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“3rd Stay's not the charm!”

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Holiday Inn San Francisco Fishermans Wharf
Ranked #86 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersBronze level
Swindon, UK
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“3rd Stay's not the charm!”
Reviewed October 16, 2006

We had stayed here 3 times before and decided to stay here again as the location was fantastic and we had good experiences with the hotel.

This stay was not to be as enjoyable as previous stays! We booked this stay some time ago with Virgin Holidays and were relay excited to be back in San Francisco again!

On arriving we checked in. The Holiday Inn is spread across 2
buildings, a block apart. A main building and their 2nd building on
Beach Street. We were checked into a double room in the other building.
We asked if we could stay in the main building and said that we would
prefer a King Size bed as we were on an anniversary trip. The manager advised us that this was not possible but the room he had allocated us was a lovely room and we should not be disappointed. He said that all their Virgin Holidays customers were always put up in the 2nd building (which was strange as we had always booked with Virgin and had always stayed in the main building!). He advised that we would need to go to the other building and showed us on a map where it was and where the room was.

There was no offer of a bell, and the bell men merely just watched us as we dragged our 2 oversized cases, cabin luggage and rucksack across the 1 block hike to the other hotel.

We arrived at our room and opened our curtains to find that we were
looking out at a brick wall and we were above the dumpsters and service entry. We were so angry at this having been told that our room would be 'lovely' we went straight downstairs to talk to someone at reception.
The reception in the second building was closed (this was approx 3pm ~ normal check in time) and there was no concierge on duty either. We had to walk over to the main building to actually speak with someone!

We got to the main building and spoke with another desk staff employee.
We advised them of how dissatisfied we were with our room and that we
wanted to change. He advised that he would not be able to change us as there were no rooms available as yet. We asked if any were likely to come available and he was unable to answer as they were unable to view all the rooms! After a few moments he said he had located one in the main building and it was a much better room. He said we would need to move from the other building. Again no offer of a bell or even when we walked past the bell (Bear in mind they were VERY busy in conversation with each other!).

So we returned to the 2nd building and got all our luggage together and dragged it all back to the Main building and found our new room. Our new dark room! We were looking straight out at a brick wall and still no king size bed as requested!

Back to the reception desk again where we spoke with the most venomous woman I have had the displeasure of dealing with! We explained that we were unhappy with the rooms we had been given and wanted a new room. To this we were patronised and spoken down to. She said that we should never have been moved to the main building as it was not policy to have Virgin holiday customers in the main building ~ they are all put up in the 2nd building. We explained that we did not want to stay in the 2nd building and would prefer the main building. We also explained that we had previously booked with Virgin and had always stayed in the main building. This woman then made out that we were lying and said there was nothing much that she could do. Bear in mind that while all this is going on she is wearing a badge that says 'It's all about YOU'!! What a joke.

After some time she starts looking at rooms muttering 'If you weren't
happy with that then you won't be happy with this one'. In less that 10 minutes this woman had gotten to know us so well that she knew what me and my husband would like! She tried to move us back to our original room (the one overlooking the dumpster) to which we refused and she finally found us a room in the main building. Again we had to move your own luggage to a room that was one floor higher than our previous room and overlooked the same brick wall!

At this point we were exhausted from our transatlantic flight and the
luggage moving we had been doing! We decided to settle as it appeared that Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf was no longer 'All About YOU!'

After the worst night sleep ever (the room was over the garbage and
service entry on the main building) we decided to try the reception desk one last try to see if any rooms had become vacant during the morning.
We spoke to a FANTASTIC lady (Remi) who was very sympathetic to our
needs and searched out a room for us. She found one which was still
being cleaned but put a rush on it for us. Everything that the previous days staff said wasn't possible was suddenly very possible! We were in our new room within the hour! Remi also offered to have our luggage moved for us ~ something that we hadn't been offered before either!

Our new room was great ~ Remi had upgraded us to the 5th floor (the only real difference in the actual room is you get a microwave). But we were high enough up not to hear any of the service lorry noises and we actually had a view of the city!

