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“ideal location” 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   |  
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Ranked #69 of 237 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“ideal location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

The Sir Francis Drake hotel is located in the heart of union square and is ideal for all the best shops. The rooms are nice and clean and decorated to a high standard, the only downside is that the bathrooms are a little small. The staff are friendly and helpful if you have any questions or queries.

  • Stayed May 2014, 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
    • 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, May 18, 2014
Dear Graeme 1974,

Thank-you for your feedback about your stay at the Drake! The Drake is the perfect spot to see San Francisco; close to world class shopping and great restaurants. See you next time you vacation in SF.

Cheers,

Jim
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1,845 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (381)
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English first
Baltimore, MD
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

Stayed two nights in smallish room, single window, king bed, on the 14th floor of this 21 floor building. Outstanding location right near Union Square. Reception is on the second floor, which means either lugging your bags up the grand staircase or seeking out the elevator bank (to the left). Check in was a breeze. Free WiFi for club members. It's free, so join. Plus they'll give you a free drink at the bar. The Starlight Lounge on the top floor is pretty classic with spectacular views of SF and the bay. Great whiskey selection and excellent service. The decor of the entire hotel in general is pretty funky. Similar to a Monaco hotel (same company). Never a long wait for the elevator, which is my typical complaint about older SF hotels. Room had a cool bright red dresser that housed the non refrigerated mini bar in a drawer. Nice flat screen tv. Small desk with plenty of outlets. Ipod ready alarm clock. Bed was comfy, albeit firm. I like firm. Could have used an extra blanket.

And now for the big complaint: the windows and walls must be paper thin. I heard my neighbors using their bathrooms and every door opening and shutting. Worst of all though was the city noise penetrating the room like the window was open. It wasn't. At 2 AM, apparently that's the time to empty 10 dumpsters. Sounded like I was in a war zone for an hour. Another review recommended ear plugs. Heed that reco.

Usually I'd just crank up the ac fan for some white noise, but the thermostat had a mind of its own. No go there.

Lastly, the water my last morning was either all crazy hot or freezing cold. No in between.

Check out service was excellent and catching an uber to the airport was a breeze.

I'll likely stay here again, but next time with ear plugs.

Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, May 18, 2014
Dear Winecharmer,

Thanks for the great review; we did update all of our guest rooms and meeting rooms ($12 million) over the past two years. The city can be a little noisy at times and if we put you next to loud neighbors we will do are best to more you to another location. I really appreciate your feedback... See you next time.

Cheers,

Jim
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Bakersfield, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

this place was great. so clean and the staff was speedy and very helpful. they also gave great local advice on food and entertainment. the complementary wine hour was a nice added bonus. the décor was tasteful and the location is so convenient to shopping and other attractions. they are also pet friendly ! The room wasn't very large but the bed and pillows were very comfortable. I would defiantly stay here again.

  • Stayed May 2014, 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
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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, May 18, 2014
Lea,

Thanks for the awesome review! Great location, speedy service and the bonus of a complimentary wine reception make this the Drake the perfect place to stay.

See you next time.

Cheers Jim
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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

I don't really understand why this hotel is getting such negative reviews, although that said, I booked through Hotwire on a cheap rate so not sure it would have been worth the full rate. Yes, the rooms are on the small side but it depends what you are used to. They are small compared to US hotels, large compared to Europe, and about standard for Australia. It was plenty big enough for one person with one piece of luggage, and probably would have been fine for two people with one piece of luggage each. The bathroom was no issue for me, but I can see that if you were overweight or a very broad-shouldered man that it could have been squeezy. I stayed on the 15th floor and had no problem with noise. The room also had good curtains that covered the window well so it was nice and dark at night. Water pressure in the shower was good, wifi signal was strong and fast (join their free loyalty program to get free wifi), beds were comfortable, and the front desk staff were courteous if not particularly friendly. Location was spot on for what I needed - close to the BART for airport access, and close to restaurants in the evenings.

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room if the possibility of nightclub noise concerns you
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 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, General Manager at Sir Francis Drake Hotel - a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Claire B,

That makes me so so happy to read your review; it not about the bathrooms( they are small) it's about the great location, courteous staff, fast internet, complimentary coffee and tea service and wine hour served nightly where you can enjoy a glass of wine and meet new friends.
I appreciate you staying with us and hope to see you again next year!

Jim
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Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

This is the second time I have stayed at this hotel. Overall it's a great place, however, it is a boutique hotel in a older building. This really means that it shows it's age in some places! Our room was a very large king, with the typical smaller bath for older hotels. Comfortable bed and plenty of chairs, tables and a desk. Plenty of plugs to work, which is very handy! Had a problem with the AC and only one of the windows would even go up two inches. The other was painted shut. The TV was very finicky and somewhat outdated. You had to be directly in front of it within two feet for the remote to work. With the larger room, you had to get out of bed to change the channel. To add insult to this injury there were three movie charges on my final bill and I don't watch hotel movies! There was a fridge, which was helpful. The "business center" had two computers, a printer and one keyboard. Not helpful. Fitness center was great. All staff that I encountered during my stay were polite and helpful. Kudos to maintenance man for my repeated remote replacements in such a timely manner.

  • Stayed May 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Midlands
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2014

We stayed at this hotel on a trip travelling the Pacific Coast Highway, this was the first stay of 4 hotels booked in California. The hotel is really impressive and the taxi driver at the airport knew straight away without any hassle where we were staying. The hotel us very impressive when you arrive, grand curtains and a Beefeater to great you. Check in was easy and efficient, the room was exactly as per the website photos, nicely decorated and as expected quite small. Being an old building there is quite a lot of noise from the street during the night (I would recommend ear plugs). The hotel is really lovely, very grand and we enjoyed our stay but in our third and final night a prom and wedding was being hosted at the hotel and we were kept away until the early hours by teenagers partying in the hotel corridors, I tried continually for an hour to call reception to ask someone to sort out the noise but the phones must have been off the hook as it was continually engaged, this left a very sour taste and we were very glad to check out the next day. I would recommend this hotel but be aware events of any events that could spoil your stay.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Carlisle, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

We travelled from the UK via Newark and arrived after 23hrs travelling, we were given our room on the 16th floor and fortunately we were so tired that the fact that the night club was just above us we managed to go to sleep. Do not get a room near floor 21 as that's where the Starlight Night Club is. We had previously sorted out that we would be moved so got a room on floor 10 which was quieter although it did face the main road and we could hear the trams starting on Powell St below. The room we were given was very good with lots of room good location for Union Square. We did have breakfast over the road in Sears for a real American breakfast experience food was good but a bit expensive. On our last day we had breakfast in scalas which was very good. I would definitely recommend this hotel to any one staying in central San Francisco.

Room Tip: Stay away from high rooms near floor 21
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Green Features: Good as we got $20 for not bothering to clean our towels every day that could be spent in Scalas next door
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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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:
#12 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#32 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#38 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#73 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#81 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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