are not complainers nor try to write sarcastic, negative reviews; if we do not enjoy our visit, we just do not write about it. But, we do have to add a negative note to this review. Beware if you arrive by your own car. The cost is not the shock because they are very upfront about it when you make the reservation (it was $50 a night for us, plus $7 parking tax). What surprised many of us was the length of time it took to get the car in the morning. We waited over an hour for ours. We did not mind because we went into the restaurant and had a cappuccino and people watched (when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade). But other people were getting rather upset over the wait and some got rather vocal. So, allow yourself plenty of time to claim your car. And, do not yell at the doorman over the wait; it is not his fault. Now you are forewarned. All in all, you will have a wonderful time at the Sir Francis Drake. It is classic San Francisco.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a room as close to the top as you can.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, General Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Dear 2forever1:

Wow...what can I say.. well, thanks for posting a thorough and thoughtful review! We definitely strive to work best with what we have, not only trying to keep the Classic and Historical building, but with the recent renovation to bring in some "New". Thanks for recognizing that!
Well, our parking rate is pretty compatible to other hotels in the vicinity.... And I admire your outlook in life...it's something we all can learn from!
Hope you'll visit us soon!
Happy 2013
Jim Gross, General Manager
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Colorado
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Great location, great staff, but the property is run down. The red carpet entrance is threadbare. Our room had the smallest bathroom I have ever seen. The window was flapping open and would not shut. We had to buy duct tape and tape the window shut. Another window was cracked. The front desk clerk said all the windows were bad, so we decided not to switch rooms. I would be embarrassed if I was Kimpton.
The staff was excellent, particularly the concierge and front desk staff.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Jim G, General Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Dear CaminoWalkerColorado:

Did you know that our building is recognized as one of the historical buildings in SF? It was built in 1928 and we have gone through some major renovation in the recent year. Our location is definitely a huge plus, in addition to my great staff who is always here to greet our guests with smiles. Yes, my concierge staff is one of the best in the city and definitely know what's going on in the city!
Happy 2013
Jim Gross, General Manager
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
83 hotel reviews
Reviews in 80 cities Reviews in 80 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

This hotel is very conveniently located right in the heart of San Francisco, by Union Square.

The public rooms are very impressive. Our bedroom had a great view of Union Square. We enjoyed the wine reception held late each afternoon.

There were a few downsides to staying here:

1. There are only four fairly small lifts (elevators) in this large hotel. Besides serving the bedrooms, these elevators carry those going to the popular Starlight Room at the top of the hotel. As a result elevators often took quite some time to arrive and, when one came, it was frequently full.

2. The ensuite bathroom was tiny with very little space for toiletries. However, it was nice that the bathroom had a window which opened.

3. The main body of our room was extremely well lit, but the walk-in closet was not lit at all and was therefore dark. The in-room safe was near floor level at the back of the closet, behind all the hanging garments. It could only be accessed by crawling on the floor, pushing our longer hanging garments aside and, as there was no lighting, using a torch (flashlight) to see the numbers on the door and to see within the safe.

4. The bed was exceptionally high, which would be difficult for short guests.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, General Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Dear MSDSK:

Thanks for visiting us! Sounds like you enjoyed our location and some of the amenities that we offered. Everyone LOVES our late afternoon wine hour!
As you might have noticed, our Starlight Lounge is a "go-to" spot for our locals and the visitors from all over the world and our elevators do tend to get used more often by the club goers... Were you able to visit the lounge? If you didn't, it's a well-worth visit!

Happy 2013
Jim Gross, 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 Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel

Address: 450 Powell Street, Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#29 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#42 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#63 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#67 Family Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 416
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sir Francis Drake Hotel, housed in a landmark building in the heart of Union Square, is quintessential San Francisco: exciting, romantic, timelessly elegant and unique. The ornately decorated lobby, old-world hospitality, and Tom Sweeney, the hotel's infamous Beefeater doorman, transport you to another time and place. The legendary Starlight Room, the adjacent Scala's Bistro and unmatched hospitality complete the picture to create an unforgettable San Francisco experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kimpton San Francisco
Sir Francis Drake Hotel San Francisco
Drake Francis Sir

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