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“Fantastic Time at Hotel Bijou!”
Review of Hotel Bijou

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Hotel Bijou
Ranked #124 of 231 Hotels in San Francisco
Reviewed September 18, 2012

I have just returned to UK from a 4 week holiday in America and 1st stop was San Francisco and Hotel Bijou. I was unsure what to expect from the mixed reviews I found on here and when our shuttle bus arrived the look of the area was not great.

However, the staff were amazing! We had so much fun chatting to them, they gave us a map of where to go and what to see, as well as where to get food from and pointed us towards Bristol Farms at the bottom of Bloomingdales which we loved! The theme of the hotel was 'Movies' and they had a tiny cinema which they played films that were set in San Fran or Alcatraz etc. This was great and one night we stayed in to watch one.

The decor was old but sort of fitted in with the 'Movie' theme and I thought it added character where often, everything is plain and neutral. The room we had was quite large and plenty of space for our twin beds and other furniture along with our belongings. The en-suite bathroom was plenty big enough with a shower over the bath that worked perfectly. The windows were pretty thin so there was quite a lot of noise coming in from outside, but we were so tired from travelling and exploring the City, we did not notice and slept fine.

The guys on the front desk advised us not to go into the Tenderloin area especially after dark, there were a few homeless people around the streets but no one approached us and we didn't feel unsafe. The front desk was always manned and the front door locked after 8pm so you had to use your key card to get in, so it was as secure as it can be.

Over all two English girls had a great first stop in San Francisco and would return to Hotel Bijou again!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Laura C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelBijou111, General Manager at Hotel Bijou, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2012

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to write a review, I am glad to hear that the staff gave you great service, we look forward to your return visit.

kind Regards

Blanca
Hotel Bijou
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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309 - 315 of 826 reviews

Reviewed September 17, 2012

When we were first walking to the hotel I felt intimated by the area, lots of homeless but they never bothered us and we soon got use to them. The hotel is a stone throw away from Powell street (tourist area) and the cable cars, there is also alot of homeless there and they do bother you looking money round this street. The Hilton hotel and a starbucks is beside this hotel and a hostel and nice Indian restaurant is across the road. I wouldn't feel safe walking around the hotel area at night but walking from Powell street to the hotel was fine. Staff were very friendly, hotel itself was fine.

Room Tip: By muti day cable car passes
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank AdamJBelfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelBijou111, General Manager at Hotel Bijou, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2012

Dear Guest

The hotel Bijou does have a wonderful location centrally located to the cable car turn aound, powell street and westfield shopping center, nestled betweened some of the larger 5 star hotels. There is not much to do around the hotel but as you pointed out walking from powell street to the hotel is quick, and convenient one walk block away, which is the basically the starting point for all tourist. Anything behind the hotel would not be considered a tourist attraction. We do strive to make this a safe area for our guests and first priority you will note that we do have cameras in place out side of our property for your security.

Thank you for taking the time to write a review about our hotel.

Blanca Rivera
Hotel Bijou

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Reviewed September 14, 2012

My husband and I had to stop in San Francisco for one night to take care of some business before catching an international flight. When we are booking our vacation hotels, we do splurge on nice accommodations (it IS vacation, right?) but for just passing through, we go moderately priced, and understand that you usually get what you pay for. I think most unhappy travelers usually just expect a lot more than what they pay for.

That said, we expected the older bedding, dingy furnishings, small thin towels, and a small bathroom. That's what we paid for! It's the things that we didn't expect that made this such a miserable experience.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The minute our airport shuttle pulled up, and I realized it was MY stop, my heart sank. "shady part of town" doesn't really begin to cover it. There was a gathering of questionable looking guys gathered outside the hotel. There were people arguing loudly across the street, and a man blaring a boom box on the corner for no apparent reason.
Upon entering the hotel, the gentleman who checked us in was very nice and helpful. The lobby was about what you'd expect in a old mid-priced downtown hotel. I thought maybe it won't be so bad.

THE ROOM: Then we went to our room. Every bit of the street noise from outside was in our room as well. There was a funky cat urine odor in the bathroom, but was otherwise what we expected out of a budget type place, sans the giant hole in the wall.
It was, however, the insane amount of street noise and beyond sketchy neighborhood that convinced us we did not want to stay here. Never have we tried to walk away from a non refundable room before, ever, but at just after midnight, we were calling every hotel within several miles. Discovering everything was full and feeling defeated we realized we were stuck at Hotel Bijou for the next several hours of our lives. There were no other vacant rooms at this hotel, either. The gentleman that checked us in offered us free complimentary breakfast to compensate but we were leaving before breakfast was set to be served, so it felt like a cop out. Props for effort I guess. At least he gave us earplugs, we needed them.

