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“Great little Hotel in a noisy city” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Touchstone Hotel - City Center

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Touchstone Hotel - City Center
Ranked #134 of 233 Hotels in San Francisco
Feckenham
Level Contributor
114 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Great little Hotel in a noisy city”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2012

This is a fine little hotel. Rooms are on the small side but they're clean and comfortable. Despite the previous comments about the lack of staff at night we found that there was always someone on duty and all the staff were helpful. David's Diner does a decent and convienient breakfast (only $7 is you book it through the hotel) and there's a Starbucks just a couple of doors down for coffee. Free WiFi in the rooms is great. There are a good many "characters" on the street at night and this, together with rowdy revelers at nearby clubs, does make it a bit edgy - the Tenderloin is but a step away so care is needed if you're out late. Having said that, we didn't experience any real trouble and the advantages of being in the centre of town generally outweighed the disadvantages. It can be noisy at night - garbage trucks at 2am, etc - but that's life in the big city! Good value for money and a safe haven in a busy town.

Room Tip: You might think rooms at the back would be quieter - but there's a service road at the back - ga...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Feckenhamsters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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365 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2012

We knew what to expect from other reviews and were pleasantly surprised on arrival to get two adjacent rooms for our four night stay so we had a mini-suite. Our rooms were at the back of the hotel but there was still some street noise reverberating through the period feature sash windows. We took ear plugs - it wasn't a problem and the convenience of the location more than compensated. The breakfast option in the deli downstairs was a great change from the usual motel bun-fest. Good food and friendly staff.

Other reviewers mentioned homless folks on the street: we used Google for hotel directions from the Powell Street Bart station (the Bart train is a great way of getting into the city from the airport by the way) and these took us west into bits of Tenderloin before heading up to Geary. Here's where you'll find the homeless and it felt pretty rough. Instead, from Powell St station follow the cable car line up Powell Street until you hit Union Square, then bear left up Geary for a block and a half to the hotel. No problems using this route.

Desk staff can give you a 10% off voucher for Blazing Saddles bike rentals round the corner. The bike over the Golden Gate Bridge exprience is highly recommended!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SpiralsUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2012

Thanks to the previous reviews, I knew to expect tiny rooms, small elevator and an urban environment. I was pleased to find the rooms and bathroom clean and cozy -- and I checked the bedsheets as soon as we arrived. The street noise was significant, so I was glad we had brought along a white noise machine.

The staff were very friendly and helpful, both on check-in and when I was trying to get a taxi. It's a tiny hotel wedged into a busy and a bit sketchy city block, so I appreciated the personal touch and attention. The rooms were nice but also tiny -- I was glad to get two adjoining rooms for myself and my daughter so we could use the shower in the larger room. the bathroom in the smaller room would've been hard to use. I liked the design touches in the rooms: plant in the shower, nice choices of accessories. They do a lot with what they have.

When we showered in the morning, we left the bathroom door open. The steam set off the smoke alarm intermittently for about 10 minutes. This was inconvenient for us and I hope it didn't wake up any other guests! Another note: if you use the 25% discount at the adjoining diner, make sure to tell the waiter before you order or they won't honor it. And avoid the potato pancakes, which were thick and tasteless. Everything else was yummy.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KathDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
153 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2012

This hotel is in a great location to visit the city. The hotel itself has small rooms and that could use a renovation. The windows are poor to isolate the exterior sounds and there is no central heating.
The room was quite clean and had a competitive price.
There are homeless people around but they are everywhere in this central area. This shouldn't be considered as a negative point for this hotel. If you want to avoid that you'd have to chose a different area, not just a different street.

Room Tip: ask for a room facing the back. The rooms facing the main street are noisier.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank outlanderlog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phila. suburbs
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2012

We were not looking for a high-end hotel, but somewhere to get a good night's rest before each day's sightseeing. This hotel has a European feel (small elevator and one-person front desk), was very friendly and clean. Victoria at the front desk made us feel very welcome.

