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“Not for tourists”

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The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
Ranked #71 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersBronze level
York, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Not for tourists”
Reviewed May 26, 2012

Stayed 3 nights recently in a room in the older part of the hotel. The room was clean, bed comfortable but the room was small for the 2 of us with 2 large suitcases. Not enough room to unpack so basically lived out of the suitcase for the 3 days. I asked the receptionist if we had the correct room for our booking as we had booked through a travel agent, the room being quoted as queen sized bed; she did offer another room but was not particularly pleasant and as this was the start of our dream holiday I didnt want any fuss, so we settled with the room. When we booked in we had the 2 suitcases with us so it was pretty obvious that the room would have been no good. But we were out sightseeing all day so could cope.
I was annoyed by an incident in the coffee shop where my husband was 'ignored' in the queue one morning by what seemd to be a supervisor. The supervisor served some customers in suits and told my husband, who was so obviously a tourist, to stand to one side: it was so blatant that another customer actually insisted on paying for my husband's coffee.
I am sure there are better hotels in the area that would appreciate holidaymakers. The location was good, however there is a big problem with beggars in San Francisco and at the entrance to the hotel.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Penny6123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St_Francis_Responder, Manager at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, responded to this review, June 10, 2012
Dear Penny6123:

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at The Westin St. Francis. We’re honored that you chose to stay with us on your dream holiday. I’d like to extend my sincerest apologies for your discomfort and overall dissatisfaction. We pride ourselves on providing top-notch accommodations and service, so we take comments like yours very seriously. I invite you to contact me directly at 415-774-0317 or by e-mail at michael.smutzer@westin.com so that we might further discuss your experience, so I may address the particulars and correct the inconsistencies your encountered.

Sincerely,

Michael Smutzer
Director of Rooms, The Westin St. Francis
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,317)
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English first
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2012 via mobile

I have visited SanFran twice now & twice we have stayed here, the rooms were very clean, beds big & comfy & the lobby is lovely and the hotel bar is great with warm & friendly staff.
We have stayed in the old side & new side & both were as good as each other, the lifts on the new side were very good! Glazed & on the outside of the hotel-fun,fun,fun!
I would highly recommend this hotel...

Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Dougall2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St_Francis_Responder, Manager at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, responded to this review, June 10, 2012
Dear Dougall2010:

Thank you for taking the time to review your second stay at The Westin St. Francis. We love when guests make a return visit! It sounds like everything lived up to your expectations, and more. If you’re thinking about returning to San Francisco in the future, please feel free to contact me directly at 415-774-0317 or by e-mail at michael.smutzer@westin.com. I’d be happy to help plan a visit and set you up with a great room.

Sincerely,

Michael Smutzer
Director of Rooms, The Westin St. Francis
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here for our anniversary and made sure to take an upper floor in the tower (27th floor) -- what a lovely view over downtown and into the harbor. We also booked a AAA rate including breakfast, in the Oak Room every morning. Location was outstandng, and we immediately jumped on a cable car with a munipass bought at the airport. Finally, because it was our anniversary, I emailed the general manager in advance whether he had any special arrangements or treatments for the two of us. We received a lovely bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries as a celebration gift. Most of the things we did were drawn in advance from TripAdvisor, Open Table, Groupon and Living Social, which are powerful tools for active travelers.

Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank tunkiemo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St_Francis_Responder, Manager at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, responded to this review, June 10, 2012
Dear tunkiemo:

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at The Westin St. Francis. Congratulations on your anniversary! What a magical way to spend a very special day. We hope you enjoyed the Champagne, strawberries, and the stunning views from the 27th floor. It sounds as though you really did your homework and planned a fantastic trip beforehand. We’re always available to help plan as well, so I encourage you to contact me directly at 415-774-0317 or by e-mail at michael.smutzer@westin.com if you’re thinking about booking a future stay at The Westin.

Sincerely,

Michael Smutzer
Director of Rooms, The Westin St. Francis
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, New Hampshire
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2012

To start, I am uncertain how to provide the most objective assessment of the Westin St. Francis. I stayed here for 6 nights in mid-May. After my 1st of 6th night stay, I had posted a review entitled "Unenthusiastic and unimpressed" which was generally negative. By the second night, I had requested a room change which resorted in a different opinion and I ended up requesting that the post be removed. I suspect that my experience here explains the disparate views generated on Tripadvisor. The fact is, there are some rooms that are out-dated, old (and not old as in 'has nice character'), and frankly are in desperate need of renovation or they should not be offered as options to guests. There are other rooms (located within the towers) which are clean, modern and up-to-par to the Westin name.

