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“Great location but small small room”

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Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Ranked #95 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed February 10, 2014

One week Lagos, the next week San Francisco...stayed here for 3 nights on business. Most reviews have captured the place well, wine hour, dog friendly, great location with cable car on the doorstep, but my room, for $269 + $37.66 (tax) + $0.17 (CA tourism dist assessment) + $6.05 (SF tourism assessment) per night was distinctly on the small side for the invisible dog and me... I know it's God's City and all that but phew...

There was a '$10 off' bar / minibar card and a $10 reward for not having your room cleaned (being green - all in favour of that), but not sure whether this is a permanent feature of Kimpton hotels...

Well trained and knowledgeable staff and a good selection of whisky. That's a big plus.

Will I stay there again?? I struggle at the price but on the balance of probability, yes (ish).

Room Tip: Presumably spend more than me and get a bigger room... Rooms overlooking Powell Street are subject...
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank Antandpickle
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 11, 2014

Antandpickle,

Wow sounds like a great business trip; thanks for the comments about our great location and well trained staff. The associates really enjoy taking care of our guests; the next time your in San Francisco make sure you visit Scala's Bistro right at the entrance of the Drake; you wont be disappointed.

Cheers

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Reviewed February 10, 2014

This hotel was in a nice location. When we checked in our room we booked was not available for the first night so we were forced into this one room that was the size of a shoe box right outside the elevator. We settled in and went to go check our account and saw the hotel had placed a $1300 hold on it. Went right down stairs to speak to the front desk and was told it was a $250 fee hotel hold per night which we did not know of and the man at the front desk was RUDE! He said we were also charged a Vat fee??? in America I never heard of this but then he continued to say well you booked your trip with booking.com for a cheaper rate and that is what you get for using them and not booking directly with us?? Unreal we rarely book directly with the hotel who does this?? So this kind of set the mood for the rest of the trip. We were moved to our room the next day which was much bigger but nothing special. Would I stay here again probably not I saw some other nice hotels not to far from this one. My trip was still great with all the sites we saw and day trips we made.

Room Tip: Its very loud outside in San Fran so I suggest you sleep with radio on or tv to drown out the sounds...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Jenpar35
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 11, 2014

JenPar35,

Thanks for taking the time to review the hotel; we do have an awesome location it is close to world class shopping, great restaurants and the cable car stop is steps away from our entrance. The hold on your card seems like a mistake; we charge $100 per night for incidentals and don't charge a VAT (I had to look it up) fee. I'm truly sorry that one of my associates was rude; that is not acceptable and not part of the culture at the drake.
I glad that you enjoyed your vacation to San Francisco.

Jim

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Reviewed February 8, 2014

You really can't beat the location of the Sir Francis Drake, right on Union Square and if you get a high-floor looking towards the square or the bay the views are brilliant. Its certainly a lot less beaten up and worn now that its a Kimpton hotel while still retaining that slightly bizarre charm of a building that might have been constructed as a hotel but its hard to say that someone actually designed it to be one.

The one downside is that the rooms can occasionally be tiny. Travelling with a colleague I thought I had a small room until I saw hers, so if you like you space then this isn't for you.

Room Tip: Get a room on a high floor overlooking the square
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Seat62A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

Staying here for 8 nights while visiting SF. I have had a wonderful time. Friendly staff, great room and overall a most comfortable experience . Without a doubt one of the best hotels I 've stayed at in my many visits here visiting my son. A few hotels around Union Square don't offer the same stardust s the Sir Frances Drake. Scalia's for breakfast - brilliant food. I leave tomorrow and I don't want to go! Usually I can't wait to leave a hotel. If you are looking at this hotel now - book it!

Room Tip: Interior facing room I think would be better- I heard no noise!
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
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1  Thank janicemac1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2014

This is defintely one of my favorite Kimpton Hotels to stay in and I always recommend this hotel for my corporate clients. The hotel is located in a perfect location, near many restaurants and shopping, and of course Union Square. This is perfect for business travellers given its proximity to the financial district only a couple blocks away.
Christine Nolan, the sales manager there, always goes out of her way to make sure my clients are well taken care of during their stay. Her service is fantastic and one of the reasons why I keep recommending this hotel to everyone I know.
Don't forget to check out the Drag Queen Brunch on Sunday... it's super fun and entertaining.

Room Tip: Try to get a room overlooking Unino Square
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
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Thank enbamba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

The highlight of my experience at this hotel was definitely the Sunday drag brunch in the Starlight Room - a must-do in San Francisco (including, for the hotel-obsessed like me, checking out beautiful hotels like this one).

I met Christine, who works in sales in the hotel, in the lobby on a Saturday, and she recommended it. We didn't have anything planned for Sunday and thankfully we were able to get a booking for the next day.

We were seated next to the stage and had tons of time to enjoy a delicious buffet that far exceeded my expectations for hotel buffet food. I remember the smoked salmon being especially good! Our waitress was really attentive and kept the mimosas flowing as well.

The show was jaw-dropping - great comedy, dance, singing, etc. Tons of variety and just really amazing performers. I wouldn't say I'm a drag show expert but I've been to a couple and this was far more entertaining and high quality than any other I have seen before!

Would definitely recommend the hotel...but make sure you attend the show too or you're really missing out on a great San Francisco experience!

Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
Thank SaskLC
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 7, 2014

Dear SaskLC,

Thanks for staying at the Drake! I really appreciate the great comments about the Sunday's a Drag brunch; it is truly a must see while you're visiting San Francisco. That is what makes the Drake so wonderful we have it all great food (Scala's Bistro) great drinks (Bar Drake and The Starlight Room) and the best location for business, shopping and sightseeing in the City.

We look forward to your next visit!

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Reviewed February 5, 2014

Another great stay at the Sir Francis Drake. I can't say enough about the staff. I started talking to one of the people from the sales department (Christine) at the wine hour, and she gave me so many good tips for restaurants that I will have to plan another trip to SF. This is in addition to the wonderful advice I get from the concierge and the front desk staff.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Mary B
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 7, 2014

MaryB,

Thanks for the great review! I love that you mentioned wine hour (Kimpton Hotels serve wine our every day 5pm-6pm in all of our 60 locations) it is a great way to meet new friends and learn about the area. Most of all I love when guests talk about our associates; they make the difference at the Drake.

We look forward to your next visit.

Jim

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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)
Phone Number:
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
#46 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: $207 - $624 (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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