We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Cozy little hotel, but lacking in amenities.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 13 more sites!
Save
You added Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel to your Saves list
Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   450 Powell Street, Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
Hotel packages
  |  
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Book Early and Save
Ranked #71 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Cozy little hotel, but lacking in amenities.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

I've stayed there several times and every time I have a different experience. Sometimes I love the room, sometimes its really tiny. Sometimes the staff is nice, sometimes they are rude. One drawback is their lack of a coffee machine in the rooms. They claim to have coffee in the lobby in the morning, but coffee service stops at 7 a.m.!! Who is up and ready to drink coffee before 7 a.m. on their vacation? Fortunately, there is a Starbucks on the corner and Sears Restaurant is directly across the street (great place to have breakfast!).

My last stay, we had some problems with being awakened at 6 a.m. by noise going on in the room above us. The front desk told us there was nothing upstairs from us. I've heard the hotel is haunted so maybe that's what it was!. Anyway, they moved us to another room and we were able to sleep in the following morning.

They serve complimentary Arnold Palmers in the lobby during the day - a nice touch.

The best part of this hotel is the location. It can't be beat. You step outside to the trolley stand. You're in the heart of Union Square where there is great shopping. You're walking distance to Chinatown. Everything is at your fingertips.

The Sir Francis Drake is a nice, old San Francisco-style hotel. It doesn't have the amenities that the Grand Hyatt has (which is right behind the Sir Francis Drake), but its much cozier and has an "old world" charm the Grand Hyatt doesn't have.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 24, 2013
The Drake was built in 1928 definitley has a histroical look and feel mixed with a relaxed contemporary style. We have different room types and sizes depending on what you reserved. Complimentary coffee service in the lobby ends at 9AM on weekdays and 10AM on weekends. We also have several amenities available to our guests upon request. You'll find the list called "Forgot It? We've Got It!" in the room. Anything from personal items to grooming appliances. We hope you choose to stay with us again when you visit SF! We love that you feel we are cozy....your home away from home!

Thank you,
Dianna Teves
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,931 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    621
    676
    373
    146
    115
See reviews for
295
739
114
440
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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (410)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

I visited Sir Francis Drake for a convention. By liking them on facebook, I was given a secret code to use at check-in to get a free gift. I chose a bottle of wine which was delicious.

My room was nice on a corner with two huge windows. The bed was very comfortable and I loved the furnishings. The bathroom was very small. Since I was alone, I decided to take the $10 voucher/day and didn't have the room serviced. I used the voucher at the adjoining restaurant which was delicious.

We took the cable car which stopped right outside the door and was very convenient to fisherman's wharf.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Thank you so much for your amazing review of our hotel! I'm happy you found out our social secret password and enjoyed your bottle of wine. We do offer a choose to conserve program that helps our environment, and offers $10 credit each day a guest chooses not to have their room serviced that can be combined together and applied towards the total purchase amount in our restaurants and bars.

We hope to see you back at SFD...look out for our secret passwords!

Dianna Teves
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falls Church, Virginia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

We stayed here for three nights. The room was spacious, spotless and beautifully decorated. The bathrooms, though really tiny, were very clean as well. The bed was comfortable with luxury linens. The only complaint that we had was with noise, making it difficult to sleep. First, as one of SF's oldest buildings, you will hear a lot of outside city and traffic noise. Our room also had some odd clanking noise through the night, waking us frequently. The hotel suggested possibly an ice machine. We were ill and didn't have the energy to repack and change rooms when the hotel offered. They did discount our bill due to the problem, so that was appreciated, and in keeping with the high Kimpton service standard.

I would say that the hotel's website makes the common areas look a tad more exciting than they actually are, because the lobby/bar area is pretty small. It is a beautiful space with lovely old architecture though. The wine reception was relaxing and worth attending.

The location is perfect for tourists or shoppers. There are plenty of restaurants nearby (traditional Irish place two blocks away), and Union Square and a huge shopping mall is less than a 5 minute walk. The street cars stop in front of the hotel, but be prepared to wait for 30 minutes or more to be able to get on. Renting a car or just taking a cab is more efficient.

Aside from the mid-night noise, we enjoyed our stay very much.

Room Tip: Make sure you're not by an ice machine or the elevator.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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, Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful comments. The Drake was built is celebrating our 85th birthday this year. We were one of the first hotel built in the city. We are locate in the heart of Union Square and have one of the best views of the city from the Starlight Room on the 21st floor. Our team's goal is to make sure each guest has a wonderful experience while staying with us. We did fix the ice machines since your visit, so the clanking noises are gone!

Thank you,
Dianna Teves
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013 via mobile

My stay was lovely and the staff was very friendly.

Room was nice, larger and clean. the hotel decir feels a little dated in the common areas. May trying to keep the historical feel.

Staff was very accommodating and the Kimpton Wine Reception was nice and relaxing.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Jim G, Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
I am happy to hear you enjoyed your visit with us. We try to have a balance of relaxed contemporary style and preserve our historical warmth. Kimpton features a different wine each month during wine hour so you can be sure you can try something new during your next visit.

