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“Right in the middle of all the action”

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Chancellor Hotel on Union Square
Ranked #16 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Kobe, Japan
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Right in the middle of all the action”
Reviewed April 10, 2014

We stayed here on business for a week in mid-March and was generally pleased with the quality and service of the hotel. It is located on the north-west side of Union Square Park and just minutes away on foot from all the main areas of downtown SF. One thing we forgot (or didn’t even consider) was that the day we arrived on March 15 was St. Patrick’s Day weekend and there was a huge parade going along Market Street and we couldn’t reach the hotel by taxi. The ride in from SFO is usually about 30 minutes, but because of the traffic caused by street closures, it took us almost an hour just to get to South of Market area. The one thing I wish the hotel would have done was to let overseas visitors like us know about special events that may hamper transportation to and from the hotel. It’s definitely not their duty to inform guests about that, but we would have appreciated it so we could have made other arrangements, or timed our arrival not to coincide with the parade.

On the ground floor there is a very small lobby right in front of the reception desk. If you’re planning to meet people, I would suggest doing it somewhere more spacious because the area is cramped. There is also a tour desk, a restaurant and a tiny lobby bar in the corner (with a variety of good California wine) on the same ground floor. The hotel offers complimentary coffee and tea, and they also offer home-baked cookies and a pop-corn machine depending on the time of day.

Checking in was smooth and the hotel let us check-in early. They put me in room 610 which was a standard double room facing south so it was nice and bright. The room size may be a bit cramped for two but is comfortable for a single guest. There is a spacious walk-in closet to hold all your luggage and shopping bags to keep the main room uncluttered. The bathroom is clean and bright with good water pressure coming from the shower. The room also had an empty mini fridge to stock your drinks and snacks but make sure to adjust the temperature level because the default setting was too cold and kept freezing the non-alcoholic drinks. Apart from the standard desk set with tv, there was also a small round table with sitting chairs on each side. It was a nice touch and we all like chairs, but it probably wasn’t necessary for a room of that size and personally I would have preferred to have taken them out to make more space. The complimentary candy jar was a nice touch as well.

Being in Union Square, I was prepared for some street noise but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could barely hear any noise from outside. Whether that was because I was on the 6th floor, or because I was only in the room from about midnight until morning I don’t know, but noise from outside keeping me awake was not a problem. In fact, the sound of people talking and walking by the hallway was louder. Apparently, SF was experiencing unusually warm weather during our stay but the room was very hot. Since there is no air conditioner, I kept the windows open 24 hours and turned on the ceiling fan which made it comfortable.

The only complaint I have is that out of the two elevators for the entire hotel, they took one out of service (either for repair or inspection, I forget) for the entire week of our stay. People were waiting 5-10 minutes for an elevator because that’s how long it took for it reach the top and come back down. And because the elevators are small, some people could not fit in one go and had to wait for it to come back empty. If the elevator was out of service for repairs, that’s fine but it shouldn’t have taken a week. If it was for inspection, they should have done it during the non-peak times and again, it shouldn’t have taken a week.

Overall, I enjoyed my stay because of the helpful and friendly staff (especially at the lobby bar), clean rooms, and great location. The free WiFi reception was great both on the 6th floor and ground floor so getting online was no problem at all. I would gladly stay again as long as both elevators are in working condition.

Room Tip: Rooms on the 6th floor and above seem to be quiet from outside noise.
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Green Features: There is a separate plastic bag provided to throw out cans and bottles. You can also opt to re-use bath towels and bed sheets if you prefer to do so.
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HobartPaving
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Auckland
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2014

Pretty much directly opposite Union Square with great shopping on your doorstep as well as the cable car. Beautiful old building, nice clean room, amazingly comfy bed with lovely linen, friendly and helpful staff, free tea/coffee making facilities down in the lobby as well as free cookies. The only downside (and I feel bad saying this) is that the rooms are quite small so no room to open up your suitcase and leave it open although there is a wardrobe where they can be stored away. Also, we were on level 3 and the radiator/air con unit? was quite loud during the night. Overall though we really enjoyed our stay and would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AucklandNess79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montauroux, France
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2014

