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“Top for location but not too much more”
Review of The Donatello

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The Donatello
Ranked #44 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Los Gatos CA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Top for location but not too much more”
Reviewed March 31, 2010

As frequent Tripadvisor users and reviewers, we see twice as many excellent ratings compared to v.g. for the Donatello. We say, then, the Donatello is clearly overrated. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that it is part of a condo-exchange program with Shell Hospitality and some reviews own shares at the Donatello and are trying to encourage trades? The hotel definitely gets high marks for location as it is very close to Union Square right in the heart of S.F. And, yes, the price is reasonable: you get what you pay for. If you are looking for a charming hotel with a certain je ne sais quoi, the Donatello is NOT it. While the staff is more than nice, the hotel is a little run down, tired and dated. It is clean. However the bed sheets were not crisp being a little gray and wrinkled. Don't want to "dis" this hotel as it is more than adequate and a good value. However, excellent really is a stretch.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LGTripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2010

I was extremely pleased with my stay at the Donatello in San Francisco this past week. They had a variety of "unexpecteds" that made the stay outstanding.

To start, the staff at check-in made a fine impression, but then the relatively slow elevator bummed me out (I got over it later). I got to my very clean room, but felt so-so on it- the decor was nice but not particularly luxurious, the view was only decent, and overall it was somewhat forgettable, though very spacious. I will say I really didn't like the shower. But, everyday after returning from perusing the city, our lights were on, the curtains had been drawn, and there were mints on our pillows- it was awesome.

HOWEVER, from this initial impression on the stay got better and better. We went to the club house, where they have complimentary wine and cheese tasting opposite their excellent fitness center- it housed updated and slick machines and a beautiful coed hot tub area, coupled with saunas separate for the boys and girls. Further, the concierge can be found on this level and they were all amazing- the best I've come across. We got a variety of recommendations on restaurants and activities that were all enjoyable, plus they got us a reservation to a VERY exclusive restaurant that we had contacted not an hour before and were told it was full.

From here we went down to the excellent bar/ Zingari restaurant. Happy hour had very good pricing, and while I didn't get a full meal, the appetizers we tried out were delicious, if slightly small on portions. The bartender made me the best Tom Collins of my life, and as we continued to return over the next few nights, we had great conversation, all my variety of drinks were made fast and better than the last, and I felt like my patronage was truly appreciated- really the bartender was excellent. Further, they had live jazz music scheduled for every single night- maybe not the best singers in town, but they were all very enjoyable and it made a great atmosphere.

The location of this hotel is about as good as it comes, very satsified. While the rooms were very comfortable, it was the unparalleled staff that made this stay fantastic. Its not like I sat around the hotel for 6 hours a day, but I spent a good amount of time here and it was one of the highlights of my trip. I travel pretty regularly and this beats most other places I have ever stayed, probably all of them- and the price was phenomenal. I can't recommend it highly enough because you will really feel like an important customer, and also reap a heightened experience of the city because of the resources they make available to you. Go there!!!!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jason I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marshfield, MA.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2010

We arrived at this wonderful hotel March 11, 2010. We arrived in the city the day before so we were at the hotel around noon. Not expecting our room to be ready, it was!
The people were so friendly, the room was spotless and big! We spent 1 evening at the Hyatt Grand our 1st evening in San Fransico and it's room size did not compare to this wonderful room. The windows open for some nice fresh air.
It's location is smack in the middle of Union Square, how close everything was for us. We never needed to rent a car as the cable car was on the next block. Taxi's were always available.
The restaurant was handy but the bar and entertainment in the lounge was very nice! Such a nice way to end the day with a cocktail and some Jazz.
We will be back!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank thebiv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 29, 2010

I hadn't heard of The Donatello before, even after living in the Bay Area some years ago. So, I was really pleased to find such a nice hotel for a quick weekend stay with the family. I absolutely recommend it.