We went along to our 'Virgin holidays Rep' meeting and spoke with other holiday travellers there. And what a surprise, most of these were in the main building. So this so called policy of putting Virgin Customers in the 2nd building seems a bit suspect to me.

Our stay was fantastic after Remi sorted things out for us. We nearly cancelled our stay and moved across the street due to the previous nights farce at reception!

If you are a Virgin Holidays customer, and are staying for 4nights or
more, make sure you attend the welcome meeting and get your FREE Bay
Cruise (worth $21 dollars each). The Virgin rep does not like to give these out unless he is pressed!

Would I stay here again - No! One bad experience at check in has ruined 5 years good work by this hotel!

  • Liked — Location ti Fisherrmans Wharf
  • Disliked — Front Desks Staff Attitude at Check Inn!!
  • Tips/Secrets — If you book with Virgin push for the main building!
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Heavens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2006

This hotel is probably one of the worst we have ever stayed in. When checking in the receptionist probably wouldn't have even noticed if our heads were on upside down. We were not told where the room was, never mind about any of the amenities or breakfast times etc. Our room was cold, dark and overlooked a blank blue wall. In the morning we discovered that we were situated next to the hotel loading area and the noise from the trucks reversing was horrendous. We asked to change rooms, which was an incovenience not just for us, but by the response from the staff was also and inconvenience for them as well. We were offered an upgrade to a business room at an additional charge of $40 per night but the room was the same apart from the fact it had a microwave oven (??) so we declined. In the end we were offered a room overlooking the street and pool area which at least made the room brighter and appear warmer. The rooms were clean, and functional but nothing special. A bit dated and drab but I suppose it was just a 'base' at the end of the day. Don't be expecting anything luxurious, this hotel is just functional and sees tourists come and go like a conveyor belt. Fishermans Wharf was not our cup of tea, but everybody likes different things. We found it very tacky (Blackpool), lots of gift shops selling junk, arcades and the usual attractions as seen in Blackpool - Ripleys Belive It Or Not & the obligatory wax museum etc. Restaurants sell lots of seafood, clam chowder is inescapable. Great bakery (Boudin sourdough) worth a visit and the seals on Pier 39 are great. Lots of homeless people and gangs of lads on the corner make it feel a little unsafe, especially at night. The best places to hang out at the Wharf were Ghiradelli Square and the Cannery - more sophisticated. The Mandarin chinese restaurant at Ghiradelli is EXCELLENT. Also recommend a visit to North Beach area as well with some good italian eateries. Union Square has LOTS of homeless. We have never experienced it on such a scale before. It is very sad seeing all these poor people in a country so full of obvious wealth, you really had to have your witts about you as sometimes it can be a bit scary. Also recommended HIGHLY is trip to Alcatraz. TIP - Take plenty of fly spray - the island is infested with the little beggars. We had a nice time but will not ever be returning to the Holiday Inn.

  • Liked — Close to amenities
  • Disliked — staff, rooms, noise
  • Tips/Secrets — Ok for 1-2 nights, any longer forget it
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dinolola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these San Francisco hotels

Cornwall
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2006

A very good location if you want to stroll around the Wharf and area. A bus stop opposite the hotel will take you through the Italian district, china town and union square. After reading reviews we decided to e-mail the hotel direct a week before we went to request we stayed in the main building on Columbus Ave, this was honoured and im glad we did this. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The hotel restaurant not worth the money just go down the road to the Italian, Cioppinos's, the conceirge did not recommend this restaurant but we ate there twice, very good. The lady serving at the bar in the hotel was pleasent and I heard her often helping tourists with were to go and what to see. Alcatraz is a must to see and also to go and eat in china town.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — cost
  • Tips/Secrets — stay in the main building on columbus ave
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cornishwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2006

We stayed at 3 hotels in San Fran, here at Fisherman's Wharf, one on Sutter St near Union Square and one on Van Ness.
This wasn't the worse, that would the be The Cathedral on Van Ness.
But Fishermans Wharf is tacky. We caught a cab everyday over to Union Square to get away from the tourists, the ugly shops and expensive but rubbish Italian restaurants. The hotel itself was OK. Not worth the $244 a night though.
The first night we were put in the room directly above the loading bay. I think it's room 186? If your room backs onto Beach St I would advise checking.
And Beach St seems to be the venue to drag races on weekend nights so you'll be lucky to get sleep anyway.
I would advise staying at Hotel Carlton on Sutter St.