One of the best features of this hotel is its location; a few steps away from Union Square and the shops, Powell Hyde & Mason cable-car stops just outside and busses half a block away. Our room, on the 12th floor was comfy with a very practical dressing room (so our bags were out of sight) and a view - if you crane your neck a little - of Union Square. Helpful and welcoming staff, freshly-cooked breakfasts and a cosy bar area. This is "only" a 3-star hotel, but it comes with huge TV (unused by us), iron and board, fridge, personal safe and a very good night's sleep. The wifi in our room was also very good.
Summer visitors beware - the lack of air-conditioning may be a problem (there is a ceiling fan) but at least the hotel is very open about this.
Finally, this hotel has character, in the nicest sense!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank bebechoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2014

I stayed for five nights and enjoyed my stay.

Good points:
- friendly staff
- superb location - I felt comfortable walking around at night; bustling and busy although room was facing away from the street so I wasn't affected by street noise
- free coffee and biscuits in lobby
- free wifi
- clean and comfortable

Major negative point:
- very very very noisy radiator - even though it was off we had a metallic drip sound from 5 am - aaaaagh!

On the whole I enjoyed it and would stay again if I was in the area.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that doesn't face the street as otherwise could be noisy.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Maxi_SA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Humboldt, Iowa
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2014

Everyone was so nice and the rooms were small but clean and modern and had super nice pillows!! Very happy with everything they had to offer. We didn't have much of a view, but we didn't get the room for the view....we were right on Powell by the Cable Cars and Walgreens, that had great snacks and breakfast that we could take to room and put in fridge. I will stay there again for sure!

Room Tip: it's an old hotel but nicely renovated...we didn't go for room view
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Green Features: they ask you to put your towel back on the rack so they don't wash them daily so they can save on water, etc. but they did anyway....very satisfied
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank D A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2014 via mobile

I stayed here for 4 nights while on a mission trip in San Fran. I must say, we were all very impressed with the hospitality here. Loved having fresh cucumber water and coffee in the lobby anytime and also cookies and apples and muffins to grab if you have an early morning flight,
The rooms were clean, although very small, especially the bathrooms. Reminded me of a little hotel in Paris.
Be sure to eat right next door for breakfast at the World Famous Sears fine food. The pecan waffles are to die for! Not to mention the oatmeal and pancakes too. Also the Scali's bistro across the street was delicious for dinner.
The location of this hotel is so convenient to the shopping and trains too. I would definitely stay here again.

Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank buckieAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burton on Trent
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2014

Had a 3 night stay in March - April 14. Fantastic location and lovely friendly hotel. Free coffee / Tea, milk shake and cookies in reception. Be sure to get to the friedndly bar at 5pm for the generous happy hour. The food they serve in the restaurant is superb. Great restaurant right next door for your evening meal. 30 second walk to Union square for all your shopping needs. You won't be disapointed with this hotel.

Room Tip: Choose one of the 2 suites on top floor. 2 bathrooms in them.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Pete-Torres
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chancellor Hotel on Union Square

Property: Chancellor Hotel on Union Square
Address: 433 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-1503
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#9 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#9 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#10 Business Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Chancellor Hotel on Union Square 3*
Number of rooms: 137
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The BEST LOCATION at the BEST PRICE...The Chancellor Hotel on Union Square is a historical, boutique hotel located in the heart of San Francisco where the Cable Car stops at the doorstep. Experience the best service and thoughtful amenities while being surrounded by world class shopping, dining and theaters. From Union Square, ride the Powell Street Cable Car over Nob Hill, past Chinatown and North Beach, to Fisherman's Wharf. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chancellor Hotel San Francisco

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