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“Good guesthouse but not a conventional hotel.....”
Review of Hotel Drisco

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Hotel Drisco
Ranked #1 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good guesthouse but not a conventional hotel.....”
Reviewed May 5, 2013

We stayed here over New Year 2012/13 and chose the Drisco partly on the basis of great reviews, however if you are looking for a hotel in the conventional sense you may be disappointed, as we were. It is a "bed and breakfast" type establishment but not a hotel where there is a proper kitchen. Therefore the Drisco is a nice place to sleep but you will need to find somewhere outside to eat outside of breakfast. We had a nice spacious suite furnished in the old fashioned style that typifies the Drisco. Everything was a bit creaky and reminded me of my grandparent's house - which many visitors obviously find charming!

The staff on reception bend over backwards to be helpful and we liked the DVD service they provided and their depth of local knowledge. This good old fashioned service could not be faulted and is laudable.

Breakfast was a little disappointing - the quality of what was on offer was good but don't expect a range of cooked food that you would get in a normal hotel or indeed other bed and breakfasts (such as here in the UK). Room service was disappointing which is not surprisng given the Drisco does not have a proper kitchen. Location is in a very pleasant area but I agree with other reviewers that parking is tricky due to restrictions. Also it is a serious walk to most of the city's main attractions.

Overall the Drisco is a charming guesthouse/bed and breakfast but if you want a hotel with meals you would be better off elsewhere. Many people obviously love the Drisco but make sure it is the type of "hotel" that you are really looking for.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank K A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DriscoManager, General Manager at Hotel Drisco, responded to this review, May 6, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful review. As you can see, we have received very few Trip Advisor reviews under five stars, so I am of course disappointed that you have chosen to bestow upon us only three! However, I have to say that I thought your comments completely fair for someone who may have been expecting something other than what we take great pride in offering here.

I think part of the conundrum comes in trying to define us. As you point out, we are not a full-service hotel with a restaurant, bar, pool, spa and 79th floor Concierge lounge. Nor are we a fine old English Bed & Breakfast providing a "full English" hot breakfast in a room with Grandma's lace doilies covering the wing-back chair headrests (I say without wishing to disparage either experience!). Since 1903, and with renewed vigor and elegance after 1997, we have prided ourselves on offering a high-end luxury hotel experience in the form of a small 48-room neighborhood hotel. Our greatest assets are our wonderful location in San Francisco's finest residential neighborhood, the charm of our 1903 Edwardian structure (yes, complete with creaky floorboards), our inclusion of a thousand "little extras" over the course of your stay and last but certainly not least, our incomparable staff and their total dedication to the quality of your experience here.

So that our present readers who have not stayed with us have some perspective, we are very proud of our extensive continental breakfast buffet. Among our items on offer for breakfast are freshly-baked currant scones with clotted cream and lemon curd imported from England, local organic granola hand-made in small batches, the best muesli imported from Germany, a local sheep's milk yogurt, fig jam sweetened with wildflower honey imported from Spain, excellent fair trade coffee, Illy espresso, whole-leaf tea and about a hundred other items and accoutrements.

My biggest challenge as General Manager, at the end of the day, is not maintenance, finance, marketing or human resources – it is managing expectations. One of the reasons I respond to so many Trip Advisor reviews is so that I can connect with folks about their experiences here and let others who have not yet stayed with us know what they can expect (and what they should not expect). As I have said many times, the Hotel Drisco is not the perfect experience for everyone. I actually instruct my front desk hosts and reservation agents to dissuade people from staying here if it seems as though they are looking for something we cannot provide (a hotel closer to the “hustle and bustle,” a full-service hotel with a restaurant, amenities like a pool & spa, or even a full English breakfast!).

In closing, a message to our potential future guests: If you are considering a stay with us, please look through the photos and descriptions on our web site to get a feel for the experience, digest some of the reviews here on Trip Advisor and feel free to give me a call personally – I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. After all, a stay at the Drisco is not inexpensive, and it is in both my interest and yours that you come away feeling that every penny has been well spent!

Thank you again for your review!

Kind Regards,

John Spear
General Manager

P.S. I am excited to announce that on or about July 1 of this year we will begin offering a small but high-quality Room Service menu!
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Melbourne, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

I can't give enough praise for the staff at Hotel Drisco. All individuals from front desk to housekeeping were friendly, professional and always eager to help.

The rooms are beautiful, facilities/extras a delightful surprise and the breakfast exceptional.

A very, very classy establishment with wonderful history in a great neighbourhood. Wouldn't say anywhere else in San Francisco!

