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All reviewscoit towerwine and cheesefilbert streetother guestsnorth beach locationfisherman's wharfgreat northgreat locationwithin walking distanceevery eveningno elevatorprivate bathceiling fanyour luggagerooms are smallparking garagestreet side
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Reviewed September 20, 2011

The location of this charming B&B is fabulous within walking distance of the Italian neighbourhood and Chinatown and overlooks the park. It is also within easy reach of downtown with a number of public transport options.
The main shared living space is very attractive and inviting, however, our room was on the small side but quite charming. Breakfast was fresh and delicious and the staff always helpful. I needed to get a lot of laundry done in a short timeframe and this was no problem and I thought very reasonably priced.
Initially I thought that the B&B was expensive, given the size of our room, but in a large city in such a good location it was probably what you should expect to pay. I would definately stay here again. Having read a few of the other reviews I would not recommend L'Osteria del Forno - very average.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank EmjaySydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2011

nice, small inn. our bathroom was not en suite, but across the corridor- however that was ok, because the door to the bathroom could only be opened with the room key, too. The bathroom very spotless and modern. The room was a little small, but very nice, with flatscreen TV. We had room no. 12. In the late afternoon, wine and cheese is served, breakfast was continental, cold breakfast only. A nice place worth its money, esp. compared to the big chains at Fisherman's Wharf, which is only about 10 min. walk downhill from the inn.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Superpenni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2011

We stayed at the Washington Square Inn because of its location and its membership in the Select Registry. It did not live up to the Select Registry standard. The location was good for our needs. We left our car parked and used our feet or the public transporation to get around.

We stayed in room 6. There was barely room for us to walk around the bed. We had to constantly get out of each others way to get to the sink or away from it. The sink was in the bedroom part which has its advantages, but the reason it was there is because the bathroom was the size of a small closet. The fursnishings were nice. The first day, one of the bed side lamps didn't work and we got a new bulb from the staff. The next day, the other lamp didn't work. We didn't bother with a replacement. The morning we left, neither was working! A problem with wiring perhaps?

After staying in many B&Bs, we expected at least some of the breakfast to be a warm home-cooked entree, not a toasted bagel. (and not a New York style bagel)The breakfast was more limited than the offerings at a Holiday Innn Express or Hampton Inn. The afternoon wine and snacks was a very nice spread which made up for the breakfast's lacking a bit. It was quite comical to be asked if we wanted breakfast in our room. How exactly would that have been possible?

Maybe some of the other rooms are large enough to be reasonable, but we think they tried to fit too many rooms into a small space. They would benefit from expanding a couple into one room. Do not recommend room 6.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank travelfanNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washsquare, Owner at Washington Square Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2011

We are sorry that the room you chose was not large enough for you, we have many larger rooms that might have been more preferable to you, and we list the room diminsions on our website when you click on room details. Unfortunately light bulbs do fail occasionally and we have someone around 24/7 that can assist you. Your comments on our breakfast made me think you did not see our whole menu, we offer fresh fruits, daily baked pastries and bagels and lox which are baked by a local bakery, we have assorted yogurts, cereals, homemade granolas and yes we do not offer bacon & eggs but 99% of our guests love our breakfasts. We are a city inn and operate very differently than a country inn. We sometimes have to assist our guests at all hours with checking in or out; many times at 3 in the morning and making sure we take care of all our guests’ needs, whatever they are. We are a 1908 building and yes we would love to have a larger Inn but expanding rooms would be very difficult and prohibitively expensive in San Francisco for just 15 rooms.

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Reviewed September 12, 2011

My wife and I just returned from spending four nights here. Three nights in Room 2 and one night in Room 8(more on the rooms later). Loved every minute. The staff is first class, helpful, friendly, but professional. The neighborhood is safe, alive, and colorful (groups of elderly Chinese women gather to do their morning stretches in Washington Park right across the street so you can watch them while having breakfast). Dozens of great Italian and Chinese restaurants are nearby (try L'Osteria del forno on Columbus Ave). Several bus lines access the square. You are walking distance to Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, Coit Tower/Telegraph hill, and obviously Little Italy. We found the rooms clean, well maintained, and comfortable. Room 2 was not large, but had plenty of room for both of us and faces an inner "courtyard". If you can swing the extra $$, Room 8 is much larger, on the second floor with a bay window and love seat facing the square, and a large bath with a great shower. It might get a little more street noise, but certainly this was not an issue when we were there.
If you do not want or need a major downtown hotel, like small inns and B&B's, really want to experience San Fran, then you cannot beat this.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mobile809236
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2011

I feel guilty that it has taken me this long (slightly over a year) to write a review of my stay at the Washington Square Inn during the last week of August 2010, but better late than never, I guess!

