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“Hotel with a Bed and Breakfast Vibe” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of White Swan Inn

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White Swan Inn
Ranked #7 of 227 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Hotel with a Bed and Breakfast Vibe”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

My husband and I ended our California Adventure in the City by the Bay with a four night stay at the White Swan Inn. This quaint boutique hotel offers an excelled location that is convenient to the famous cable cars and public transit. Before leaving home, we purchased the City Pass which was an excellent deal giving us unlimited transportation and entrance into many of the city museums including Alcatraz. The room was quite large for a big city and well-appointed. Our room was on the 4th floor and we did not experience any significant street noise. We certainly enjoyed the fireplace and having a mini refrigerator stocked with free soda and water was a nice touch! The room includes cable TV, WIFI, and a coffee maker. The bathroom is older and probably could use some updating. The elevator is vintage and contributes to the old world charm of the hotel, There is no air conditioning and although it was warm in SF, the night temperatures were cool so it was not problematic. The staff was friendly and welcoming. The breakfast offering were standard buffet items but plentiful and satisfying. The evening wine and snacks provided an opportunity to meet many diverse individuals from the USA allowing us to enjoy stimulating conversation about a variety of topics. The decor is decidedly English country which is warming and home-like. I feel that the hotel was reasonably priced and with the breakfast and wine reception a pretty good deal.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Momski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,661 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (186)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
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English first
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2012

I have wanted to stay at a Joie de Vivre Hotel for quite awhile, having read wonderful reviews about them. My chance came when I needed to find a last minute hotel to stay at for the America's Cup, and everything at the Marina was booked - and thank goodness they were, because it forced me to stay near Union Square at the White Swan Inn. If you want to tour the city Union Square is a great central location, you can walk to several areas of interest, catch a cab, take a bus or take BART all within just a few blocks.
I arrived by car around 9pm, parked in the Valet spot (parking is very tight, you will want to valet your car) and registered. The staff offered to help me with my bags, but I don't mind dealing with my own stuff, so it wasn't necessary. The valet allows unlimited in and out privileges (but allow for 20-30 minutes for your car to arrive once you request it). I didn't use my car for the next 4 days because the city is much easier and cheaper to get around without a car to park, not to mention you get a real feel for the city when you are not isolated by car. The staff is friendly, helpful, authentic and not stiff as the big chain hotels often are. It's like you're being welcomed into your own apartment in the city, your home base for your stay.
The decoration is English, if you hate flowered wallpaper then this is not for you, but if you appreciate a commitment to themes, then it works. I wouldn't decorate my own home this way, but don't mind visiting it. The room is good size, it overlooked a courtyard. It happened to be a hot day (rare) in SF and there is no air conditioning, but there is a floor fan in the closet to pull out in the event the room is too warm. Mine was on the 2nd floor (ground level) so I have no experience with the stairs or the elevator that others have mentioned. As a single woman visiting the city I felt safe here. The front door is locked and you either get buzzed in or can use a key to enter the building.
The room amenities included a coffeemaker, a small refrigerator with some cold water and sodas, WiFi, Cable TV, fireplace. The bed is comfortable, the pillows the best I have ever slept on in a hotel (but of course this is very subjective for people). The bathroom was clean, my room had shower in the bathtub. The towels were a little small, a little worn, but were soft.
The breakfast in the morning is a perfect way to start the day. Fresh fruit, quiche, oatmeal, hardboiled eggs, pastries, cold cereals, toast, tea, coffee. The cookie jar is always available on entering the hotel, but if you've been out late, it may be empty. The evening reception was a wonderful chance to talk to other visitors to the city and chatting about adventures, politics, healthcare, it was one of the best parts about my stay. We were in the sitting room for about 2 hours drinking wine, nibbling on cheese and crackers and talking. We probably would have been there even longer, but we all had dinner plans, so had to break up the party.
This was one of the best hotel experiences I have ever had. So if you are planning a visit to this beautiful city, this is a fantastic choice in accomodations!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Melissa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2012

The hotel has an excellent location with it being located within a few minutes of walking distance from Union square.The front desk staff were quite helpful with all our queries and the complimentary home-baking is definitely something to look forward to.

