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“Overall pretty good...”

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San Francisco Marriott Union Square
Ranked #46 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed September 25, 2007

The Crowne was booked for us by my husbands work. It was one of the few hotels still available for the VMWorld conference, so we took it at a rate of $210 a night. When we arrived, we found the parking garage and pulled in. We were quickly told that we couldn’t get any help with our bags if we stayed in the parking garage, but the nice man there offered to bring the car around front for us so that we could go check in then get our bags. This was greatly appreciated after our nerve wracking trip from the South Bay to the city. (We stayed the previous two nights in the south bay to visit some friends).

My husband and I gathered up our few items we wanted to keep with us at all times, and walked down the very steep (and slippery, BE CAREFUL!) garage area to the stairs outside to enter the hotel. When we arrived inside the lobby we saw the lobby packed with airline employees waiting to check out. There were probably 50-75 people ahead of us in line. My husband sat down on a bench with our items and I waited outside for our car. Our car arrived about 15 minutes later just as all the airline employees were boarding a bus to apparently go to work. As I helped the bellman unload the car, my husband called to let me know we were checked in and ready to go.

The Crowne had upgraded us to a junior suite on the 23rd floor. The view from the room was absolutely spectacular, we slept with the curtains open every night so we could see the beautiful city lights.

The room was quite nice and spacious. The bathroom was against the back wall, next to that was a small table and chairs for eating or playing cards. There was a rather large living room area with a sofa, coffee table, a chair and a television in a cabinet with some drawers and a refrigerator. Beyond that was a half wall separating the living area from the sleeping area. Directly in front of the bed was a desk with a light and outlets ready for your laptop. The room was very clean, the bed was extremely comfortable with plenty of blankets and pillows.

Internet was not included in the price of the room. It was $10 a day for internet access, or $35 for the week. I understand that this is typical in upscale hotels, even though it frustrates me. That being said, when I pay for internet access in a hotel, I expect enough bandwidth to be able to conduct business (VPN access). The download speeds were frequently less than 200kbps, which is totally unacceptable. This was one of the recommended hotels for the VMWorld conference, which is a computer-related convention. A hotel should expect high internet usage when they are a participant hotel for a high-tech conference, and be prepared to handle it. Even on Thursday night, when most of the conference participants had left, the bandwidth still didn’t exceed 310kbps. My expectations for $10/day internet access are much higher than free WiFi in non-premium hotels, and unfortunately the Crowne Plaza didn’t come close to meeting those expectations.

We opted not to use the room service available, since the cheapest thing on the menu was a $22 hamburger that didn’t seem all that special from the description on the menu. A morning pot of coffee was $7, and a basic breakfast was over $15. Instead we went to the grocery store and bought a few staple items and frequented restaurants in the area.

Most of the staff members we ran in to were very polite and friendly, especially the housekeeping staff.

Parking was somewhat of a fiasco. It took a minimum of 15 minutes every time we needed our car, sometimes closer to a half an hour. At one point one of the door men got rather testy with me and told me I should call for the car before going downstairs, otherwise we should just go to the garage ourselves to get the car. (Which was fine with me, less tipping!) Not only did they expect a tip every time we got in or out of the car, the parking was $60 a day. (Yes, I said $60 A DAY). I understand real estate is at a premium in SF, but $60 a day?!?!? Again, no choice we had to pay it.

When we went to check out my husband mentioned the problems with the internet, and how important it was for him to have internet access, he was met with a snide “Sorry”, and handed a receipt.

Overall the room was lovely and most of the staff were polite and helpful. Would I stay here again? Maybe. It surely wouldn’t be my first choice by any stretch. It’s very important for computer people to have reliable internet access. If it were free, we wouldn’t complain, but considering less expensive hotels have better internet access this was a big disappointment. The room service menu being SO highly priced also put us off a little. The parking, well honestly it was kind of disastrous for us. So only in a pinch would we stay here again.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled on business
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4  Thank yvieinca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 12, 2007

First things first: The location of the hotel is just about perfect: cable car outside, with Chinatown, Union Square shopping and restaurants all very close by. I didn't eat at the hotel--a full breakfast was about $23. A nice breakfast can be had across the street at Sears--a San Francisco institution--for about $10 less.
The room I had was a standard king and was fairly small, had a coffeemaker but no refrigerator and a comfortable bed. The bathroom was unremarkable but sufficient. The hotel staff were very nice; the doormen especially so. A huge number of airline crews stay here. The lobby is relatively small--considering it's a 30 story hotel-- with limited seating if you're the type who likes to lounge around and watch the world go by.
I spent an entire week at this hotel and also the Grand Hyatt(on a previous stay), which is a block away. If it's a matter of a night or two, it probably doesn't make much difference, but for an extended stay, I'd choose the Grand Hyatt--much better views, nicer room decor and a more upscale ambiance.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled solo
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5  Thank guyinAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2007