Thank you,
Dianna Teves
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, TX
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

From check in to check out and everything in between, the Sir Francis Drake provided. The coffee/tea bar set up in the lobby each morning did not disappoint. The free wine hour daily from 5-6 pm was an added bonus, while one day the wine hour even included hula hoops. The room on the 16th floor was spacious enough for three of us, with ample windows. The bathroom was small, but satisfactory. The charm and decor of this hotel was a treat. We loved this hotel, as did our 10 year old. Children can visit the famous Starlight Room on the top floor (spectacular views from 6-8 pm.) We saw guests with pets, so assume this is a pet friendly hotel. The cable car stops conveniently in front of the hotel. We have to also mention the concierge desk. Laif and another young lady were very helpful and spot on with recommendations. Breakfast? No problem, as there are 4 places a stones throw away. More upscale: Scala in the hotel. Old world charm and excellent French toast and Swedish pancakes: Sears Fine Food across the street. Unique fun decor with great pancakes and waffles: Golden Gate Grill across the street on the third floor. Loris Diner: fine but nothing special.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Jim G, General Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 7, 2013
I am so happy to hear you had a fantastic visit with us! The hula hoops at wine hour are so much fun. I'm sure your 10 year old loved it as well. You are right, Kimpton Hotels are all pet friendly and we even have special treats for them in our lobby.

Thank you for your wonderful comments!
Jim Gross
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

I've stayed at Kimpton Hotels many times over the years. Their style is not often mine, but I have always appreciated my good night's sleep, the comfortable beds, the quiet rooms, and the small boutique size. The Sir Francis Drake had none of those qualities in my experience. I have often walked by this hotel, but never thought I would stay here because of the touristy vibe, but this time they had the best rate. I should have listened to my inner voice.

I was traveling with a group of women from work and we all felt this hotel was too big, too busy, and didn't feel safe. Anyone seems to come and go without notice from hotel staff, especially the creepy drugged up guys who rode up in the elevator with us ~my colleagues had to walk our boss to her room because she did not feel safe being left alone with them in the elevator. Not good. None of us are country bumpkins, we travel often as solo female business travelers and none of us had a good vibe on this place. We've all stayed many times in San Francisco so are used to many things, but this hotel is not on any of our lists for returning to.

Because many people staying here are on vacation, this hotel was louder than other SF hotels I have stayed at on business. I actually had to call down to the desk to complain about the people next door - such a bummer. The hotel did offer to move me the next day, which I took them up on and they kindly moved me to a much better room where my head was by an emergency stairwell ~perfect!

Both beds were not the Kimpton standard I have been used to over the years. I felt like I was sleeping on a boulder. Disappointing.

The bonus was, except for one snarky front desk comment about it being 'summer in SF' justifying the noise of the room next door, I felt like I received excellent customer service from the front desk here. Something I am used to from Kimpton and definitely appreciate.

Most importantly, my room was clean - except for a few spots on the wall in the bathroom that needed some cleaning attention.

I will stay at other Kimpton's, just not this one again. And I will qualify all this by saying there are MUCH worse hotels you can stay at in SF. It just depends what you are looking for in your experience.

Room Tip: If you are looking for quiet, ask for a room where the headboard is next to an exterior wall or litt...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, August 7, 2013
The Drake just finished renovating all guest rooms and most recently our meeting rooms and public space, featuring regal, retro, and relaxed contemporary style. Thank you for your comments about our Front Desk, they really enjoy creating a special experience for our guests. We do have security on property to ensure safety for our guests. They are always happy to walk guests to their rooms or help in any way. Each guest has a different mattress preference, and we are prepared to do what we can to adjust to their comfort.

Thank you for your feedback,
Jim Gross
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundee
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

(This review is actually from October 2011...we've had the review written just been to lazy to post!...) My husband and I stayed at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel for 4 nights. It was our first trip to San Francisco and to the Sir Francis and it was a very enjoyable stay. We arrived at the hotel around 9pm and checking in at this time was no problem at all. Staff were very friendly and helpful at all times and were able to provide us with maps and travel information for the San Fran area.

The hotel is located just off Union Square, so was in a very central, convenient part of the city. There are many shops, restaurants and things to do around the area and it's probably a good place to stay, location wise, for San Fran virgins. We had no problems in getting to the hotel from the airport. We used the train system (which is called Bart) and it only took about 20 minutes to get to/from the airport, costing $8 each way.

The room was clean, bright and had an eclectic mix of furniture, which added a lot of character to the hotel, but there was more than enough storage space within the room itself. The bathroom had everything that was needed, including big bottles of complimentary shampoo, conditioner and body wash. There was also more than enough towels for our entire stay. The hotel also provided free and reliable wi-fi internet access so long as you sign up to the Kimpton service, which is free to do. We were told our room had a view of Union Square, however, not what you'd expect....(see pictures)...

A really cool feature that the hotel offer is that you can decline the maid service (fresh towels on a daily basis etc), and if you do so (by hanging a sign on your door by 2am), you get a $10 voucher which can be redeemed at Scala's restaurant, for drinks at the bar, drinks at Harry Denton's Starlight Lounge or towards room service. You can also decline the maid service on each night of your stay (excluding the night before your departure) and put the vouchers you have together to use in one transaction, which we did and enjoyed drinks and food - very worthwhile in our view.

All in all, we had a very pleasant stay at the Sir Francis and it was a very nice start to our honeymoon.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
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, August 7, 2013
Thank you so much for your wonderful comments, it was definitely worth the wait! We are happy that you and your husband were able to experience your first time in San Francisco with us. Our team love creating memorable moments for our guests. Choose to Conserve is a great program we offer that can benefit our guests with a $10 credit voucher as well help to be environmentally friendly. We hope you choose to celebrate your anniversary with us in October and create more memories.

Thank you,
Jim Gross
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel

Address: 450 Powell Street, Union Square, 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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#32 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#44 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#69 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#73 Romantic 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Priceline, Amex, Cheap Tickets, HotelTravel.com, getaroom.com, TripOnline SA, Travelocity, Agoda, Odigeo, Jetsetter and Tingo so you can book your Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Kimpton San Francisco
Sir Francis Drake Hotel San Francisco
Drake Francis Sir

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.