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Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Ranked #96 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed July 8, 2014

This is a quirky hotel in the Union Square area of San Francisco. The room itself was nice, but I have to lodge my primary complaint about this hotel first - I think this was perhaps the smallest hotel bathroom I've ever been in. I understand that the building is historic, but the bathroom is so cramped, you can barely move around while in there. The bathtub is quite old and needs replacing. I felt inclined to wear flip flops while showering if you catch my drift. The mini bar was, well, I'm still looking for it.....

Now having said that, the rest of the room was great, with lovely views of the city. The Starlight Room on the 21st floor made for a fun birthday celebration with friends on Friday night, although when we returned on Saturday night, the music and crowd just weren't our scene. The drinks at the lobby bar and Starlight room were also excellent. We did the drag queen brunch, which for the price, is just ok. Frankly, I've seen better drag shows and drag brunches in DC. I'd say skip this. The staff were also very accommodating and friendly.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Globehopper79
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 July 13, 2014

Dear Globehopper,

Thanks for the review and staying with us while in San Francisco; I'm sure we will never win any awards for the size of our bathrooms, but I can assure you that the bathtubs (although original) were renovated during our 12 million dollar rooms renovation we completed in 2012. Thanks for the comments on the Starlight room and bar drake; they are a fabulous spot to relax and have a handcrafted cocktail. We appreciate the feedback and thanks for the positive comments on the staff; I will pass it along to them!

Happy Globe hopping!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,485 - 1,491 of 3,374 reviews

Reviewed July 8, 2014

This remodeled hotel is charming and in a great location, adjacent to Union Square (if that's your thing) and a short walk to Market St and BART for getting around the city and beyond. Rooms are small, but that's a given what with it being a classic old hotel.

Service was never bad. Sometimes it was great, other times merely adequate.

The restaurant was quite good as well -- recommended -- though given the city it is in, it still might not be your first choice.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank tilthouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2014

Although I've been to San Francisco a million times, this time I wanted to stay in a historic hotel in the thick of the action. After looking online at everything near Union Square, the Sir Francis Drake looked like what I was looking for. And it was! From the *uniformed* doorman to the gorgeous lobby to the quickly moving line at the front desk, this was the right place. The hotel has kept its original opulence even through what must have been many upgrades and remodels over the years. It still feels old world and luxurious. Our room was obviously modern, but the décor alluded to the hotel's theme and was stylish and clean. Comfy beds with crisp linen; a small but lovely bathroom with marble floors, water pressure and high end toiletries; modern amenities like a flat screen tv and a plug-in wheel on the desk for all the electronics: cell phone, computer, etc. Next to the bed were phone chargers and an iPod player if you need that sort of thing. Of course you can't open the windows, but the air/heat system is sensitive: you can increase or decrease the temp a degree at a time and the fan is adjustable. This was important to me as I hate a stuffy room.
As it was a holiday week (4th of July) in a high tourist area, the hotel was buzzing with people all the time which on occasion could clog up the elevator access. But that's to be expected. And through it all, the staff is friendly and helpful no matter what the request.
The location is central to lots of shopping and dining, plus the cable car runs right outside the front of the hotel. Great places to eat all around. Easy to get a taxi - just ask the outstanding doorman.
We looked in several of the other 'famous' San Francisco hotels nearby and were disappointed. Even the historic ones have remodeled their lobbies, replacing the old charm with modern glass and metal. I would have been mad had I ended up staying in one of those. I came for old world opulence and I got it at the Sir Francis Drake.
I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank Syren123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2014

Delicious food, amazing staff, very clean hotel and pet friendly. Best part no pet fee for the stay. The hotel is beautiful and walking distance to everything, located in the heart of San Francisco. The staff very helpful and only a phone call away.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Eliza J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2014

Conveniently-located. Nice touches here and there. No breakfast - coffee only. Slightly overpriced.

Elevators/lobby becomes party scene past 9pm Thurs-Sat (due to Starlight Room use of same elevators). We waited 5-10 minutes each time we needed the elevator to/from our room. Starlight Room will not waive cover for hotel guests.

Room Tip: Corner rooms are much larger!
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank kmiet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2014 via mobile

Just finished our stay at this hotel. Despite it being July 4th weekend and a large wedding going on we had a fabulous stay. It was our anniversary and the hotel provided a nice room upgrade, late check - out, lots of good wishes and many smiles. The hotel is located in the heart of Union Square, many restaurants to choose from within walking distance, as well close access to cable car and buses. Leif, the hotel's concierge is extremely friendly and knowledgeable on all restaurants and happenings in the area. Anthony could always be found in the hotel lobby and was always ready to assist and ensure our stay was exceptional. Aleina was our friendly front desk assistant, extremely warm and welcoming. Wade (the doorman, a.k.a Dwayne Wade's brother) very knowledgeable as well, made us feel right at home during our stay; he recommended the restaurant across the street, which was just scrumptious. A wonderful stay at the Sir Francis Drake, I highly recommend. Thank you to the wonderful staff.

Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Kornell S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2014

We really enjoyed our stay - the lobby is stunning, service impeccable, and rooms were spacious and beautiful (as with most Kimptons). Great rates, too! Can't go wrong if you want to stay on Union Square.

Room Tip: Upper floors have great city views!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank BigSea05
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 - $458 (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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