I'll list the cons first because they are few:
CONS: I guess I've gotten used to having lots of pillows on the bed, especially of different thicknesses. The ones they had were fine- just a total of two. But, I suppose they could add add least two more to start. (There were two more in the closet.)...There were a couple of chips in the paints and walpaper here and there; alas, it wasn't spotless... No continental breakfast, even though it looks like they could do this with their Club Room.
PROS: Of course, great location. Service was excellent- very friendly and helpful front desk and concierge... Nice to have fridge, microwave and even utensils and extra glasses. Lots of space in the room- it worked out fine to have one child on the fold out sofa and another on a sleeping bad... A/C worked well... No street noise... Bed was comfortable ... Clean... Good shower... Nice fiteness center and jacuzzi... Nice lounge on top floor with newspapers and fireplace... Convenient valet parking with in/out priveleges... Price was very reasonable for the area... Free WiFi worked very well

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank frazzle_dazzle47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tacoma, WA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 29, 2010

VALUE: One of the things that initially drew me to the Donatello was the price, it was much less expensive than many of the other big name hotels in downtown SF. I was also impressed by the reviews on TripAdvisor, and the location (~1 block from Union square, about 4 blocks from BART). I was not disappointed.
LOCATION: I was attending a conference that took place in Moscone center and in several other hotels in the city. The Donatello is about 8 blocks from Moscone center, but it is a nice walk through downtown SF, with lots of high-end shops to look at along the way. The Donatello doesn't have a continental breakfast, but that is OK with me. There are lots of little coffee shops and diners in the area to get breakfast. If you want to get to the Fisherman's wharf area, the Donatello is only a few blocks from the Cable car line. Being close to BART means that you can easily get to and from the airport inexpensively, or travel to other parts of the Bay area (Berkeley, Oakland, etc).
ROOM: My room was large with a King Size bed and a Queen size hideaway. There was a separate nook with the closet, a chest of drawers, mirror for dressing. It was nice to be able to keep all of my clothes etc. in this nook rather than clutter up the main part of the room. The closet had a safe that was easy to operate and worked well for storing my laptop. There was also an iron and ironing board. There is no real desk for working, but I set my computer on the coffee table and worked from the couch, which was OK, but someone wanting to do serious long-term work might not be happy. The free-WiFi worked well, if a bit slow. There were also spare outlets around which I appreciated. The TV had a good size screen.
I really appreciated the fact that the refrigerator was NOT stocked with anything. That way I could buy a few groceries at a nearby store and use the fridge. There were also a few plates, bowls, glasses, utensils etc., and a small microwave so if you are on a budget and don't want to eat all your meals at a restaurant, you can easily stock in some provisions for breakfast and lunch.
BATHROOM: Spotless and well appointed.
SERVICE: The staff were all friendly and helpful. I wanted to continue working out while on my trip, so I talked to the concierge. (Somewhat unusually, the concierge is located on the top floor "club". ) The concierge recommended a run along the waterfront which was great -- although you have to run about a mile through town to get down to the waterfront, but after that it is a great running route.
GENERAL AMENITIES: There is a nice little workout room on the top floor with a treadmill, stairmaster, and various small weight machines. The "club" on the top floor also has a room with plush chairs/sofas and a wide assortment of teas, hot chocolate, coffee etc. The "business center" is a bit of a joke -- just about the size of a large phone booth containing one computer and a printer. But it was adequate (just barely) for me to get my online boarding pass for my airline flight.
OVERALL: Great place to stay when in San Francisco.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BuddhaDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Bay, San Francisco area
1 review
Reviewed March 26, 2010

This hotel is walking distance from the BART station, and the Union Square shopping is one block away. The hotel itself is clean with very curtious and helpful staff. The room was spacious with comfortable beds. I would definitely return on future visits to San Francisco.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Karol_mcc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
1 review
Reviewed March 26, 2010

I was on the way to traveling from one coast to another. The staff, just about
everyone was very helpful whether it was to offer help or just to chat. Hotel
has a good restaurant, a fitness center and offers time shares. It is in an area of many
hotels, but the comfortableness of the rooms, the helpful, friendly staff, the business
center, fitness center make it a winner. There is no pool, but in the climate of
San Francisco that is not a necessity.
w

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank snazzy66
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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