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“Couldn't find a fault” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Donatello

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The Donatello
Ranked #40 of 227 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
80 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Couldn't find a fault”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2012

First trip to San Francisco and booked The Donatello on the strengh of fellow Tripadvisors reviews and was not disappointed, thank you. Everything was as you would expect from a top hotel in the city, quick friendly check-in, large room, wonderful bed and took some time to work out that there was a tv screen in the bathroom mirror, pretty cool! Was the cheapest of three hotels we stayed in in our trip, coming in and out of San Francisco. They have a wonderful "Top Floor" reading/sitting lounge with a concierge service which booked us in on our flight out of San Francisco, even printed our boarding passes, saved all the stress of airports for us, thank you.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank stewie62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,514 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (446)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2012

On arrival at the Donatello we were greeted by an extremely helpful host at the front desk. As we were travelling with a young family he graciously upgraded our room for a more spacious room at no additional cost and without us asking for it! The rooms were large, modern and very clean.

Unfortunately we had to cut our trip short for an emergency back home and we were completely amazed at how kind and caring the staff were to our situation.

The location is great, only 1 block away from Union Square and close to restaurants, galleries and shopping.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Annie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2012 via mobile

Absolutely stunned on arrival. Booked on Hotwire, and was pleasantly surprised. Concierge good and cute little jacuzzi on top floor. Good free takeaway coffees too. Bed large and had a kitchenette. But who can argue with a tv in the mirror in the bathroom!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HayleyB29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2012 via mobile

From the minute we arrived at Club Donatello we were treated extremely well. The desk staff were friendly, helpful and personal and got us checked into a club room. The room was spacious and comfortable. It included coffee making facilities a fridge and mini bar. We visited the club level and spa on the top floor for a cheese and wine reception. Being that Donatello is a time share I was convinced attempts would be made to advertise the location. But there was none at all. Information was available but there was no pressure at all. The concierge was extremely helpful and couldn't do enough to help. The location is ideal for union square and close to the Powell and mason cable car line. The only down side is being so close to Union Square the weekends can be noisy up until 4 or 5 am, people going home from he bars and clubs. New York was quieter at night! But, although this needs to be considered it is no fault of he hotel, who clearly aim to give a 5 star service and very nearly succeed.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Seeq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2012

The Donatello- Great location, Good bang for your buck

On our first trip to San Francisco my wife and I chose the Donatello for it’s location and strong reviews on TripAdvisor. We were not disappointed.
We arrived at about 1PM by cab from the airport so we didn’t use the parking facilities. Edwin at the front desk checked to see if our room was ready and as it was He checked us in early.
We had a deluxe king on the 7th floor and when we first entered the room there was a slight musty almost moldy smell but as soon as we got the AC going, from the easily operated wall mounted thermostat, it dissipated and did not return.
The room came with a microwave and coffee maker but no electric kettle or tea bags. We did ask at the front desk to see if they had an electric kettle and a portable steamer for a sport jacket I wanted to wear and even though these were not available they were very quick to find this information out and apologetic about not being able to fill our request. So if you’re tea drinkers like us and want a cup of tea you can do what we did and get some tea bags from the rooftop lounge and heat cups of water in the micro.
The rooftop lounge by the way has a nice set up for snacks and things although we were always out before they opened and usually back late. The rooftop view is nice but you can’t really look down to the surrounding streets because the parapet is too wide to look over.
As for the jacket, I was going to try and steam it with the iron provided in the room but the travel wrinkles hung out after a couple of days before I needed to wear it.
The room is well appointed and everything was very clean from the bathroom, to the plates and utensils in the “kitchenette”. Wireless internet was free with the house password provided with your room key and I never had a problem getting online or using it. There was plenty of room to unpack and put things so you don’t have to live out of your suitcase. We really liked the hangers in the closet because they had real hooks on top like regular hangers, mind you they’re a smaller size so they won’t fit your closet pole at home and thus preventing inconsiderate travelers from stealing them, but at least they’re not those annoying straight post things you have to fit in and out of the slots in the closet pole and can’t hang anywhere else like a door latch, open drawer or the shower rod for steaming.
The king size bed was firm and very comfortable. The pillows were so-so. We forgot to ask if they had any alternatives like Temperpedic so they couldn’t have been too bad.
There was a first for us in the bathroom. There was a large “smoked” rectangle section of the bathroom mirror that we didn’t figure out what it was until the end of our second day when we found the remote on the bathroom counter. That’s right, a freaking TV built into the bathroom mirror! So you can watch TV while you shower or conduct any other part of your morning or evening routine. Quite a fun little novelty.
The location of the Donatello was perfect for us. It’s a block from Union Square and the Powell St. cable car line and an easy walk to Chinatown and Market St..
We did not eat at the restaurant in the hotel as we had a dining itinerary already laid out.
All the staff we came in contact with during our stay were friendly and attentive. The one day we walked from Fishermans Wharf all the way back to the hotel and my recently operated on right knee was barking at me, we stopped at the front desk and asked for a couple of extra buckets of ice to be sent up. We went up to the room and within 10 min. the ice was delivered for my sore knees.
I would whole heartedly recommend the Donatello for it’s clean comfortable rooms, friendly staff, free wireless and great location.


