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“A Work in Progress--Literally!” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of San Francisco Marriott Union Square

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San Francisco Marriott Union Square
Ranked #45 of 227 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Bethlehem PA
Level Contributor
49 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“A Work in Progress--Literally!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2008

I stayed at the Hotel 480 for four nights after booking it through Priceline at a very reasonable rate. The location can't be beaten--it's about a block north of Union Square and just a few blocks from Chinatown (North Beach is also walkable if you can handle the steep hills in between). While I can't complain about the room--it was nicely appointed and clean--there were two major points of contention between the hotel's website and my experience. First, the hotel's fitness center is NOT OPEN. It's being renovated for the foreseeable future, which I hadn't known in advance (it would have been nice to be apprised of this!). The front desk said that they had made alternative arrangements with the 24 Hour Fitness located five blocks away, but that 480 guests would have to pay $5 per day to use the facility. I was horrified that they expected guests to pay for something which was supposed to be included--especially in light of the fact that it's WAY more inconvenient to use some strange gym than to just run downstairs to the hotel's own fitness center. When I expressed this, the manager offered to give me 2 days for $5, which I accepted (and by the way, the gym itself was pretty nice, but if you're a runner or a walker, you're SO much better off exercising outside because you get as much of a workout --no kidding, this city has some SERIOUS hills--and simultaneously get to enjoy exploring the city). I was still irked, though, that they charged me anything at all for something that I was promised when I booked (though I see that they've changed the website recently to reflect the situation).
Secondly, there is no wireless access in the guestrooms at all. If you want to access the Internet, you have to pay $10/day for a high-speed connection, or you can go sit in the lobby and pay $5 for three hours of wireless. Can you get more stingy? Considering San Francisco's supposed to be one of the most "wired" cities in the country, the fact that the hotel doesn't even provide wireless coverage in its guestrooms is disappointing. A better option than the $10 high-speed connection is to connect to the wireless network of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel (located across the street) which is only $7 per day and sent a pretty strong signal over to my guestroom (and probably all guestrooms on the south side of the building).
Overall, the staff were fantastic, but these flaws left me feeling somewhat disappointed. Had I known these issues before booking, I would have adjusted my expectations (and knowing them now, I'd still probably stay there again if only for the unbeatable location), If you don't require in-room wireless or the use of gym facilities, I'd highly recommend the 480, but if you do, you might want to look elsewhere.

Stayed March 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank christianneanastasia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
143 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2008

This hotel used to be a Crown Plaza and it still feels like one. Everything has been refreshed/updated, but very basic. Nothing is particularly wrong, but nothing wows you either. The location is great and the front desk service is exceptionally friendly and helpful. However, for this price, I felt like I wanted something more special.

  • Liked — friendly staff
  • Disliked — could hear the street noise
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank BeforeSunrise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lower Mainland BC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2008

We got a great cheap price -- $160/nite. Excellent for the location in the shopping district of Union Square. The room was clean and partially updated with white linens and duvet. Walls seem thin, but no trouble with loud noise. Good workout room. Very helpful bellman, Perry, who got me bag back when I left it in the airport shuttle bus! Great value for the price

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — no pool
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Jmbradle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2008

I stayed here on a business trip in December 07 (single female travelling alone from the UK) and chose this hotel 1. to get Priority Club points 2. for the location.

The location is superb - absolutely excellent, really can't fault it for being so central to the main shopping - I even went back a couple of times on my non-work day to drop off bags. No problems at all re safety, going out to eat in the evenings on my own etc etc.

However - the front desk staff are appalling. When I went to empty my safety deposit box prior to check out (10 mins to go) I waited in line until it was my turn, went to the desk to be told, very rudely, that I had to wait while a bunch of airline staff were checked out. No apologies - no 'would you mind if we dealt with these people first' just literally 'WAIT'!!

So rude!!!!

I stated that I had a plane to catch as well to be told that didn't matter!

Regardless of the great location you couldn't pay me to stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank weeangel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rancho Cucamongaa, Ca
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2008

We just got back from a weekend in San Francisco (Union Square). I can't say enough about it. Other reviews before ours complained about renovations, but they must be completed now because we saw no signs of this. The rooms were clean and the staff always went out of there way to make us feel as if we were their only guests. The view from our room overlooking Union Square and the entire City was unbelievable. We sat at the bar late one night and received excellent service from Thomas a long time bartender there. The hotel is on the cable car line which gives you easy access to anywhere you want to go outside of Union Square. Everything else from restaraunts, night clubs, and all the shops are within easy walking distance. The conciere was so helpful with everything from trip planning to printing out our boarding passes for our return trip home. If you are looking for a room in the Union Square area, I highly recommend Hotel 480....soon to become a Marriot though.

