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“Slightly faded grandeur...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Fairmont San Francisco

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The Fairmont San Francisco
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   950 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94108   |  
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Ranked #42 of 236 hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
London
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Slightly faded grandeur...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

The Fairmont is a very old-fashioned hotel - not a bad thing in itself and the lobby in particular is magnificent. The room was not big but was comfortable enough although I was woken a couple of times at 2am by noise in the corridor. The location is very central but walkers be warned it's at the top of a succession of very steep hills.

Other pros: Pleasant staff. Good if overpriced food in the Laurel Court restaurant.
Other cons: Expensive for what you get. Terrible and overpriced food in the amusingly kitschy Tonga bar.

Overall it's a good hotel and I enjoyed my stay but would possibly seek something cheaper if I were to stay in SF again - I think there may be better value for money to be found.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
FairmontSF, Online Marketing Manager at The Fairmont San Francisco, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your recent experience at the hotel. As you mentioned we are centrally located with easy access to Chinatown and North Beach. We are also located at the only point in the city where the cable cars intersect! Thanks again for taking the time to share your feedback and we hope to host you next time you visit San Francisco.

Sincerely,
Lucas Schumacher
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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EastCoast
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

I stayed at the Fairmont for around four days earlier this month. I enjoyed the stay immensely and was able relax and rest despite a busy conference schedule. The room was gorgeous and provided a partial view of the bay. The bed was comfortable and I sleep like a log. The only complaint I have is that it is a very noisy hotel because of the activity level (but this may reflect activities occurring at the time of my stay). The hotel is a visual feast and contains a variety of stores within its walls. The staff were friendly and festive as my stay concluded on Halloween. I'd definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Arrived and told that we had booked a room without an outside view. After we complained, we were upgraded to a garden/city view (Beware of this when booking special offers!!!). Free gym membership and wifi for loyalty club members. Look out for Amex 3 nights for the price of 2 deals! Very good location, close to China Town, North Beach. Good transport links and very good cleaning staff (paid attention to detail). Staying in such a nice place made our trip even more memorable.

Room Tip: Our "garden facing room" also faced the TransAmerica tower and the city. This is a more co...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 1
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FairmontSF, Online Marketing Manager at The Fairmont San Francisco, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your recent experience at the hotel. I’m happy to hear we were able to accommodate your room move request and offer you a room with a view. As you mentioned members of our Fairmont President’s Club loyalty program enjoy such benefits as free WiFi. Thanks again for your feedback and we hope to host you next time you visit San Francisco.

Sincerely,
Lucas Schumacher
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Lismore, Australia
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Very classy. We were going to stay here but ended up somewhere else. We did have a couple of drinks at the lobby bar and they were good and reasonably priced. The lobby of this hotel would be hard to beat anywhere in the world.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Modesto, California, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

I was here for a business trip. I've been in a lot of very expensive, and a lot of very inexpensive hotels in my life. This may have been the hands down WORST, at any price point. I have never in my life experienced such bad service. At first I thought it was the guy serving us at our corporate dinner event, who acted like he wanted to throw the drinks in our face each time he served us (his name was Antonio). He repeatedly shoved at me bottles of sparkling water that clearly needed a bottle opener to open, without offering to open them, and I had to request that he open them over and over. We experienced even worse service in the Tonga Room, where a server bumped into someone and dropped his tray, and instead of apologizing, he was FURIOUS and blamed the guests. This caused him to back up into me, stepping hard on my foot, and he did not even look at me in apology. I will never go there again. Even the lobby bar was stuck up and extremely non-customer oriented.

In addition, the banquet service for our corporate event was horrible. It took our ~60 guests almost an hour to get through the 1 buffet line they set up. The water heater also went out, causing everyone to have ice cold water in the morning. If this were my hotel and that happened, I'd comp everyone's rooms. NOT A WORD WAS MENTIONED. This is virtually the only thing you have to do as a hotel is provide a hot shower and a bed!

I won't even get into the fact that many of us felt sick while we were there, people were sneezing left and right and complaining of allergies. It's extremely dry in this hotel (I'm from the Bay Area so it's not just the climate) and my nose and skin were going crazy. Room service breakfast was TERRIBLE, cold soggy toast, and I paid $45!! Not to mention that parking costs $54/night, don't get me started...

