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“Always love staying here!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Monaco San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel

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Hotel Monaco San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   501 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102   |  
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Ranked #27 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersBronze level
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
191 helpful votes 191 helpful votes
“Always love staying here!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

This was my third stay at the Monaco within the last couple of years. I usually have a layover in San Francisco on a yearly r-t-w trip to/from Asia. I’ve stayed in several hotels in SF over the years and in this price range, the Monaco has proven to be my favorite boutique hotel in the area by far.

To start, the lobbies are just lovely. Small, intimate, two fireplaces, art deco feel; for a small hotel, it’s very elegant and welcoming. The porters/concierge are excellent and happy to help no matter what the request. The front desk staff is enthusiastic, helpful, professional and efficient. I had several questions about check-out, parking, etc. which were promptly answered (as did a couple other people checking in—one lady wanted to be far away from pets and her room was changed to a no-pet floor; another wanted a certain p.c. set up that the hotel could not provide as the entire hotel uses wi-fi now, so she was directed to the business center after a few calls to the tech staff were made—quick and impressive).

The rooms are not particularly large (I was staying in the basic queen room this time), but they are charming, well designed, cozy and intimate. I liked the bathroom set up, as well as furry bathrobes and socks provided during the stay. The beds are very comfortable and duvet/linens/pillows wonderfully sink-in-able. As a Kimpton member, I received the $10 voucher for the mini bar (a nice touch) and there was a US$ 30 discount on a massage which I did not use. I was on the 7th floor in an internal room (no view) and it was very quiet; perhaps my room had been remodeled as it was very clean and tasteful.

I love the fact that the hotel is pet friendly and more than once while having a glass of wine during the daily 5-6pm wine hour (again, a very nice touch), I’ve been surrounded by beloved four-paw companions who welcome some petting (which is meaningful for many of us who travel and have to leave our own pets behind). I do wish the Kimptons would stop the goldfish pet offering—although perhaps not ultimately cruel, I doubt the little fishbowls are well aerated and being moved about from room to room is ultimately not in the fishes’ best interest (as one reviewer noted, the fish delivered to her room died…..if such an offering is to continue, I suggest replacing real fish with little automatic plastic fish…amusing and more humane….).

Coffee offered in the lobby in the mornings is nice, as is the fresh fruit water throughout the day. The location, as well noted by other reviews, is not the best, but I’ve found that San Francisco in general is full of homeless/pan handlers, so it didn’t feel much different within the hotel’s vicinity. I walked for over an hour to get to shopping area I enjoy (Union Street) and although I passed by many homeless/pan handlers, I did not feel threatened at any time; just sad. I didn’t eat in the hotel, but did get a glass of wine/dessert one night from the hotel restaurant to enjoy in front of the fire; heaven! I really enjoy my stays at the Monaco and will stay again in the future.

Room Tip: Higher floor is more quiet.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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1,432 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (223)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

Everything was just right, it was our Anniversary and they left us a champagne as a gift. The location is great, 5 minutes from Union Square. Clean, staff members are very helpful. The only thing missing is a room with view and a little bit small but not tiny. Fridge and safe were in the room.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England, UK
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

We spent three nights at this hotel in August and every aspect of it met or exceeded our expectations.
Straightaway upon entering the impressive lobby area we detected an aura of calmness and elegance after our long and hectc journey.
We had a room on the second floor that fronted Geary Street. Only on a Saturday night did we hear the occasional shout or yell from the street outside, otherwise it was very peaceful. The room was beautifully decorated and was very clean; the bed and pillows were extremely comfortable. Usually a light sleeper, I slept like a log! The bath doubles up as a jacuzzi and has a good shower overhead.
There is an ornate marble staircase that goes up to the second floor, and at the bottom are some very good sculptures in memory of Bill Kimpton, the founder of the hotels group, in particular The Tree of Life.
Unexpectedley, upon checking in we were told that we would both be entitled to complimentary continental breakfast in the adjoining Grand Cafe. This consisted of a glass of orange, a pastry, toast or muffin, a glass of fresh friut and coffee. The dining area is Art Deco in style with wonderful high ceilings and enormous lampshades.
We only had chance to sample the wine tasting hour once, where you could select from a red, white or rose wine - more than one if you so wished.
It has often been mentioned in other reviews that there is the occasional homeless person hanging around just along the street to Union Square. This is true; however we encountered homeless people wherever we went in San Francisco - unfortunatety it occurs in many towns and cities. At no time did we feel threatened by them though, just saddened by their plight.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Liverpool
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

Stayed here on a flying visit to San Francisco earlier this year. A really quirky hotel, perhaps a little bit over priced and a the rooms are a little bit dated but overall I really liked it and would stay again when I'm back in town!