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Steri-Clean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
baltimore, md
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2008

my experience was awful. i was there for a conference, in the big ballroom. of course- very very weak wireless internet access and when you told the front desk--- they looked at you like you have 3 eyes. ditto on the weak net access from the rooms. what a joke-- why cant they get this right! first my key didnt work (same experience a guy next to me at checkin had). the rude front desk lady (who will go unnamed) kept insulting our intelligence saying we were putting in the card wrong. duh... next one of the bellmen took our tip, then handed the bags back to us-- true story... say he didnt have time to take the bags to our room. two positives were the very nice concierge lady (extremely helpful and patient) and the cleaning ladies (promote them please to the front desk). wow! the front desk needs alot of work. teach them the internet and that guests get frustrated when everywhere they turn, nothing works. and hey be nice. several of us were trying to print boarding passes at the front desk. they couldnt do it. and wouldnt let us look behind the counter to help. more rudeness. then we were instructed to go upstairs to the business center (read that money grab) where the fees were a joke, and (you guessed it) very SLOW internet access and a printer out of toner. think they had more? right, now way-- had to be ordered. all in all a bad experience, starting with the poorly managed front desk. this hotel needs a brand, the staff needs retraining, and the GM (who was nowhere to be found when all these problems were occurring) should spend some time with the guests. cant say enough about how the experience started negatively with a rude front desk person and zero help from all the bell staff standing around. oh- and did i mention that my tv volume control didnt work... i called the front desk, then the gm's office, and am still waiting for a call back (i checked out 3 days ago!). stay at the westin next time.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — service
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank digitalcrabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
89 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2008

We spent a month traveling through Austria, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic and decided on a three day stopover in San Francisco on our way back to New Zealand to help get over our jet lag.
We booked this hotel through our travel agent (our agent never contacted us to say it had changed names since we booked and paid) together with our flights. It was expensive but we thought with the Crowne Plaza name and having read other Trip Advisor reviews we would be happy. I had booked our nine hotels in Europe directly through their websites after reading Trip Advisor reviews. All of them were wonderful so we were looking forward to our three nights of luxury in San Francisco to finish an incredible month long trip.
We arrived after two flights from Europe, 16 hours in total and checked in with no problems. We were taken to our room on the 10th floor and were told how lucky it was that we had such a huge one. We thought it was very dated and we were not very happy with two double beds instead of a queen or king as advertised, but it was tolerably clean. It was a disabled room with all the equipment left in the bathroom.
The room was also very cold. While my husband tried to warm up the air conditioning I decided a shower would help the jet lag and the disappointment with the room. However there was no hot water!! We rang reception and they said the hotel was undergoing renovations and that they would send a plumber.
The longer we waited the more upset we became so we went to reception to complain about the above. The receptionist said as there was a conference on she could do little. We explained that we had paid over $400 a night and were ready to leave. She said that she would make an exception and reorganize things and upgrade us to a much higher floor with a room with a King size bed. We were very tired and grateful that we could finally have a shower and freshen up. The room was okay, very dated but clean and we had our hot shower.
The hotel is undergoing refurbishment and there were people working outside our window. There were ropes and men dangling just outside. The worst was to come though. When we finally got to bed that night we realized that our bed backed on to the lifts and they are in use continually until about 5am. We felt like we were still on the aeroplane. Earplugs didn't lessen the noise much because you could also feel the movement of the lifts.
As it was our first time in San Francisco we made the most of the bad situation and got as tired as possible seeing all the sights. The weather was wonderful and it was great to walk everywhere and also take the lovely Cablecar. We had the most amazing breakfast at Mama's Cafe (worth the half hour wait outside) and also nice dinners at North Beach.
I will never book hotel accommodation again through a travel agent as I think this may have assisted the problem.I will also never go back to this hotel in spite of its good location. I feel Reception were probably laughing that they had got one over us with the lift problem in spite of pretending they were doing us a favor

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Noise
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Toddy04
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

Property: San Francisco Marriott Union Square
Address: 480 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94108-3901 (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
Hotel Style:
#12 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#22 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#26 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#37 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#43 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — San Francisco Marriott Union Square 4*
Number of rooms: 400
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The San Francisco Marriott Union Square hotel offers a prime location with San Francisco's most vibrant address. Hop aboard a cable car or enjoy Union Square shopping just steps from the hotel. Also near popular Nob Hill and Chinatown, the 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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