Food recommendations within walking distance or a cable car ride of the hotel:
Breakfast –
I recommend Sears Fine Foods around the corner on Powell between Post and Sutter. The pancakes aren’t quite as good as Dotties but the breakfast links are much better and it’s cheaper with no line or unsavory characters pestering you.
Dotties True Blue Café, You’ll wait in line.
Raw oysters –
Swan Oyster Depot, You’ll wait in line.
Dim sum –
Yank Sing, Try the soup filled dim-sum!
Seafood -
Tadich Grill, Sit in the back at the bar.
Chinese –
House of Nanking, You might wait in line.


A note about the cable cars:
First – Get the Muni Pass! You can use them on every form of public transport in the city except the BART but if you’re not going to try and see Berkley or Oakland, which we weren’t, you don’t need BART.
Walk down Powell to the Walgreens between O’Farrell and Ellis, inside to the left at the photo counter you can buy the plastic Muni Passes. They’re better than the paper ones because you can use them on the tap-and-go fare readers on the busses and streetcars which means you don’t have to wait on line at the front of the bus to get on as there are readers at the middle doors.
Second – Like the guide books say don’t try to board at the turnaround @ Powell & Market the lines are ridicules. They often don’t fill the cars to capacity so they have room for riders up the line. That means leaving the Donatello you just walk a block to Powell and Post and get on there to head for Fishermans Wharf or the California St. line which is much less crowded. And since you have your handy-dandy Muni Pass you don’t have to fish out $6 a pop every time you get on.
The Munis come in 3,7 and I think 15 and 30 day versions. We were in SF four days so we got 7 day Muni’s for $27 ea. and by the end of the second day because of how many times we rode the cable cars and busses they had paid for themselves and we were riding for free!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank oepinusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, England
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2012

We stayed here from Sept 15th - 19th 2012. It is a great location and just one block from Union Square without being on top of Union Square which could be a bit noisy. We did hear the bin wagons and fire engines during the night sometimes so if you are a light sleeper you may want a room at the rear of the hotel as this may disturb you. The rooms are great - spacious and well appointed. The kitchen area is great with the fridge etc and was an unusual surprise when we arrived.The staff are great and will do whatever they can to assist and although the prices weren't cheap due to a convention that was taking place when we were there, it was well worth it. We would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: High floor, away from lift
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ghwright68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2012 via mobile

Picked the Donatello based on location more than anything but was pleasantly surprised by this 3 star hotel. Located 2 mins from Union Sq and 5 mins from Market St and well placed for transport (cable cars, trams, caltrain, buses, all on the doorstep) the location is spot on. That's just the start, the rooms are spacious, comfortable, equipt with a small kitchen area, ample storage, free wi-fi...I could go on. You also get access to the club on the 14th floor which is peaceful retreat from the loonacy that is San Fransisco! Highly recommended

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Charlie_Bigpotatoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Donatello

Property: The Donatello
Address: 501 Post Street, cross street - Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-1228
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#25 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#29 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#29 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#54 Business Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Donatello 3.5*
Number of rooms: 94
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
FIVE-TIME WINNER OF THE CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE! Located in the heart of San Francisco's fashionable shopping and theater district by Union Square is the spacious Donatello. Settle into tastefully appointed rooms and enjoy the top floor fitness center, with a whirlpool spa and private saunas, which provides the perfect retreat after a day exploring the city. You can take a cable car up and down San Francisco 's colorful neighborhoods or explore the many streets of Chinatown. And when you work up an appetite in a city know for its cuisine, the Zingari Ristorante, located onsite, is a Northern Italian feast for the taste buds. Fully experience fine dining, theater and shopping in San Francisco at our luxurious retreat in the exciting City by the Bay-a San Francisco getaway perfect for romance, leisure and business travel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Donatello Hotel San Francisco
Donatello San Francisco

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