In sum, DO NOT STAY HERE. I'd rather stay at a Motel 6. Seriously.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FairmontSF, Online Marketing Manager at The Fairmont San Francisco, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent experience at the hotel. Candid guest feedback is essential to our improvement as a hotel, so we definitely value yours. I’m very sorry to hear your stay with us wasn't a pleasurable one. We pride ourselves on our service and clearly we failed in multiple instances during your stay. Some of the service challenges you encountered are unacceptable and I would like to put you in touch with the manager of the hotel so that he might address your experience and remedy the situation. Please reach out to me directly so we can discuss a resolution. You can email me at lucas.schumacher@fairmont.com. Thanks for your feedback and I await your response.

Sincerely,
Lucas Schumacher
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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

My husband and I spent time at the Fairmont, and found it to be absolutely gorgeous. The only problem I had was the walls, better yet, the adjoining doors between rooms were so thin that I could hear the phone conversations of the people next door.
The staff was more than helpful, but they nickel and dime everything, wifi, gym, of course parking. But if you sign up for the Presidents Club membership online,(Free), then you are able to use the gym and wifi for free. Parking was $50 to park in their garage and that is with self park. You can park on the street if you are lucky enough to find a spot. BUT, the hotel is amazing and the restaurant and bar are fabulous. Overall, it was a great experience.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
FairmontSF, Online Marketing Manager at The Fairmont San Francisco, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your recent experience at the hotel. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed yourself and found the hotel to be gorgeous. As you mentioned members of our Fairmont President’s Club loyalty program enjoy such benefits as free WiFi and gym access. I apologize for the nosiness of the room. We do our best to handle noise complaints in a timely fashion, so I’m sorry we failed to do so. Thanks again for your feedback and we hope to host you again in the near future.

Sincerely,
Lucas Schumacher
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Babylon, New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

The Pros: The hotel is absolutely beautiful. Our room in the Towers had a beautiful view overlooking the San Francisco Bay. There is a real sense of history..the baths were top notch, the beds comfy. The room was quiet.

The Cons: You pay for everything. Bottled water is displayed but dont drink it unless you want to pay $6.00. Coffee is available via Keuric if you request it. Our biggest disappointment was the decision to sample the self service buffet breakfast. For (I think $65.00 for 2, not including a tip for the waiter who brought coffee and juice), the food was barely warm, cold, or warm when it should have been cold. The french toast--beautifully prepared--was cold. My friend had a omelet that a chef prepared for her at the buffet. It was poorly done. The Smoothy was warm when it should have been cold; undrinkable. The OJ tasted like it was out of a frozen can; I later noticed grapefruit juice but it was never offered to us. A rip off. You would do better to avoid the buffet. The ala carte breakfast or room service was probably better.

Where was the manager to ensure that the food was at the proper temperature??

Before we left, we got room service for a late dinner. The meal was very good and professionally presented. Still expensive, but at least it was enjoyable.

Room Tip: Call the hotel directly and avoid the travel sites. They were very helpful and secured a 12th floor...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Fairmont San Francisco

Also Known As:
The Fairmont San Francisco Hotel San Francisco
The Fairmont San Francisco Hotel
Fairmont San Francisco
Fairmont Hotel San Francisco
San Francisco Fairmont
Address: 950 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
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:
#5 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#18 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#25 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#27 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#45 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Fairmont San Francisco 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
World-renowned, The Fairmont San Francisco hotel presents an awe-inspiring picture of historic San Francisco. The grandeur of the hotel coupled with its reputation for impeccable service promises a truly memorable experience. Known for turning moments into memories for leisure and business travelers alike this luxury San Francisco hotel has been host to some of the most influential meetings and events, breathtaking weddings and personalized special occasions of the century. Each of the San Francisco hotel's spacious guestrooms and suites have been elegantly updated including flat screen TVs, Frette linen ensembles, pillow top beds, and MP3 docking stations.In addition to its 591 guest rooms and suites this luxury San Francisco hotel offers fine dining with three renowned restaurants and lounges, as well as 55,000 square feet of spectacular function space. With a panoramic view of the City and the Bay from high atop Nob Hill, The Fairmont San Francisco hotel presents an unmatched blend of luxurious accommodations, elegant meeting spaces and superb services, which make for an unforgettable stay. ... more   less 
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