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“A Little Bit of France By the Golden Gate”

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Cornell Hotel de France
Ranked #28 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 13, 2012

This is a small, charming, conveniently located hotel in the heart of San Francisco, which is authentically French. The rooms are small, as in France, but clean and charmingly appointed. Despite its location near Union Square, the hotel is quiet and peaceful, and the atmosphere is informal yet genteel. The Cornell offers a wonderful full, hot breakfast, just as most European hotels do, and NOT at a breakfast bar, as in most American hotels of comparable price, but in their wonderful restaurant, which is so beautifully and artistically decorated. What a pleasure! Even among the many hotels in San Francisco, the Cornell is unique. Don't miss it!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank Vucica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 12, 2012

While rooms may appear small in comparison to many large chain hotels, by European standards - they are downright spacious. The owners have taken care when updating. The bath looked like an old-fashioned claw foot tub, complete with shower curtains that wrapped all around. Our room is meticulously clean. A full American breakfast was served daily; including hot and cold cereals, eggs to order, and French toast. The staff we met were all very accomodating; never more so than when we asked to extend our stay by one night. We would happily stay here again.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mqrussell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2012

My husband and I were looking for a clean, unique, and budget friendly hotel and Cornell Hotel de France was perfect! It is located right near the cable car stop and only a few blocks from bus and BART transportation (we didn't have a car so this was very convenient for us). It's location on Bush Street makes for less street noise and although you can hear a bit of traffic noise, it is minimal and relatively quiet at night. There is no air conditioning or fans in the rooms, although the weather in San Francisco was only in the 60's and 70's while we were there so you didn't really need it. Loved the old claw foot bathtub and antique elevator! The room was small (we stayed in a medium/deluxe room) but clean and comfortable. The bed was also very comfortable. My husband and I also really enjoyed the free breakfast--you had a choice of French toast or eggs with toast, hash browns and bacon. Along with that you could have oatmeal/cream of wheat and cereal. The French toast was fantastic! The hotel is located next to some type of strip club which concerned me a bit at first, but if there was not a sign above the door we wouldn't have even known that to be the case. No loud music or noise or noise from people outside. The staff was very friendly. The only disappointment was the fact that they advertise giving a AAA discount on their website but when I called, due to the hotel being almost booked, I was not given a discount. Because of the size of the room (they do have a large room--not sure what that's like), it's perfect for singles or couples but couldn't see it working for more people than that. That being said, my husband and I really enjoyed our stay here and would definitely stay again if we return to San Francisco!

Room Tip: Not sure what other rooms are like but our room was on the 5th floor in the back of the hotel (not f...
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jennifer Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2012

While not an upscale boutique hotel, the Cornell Hotel de France does have its charms. The rooms are small but well appointed and clean. There's a charming breakfast room downstairs in the "cellar" where a full breakfast is served. I stayed with a friend in a corner room with two beds. Although the hotel appeared to be full, our room provided was quiet and we didn't hear others coming and going. What made our stay so special was our very warm welcome and visits with staff during our stay. The hotel is just a few blocks uphill from Union Square - very convenient walking to the Ferry Building, China Town, Market Street and many sights in downtown San Francisco. I'll stay again next time I'm in the city.

Room Tip: Ask for a corner room on the upper floors
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Patty04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2012

We have been coming to the Hotel Cornell since 1998 both on pleasure and buisness - over this time, we have often visited several times a year and we continue to recommend it to our friends and business associates. Located conveniently to Bart, buses, trollies, and just a few steps to the Powell St. Cable Car Line, there is little need for us to ever have a car to get to where we need to go - on those occasions when we have needed a car, there is a rental agency right across the street.

The Lambert's go out of their way to assure you have a nice stay and our rooms have always been comfortable - we realy love their appreciation for impressionist art and they have decorated each floor with different artist of this period.

The onsite restaurant is magnificint both in high quality French cuisine as well as atmosphere, during our last stay we were treated to a strolling violinist requesting our favorite music. The evening meal is a full 4 courses - almost more than you can eat - but we try and normally have to take a long walk afterwards! A complimentary full breakfast (eggs, bacon, fruit, potatoes, toast, etc) cooked to order including hot and cold cereals is included in the price of the room for your entire party and this alone amounts to both a great way to start the day as well as another value.

We will be coming back as often as we are even close to San Francisco - our only fear is that this "little best kept secret" will become so popular that we wont be able to get a reservation!

PS - they have good specials as well as meal plans for evening meals that are also very economical

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
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5  Thank WPfancuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2012

My wife and I were going on a business trip to SF and wanted to take in a second day in the city. So we found a good deal on the Internet, were curious about the French charm and Joan of Arc's theme. It did not disappoint. We were enchanted by the ambiance, the art and artifacts all throughout the hotel. Very romantic, and we immediately felt on a mini-vacation. The dining room downstairs is stunning and beautiful. We only had breakfast -- pretty standard American fare, but nevertheless it's a full breakfast included in the price. The server (of Koren descent?) was very efficient and friendly. We can't wait to go back there for a traditional French dinner!

Expectedly, the room was european small (full bed) but more than adequate, and the bathrm was spacious with all the modern comforts.The location is super convenient with parking across the street. My only warning: There's a male dancer club a couple doors down but it was pretty quiet and barely noticeable unless you're walking late at night. Overall we give it a thumbs up!

Room Tip: i read other reviews that complain about room size; perhaps we lucked out with a large bath since we...
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Owl83_tripsters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2012

This quirky boutique hotel is in a brilliant location for exploring San Francisco. The cable car stops on the corner of the block which will take you down to Market Street or across to the end of Fishermans Wharf.
The hotel is run by a French family and the rooms are decorated with ornate furniture and many pictures. Each floor is dedicated to a different French artist. The lift is an antique, but it works well.
The complementary breakfast is served in the basement restaurant which is interestingly decorated. Orange juice, cereals and eggs are served along with tea or coffee. The French toast with syrup is wonderful but I couldn't eat for the rest of the day because I was too full!
We stayed in room 300, the bed was really comfortable. The bathroom was quite small especially with a large roll top bath in it.
The staff were really helpful, especially as our flight was very delayed and we didn't arrive until 1 am. I telephone the hotel and the night manager was kind enough to show us to our room and let us check in the following morning.
If I had one small criticism it would be that there was no tea or coffee making facilities and no room service so if you want a hot drink it would mean crossing the road to the cafe opposite.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank valbritton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cornell Hotel de France

Address: 715 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108-3402
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#7 Best Value Hotel in San Francisco
#7 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#25 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range: $145 - $341 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Cornell Hotel de France 3.5*
Number of rooms: 58
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in the Heart of San Francisco Discover the charm and elegance of France in the heart of downtown San Francisco at this family-owned and operated hotel, ideally placed within walking distance of vibrant Union Square. Cornell Hotel de France boasts an exceptional location close to many of the city's main points of interest. The theater district as well as the legendary Chinatown can be found only minutes from the hotel. The city's historic cable car system is also easily accessible and provides service to many areas of the city. Originally built in 1910, the Cornell combines old-world charm with today's modern amenities such as wireless internet access. Start the day with a free breakfast at the hotel's on-site renowned restaurant, Jeanne d'Arc. Admire prints of masterpieces from famous artists throughout the hotel. Union Square is a great choice for travelers interested in shopping, restaurants and city trip. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cornell Hotel San Francisco

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