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“In the Heart of the City”

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Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Ranked #97 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“In the Heart of the City”
Reviewed November 25, 2012

We booked this hotel on a travel website without knowing the exact name. The hotel is located in Union Square; therefore, it was extremely noisy. The service at the hotel was wonderful. We asked to be moved to a higher floor in order to have a quieter room and were not able to move right away because it was was fully booked for the weekend, but once there was a room, they contacted us so we could move. The rooms are quite small. For a city hotel, this should be no surprise, but I guess we are just used to more spacious accommodations. The bar always seemed to be really full even though we did not ever have a drink down there. Overall, it was a pretty convenient location, but, for us, it was not worth the noise.

Room Tip: Request a high floor that is away from the street
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank M A
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, November 29, 2012
Dear M A:

Thank you for posting your comment.

I am happy to know that you enjoyed our service.

Hope to see you back at the Drake in your future trip to SF!

Happy Holidays!

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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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (694)
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Washington DC
Level Contributor
77 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2012 via mobile

I stayed at the Sir Francis Drake for 5 nights and was very happy with everything. While the bathroom in my room was a tad small, the room was well appointed and included everything I needed. I highly recommend joining the Kimpton InTouch loyalty program as that provides for free wifi and drink coupons for the lobby bar, which was hopping and poured some great cocktails. The room was otherwise clean and comfortable. Had a nice view of Union Square from my 14th floor room. The location is great, right on the cable car line and a half block from Union Square.

Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank thinktankjp
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, November 28, 2012
Dear thinktankjp:

Sounds like you had a great time staying with us and thank you for posting your review!

Please come back soon!

Jim Gross, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Makati, Philippines
Level Contributor
228 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2012

I visited the Sir Francis Drake as part of a convention and my stay there was dictated by my employer.
While extremely convenient being just off Union Square on Powell Street, the hotel has been tampered with and its once elegant lobby is now a bar, frequently filled with noisy people. The red Beefeater set atop the bar is awful! Another issue is the fact that one of its premier attractions, its skytop lounge, was closed for a private function and hence I never got to see it.
My room was small, with a capital "S". I don't know if this was the size the room was originally, but the only time I stayed in a smaller hotel room was in Japan at an airport hotel! My room also was noisy and unfortunately someone nearby frequently played rap music, loudly.
The staff were reasonably kind and the front door man was a gem. The room was clean, but there were small cockroaches evident in the bathroom.
Considering that I have stayed in several other hotels in San Francisco, I would pass by the Sir Francis Drake.

Room Tip: I would imagine that the rooms on higher floors are quieter. A tip: join the Kimpton "In Touch...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tamarindwalk
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, November 28, 2012
Dear Tamarindwalk:

Thank you for writing a review on your recent stay with us.

I apologize for some of the incoveniences you experienced.

Hope to see you back at the Drake in your future trip to SF.

Regards,

Jim Gross, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

This hotel boasts a giant red plastic semblance of a Beefeater atop the altar of the lobby bar which sets the tone of this place: tacky, out of date and mediocre. The rooms are clean but small, and amenities are scarce. The "mini bar" or drawer with cookies and a small selection of liquors is disappointing.
Good points: 1. location, location, location - near shopping, near public transport
2. reasonably priced
If you are a single traveller on a budget, it's OK. If you have a travelling companion, be prepared to bump into your partner every time you get out of bed. If you have kids, just don't stay here.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AgP23
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, November 28, 2012
Dear AgP23:

Thanks for posting your review.

I can't agree with you more on our location!

Sincerely,

Jim Gross, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hue, Vietnam
Level Contributor
77 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Rooms overlooking street are noisy. Very easy to get around starting out from such a great location. Rooms are small. Extremely busy hotel with lots of people coming and going. Has STARLIGHT room for an very romantic evening. Rooms were ready upon arrival.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AsianTravellina
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, November 28, 2012
Dear AsianTravellina:

Thanks for visiting the Drake!

Hope you enjoyed your stay with us.

Jim Gross, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thompson, Connecticut
1 review
Reviewed November 21, 2012

I had a wonderful stay at the hotel. I was concerned about my stay after reading some reviews but I found the hotel and my room to be fine. Yes, it's an older hotel so space is a little tighter but overall the hotel lived up to its reputation. If you are looking for a new, shiny hotel, this is not the property for you, but if you like some character and charm this hotel will suit you fine. Thanks for a great stay.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gary G
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, November 28, 2012
Dear Gary G:

I appreciate your review.

I'm glad to know that you had a nice stay with us.

Jim Gross, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bakersfield, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
Reviewed November 20, 2012

We spent our 20th wedding anniversary at the Sir Francis Drake and EVERYTHING about the hotel, its staff, its service, hotel bar (Don't miss the Starlight Lounge on the 21st floor, too!), hotel restaurant (Scala), etc. contributed to the perfect SF experience! Sure, the hotel is indeed "vintage," but that's what gave it such charm -- and the latest remodel is the perfect mix of keeping those classic details but adding modern, glamorous touches, i.e. a tomato red lacquer-painted dresser in the room with mostly gray, silver and taupe/cream details. The room we had -- an upgraded classic queen (upgraded upon finding out it was our anniversary) -- was certainly not large, but very comfortable and beautifully decorated. The door man, dressed in the traditional "beefeater" garb, was the first to offer the friendly service that we soon learned is standard at the Sir Francis Drake. We found this everywhere we went in the hotel and it only added to the pleasure of our trip. Sure looked like everyone else staying there was having a good time, too. Even ran into a beautiful bride on her way to get hitched in one of the hotel's gorgeous banquet rooms. Highly recommend this hotel and we look forward to returning!

Room Tip: Ask for a higher level floor to avoid street noise another guest mentioned to us in the elevator. We...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Felix A
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, November 28, 2012
Dear Felix A:

First off, happy belated anniversary! Thank you for choosing the Drake to spend your 20th!

I am pleased to know that we were able to make your stay a special one.

Hope to see you on your 25th, 30th and so on!

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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