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“Questionable value for money...” 3 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 #25 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersBronze level
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Questionable value for money...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

During our visit in San Francisco, we were advised it is not a particularly economically priced city by American standards. We certainly experienced this expense at the Monaco Hotel. Our Queen Deluxe room was quiet (being at the back of the hotel) but it certainly wasn’t spacious or luxurious like in the website photos! And the Grand Cafe did not seem especially “value for money” either.

The Monaco Hotel was originally an Art Deco building but our room was decorated in pale green and yellow striped wallpaper, plus a navy blue and cream striped canopy over the bed, with dark wood furniture and white bed linen. The bathroom was wallpapered in narrow stripes of raspberry pink and gold – all very eye watering. Our bed was a proper double and very comfortable to sleep on. The feather pillows were quickly swapped for firmer (foam) pillows when asked. The large writing desk had discrete electrical outlets that we didn’t find until our second last day unfortunately. The bathroom outlet was only for electric shavers. The shower head was over a shallow (child size) bath, with good water pressure but at night the hot water took an extraordinarily long length of time to come through.

Our main problem with the room was there was no floor space to store our two medium sized suitcases. A single traveller might be able to empty one suitcase into the single 3-drawer bedside cabinet plus walk-in robe (with its limited number of hangers provided). Unfortunately the walk-in robe also held the room’s safe so further limiting the storage space plus the lighting was so low in the room overall we would never have been able to sort through our clothing in a suitcase if we could have placed one in the walk-in robe.

The service from all staff was super friendly and efficient. We didn’t partake of the free wine hour in the afternoons, the morning coffee bar, nor the Spa, so can’t offer a comment on these. The Business Centre charged $6 per 15 minutes for use of the computers plus nearly $2 per B&W page to print, although airline checkin was offered free of charge. Location wise: the Monaco is only 2 blocks from Union Square which is better for business travellers and serious shoppers. Tourists may prefer to stay closer to Fishermans’ Wharf for the attractions and cheaper eateries there.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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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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)
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English first
Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

Time and time again, I find myself back at a Kimpton hotel. The hotel staff are always incredibly helpful and friendly, and you are almost always guaranteed a pleasant stay.

This property is conveniently located a few blocks away from Union Square, but far enough not to be bam smack in the middle of the hustle and bustle. There are plenty of good restaurant options close to the hotel, so I recommend exploring Nob Hill or a little further up in Russian Hill. First Crush, a small wine bar a few blocks away, was a fantastic place to have a casual lunch. Breakfast at the hotel was underwhelming as there are limited options and was also expensive for what it was. A smoothie + pastry cost $14! Definitely recommend venturing outside the hotel for breakfast.

The room itself was clean and comfortable, and as usual the bed was incredibly comfortable - not too soft, not too firm. The amenities are of a good quality and the hotel provides additional amenities if you forgot to bring it - alternatively, there is a Walgreen's across the street that is open until midnight.

There was a bit of a mix-up at the hotel front desk and they had me down to check out two days earlier than I was supposed to, but they cleared that up straight away and extended my stay. Wifi service in the hotel is very reliable and Internet speed is fast, my two (small) gripes with the hotel is that the shower takes a while to heat up so I would have to turn the water on for a few minutes before the water was hot enough. Secondly, when I checked out and tried to hail a cab to head to the airport, none of the valet helped me secure transportation, and didn't help me with my bags either. A little disappointing to end the trip on that note, but it won't deter me from staying at another Kimpton hotel in the future.

Room Tip: 538 was very quiet, but there's no view to speak of - looks onto a wall of more hotel rooms
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012 via mobile

This is my favorite hotel in San Fran. The rooms have great character ... The wine hour is superb ... And the service is outstanding. If you have a chance, go to the restaurant bar for happy hour and order the Goat Cheese and Olives.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Wellington, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

We arrived at the Hotel Monaco late on a Wednesday night after a long drive from LA - check in was super quick and easy and the service felt genuine. My initial gripe or rather, my only gripe at all was the highly priced valet parking - over $100 for 2 nights. Yes, there are local parks nearby but we wanted our stay to be practical and hassle free but you do pay for it here. However wireless was free and super quick which was a great plus.

Hotel location is great - and as long as your not easily offended by the masses of homeless/beggars you'll be fine. During the day they are not as prevalent but standing outside the hotel at night on the second evening we encountered 10 begs for money in as many minutes. I assume it is the same all over SF though.

Within 5 minutes, your at Union Square - and we decided to walk down to the ferry port through the Financial District which took around 45 minutes but was very pleasant and a great way to see the city.

The rooms although small (three rooms and all very inconsistent sizes - must be luck of the draw!) were immaculate and the beds were super comfortable. The bathroom and amenities were fabulous and the leopard print bathrobes were cute.

We didn't eat here or use the spa facilities as they closed at 9 p.m however the lobby, seating areas around the hotel were lovely and the complimentary tea/coffee and wine hour are a really considered touch.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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Alexandria, VA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

This was a real nice hotel to stay in. I went to the city with my friend and we had an awesome time. I really liked it and will seek out Hotel Monaco in the future as a place to stay at. Didn't care too much for San Fransisco though, too many homeless people on the streets.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rugby
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

I stayed during the Oracle World Conference. Staff helpful, and in most cases very helpful. I didn't eat here so can't review the dining quality and I didn't use the Spa. Public rooms and Bedroom clean, well furnished and comfortable. Close to union square.

Niggles, only two.

The mini bar was not re-stocked. There is a Walgreen over the road so I bought my own diet coke. The laundry service sent my shirts back poorly ironed. Having said that, I would stay again.

Room Tip: My room had no view other than other bedroom windows. Ask for a room with a view if you want one. Di...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 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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Yellow Springs, Ohio
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

In looking for a hotel near Union Square that offered a beautiful, peaceful room, comfortable beds, and a wonderful restaurant, I was fortunate to book a room at Hotel Monaco, which met all of my criteria for a great stay. A throwback to another, grander era, the hotel is absolutely gorgeous, with ceiling murals, columns, a grand staircase, and a fireplace in each of the two elegant lounge areas. The staff is super friendly, always ready to assist with a smile, especially the bellmen. The rooms must have really thick walls due to being so well built, as I never heard a sound from the rooms on either side. Turning on the fan helped to cool down the room as well as provide white noise to muffle the sounds of sirens and motorcycles. The bed had a pillowtop mattress, so comfortable. And I love the cheerful colors and decor of the room, despite all the stripes - it was lovely. The softest, thickest towels I have ever experienced in a hotel. Room service is very prompt and the food is good. Next door, however, is the Grand Cafe, which I heartily recommend for dinner - fabulous braised lamb and nicely seasoned trout entrees. Breakfast is a bit spendy, and the spinach/goat cheese omelette is good, but if you want to save some $, try David's Deli across the street & down half a block for a much less expensive meal, served by a really nice wait staff.
I will be going back to the Monaco for it's comfort, style, service and unique location, so close to Union Square. As for the homeless people, well, sadly, they are all over the city.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the elevators & on one of the top floors to get a greater distance from...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
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 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:
#13 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#19 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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