  • Disliked — Being woken up every night
  • Tips/Secrets — Make sure you don't back on to Beach St
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank NZTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, UK
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2006

Loved everything about SF, including the hotel - maybe it was a little pricey, but you are paying for the location and the "brand" - we thought the location was fantastic, and the hotel really clean - no problems -it was a little noisy in the hotel room at night, but most cities are noisy, so we had earplugs and had no problems. We never ate in the hotel, as there were a million places to go, almost on the doorstep. We particularyl liked Fiddlers Green and Tiernans pubs - both had live music on every night and had a really nice atmosphere. - yes there are beggars, but its a big city, and all cities have them - we never felt threatened and felt really safe walking round any time day or night. As for those who say Fishermans Wharf is a tourist trap, well, maybe, but I am a tourist & loved it !! Had a beautiful meal at McCormick & Kuleto in Ghiradhelli Square, and another great one at Cioppinos on Jefferson - walked over the bridge, did Alcatraz, Muir Woods, went up the glass elevator in the westin st francis (great views of Union Sq) ; LOVED everything - we are already making plans to return. - I really did leave my heart in San Francisco !!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Very Neutral - no personality
  • Tips/Secrets — Go up the glass elevators outside the Westin St Francis - amazing views & free!!
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JanLovedSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North West UK
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2006

Typical American hotel: clean but well worn.
Area very tacky, Blackpool in a warm climate with a liberal dosing of beggars !
Not the sort of area where you would wander the streets after dark.
The room we stayed in was very noisey. You could hear people talking on the street outside. You could hear every car that passed.
The 'choice' of food was non-existent. Very poor.
Won't be going back.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Noise
  • Tips/Secrets — Avoid
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PebblesUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London UK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2006

Stayed in this hotel for a couple of nights from 04 September - although this is a standard holiday inn - the room was great, location is great and the staff were great -

Would recommend this hotel to anyone who is staying in San Fran.

  • Stayed September 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RoughGuide1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn San Francisco Fishermans Wharf

Property: Holiday Inn San Francisco Fishermans Wharf
Address: 1300 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133-1328
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Fisherman’s Wharf
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#62 Green Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Holiday Inn San Francisco Fishermans Wharf 3.5*
Number of rooms: 585
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For business travel or San Francisco, California vacations, Holiday Inn San Francisco Fisherman s Wharf hotel welcomes you to the Bay City. When searching for top San Francisco hotels near Fisherman s Wharf, stay in comfort at our full-service San Francisco lodging. Walk to attractions including Pier 39, Alcatraz, Bay Cruise ferries and Ghirardelli Square. Hop on a cable car outside our hotel to visit Union Square, Financial District, Moscone Convention Center, Chinatown and AT&T Ballpark. After exploring the area, retreat to our San Francisco, California hotel to unwind in a room appointed with high-speed Internet access, in-room games and pay-per-view movies. For dining, enjoy a meal at the 24-hour Denny s or head to our Bristol Bar & Grill for a tantalizing meal and a drink. Additional on-site amenities include: laundry facilities, fitness center, an outdoor heated pool with sundeck and secure parking is available for $43 per day. Reserve your stay at our hotel in San Francisco, CA to be greeted with attentive service and superb accommodations in an unmatched locale. For spectacular savings, book a San Francisco travel package or hotel deal. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn San Francisco Fishermans Wharf Hotel San Francisco
San Francisco Holiday Inn

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