Here are my two very different views and my final assessment:

1. Day #1 - "Mediocre at best, unimpressed, unenthusiastic." During the first evening, I, like many others it appears arrived to the Westin lobby having encountered prostitutes who were "hanging out." Never a good first impression especially for a 'higher end' hotel. I did have a reservation through a group rate because I was there for a conference. Although I requested either two double beds or a king bed, I received a full bed in a room that was literally the size of my 3 year-old daughter's bedroom at home (except she has a queen bed). The rugs were brown, and opening the window, I stared into a woman's bedroom. For the first night and most of the day, I had to keep the blinds completely down thereby making the entire ambience that much worse; i.e. no natural light whatsoever. The bed was uncomfortable and the sheets felt and appeared old and dated; the mattress itself was clearly old and lacked firmness. After the first night, I had decided to request a change in my room and I was willing to pay more if need be. My colleague, who was also placed on the 5th floor, had a similar experience although I did not see his room myself. The only redeeming part really was the location and the gym.

Days #2 - #6 - "Excellent service, accommodating, typical Westin." After my initial experience, I requested a change in my room. I was horrified by the possibility that the rooms would all be similar. To my surprise, when I arrived, I was placed on the 9th floor in the towers and the room was that which is typical of a Westin; I had a king bed, it was very spacious, the bathrooms were modern, and the bed was large and comfortable and the sheets appeared to be quite new and crisp. The view was that of the city and I was able to keep with blinds up to allow for outside light.

Highlights of my stay included:
1. The fact that the manager and the front staff were willing to upgrade me or to move me to a much better room despite the fact that they were nearly or at maximum capacity that weekend.
2. I lost my wedding ring (slipped off my finger) in the shower and it dropped into the drain; not only was their engineer able to retrieve it but the individual managing the front desk remained calm and even called me 5 minutes after the engineer left just to check to see if everything was ok; such a simple move but yet well appreciated; Later that afternoon, I received a tray of cheese, crackers, bread and Voss water with a handwritten card from the manager expressing her regrets over the incident and wishing me well, etc. She even left a voice message; again, it was a completely unnecessary gesture since it was my fault to begin with but again, it really went a long way.
3. The gym was modern, clean and well equipped. Many guests were using it but it never felt 'busy.'
4. The location was quite central; 10 minute walk to the conference center and very close to restaurants, bars, etc. --- the heart of union square; a bit touristy but that's union square.

Dislikes: Not much after day one. Sure the front desk were not the most friendly but they were professional and helpful.

Final thoughts: My main recommendation for the staff and management at the Westin is that there are problem rooms that are not up-to-par to Westin standards and are outdated. Fix them or if you don't fix them, don't rent them. I suspect that this account for the varying opinions you will see in the reviews. If they don't correct this problem, there will continue to be more and more negative reviews which may not necessarily reflect my later experiences. There may be some aspects that cannot be corrected (i.e. views or size of rooms) but other issues should be fixed (i.e. fresh paint, new rug, new sheets and new beds when indicated) Finally, managing outside guests (i.e. prostitutes) would be helpful. The old adage of first impressions do remain accurate.

For guests, I think that you will be pleased with your experience if you do your homework and request that you have an updated room in the hotel within the towers. Yes, I agree you shouldn't have to do this but the fact is is that there are certain rooms that they book you (probably 'lower overall rates') into which are just awful. In addition, if you are not happy, request that they consider moving you --- it may not be possible if there are no openings but its worth a shot. As noted, the manager was extremely accommodating in this regard.

Ultimately, if you get the 'right room' you will be happy and pleased with your stay as I did become. Therefore, there is some work that management needs to work on.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ironlungs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St_Francis_Responder, Manager at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, responded to this review, June 10, 2012
Dear Ironlungs:

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at The Westin St. Francis. While we hope that all of our guests find comfort immediately upon arrival, I am pleased to hear that we were able to make the necessary changes after your first night. I wanted to express my sincere gratitude, on behalf of the entire staff, for your willingness to remain open and understanding. You could have very easily left your initial review, but we’re grateful for your revision. An in-depth review like yours helps fellow travelers make informed decisions, but it also assists us in making the necessary improvements and adjustments. We diligently work to surface and report any issues that may arise and ensure they are corrected immediately.

I have spoken in detail with our Hotel Manager, who contacted you with her regrets in consideration of your ring and wellbeing. We’ve taken all of your sentiments into consideration, and I invite you to contact me directly if you have any other questions or concerns. I can be reached at 415-774-0317 or by e-mail at michael.smutzer@westin.com. We look forward to hosting you again in the future.

