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“Welcome to the big city!”

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Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Ranked #99 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Monterey
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Welcome to the big city!”
Reviewed October 14, 2012

Being the owner of a B&B property myself, I'm used to fielding complaints about the type of coffee we place in the bungalows, occasional traffic noise on our one little country road, the size of our bungalows or their private decks, the weather, you name it but responding to those complaints professionally and politely after paying $250/nite to stay in this supposedly lavish hotel for one eve inning is going to be REAL DIFFICULT! I fully expect to pay higher prices for everything in the big city so although $47 seemed like a bit much for a martini and a bourbon rocks in the hotel lobby bar, I just wrote it off to life in the big city. As I did the $57 parking fee for 24hrs that evidently didn't come with the cost of the room!!!

But getting to the front door of this place is a challenge to say the least and once you do, you pay the parking fee for fear of having to navigate back to it! I read other reviews that the bathrooms were small and thought hek, for what I'm gonna do in it, I can deal with that. But small was a poor definition - you have to stand up if your seated to reach the toilet paper roll in this space! The room itself is only 10ft by 14ft.

then theres the full scale "whatever" that occurred at 6am with loudspeakers and what sounded like the entire SF population screaming outside our sixth story window; I truly wished someone had warned us such an event was to happen so early on our one morning in months we might have slept in vs waking early to serve our guests!

As for the the kind of coffee in the room, THERE IS NONE, a pet peeve of mine that typically removes any property from my menu!!! I don't want to get up and get dressed before my first cup of coffee! I don't want to wait the 45+ minutes room service told me it would take to get coffee that morning let alone have someone walk into my cubby hole while my wife was sleeping t deliver it! And I didn't want to wait 20 minutes I waited in line to get coffee in the lobby but I had no choice!

Some of it beyond their control. Much of it is! I certainly wouldn't come back. This property defines what most find wrong with visiting big cities.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank FromOurManagement
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, General Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, October 17, 2012
Dear FromOurManagement:

Thanks for visiting the Drake!

I'm sorry to hear that you were woken up by the crowd cheering for the 1/2 marathon event in town.

Hope you enjoyed the rest of your stay in SF.

Sincerely,

Jim Gross, 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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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (707)
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English first
Williston, North Dakota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2012

My best friend and I decided to go to San Francisco for a girls weekend and this was a perfect location. We got off the plane took the tram to city walked a mile semi up hill (so we got our workout in for the day) made it to hotel. They didn't have reservation, but it was the travel agents fault and the desk clerk was very helpful trying to accommodate and take care of the situation. Anyway the hotel is right next to Starbucks (perfect for a cheap breakfast sandwich, fruit and coffee. Cross the street from Walgreen's and a few blocks down you have Victoria Secret (HUGE), 2 largest Macy's (with cheesecake factory) and well say you are surrounded by 360 of shopping if you want it. A few more blocks down and you can find chinatown. We ate at the hotel the first night and I had the best pasta with semi spicy sausage and broccoli, best thing i have ever tasted and still craving more today. Taxi rides here are very interesting and can be quite scary. If you have the time take the trolley.

Room Tip: ask desk for something other than cement walls if this bothers you because we didnt ask but it wasnt...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank HotelCraze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, General Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, October 12, 2012
Dear HotelCraze:

Sounds like you took an advantage of the location and had a wonderful "girls weekend" in SF!

I'm glad to know that you loved our pasta, too.

Hope to see you back at the Drake on your next SF getaway!

Jim Gross, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, Rhode Island
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2012

Spent a night October 6th...3 floors below elegant night club. Not only could the street noise be heard, but the club's band thumped its bass guitar through my room till 2 AM. Earlier that evening, went to see club, and doorman was vigilantly checking licenses, but nothing smooth about it, flanked by his boss. Didn't evoke warmth and elegant portrayal of club. One young couple was infuriated over treatment. Lobby relatively small, not relaxing. Front desk long wait time for simple request. One positive was bed-firm, very nice. But overall, extremely pricey for older, somewhat charmed hotel, definitely would not stay again.

Room Tip: Street noise inevitable; choose lower floor to avoid nightclub noise.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Salvincent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, General Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, October 11, 2012
Dear Salvincent:

Thanks for your candid comment on your recent stay with us.

I apologize for any inconvenience you might have experienced.

