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“"Good Location but missing the small things"”
Review of White Swan Inn

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White Swan Inn
Ranked #7 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 22, 2012

My wife and I stayed at the White Swann Inn for our 5 year anniversary for 4 nights. The location is ideal and great for easy access to the Cable Cars and shopping at Union Square only 2 Blocks away. The Inn however, like many places in SF lacks air conditioning and while having higher than normal temperatures while we were there was problematic for us. The mattress on our bed in room 51 was also disappointing a needed to be replaced because it was very lumpy and old. The evenings free wine and snacks were a nice touch and the vintige elevator created a nice English feel to the Bed and Breakfast. Overall we enjoyed our time at the White Swann Inn and the price was reasonable for the stay.

Room Tip: Room 51 was poor from a bed and Mattress Standpoint. NO Air Conditioning
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank KellyCAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 18, 2012 via mobile

Located just a few minutes walk from Union Square, the White Swan Inn is an ideal base from which to explore San Francisco. This was the first and best hotel that we stayed in on our 10 day visit to America. The staff were friendly, and made us feel genuinely welcome, unlike some places we have visited where the hospitality can feel disingenuous. We were lucky enough to be able to stay in the Luxury King room, which has a huge and very comfortable bed, and separate vanity room. The room and the rest of the hotel is full of character, from the old-fashioned lift to the collection of miniature matchstick Cathedrals in the dining lounge.

The self-service breakfast comprised a selection of hot food, breads, cereals and cakes, together with teas, coffees and fruit juices. You are free to eat as much or as little as you like, and there were no queues or rush. Be sure to take advantage of the complimentary evening wine and nibbles too, as it's a great way to meet other guests and relax after a busy day exploring San Francisco.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank Mike_Chrissie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
1  Thank Momski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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5  Thank Melissa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Mayhem79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Mary R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Theroadwarrior12
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

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
Price Range: $158 - $407 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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