Room was modest in size. Bed comfortable. Bathroom large. Towels a little small for American tastes. Good hot water. Windows can open for fresh air. There is Wifi, and also there are a couple of computers available.

There was bottled water in our room waiting for us and sometimes apples available for a take-along snack. No coffee maker in room, but coffee shops just a few steps outside front door.

Touchstone provides a discount for the restaurant next door, though we did not eat there because of other arrangements. The restaurant and menu looked good, though. Loads of good places to eat in the neighborhood.

Suggestion to management: put a second waste can in the bedroom, not just in the bathroom. Put a towel bar near the bathroom sink. Provide a box of tissues.

  • Stayed July 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?
2 Thank Magister_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2012 via mobile

I enjoyed the European feel of this hotel. The place is not super clean but they have the best showers and water pressure I have ever experienced in a hotel. Indeed the location is ideal as it is within walking distance to many of the tourist attractions. But you must run the gauntlet of homeless and mentally ill each time you leave your room. There is no nice peaceful stroll down the street without being hit up for cash or the smell of pee in the air. I realize this problem exists everywhere, but when you are on vacation is really sucks to be in the middle of this depressing scene. We went to get in our rental car and a guy was pooping behind it while other homeless people were leaning up against it hanging out. The majority of the union square area is like this. Mostly at night it gets worse. Everyone says the location is great but I have to say I disagree. We paid a little more the next evening to stay near the Fishermans Wharf and it was well worth it. We felt safer, it was cleaner, and we weren't bothered for cash at all.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alibarton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
69 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2012

I read lot of good reviews about this hotel and booked confidently. I am a budget traveler but still wanted to be in the downtown and so looked at this hotel.
The Good: The location is in the heart of the city and just blocks away from Market Street and Union Square. Loads of restaurants & pubs around which makes life easier. The rooms were clean and was equiped with LCD television with some good channels. The hot water pressure was very good and the staff was very helpful. They were very prompt in giving you directions, helping you in finding places etc.
The bad: I was kind of disappointed the moment I entered the reception area. There is no sitting lounge at all. You can barely stand in the reception area along with your lugguage and so felt it was little more expensive for $110 a day. The rooms were not that great and found them cramped. The window opened in the duct area and so no sun light and no outside view at all. My deal did not include breakfast and so I had to pay extra for breakfast and the menu was not at all impressive. I opted for it just for a day and then chose other restaurants around for next day. I know that the San Francisco downtown area is very expensive but still I expected a decent sized room with spacious reception atleast. It is good for one/two night stays and who do not expect much at this price

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Avadhutjoshi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Touchstone Hotel - City Center

Property: Touchstone Hotel - City Center
Address: 480 Geary Street, Between Mason Street and Taylor, San Francisco, CA 94102
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 Best Value Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Touchstone Hotel - City Center 2*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the pleasant 2 star Touchstone Hotel-City Center, you will be located in San Francisco's Union Square, surrounded by famous restaurants, luxury hotels, high-end galleries and exciting night life. Nob Hill, North Beach, Chinatown and the Moscone Convention Center are a leisurely stroll from our doors. A short 2 min walk will take you to Union Square, which offers some of the most sophisticated shopping on the West Coast. The famed Cable Cars are close enough for you to hear rumble by. The Touchstone Hotel-City Center offers 44 rooms blending old-world charm, new-world convenience and small-world comfort. Simply but pleasantly decorated and equipped with organic toiletries and complimentary bottled water. All rooms have their own en-suite bathroom. Internet is available throughout the hotel at no charge. There is an original 1950's deli/cafe adjacent to the hotel. Hotel guests receive a 25% discount coupon. The hotel provides a left luggage office and valet parking service at extra cost for 24 hours with unlimited in-and-out privileges. The Touchstone Hotel-City Center is very close to the city's efficient public transportation (25 min train ride from SFO). Great central location for this budget San Francisco hotel! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Touchstone Hotel - City San Francisco

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