Make sure you take advantage of the complimentary wine - delish!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Wilmington,DE
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012 via mobile

All that one really needs at a hotel is a clean bed and bathroom, and friendly staff. Everything seemed clean but old, and staff were pretentious and bored. Breakfast was pleasant. Disappointed that there is no express checkout option. Location is fairly good.

Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
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Edmonton, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

A friend and I recently stayed at the Hotel Monaco for 5 nights while touring San Francisco. Most impressive feature- the staff. We were always greeted with a friendly smile when leaving or returning to the hotel, and we were quickly accommodated when we requested a room switch to two double beds. On our last night, we phoned the front desk with a noise complaint from a room adjoining ours and the situation was handled promptly. The room was modern, always clean, offered loads of extra toiletries, and a good size considering the somewhat crowded nature of the city. Very little noise from the traffic outside. The complimentary coffee in the morning, and late afternoon wine tasting were also great perks! Finally, the central location was most convenient for touring, dining, and shopping (we didn't have a vehicle). I thoroughly recommend this hotel!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

My husband and I recently stayed here for 5 nights over the Labor Day weekend. Having read previous reviews complaining about the size of the rooms, we booked a deluxe suite- which worked out perfectly for us.

Before we left for our vacation, my husband had seen online that the hotel was now offering free valet parking- so he called to see if we could get that added to our previously booked room. Not only did the woman who took his call give us the free valet parking, she gave us a lower rate on the same room we had booked months ago!

The hotel is close to Union Square and right on the street, so we had asked for a quiet room and brought ear plugs just in case. We were placed at the back of the hotel, away from Geary Street and the elevator- which left us with not much of a view, but that was just fine. There were a few random noises/sirens at night but nothing that prevented us from sleeping- we didn't end up using the ear plugs. The bathroom had a nice large counter top and a few amenities I didn't expect- cotton balls, q-tips and a lighted makeup mirror. Just wish the bathroom had a fan, as it got quite warm and fogged up the mirror when showering. Which wouldn't be such a big deal if there was another mirror anywhere else in the suite, which there was not. Definitely could use a mirror outside the bathroom.

The hotel room itself was clean but is in need of a face lift. The wallpaper is marked up and peeling in spots. The location of the hotel is bordering the tenderloin area, which is a seedy area of the city. And there are pretty much homeless people everywhere in SF. For the most part they don't even talk to you so we didn't have any problems with them, it just got depressing to see so many homeless after a while. Otherwise the location is good if you decide to use their public transportation system- it's not too far from the cable cars and multiple Muni bus lines.

The hotel offers complimentary coffee in the mornings from 5-10am and wine hour from 5-6pm. Unfortunately we were never at the hotel to experience the wine hour, but we did enjoy the coffee. Most days they had hot and iced coffee options. They also have fresh fruit water in the lobby throughout the day. There is a list in the bathroom of many complimentary items they have if you forgot something at home. And there is a Walgreens right across the street if you need any supplies or snacks.

Wifi is free for Kimpton In Touch members, which is free to sign up for at kimpton's website. Also when you sign up with them, you get $10 free from the mini bar/snack bar in the room.

The staff here was wonderful. Very friendly- always asking if we needed help with anything. Even the housekeeping staff were friendly when we saw them in the hallways. The service here definitely makes up for the parts of the hotel that are a little run-down. We would definitely go back to this hotel and would recommend it to others.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Monaco San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel

Address: 501 Geary St, 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 Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#21 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#22 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#24 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#34 Green Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Monaco San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 201
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award-winning Hotel Monaco San Francisco provides old-world hospitality in an eclectic, luxurious environment. The lobby's dramatic spaciousness, whimsical frescoed ceiling and delightful "Tree of Life" sculpture are instantly engaging. Situated next to the celebrated Grand Cafe Brasserie and Bar, and within easy walking distance of Union Square, San Francisco's famed Chinatown, the Financial District, Moscone Convention Center and many top-notch theaters, restaurants and shops, Hotel Monaco offers an unparalleled experience for a memorable stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kimpton San Francisco
Hotel Monaco San Francisco

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