This was a very nice hotel. Located just a block or so north of Union Square. It's an easy walk to Chinatown, the subway and all of the dining and shopping in the area. I bid for the hotel on Priceline and got it for $77 (pre tax) for Labor Day weekend (Sept 1-3, 2007) so not a bad deal at all. We were in room 806, which was a corner room. It was larger than the other hotel rooms, though it had 2 queen beds, not a king. There was a welcoming packet on the bed with linen spray, eye patches and ear plugs for a good night's rest. Staff seemed very friendly, though we did not deal with them much. Hotel has the usual: soda machine, free ice machine, toiletries included shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, bar soap and shower cap. Small coffee maker in the room.

Nice little cafe right across the street for a coffee, pasty or quick glass of wine. There's a Walgreens pharmacy kitty-corner to the hotel if you need to stock up on supplies. Dotties (522 Jones) is on of the best brekfast joints EVER! Be Prepared to wait in line for an hour, but it's almost worth it. The place it tiny.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank designjb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2007

3 of us shared a quad room for 5 nights whilst sightseeing. After arriving gone midnight and missing our luggage due to flight delays, the only Porter on duty was able to run around and get us all the toiletries and Robes we needed to relieve the effects of travelling for 36 hours.

Our room was very spacious over looking Sutter Street itself, I suspect it may have been a disabled room because of the wetroom and rails, instead of a bath. No issue with cleanliness and beds very comfy indeed. Would certainly stay here again.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Mrs_Yarnold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2007

We booked a family holiday on the West Coast of US and stayed at Crowne Plaza Garden Grove, Caesars Las Vegas, Crowne Plaza Union Square San Francisco and Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach LA. I am a Priority Club member that is why my preference for Crowne Plaza. There were 7 of us in two rooms at each hotel.
The Crowne Plaza Union Square is in a great location with the cable car stop just outside (Powell Street) and is close to great shops. The run to the bay isn't too bad. The hotel is a little old and could do with a refurb. We booked 4 months in advance and asked for adjoining rooms but ended up on seperate floors. OK but wouldn't stay again.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank NovAbroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2007

Every once and awhile, we take a "getaway" from our East Bay home to the greatest city in the country, San Francisco. We try different hotels and restaurants and shop til we drop. This last trip was truly a pleasant surprise, as we found a jewel of a hotel in the Crowne Plaza Union Square.

This hotel was priced right and gave us everything we were looking for. So much so that we stayed an extra night!

The hotel check-in staff was courteous, helpful and friendly, as were the breakfast restaurant staff.

We had an Executive "club" room with access to the lounge. (The "club/lounge" is actually just a big suite with a TV and no services. Nice to hang out in if you're an early riser and don't want to disturb your roommate). Breakfast was included and was great.

We were near the top of the hotel with a great view of the bay. We appreciated the "quiet zone" with no kids allowed in that section. Nice and quiet!

The room was clean and well appointed. The bathroom was small, but had some nice amenities.

I must say that I do like the new focus on sleeping soundly. The scented spray and sleep-sounds CD were a nice touch.

The hotel is centrally located and close to everything.

While we may continue to experience other SF hotels, we will definetly return to the Crowne Plaza Union Square in the not so distant future and will recommend it to out-of-town friends.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank cwcharacters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2007

We stayed that the Crowne Plaza for three nights. Upon check in our room was not ready but they offered us a $40 a night upgrade to an executive level room. It was well worth it since it includes breakfast each morning, free internet access in the room and drink coupons. The room was very clean and best of all it was quiet. Very quiet! Bathroom was a little on the small side but I could deal with it. Espically since I was very, very clean. I love when hotels actually clean the grout in the shower!

The staff was very friendly and helpful. Even the bellhops were willing to give directions and pointers on good places to eat or visit.

Location is great as you are right outside of a cable car stop and about a 5 minute walk to Union Square. Sear's Fine Food and Lori's diner are right accross the street and are wonderful for a quick lunch.

I would stay again in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank aimblkjak21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Francisco Marriott Union Square

Address: 480 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94108 (Formerly Hotel 480)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#22 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#28 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#37 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#43 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range: $207 - $523 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — San Francisco Marriott Union Square 4*
Number of rooms: 400
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
San Francisco Marriott Union Square offers a prime location with San Francisco's most vibrant address. Hop aboard a cable car or enjoy Union Square shopping just steps from our hotel in downtown San Francisco, California. Also near popular Nob Hill and Chinatown, San Francisco Marriott Union Square is an excellent choice for hosting meetings and events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
San Francisco Marriott Union Square Hotel San Francisco
Marriott San Francisco
Crowne Plaza Union Square

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