  • Stayed April 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank PilotandCo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Wow, what a great hotel. We enjoyed 3 nights in a lovely suite. The wine tasting, expertly led by Anne, each evening is a great way to meet fellow guests or unwind. The breakfasts are healthy and just what we needed to start the day. Yes, the hotel is at the top of a big hill but it is very quiet at night. It is easy to walk down hill to some great places for dinner and taxi back up the hill for less than $10. Can't wait to stay again next time we're in San Fran.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Stephen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

This is a comfortable, small hotel located in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the US. It's a much better experience than staying downtown. If you're in San Francisco on leisure, I highly recommend staying here (or at least in the Pacific Heights area). It's a joy to walk around Pacific Heights and admire the beautiful landscaping and architecture. You can also walk to the Golden Gate and Fillmore street (boutique shopping and bars and restraunts) The hotel is not really luxurious though; it's more like a comfortable inn. So if you're looking for really posh experience, this is not the hotel for you.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank NateMcc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2013 via mobile

Yes it's old and so what? It's clean neat and has character! Remember that??
Staff were lovely, the free afternoon wine reception was a great touch with quality wines and cheese.
We had a really lovely few days here in early April.
Just note the location is in a (very quiet and very upmarket) residential area. You need to get a bus or taxi to city and or fishermans wharf. Its not expensive. But we knew that when we booked and saw it as an advantage.
Filmore street is a short walk down the hill and has many Restaurants and bars so the fact that the hotel has no bar or restaurant is not a big deal for me.
I would really recommend Hotel Drisco. We loved it.

Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank Pougemahoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buckingham, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

The staff are superb and make the experience ok , but make no mistake this is an old hotel hanging on. It is located in a lovely area , but - no air conditioning , no bar , no restaurant. Room service is a choice of 6 Panini's. Breakfast is cold continental help yourself and adequate. Old building so floorboards so noisy , even with noise reducing machine in the bedroom, and paper thin walls.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Deally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DriscoManager, General Manager at Hotel Drisco, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Dear Guest,

I am very sorry that the Hotel Drisco did not live up to your expectations, however it seems to me that you may have been looking for a more modern, full-featured hotel. I am wondering if perhaps a travel agent or someone else made the booking for you here? We have never claimed to have air conditioning, a bar or a restaurant. In fact we go to great lengths to communicate to our guests (on the phone, in person and on our web site) the services and amenities we offer, and the services and amenities that we do not offer.

Over the years I have stayed at older properties that are "tired" and -- as you put it -- "hanging on." But in my humble opinion (and that of the vast majority of Trip Advisor reviewers here) the Hotel Drisco is most certainly not one of the hangers-on. The owner invests heavily in keeping the fit, finish and furnishings looking beautiful, and my maintenance staff and I pride ourselves on keeping everything in top-notch shape.

As I have said here on Trip Advisor many times before, no hotel is the perfect fit for everyone. The charm and elegance of a stay at the Drisco is right for some, and not the best choice for others. Should you return again to San Francisco, I sincerely hope you find what you are looking for in a hotel. There are lots of great hotel choices in this town. I just happen to think that the Drisco offers an extra-special experience!

Kind Regards,

John Spear
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Campinas, SP
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2013

Stayed there for 3 nights at the end of march.
Where to start...I guess the word I'm looking for is: perfect.
The hotel is a jewel located in an wonderfull area.
All the staff, from the cleaning lady to the receptionist is not only well educated and smily, you can feel that they are here to make you happy. A special mention to Ann, never met such a good, professional and adorable receptionist.
The hotel itself is beautifull, such a good taste.
The room was a delight, I guess it was on the 5th floor. Amazing view (booked a deluxe city view), wonderfull bed, great bathroom. The kind of room you just don't want to leave.
Then comes the breakfast...delicious, fresh (try the sheep yogurt, like cream). I'm really into breakfast and this one is a really good one. Bonus: you'll get the local newspaper in front of your door.
Well, after that, you can discover the city...but don't come back too late or you'll miss the wine and cheese aperitif at 5pm. I'm french, I love wine and cheese. They just serve good wine and good cheese (they also serve meatballs my husband went crazy for). And, the sommelier (nice lady whoose name I don't remember) is adorable.
Then you can go dining (would recommend "Frances" in the Castro, delicious, book in advance). And when coming back, you'll find on your pillow a marvellous chocolate biscuit!
Well, there is so much more to tell that it would take the all day reviewing.
At the end, it's not cheap but you can be sure that every cent will be well spent!
I just can't wait to come back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alexandre92100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DriscoManager, General Manager at Hotel Drisco, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Dear Guest,

It was a delight to read your wonderful review. I am so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us!

Kind Regards,

John Spear
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Drisco

Property: Hotel Drisco
Address: 2901 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94115-1011
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Pacific Heights
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#1 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#3 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#5 Green Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Drisco 4*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Drisco, constructed in 1903, blends traditional elegance with the convenience, comfort, and amenities of a world-class modern hotel. The warm hospitality, inviting atmosphere, and impeccable service are designed to please business and leisure travelers alike. Complimentary services include a gourmet continental breakfast, evening wine reception, chauffeured sedan service to several popular San Francisco locations and complimentary high-speed Internet access. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Drisco Hotel San Francisco
Drisco San Francisco

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