Their elevator is extremely vintage,but as long as it works,no complains:)

We found the rooms quite spacious and clean,though the bathroom could have been a bit larger.

The breakfast spread was pretty wholesome and I was quite happy to get some warm oatmeal.

The biggest drawback we felt were the noises that came from the streets at night.Please make sure that you ask for a room which is less noisy.

On the whole it was a pleasant experience staying at the White Swan Inn and we would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a centrally located and reasonably priced accommodation

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mayhem79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2012

Having previously stayed at Fisherman's Wharf, I wanted to try something different and White Swan was definitely the right choice with an ideal location at a reasonable price. It was quiet unlike wharf area and the rooms were cozy. We enjoyed meeting other guests and sharing our experiences over wine and breakfast. Highly recommend

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mary R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
191 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 270 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2012

We felt like we were staying in an English residence. The public areas are decorated with lots of British antiquities and two gas burning fireplaces. This is a cozy place to join others for afternoon wine and cheese and well as a hearty breakfast in the morning. There are several rooms so you don't get the sense of one large space.

The rooms seem to vary in size. Ours was king bed in the front of the hotel. Spacious room with a bay window and blackout shades. The working fireplace is a very unique feature that you can turn on bedside. We really liked the room with two notable exceptions: the bathroom was very small with hardly any vanity space. Not a problem for me but my wife noted that she could have used more room. Then there was the matter of the sofa....this piece of furniture could be called the "hugger". When you sat in it, it engulfed you. Very uncomfortable! Others have commented on noise. Not a problem for us...we carry a small white noise machine with us when we travel. You would be surprised how if filters much of the background souns.

The mentioned the sofa at checkout and was told that furniture varies from room to room. Suggested they think about replacing it.

Overall, this is a great place to stay in a terrific location. Parking is $32.00 a night..hotel will park your car for you. I shopped around a bit and that is actually a good price. Some friends stayed at a hotel two blocks form us and paid $50. You have in-and-ourt privileges but we left our car parked for the three day we were there.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Theroadwarrior12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2012

This hotel has many positives among them an excellent location within walking distance of the centre of San Francisco, helpful staff, a homely feel with the daily welcoming smell of homebaking, complimentary teas/coffees throughout day and hors d`oeuvres every afternoon, gas fireplace in the room and in the communal area. However, the decor of the place is very 'in your face' with bright coloured, heavily patterened wallpaper and carpets. The line between a 'dated decor' and 'true vintage' is a thin one and some areas are dying for a fresh lick of paint.The gym is a very primitive affair with one treadmill, one bike and a TV set thats out of order. Having said that, I would definitely recommend unless you are looking for the modern build and associated mod-coms!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MalteserEdinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FORT MYERS
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2012

After reading many reviews and searching all of San Fran I chose the White Swan Inn. We had never been to SF before so wasn't sure about the location but we were within walking distance of many places and close to transportation. The amenities included a hot breakfast each morning, free wifi, and a wine and hors d'oeuvres gathering each evening from 5-6:30 where we met many of the guest and learned of places to see and eat and the best way to get around. There was also a refrigerator in each room which was stocked with soft drinks and water each day at no charge. The employees were informative and helpful even printing out our boarding passes for the trip home. Our room was large and the matress was exceptional. I would definately stay there again.

Room Tip: Were in room #27 on the main floor which was close to everything and in the back of the hotel off th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mimi7335
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about White Swan Inn

Property: White Swan Inn
Address: 845 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108-3312
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#7 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#9 Family Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — White Swan Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a crackling fireplace in all 26 guestrooms and suites, the White Swan Inn is a romantic small hotel in the Nob Hill/Union Square area. The White Swan Inn is a visually stunning tribute to the intimate hotels of London. Dark wood paneling, rich floral carpets, comfortable furniture and enchanting English art and collectables set the tone. All guests enjoy a generous breakfast buffet and evening wine and hors d'oeuvres served fireside in the parlor. You can also check out our sister hotel, Petite Auberge, just 20 feet away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
White Swan Hotel
White Swan San Francisco

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