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“Solid Choice”
Review of The Donatello

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The Donatello
Ranked #44 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
charlotte, nc
Level Contributor
32 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Solid Choice”
Reviewed April 20, 2013

We stayed at the Donatello for 4 nights in April for a conference at the convention center. The convention center is a 15 minute walk away. The hotel is very convenient to the BART from the airport, the MUNI, cable cars, and Union Square. The room was large for a city hotel with a microwave and refrigerator which was a nice touch. The staff is universally nice and helpful. Our room was on the back side overlooking a parking lot but there was no noise at all unlike some other reviews. The internet was unusable for significant periods of time. It is free but free unusable internet is not a great amenity. The fitness center equipment could really use an upgrade. On check-in, multiple hairs were noticed in the bathroom but we had no other cleanliness issues. Overall, I think this is a solid choice for hotels in San Fran. and would consider staying here again in the future.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank drcahughes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
65 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2013

In a city overrun with chic but tiny boutique hotel rooms, the Donatello is a spacious standout.
No hotel is perfect, and I would rate the Donatello 4 1/2 stars if it were an option on the TA scale, but the warmth and professionalism of the staff pushes it closer to a 5 than a 4. The Donatello is a fine hotel just on its amenities, but that staff makes it that much better.
The location is excellent - on the SW corner of Post and Mason, a block from Union Square and the bustling shopping district. It's about 4 blocks from the Powell cable car turnaround/BART/Muni station.
The lobby is relatively small but very pleasant, with Italian marble and other nice touches. The staff - from the doormen to the front desk to the concierge desk - is top rate.
There are two elevators to the 13 or so floors in the hotel, and they could be a tad slow on occasion, but it was never too bad.
The rooms are quite large, especially by San Francisco standards, and tastefully decorated (tastefully modern as opposed to hip boutique). My corner king single had ample room for storing baggage (including two luggage stands), good closet space, nice lounging furniture and an excellent work desk. The in-room bar area included a small fridge, a microwave, and a sink, along with plates, silverware, cups, glasses, wine glasses and a coffee maker.
The bed was a comfy, plush joy to sleep on.
A wall-mounted HDTV featured PLENTY of channels, including numerous premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Movie Channel). There was also a DVD player in the room and a iPod-compatible radio. There was no extra charge for WiFi access, at a decent connection speed.
The spaciousness extends to the marble bathrooms, which indeed come equipped with a television in the mirror. (And as excessive as it seems, you end up switching it on whenever you're in there). The shower had good water pressure and a European-style detachable spa nozzle, which I love. The bath products (soap, shampoo, lotion) were very good.
There's a concierge level at the top floor of the hotel featuring a lounge which all guests are welcome to use. In the lounge, complimentary coffee (Peet's) and tea are available all day (starting at 7 a.m.).
The staff responds to requests such as extra towels promptly and effusively. They're genuinely one of the best hotel staffs, if not the best, that I've come into contact with, and I've stayed in plenty of hotels.
As some guests have noted, there's plenty of noise on the streets outside the hotel (this IS San Francisco, not Ottumwa). I'm a heavy sleeper, so an alien invasion wouldn't wake me up, but it could indeed be a problem for a light sleeper. Loud maintenance work, traffic and evening party people create quite a bit of noise well into the night and early in the morning.
I didn't sample room service or visit the in-hotel restaurant during my stay. There are plenty of places to wine and dine at all price levels on the blocks around the hotel, ranging from the high-end Farallon to Jack in the Box. There's sushi, Indian, Thai, take-out pizza, Italian, 24-hour diners, Chinese, steakhouses and so on and so on literally outside the doorstep.
For those arriving by BART from SFO (like I did), the Donatello is four blocks from the Powell Street station at a mild incline (the inclines get steeper to the streets after Post -- Pine, Bush, California). You can board the cable car a block east of the hotel on Powell, but they'll probably already be packed with people by then -- you're better off boarding at the turnaround at Powell & Market.
There are hotels in San Francisco that cost a lot more than the Donatello but don't deliver nearly as much. It's my new favorite place to stay in the city by the bay.

