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“Nice central location, pleasant ambiece”

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Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Ranked #97 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed October 20, 2013

I really liked the atmosphere and service at Sir Francis Drake. Not giving 5 stars through because the rooms were on the small side. Noise from the street should be expected as well when facing the front or side of the building.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank mlcarv21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 18, 2013

Great friendly service when you walk in. The front desk always has a smile on their faces and always happy to accommodate your room needs. The lobby is friendly and lively with little
thoughtful services and the rooms always make you feel very special. Clean, open, great views, great location, free coffee in the morning

Room Tip: Ask the front desk for what you want, a quiet room, a big room?
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank PJ P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2013

Even before you enter this grand historical hotel, it becomes an experience~ The doormen are always more than helpful, courteous and pleasant. They are proud to wear their Beefeater uniforms and ready with a smile and helping hand. There is a plaque on the sidewalk which honors the tradition and one man who has been there 27 years. We met this gentleman and I can assure you that he is proud of his tradition, a lovely thing to behold in this world of change and outsourcing.
Check-in was a breeze and most pleasant and we were given a voucher for a free glass of champagne too. The staff was very professional yet friendly and smiling.
We. stayed in a grand queen room on the 7th floor and it was large, lovely and quiet. It was elegantly appointed and several in our group with similar rooms commented upon how pleased they were with the accommodation. I had read that one could hear street noise, but our room faced the Neiman Marcus side and it was very quiet.
The lobby was lovely and had a large comfortable bar that was always busy. The mezzanine too was lovely, comfortable and drinks are served there also.
The Sir Frances Drake is an historic hotel and beautifully maintained. The single rooms in the hotel are very tiny, but I understand cannot be changed so I would suggest that you upgrade to a larger room if you want a more comfortable space.
We stayed 6 days and enjoyed the benefit of maid service only twice because one can get a 10. VOUCHER each day that one does not have this service (each third day the room must be cleaned)
I especially appreciated having the choice to have a coffee maker in the room...I need my coffee first thing!!!!!
I must mention the general manage,,Mr. Jim Gross. He was ever present in the lobby area, checking to make sure that the guests were well accommodated. He was very pleasant and sincerely wanted the guests to have a comfortable stay.
We would definitely stay again and again!
Hats off to a very well run establishment!
One last comment, the general manager

Room Tip: Do not get a single small room!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Rowansmimi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2013

Having lost a day of our honeymoon due to flight problems we arrived at The Sir Francis Drake tired and weary and were disappointed to be given a small room at the end of a corridor next to the fire escape.The room was at best very average.Hotel appears to be using boutique status as an excuse for poor room facilities.Bathroom was small,cold and in need of upgrading .Hotel seems to be geared for business groups rather than individual travellers.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank iain w
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 October 20, 2013

Dear Iain w,

We are a newly renovated ($11 million) historic hotel that is located in the heart of Union Square. We have many different room types at the hotel some small and some much larger; we are always happy to move a guest if they have noise issues or even if they want a larger room. Our goal is always the same we want our guests to be happy.

Thanks for the feedback!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2013

The best thing about this hotel is that it's basically right on Union Square and super close to a lot of shopping/restaurants/attractions. There are also a lot of other hotels in this area for around the same price and there's nothing specifically awesome about SFD that would make me want to stay there again but here's the breakdown.
- Free coffee/tea in the mornings in the lobby
- No on-site spa although you can get in room services. Although with the small size of the room, I'm not sure there's enough room for a massage table and definitely wouldn't recommend it.
- No fridge in room so mini liquor bottles and white wine is room temperature- yuck.

PROS:
- Location
- If you sign up as a Kimpton guest (which is free), there is free wifi the whole time you're there (added value of about $10-15/day)
- If you forget some toiletry items (toothpaste, razor)- they will bring you these items
- CO Bigelow products are nice (but not travel size so can't take the mini's home with you)
- If you skip the housekeeping each day (except the last), you get a $10 credit to be used in the bar

CONS:
- The first room I was in was on third floor facing Powell and boy was it LOUD- I could hear Jazz music from the restaurant downstairs, people screaming, the Trolley going by, cars, everything. I suppose this is not the hotel's fault but the windows are OLD and not properly sound proofed. I called and complained and was promptly moved to a room on the 11th floor which was better, but still a bit noisy.
- The rooms are small, but keep in mind this hotel was built in 1920s. There's the bed, a little room around the bed, and a desk. It's not like you're going to be throwing a party in your room any (at least I hope not for your neighbor's sake)
- The bathroom is TINY and has minimal counter space. I could barely fit a hairbrush, toothbrush, and makeup compact on the before things started falling off or into the sink.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Tiffany M
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 October 20, 2013

Tiffany M,

Thanks for the comments about our fantastic location, nice amenities and complimentary morning coffee and tea service. We have many different room types at the drake some of our rooms are small, but most of them are much larger, and we are always happy to move you to another room when we have one available. We always appreciate the feedback.. Happiness of all guests is paramount for us!

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Reviewed October 17, 2013

Walking distance to all of the great stores and restaurants.Walked to the fabulous Hakkasan restaurant. Cable car stop outside. Right next door to Saks, --what more could a girl ask for?? The hotel was very nice. Very beautiful. There is a secret "Prohibition/speakeasy room in the hotel. You have to ask for a private tour, which we did. We had the most wonderful young woman/staffer show us the special room. (Alenia or Elenia-can't quite remember the correct spelling, but she was super. Not only did she show us the special room, in which she had to disable the elevator to take us to the secret room, but she did so in such an enthusiastic, interesting manner. She looked like an old fashioned pin up girl! So pretty and kind. Very knowledgeable. The best part of hotel was this interesting, secret room. Ask for the tour. Cons: The room didn't have a coffee pot ??? But the room had a yoga mat? I really enjoy a cup of coffee in the room. Sometimes, I just don't want to walk to Starbucks. They have coffee but you have to go to the lobby. I didn't like this about the hotel.

Room Tip: See the "Prohibition" room. Ask for the personal tour. It was so cool. Especially if you...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ghost595
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2013

I have to say that I was not extremely impressed. Maybe my expectations were too high. The rooms were extremely small. There were only two of us but we could barely walk around each other in the room. Housekeeping left a used cloth napkin on the floor for three days, which tells me that they did not clean thoroughly. The front desk staff was very nice but the conciege rep could have been more helpful. Key phrase for the rep - follow through... On a positive note, the hotel is located in a prime location and I valued that perk...

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Well_In4med
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
#47 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#58 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#70 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range: $148 - $454 (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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