Sincerely,

Michael Smutzer
Director of Rooms, The Westin St. Francis
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 24, 2012

I couldn't believe the room I was given: the carpeting was bearly threadbare in several places, the bathroom hardware was hanging by a single screw, and the room was dirty. While my room had a chandelier, it was festooned with cobwebs. I contacted the hotel manager, who moved me immediately to a new room, only marginally better and slightly cleaner. There were no cobwebs, but once again the walls and pictures in the bathroom had splatters of makeup, toothpaste, hair gel, and who knows what else. And I refused to sit on the settee or the chair, since they were quite heavily stained. When I expressed my unhappiness, the hotel management said there was nothing they could do. Attempts to escalate to Westin Corporate management have yet to yield -- and likely never will bring -- results.

Room Tip: I had stayed here on business in the past, so perhaps ask for a room for business travellers.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RoadTzar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St_Francis_Responder, Manager at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, responded to this review, June 10, 2012
Dear RoadTzar:

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay. On behalf of The Westin St. Francis, I’d like to personally apologize for the troubles encountered during your visit. I know you’ve reached out to others, but I invite you to contact me directly so that I might better understand the situation, make the necessary changes, and come to a resolution. I can be reached at 415-774-0317 or by e-mail at michael.smutzer@westin.com.

Sincerely,

Michael Smutzer
Director of Rooms, The Westin St. Francis
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 23, 2012 via mobile

The reviews seem split on this hotel & I am with those who think the rooms are on the dirty side, the staff seem lacking any motivation to help with any enquiries or assistance. Pricing is on the high side, which is only justified by the good location. The "ladies of the night" that congregate at the union square entrance seem to be more than just tolerated by hotel management. Would not stay there again.

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
179 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2012

I have so much to say, I'm not sure where to start. First of all, the bed and bedding are exquisite. We stayed in the tower, so I can't comment on the "original" portion of the hotel. My husband always wants to have at least one "breakfast in bed morning", so we did that on the first day and broke our record for the cost of a meal. Oatmeal is $12.50!! Breakfast for 2 cost us $75 (coffee, pastry, bagel cream cheese,and fruit)! We then discovered that the restaurants in the hotel have meals that start around $30/entre. So if you like eating "high on the hog", then this is the place.

Concierge service was outstanding. They were so helpful and cheerful, that it felt like getting advice from a friend. We did not know it would cost $50/day to park. There are public lots nearby that cost about $32/day, but they do not have in/out priviledges so if you move your car, you have to pay again. The whole parking and driving thing was a mistake. Next time, we would only rent a car for those days that we plan on traveling out of the city.

For those who like high-end shopping, this hotel is perfectly situated in the middle of the highest end stores in the US.

Like many hotels now, they offer a green service, whereby you can skip room cleaning and get points for your stay, but implementation is quirky. Each day that you do not get your room serviced, they leave a card under your door. At the end of your stay, you take the cards to checkout to get your points. As we are quickly moving to a paperless environment, this system is bizarre.

I peeked into the spa, and the locker rooms are very well appointed and calm. Also, the workout room has the basics and equipment is up to date.

All in all... Great hotel, great service, great location. I would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mai2centsworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St_Francis_Responder, Manager at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, responded to this review, June 3, 2012
Dear Mai2centsworth:

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay. We’re delighted to hear that you and your husband enjoyed your time at The Westin St. Francis. It sounds as though the Heavenly Beds lived up their usual high standard. And what a great idea to have breakfast in bed! You hit the nail on the head in terms of service and location, as well. We’d love to have you back soon, and we’d be happy to help arrange alternative transportation, if you so choose. If you’d like any other assistance with booking a return stay, please feel free to contact me directly at 415-774-0317 or by e-mail at michael.smutzer@westin.com.

Sincerely,

Michael Smutzer
Director of Rooms, The Westin St. Francis
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

Property: The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
Address: 335 Powell Street, Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102-1804
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:
#41 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#53 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#58 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#60 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#73 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square 4*
Number of rooms: 1195
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
More than just a hotel, The Westin St. Francis is a destination where you can unwind and be pampered by attentive, world-class service. As the only hotel located on Union Square, we are celebrated for our historic Magneta Grandfather Clock, a popular gathering place for generations of travelers, as well as our commitment to guest renewal and relaxation. Explore this legendary landmark, which has drawn locals and visitors for more than a century with our distinguished service and through the timeless refrain "Meet me under the clock!" Inside our warm and welcoming San Francisco luxury hotel, marble columns, ornate balconies, and intricate woodwork transport guests back to the elegance of yesteryear. Yet these magnificent appointments are balanced by modern, groundbreaking amenities including the revolutionary Heavenly Bed, our Starwood Preferred Guest rewards program, and employees dedicated to making you feel at home. Book one of our downtown San Francisco hotel rooms and discover the allure of the city's most charismatic and vital setting. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Westin St. Francis Hotel San Francisco
Westin St Francis
Westin San Francisco
Westin Hotel San Francisco
San Francisco Westin

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