As I have noted in one or two of my other hotel reviews, I like to choose accommodation that is unique to a city and I try to avoid the big chain hotels whenever I can. There were a handful of places in San Francisco that I considered for my first-ever visit to the city, but in the end I chose the Washington Square Inn primarily because of its many glowing, laudatory reviews, but also because of its North Beach location. Although San Francisco has many fascinating and historic neighborhoods, North Beach was of particular interest to me as one of the places that witnessed the birth of the “Beat” movement of the 1950s and it was/is home to the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Within a short walking distance from the Inn are many of the venues/institutions that nurtured and sustained the Beat movement, including City Lights Bookstore, Caffe [sic] Trieste, and Vesuvio Café/Bar. The house where Allen Ginsberg lived for a number of years and where he wrote “Howl” can be found on Montgomery Street nearby. North Beach was also for many years San Francisco’s “Little Italy” and if you like Italian cooking, you won’t have any trouble finding an Italian restaurant to suit your tastes and budget. But if you’re not fond of Italian, rest assured that there are plenty of other cuisines represented in North Beach’s many restaurants. In this regard, just ask to see the huge album/directory that Washington Square Inn has available in its main floor dining room and which gives details on just about every restaurant in the neighborhood.

I also liked Washington Square Inn’s North Beach location because it is ideally situated for exploring many of the city’s other sights. Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower are a short, but uphill, walk on Filbert Street. Meanwhile, Ghiradelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, the Embarcadero and the Ferry Building, Pier 33 (where one catches the ferry to Alcatraz), and the Transamerica Pyramid are all within easy walking distance. (I should perhaps qualify this statement by noting that they were all within easy walking distance for me, but that may be because I love to walk and do a great deal of hiking wherever I go. Those reading this review may want to calculate distances and assess their own fitness levels before venturing out!) On my first full day in San Francisco I even walked from the Inn to the Golden Gate Bridge. I think it took me slightly over an hour, but I did make numerous stops along the way to take photos. It is also a relatively short walk from the Inn to the Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason cable car lines and one can easily catch a cable car to Union Square or Market Street and from either of those locations catch a bus or, in the case of Market Street, a bus or a BART train, to explore other areas of the city. I found that San Francisco has an excellent public transportation system and it didn’t take me very long to figure it out and use it to visit venues such as Haight-Ashbury, the Castro, Golden Gate Park, the Legion of Honor, Alamo Square, and Lafayette Park.

Regarding the Inn itself, it does live up to all its glowing reviews. The outside of the Inn may look rather ordinary and plain, but inside it is a charming place, beautiful, very well-maintained and well-run. The staff at the Inn are exceptionally good and work very hard (my room was immaculate!) and the owners, Maria and Daniel Levin, were always there to provide advice and assistance and to ensure that each guest’s visit was pleasant and memorable.

Some reviewers have remarked on, and have occasionally complained about, how small many of the rooms are, and I suppose that could be an issue for some travelers; it is certainly a factor that should be considered by anyone contemplating staying here. Of course, what is small for some people will be seen as “cozy” by others! I was a solo traveler, so the size of the rooms was not really an issue for me. I booked Room #11 on the Inn’s web site and, if I remember correctly, selected the room because I generally liked how it looked in the photos on the web site. I also liked the fact that it had an ensuite washroom, and that it faced Filbert Street, which I figured would be a bit quieter than facing Stockton Street.

I was not disappointed in my room choice; it lived up to all my expectations. The room was spacious enough and was absolutely spotless. The washroom, to be sure, was definitely on the small side, but I already knew that it would be from reading at least one previous review of Room #11. In any event, the washroom’s size did not pose any inconvenience for me. Meanwhile, the views from the room’s windows provided me with some memorable, iconic images of San Francisco. And the room was quiet, too. I think I may have heard some street noise early one morning but that was it. All in all, I slept extremely well during my stay at the Inn.

The Inn provides a wonderful breakfast on the ground floor each morning (cereal, toast, fruit, yogurt) and in the late afternoon/early evening provides an end-of-day repast which include local wine (Napa Valley, of course, or maybe it was Sonoma – I forget, but it was good wine!), cheese, dolmades, and freshly-baked cookies (very yummy!). Both the breakfast and the late afternoon hors d’oeuvres provide great opportunities to meet the other guests. In this regard, I decided not to be my usual anti-social self and showed up for both breakfast and the late afternoon wine and cheese and, as it turned out, met and had some good conversations with some very interesting and friendly couples from places as diverse as New Zealand and Michigan and, much to my surprise, my hometown Ottawa as well (it really is a small world!). Regarding breakfast, one does have the option of having it in one’s room.

In summary, I can’t say enough good things about the Washington Square Inn. It provides superlative service and accommodation in one of San Francisco’s most interesting and lovely neighborhoods, and it should be on everyone’s short list of places to stay in the “City by the Bay”.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled solo
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2  Thank Johannes56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washsquare, Owner at Washington Square Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 8, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review, we really appreciate when our guests share their experience of our Inn and North Beach.

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