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“Boutique hotel with great location”

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Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Ranked #96 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Stayed at this hotel while on a business trip to San Francisco. I love older hotels with character and this had plenty starting with the doormen dressed in Beefeater costumers. As with older hotels you will find that the rooms and bathrooms are on the small side. Everything was clean and comfortable but then I can sleep just about anywhere. Lobby bar is definitely a gathering place and LaScala was great for breakfast. To me the real 'gem' of the hotel is the Starlight Room located at the top of the Drake. Classy, old school nightclub with red velvet banquettes and spectacular views of the City. It's magical -- don't miss the Starlight Room if only for a drink or to take in the city views. If you appreciate charming, older hotels within walking distance of Union Square and Chinatown, try the Sir Francis Drake.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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Thank SARChicago
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 reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Dear SARChicago:
You defiitely sound like someone who knows how to appreciate a classic hotel! Indeed, our building was built in 1928 and is recognized as one of the historical buildings in SF! Additionally, our Beefeaters are some what of a SF icon within the travel industry; featured in many travel magazines and brochures all around the world! I'm happy to know that you were able to visit both Scala's and Starlight during your stay, not to mention, you must have taken advantage of our location to hit some shopping needs around Union Square and Chinatown!
Hope to see you back at the Drake soon.
Happy 2013
Jim Gross, General Manager

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2,090 - 2,096 of 3,409 reviews

Reviewed January 28, 2013

The hotel has really nice rooms, very convenient location about 5 mins walk to union sq and cable cars were right outside the hotel. Bed was not really comfortable, didn't sleep very well. All the staffs were really kind and offered great service.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank wkong
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 reviewResponded January 29, 2013

Dear wkong:

The Drake IS the place if you want a convenience, great service and the history all packaged into one! Hope you'll come back and stay with us soon.
Happy 2013
Jim Gross, General Manager

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Reviewed January 28, 2013

In San Francisco for a conference and stayed a couple of extra days. Made it a point of going to the hotel since had heard so much about. Very disappointing. From the bellman at the entry more involved in texting than greeting guests....to sitting at the bar for 15 minutes without being acknowledged by the staff. Granted, it was very busy with only 4 other people at the bar. Can only say, been there, done that, and won't do it again.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank Paravars
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 reviewResponded January 29, 2013

Dear Paravars:
I appreciate your specific comments on your recent stay. I'll address these to my department heads.
Regards,
Jim Gross, General Manager

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Reviewed January 27, 2013

I stayed at this hotel overnight on a business trip and it was perfectly lovely. I was particularly pleased with the stylish décor, the cleanliness, the comfortable beds and the lovely bathroom, which featured updated fixtures and marble. The hotel was quiet, comfortable and I would definitely stay there again on business. Note 1: The beds were full size beds, so the double room accommodates only two people (or possibly an adult and two small children). Note 2: There is a Starbucks practically next door for morning coffee and Union Square is right next to it. Note 3: There is no refrigerator.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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Thank aklindsay
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 reviewResponded February 6, 2013

Dear aklindsay:

Thanks for appreciating our stylish decor! There are several types of rooms which you can choose from: regardless, our beds are known to be very comfortable and our rooms are very very clean! Hopefully, you got to enjoy the convenience of our location, especially to the surrounding restaurants and shopping! If you didn't, these are on your "to do" list on your next visit to the Drake!
Hope to see you soon!
Jim Gross, General Manager

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Reviewed January 27, 2013

We stayed here for a week the hotel is very close to union square and the cable cars stop almost out front. There is a Starbucks you can get to from the hotel and across the street a Walgreens and Sears Fine Food. The hotel is lovely old world charm we had a couple of issues however the management and staff addressed them immediately very grateful for their prompt attention. Lovely time sitting in the lobby bar having a couple of drinks.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
Thank LizSloman
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 reviewResponded February 5, 2013

Dear LizSloman:

Thanks for staying at the Drake! Our location can't be beaten, can it? I'm glad to hear that things were taken care of. We all strive to make our guests' stay as pleasantly as possible!
Hope to welcome you back at the Drake soon!
Best,
Jim Gross, General Manager

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Reviewed January 23, 2013

Spent the night at the Sir Francis Drake over the holidays and had a wonderful time in this old San Francisco landmark. It is a Kimpton Hotel, so, you know that the refurbishing is at its best (no one takes care of the old classic hotels better than the folks at Kimpton). The location is perfect: right next to Union Square on the Powell Street cablecar line. The doorman, dressed in his classic Beefeater attire, greets every guest as they arrive. The lobby is beautiful and teeming with excitment. The reception desk is terrific with a friendly, helpful staff. We were given a top floor, corner room that had a view of Nob Hill. It was perfect for us and decorated beautifully. The bathroom was a bit small with a tub & curtain for a shower (but those smart Kimpton folks mounted large bottles of bodywash, shampoo, and conditioner so you just pump out what you need saving us from those little bottles that are so wasteful). The bed was very comfortable and made up with good, quality linen. The walls are a bit thin but, remember, it is an old, landmark hotel. Sometimes what you hear can be very inspiring! Now, those of you that read our "2forever1" reviews, know that we are not complainers nor try to write sarcastic, negative reviews; if we do not enjoy our visit, we just do not write about it. But, we do have to add a negative note to this review. Beware if you arrive by your own car. The cost is not the shock because they are very upfront about it when you make the reservation (it was $50 a night for us, plus $7 parking tax). What surprised many of us was the length of time it took to get the car in the morning. We waited over an hour for ours. We did not mind because we went into the restaurant and had a cappuccino and people watched (when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade). But other people were getting rather upset over the wait and some got rather vocal. So, allow yourself plenty of time to claim your car. And, do not yell at the doorman over the wait; it is not his fault. Now you are forewarned. All in all, you will have a wonderful time at the Sir Francis Drake. It is classic San Francisco.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a room as close to the top as you can.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 2forever1
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 reviewResponded January 25, 2013

Dear 2forever1:

Wow...what can I say.. well, thanks for posting a thorough and thoughtful review! We definitely strive to work best with what we have, not only trying to keep the Classic and Historical building, but with the recent renovation to bring in some "New". Thanks for recognizing that!
Well, our parking rate is pretty compatible to other hotels in the vicinity.... And I admire your outlook in life...it's something we all can learn from!
Hope you'll visit us soon!
Happy 2013
Jim Gross, General Manager

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Reviewed January 23, 2013

Great location, great staff, but the property is run down. The red carpet entrance is threadbare. Our room had the smallest bathroom I have ever seen. The window was flapping open and would not shut. We had to buy duct tape and tape the window shut. Another window was cracked. The front desk clerk said all the windows were bad, so we decided not to switch rooms. I would be embarrassed if I was Kimpton.
The staff was excellent, particularly the concierge and front desk staff.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank RicardoColorado
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 reviewResponded January 24, 2013

Dear CaminoWalkerColorado:

Did you know that our building is recognized as one of the historical buildings in SF? It was built in 1928 and we have gone through some major renovation in the recent year. Our location is definitely a huge plus, in addition to my great staff who is always here to greet our guests with smiles. Yes, my concierge staff is one of the best in the city and definitely know what's going on in the city!
Happy 2013
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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Additional Information about 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
Price Range: $188 - $498 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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