Sincerely,

Jim Gross, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2012

From the time that I arrived, from the time that I departed, I felt like a valued guest. The front desk check-in was great. The room was very clean with a solid Wi-Fi connection. The room safe (free) was very helpful. The restaurant and lobby bar staff were friendly and inviting. All staff members were upbeat and eager to help. I stayed at the Sir Francis Drake during Oracle OpenWorld which is a very busy time. No task was too big or too small for this hotel's staff. Thanks for a great stay.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank traveld9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, General Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Dear traveld9:

Thanks for posting a wonderful comment on our staff!

I can't be any happier to know that they were able to assist!

Hope to see you back on your next trip to SF.

Jim Gross, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Granite Bay, California
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 8, 2012

We have traveled into The City in December for the last four+ years for our anniversary. We always stay at The Drake. We always get the same room as it has a Fabulous view of Union Square. The hotel staff is extremely knowledgeable and gracious and will go out of their way to help you. The location is perfect as you can take the cable car to the wharf or to Ghiradelli where the Buena Vista Cafe is located. The original spot where Irish coffee was invented. Its also a good walk to Hog Island for oysters. Yum.
Its always a treat for us to return for our romantic getaway.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Winemommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, General Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, October 12, 2012
Dear Winemommy:

I really appreciate your loyalty and hope to see you back on your anniversary this year.

Sincerely,

Jim Gross, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2012

Won this hotel by naming my own price on Priceline, so the room was fairly affordable compared to other options. But the rooms were old, smelled old, thin walls - one of the smaller SF hotel rooms I've stayed in. Did not love this place, but the location is very convenient.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lucas C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, General Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, October 8, 2012
Dear Luke C:

I appreciate your candid comment.

Glad to know that you liked our convenient location!

Jim Gross, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2012

Went to SF with the wife in April (6-9), which was my 5th time here over the past couple of years, and we decided to stay at the Drake for the first time. All other times I/we have been to SF we've always stayed either at or near Union Square, and, we would often walk by and see the Drake and there well dressed doormen standing outside. If you're looking for a well priced, boutique hotel with ambiance in the heart of SF, you've found it!

Now, the misses and I are in our mid 30's, but we felt like we were transported back in time to old town SF the minute we walked thru the doors. You walk through the entrance and up two sets of staircases to get to registration, or, you can enter and walk to your left passing a wine cellar enroute to the old school elevators and take those up to check-in. Once you're there, you're greeted by a nice lounge area filled with old school, elegant furnishings, deocreated walls and dim lighting. The hotel staff at the check-in counter were very friendly and helpful and when we checked in, we were upgraded from a Grand room to a SFD Suite for only a few extra dollars. This suite is larger and located on higher floors with great views. We had a king size bed that was very comfortable, a living room area that was spacious, and, the bathroom, albeit somewhat strange, but neat, actually had two showers in it; a shower-tub combo and then a small stand-up shower right behind the door. The room decor was elegant, but not overly gaudy, and, we had great views overlooking Powell St.

The Drake is in the perfect location; it's steps away from Union Square and right on the cable car line. The Drake is also close to some great eats in SF; from the small alleyway restaurants in the Financial District that pop up at night, to the Fashion District, to the Wharf (Hmmm clam chowder bread bowl or chili bread bowl), to Chinatown, to Union Square, there was always something fresh and good to eat and not overly expensive.

So, if you're looking for that one of kind place that transports you back in time, but yet is in the heart of everything and decently priced, this is your place.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank R E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim G, General Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, October 8, 2012
Dear R E:

I appreciate your thorough and GREAT review!

I'm very happy to know that you enjoyed your stay with us.

Please visit us soon!

Jim Gross, 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 Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel

Property: Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Address: 450 Powell Street, Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102-1504 (Formerly Sir Francis Drake Hotel)
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#48 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#58 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#70 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#75 Family Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 416
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, housed in a landmark building in the heart of Union Square, is quintessential San Francisco: exciting, romantic, timelessly elegant and unique. The ornately decorated lobby, old-world hospitality, and Tom Sweeney, the hotel's infamous Beefeater doorman, transport you to another time and place. The legendary Starlight Room, the adjacent Scala's Bistro and unmatched hospitality complete the picture to create an unforgettable San Francisco experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kimpton San Francisco
Sir Francis Drake Hotel San Francisco
Drake Francis Sir

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