Room Tip: If you're a light sleeper, ask for an interior room. It's noisy on Post and Mason.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank michiganmarlon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
56 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

We had a great experience at the Donatello. The Union square location is fantastic, and the front desk staff were very knowledgeable and helpful. The rooms were spacious and clean and the beds very comfortable. The rooms were a little noisy, and one of the windows did not shut properly which didn't help, and perhaps the rooms could do with an update, but these are minor quibbles. Free wifi was great. Overall it was great value in a superb location and we would appily return to this hotel.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank bronwyn j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
28 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

This hotel is in such a fantastic location. We drove in from the north coast & with the help of a GPS found it no worries, parked ok & was so centrally located to union square & beyond we never used the car again for 3 days. Room was very spacious with a sitting area. Bed very comfortable & staff very attentive. Would highly recommend this hotel - no breakfast was included but you could order continental if you wants.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank anthouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
116 reviews
101 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013 via mobile

The Donatello gives you a lot of space for the money, with large rooms for a downtown facility. Bedding is plush and comfortable. HVAC works easily and well. Staff are friendly and helpful. Free Internet works well. Turndown service is a nice touch. Club level offers coffee, tea and hot chocolate, but no snacks like neighboring hotels offer. The decor is a bit dated, but does that really matter? Others have noted noise ... Even on the twelfth floor, street noise on Friday and Saturday nights was prominent, as is hallway noise. Hours of operation for the small fitness area are inconsistent with the needs of business travelers, like me. Opening at 7 am makes the facility impossible to use before 8 am meetings across town. Overall, some minor deficits, but an overall excellent option for ths great location.

Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank DCDoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013 via mobile

Great staff throughout the hotel. Free tea, coffee and hot chocolate was useful first thing and as we came in. Good wifi meant husband and I could sit and plan our forthcoming day on the iPad up on terrace while teenagers stayed in room and watched a tv each - one in the bathroom! Room was spacious and pull out sofa bed was big and comfy enough for me and my daughter while son and husband shared huge bed. Note - no rollaways at this hotel. Concierge at terrace floor was helpful. Showed us bus routes and we used buses all the time for our 4 day trip, $2 adult a trip 75c for up to 17s. Got the bus to Fishermans wharf for alcatraz, one to top of the windy part of Lombard, to the Golden gate, the baseball park and into North Beach/ china town. All from union square just 2/3 blocks away and some stop right near the hotel too. Got to see a lot of the city that way. Tripadvisor has city guides which has suggested walking tours that you can amend and several are walkable from this hotel. We had looked into staying at Fishermans wharf and were glad we chose this location instead - nearer more. There is a Westfield centre a short walk away too with Hollister and A & F - good to know for teens!
We ate breakfast at Honey Honey one block up which was perfect and enjoyed burgers at Pearls Burgers, 2/3 blocks up. I had requested a quiet room having read of noise issues. We were on 8th floor, facing post st and were not disturbed by noise at all, but this was our last stop in a 2 week road trip and we were pretty tired! Plus you're in the heart of a city. The area felt safe to walk out in, corner shops nearby for stocking up on snacks and drinks.
We were able to leave our bags on our final day and the hotel have a flat rate taxi. $50 to airport. Great stay, thanks to all the friendly welcoming staff.

Helpful?
1 Thank FiFerguson
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Northampton
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2013

We stayed at Hotel Donatello for 5 nights on a recent trip to SF. Initially we were placed on a room on the 6th floor at the front, which was incredibly noisy and so we moved to one round the back. Much less noisy, but still not very quiet. We then moved again to the 10th floor round to a room at the back, which was quieter again, but not what I would call quiet. The hotel essentially needs some glazing attention. None of the windows shut properly and on one windy night even banged about as they were loose fitting. Also contributing to the noise is the half inch gap underneath the door, which lets a huge amount of corridor noise in. I can't fault the location of the hotel, which is excellent and the front desk staff could not have been more helpful. Use of the club lounge was nice, albeit lacking in any snack foods supplied at similar hotels. The room itself was comfortable and spacious. The decor was good. The bathroom felt a little dated and the toilet seemed to rock back and forward when joined by someone in the neighbouring room... Wifi service was unsecured and sketchy although free. Television picture quality was appalling - a surprise in this day and age. Essentially this is a good hotel with helpful staff. It is clean and functional and in a good location, but I came away underwhelmed and felt that with a few small things fixed this could be much much better.

Room Tip: Make sure to get a room as high up as possible and at the back of the hotel.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank poshglasses
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
#31 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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