We expected small, dingy towels, but one of them had a crusty stain on it that appeared someone wiped/ blew their nose on it and it didn't get washed. Even though the other towels looked clean, we didn't trust them. We expected the shower to be small and dated, but the water temperature jumped from scalding hot to frigid cold for no apparent reason and was very frustrating. It did, at least, have decent water pressure though.

So, at about 1AM, we settled in for the night to try to get some sleep before our day was to start in just a couple hours. I was nervous of the neighborhood because we had planned on doing most of our getting around by foot the next day. Hours came and went, and we got NO sleep with all the noise from the street. Through the entire night, there was music being blared, yelling profanities, and sirens. Feeling exhausted from our previous day of travel, the zero rest we got at the hotel, and achy from the downright awful bed, we set about our day.
Even in the daylight, the neighborhood is creepy. We started our morning by the unfortunate sight of a homeless man taking a dump on the sidewalk outside.
We ended up being stuck in San Francisco an additional night, and luckily found a hotel just a few shot blocks away, were we felt comfortable, safe, and went to bed by 6pm to make up for our miserable night at Hotel Bijou.

In short, do NOT stay here, ESPECIALLY if you have children. I can't imagine putting my child in this sitting. I must say I feel bad writing such a negative review when the staff were so kind, but there are just things about this place that can't be fixed, such as location, that just make it unlivable for any civilized human being.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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4  Thank Linsey248
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelBijou111, General Manager at Hotel Bijou, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2012

Dear Guest

I would like to apologize that your stay at our Hotel was not a pleasureable one. We will continue to strive to improve Ellis street as well as the Tenderloin area, as we are aware that the tenderloin area can leaving a damaging affect to some of our guests. San Francisco is a beautiful city, but we have much work to do in this area, I am glad to hear that at least my staff was good to you.

Kind Regards

Blanca
Hotel Bijou
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2012

I almost cancelled this hotel after reading other negative comments about it's location. I am certainly glad I did not. The location is excellent. Not far from the Powell Street Trolley stop and just a couple of blocks from Union Square. Rooms were clean. We paid for the breakfast which was good value at about $7.50. Plenty of choice to fill up on. Nice touch to have coffee and tea in the lobby. Staff were friendly and we enjoyed our three night stay here.

Room Tip: We got a small room but then again we booked late and paid the lowest rate
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank colin1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelBijou111, General Manager at Hotel Bijou, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2012

Dear Guest

We are thank ful that you gave us the opportunity to exceed your expectations, Thank you for taking the time to write a review, we hope that you will reward us with a return visit.

Kind Regards

Blanca

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2012

Rooms are spacious and clean. The bathroom had a variety of toiletry samples including toothbrushes and paste which was a welcome treat. Located only mins fom Union Square and the Bart it's ideal for exploring the city. Street where it is located can be a bit dodgy particularly at night. Our room overlooked the street and was a little noisy but we didn't mind it too much. Front desk staff were pleasant to deal with.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank pinkydinkyireland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

I was pleasantly surprised when I found a hotel in downtown SF at such a reasonable price. The Bijou was located right in Union Square, just a few blocks from China Town, and easily accesible to all the major tourist attractions. We didn't need a car to get around. Plenty of afforable public transportation steps away. The staff was very helpful and courteous and went out of their way to make our stay a pleasant one. We were traveling in a group and they helped in making sure our trip went smoothly, and safe. The hotel itself though rather small was charming and comfortable with its movie screen decor throughout the hotel . The rooms were very clean and well stocked. I had read some reviews about the bad area but when I got there found that we were surrounded by all the larger, more expensive hotels and the area was no different than any in a large downtown city. Overall a great time, I definitely will stay again.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank wardell17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelBijou111, General Manager at Hotel Bijou, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2012

Dear Wardell

It was a pleasure to have you stay with us, we look forward to your return visit. Thank you for taking the time to write a review about us.

Kind Regards

Blanca Rivera

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2012

Stayed for four nights at the end of May, i had heard of the bad area and the homeless people. I must say that i had no issues at all, was approached by one homeless man who was polite even when i refused to give him money.

It was a small bit noisy at night, but that is to be expected in the City Centre.

I Would stay again...

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LittleBoPeepLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Bijou

Address: 111 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94102-2713
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #124 of 231 Hotels in San Francisco
Price Range: $132 - $385 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Bijou 3*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Bijou is the most unique of all the Bay Area boutique hotels in downtown San Francisco. Inspired by San Francisco's rich cinematic history, our San Francisco Union Square hotel is adorned with classic movie palace designs and dramatic Hollywood portraits. Each of our 65 comfortable guest rooms in our Union Square hotel in San Francisco is named after a motion picture shot here in the city. Using the original movie stills as decorative accents, Hotel Bijou provides our guests with the most interesting downtown San Francisco hotel rooms while simultaneously keeping you centrally located to everything this exciting city has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bijou Hotel San Francisco
Hotel Bijou San Francisco
Bijou San Francisco

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