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“Classic Older Hotel with nice renovations and great location, but serious parking issues.”

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The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
Ranked #75 of 227 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersBronze level
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Classic Older Hotel with nice renovations and great location, but serious parking issues.”
Reviewed April 6, 2013 via mobile

First time stay. Hotel built in early 1900's, but renovated to be somewhat modern. If you like historical hotel with high ceilings, wide hallways, classic design, this is your place. When I arrived by car on Tuesday afternoon, the valet parking was a mess-clearly they have issues with backups. The room had a bar of soap that was used and a couple of pieces of garbage in the bathroom trash. It looked like it was cleaned and then someone went back in. Also had trouble hooking up to wifi. Starbucks in lobby was nice in the morning.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CraigNH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westin_St_Francis, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Thank you for your review and thank you for choosing to stay with us. I apologize for the parking issue on the day you arrived. However, I am please to hear you enjoyed our historic landmark building. I hope you choose to visit us again.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
67 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

We stayed 3 nights and found our room to be very comfortable and everything generally very clean. We stayed in the new tower on the 20th floor and had a great view facing northwest. The bed slept very well, although I thought the pillows were lower quality than some of the other hotels we've stayed in. We didn't purchase room service, so can't comment on that. The breakfast food from the hotel's 'cafe' was good but not anything special-- same quality as Starbucks, I'd say.

The concierge was friendly and helpful in answering our questions; we also used the on-site Hertz service to rent a car our last day there-- that worked out very well, but I will add that the reservation was made in advance; not sure how the process would work for a walk-up.

The location of the hotel is excellent! We didn't use the trolley or any of the tourist-oriented bus lines, but they're there. We did ride the MUNI bus system which has several routes within 2 blocks. The hotel is within an easy walk of Market St. and tons of shopping and restaurants. Go for breakfast at Honey Honey! I went on a mid-distance run from the hotel to Golden Gate Park (about 4.5 miles) and enjoyed the variety within the neighborhoods through which I ran-- felt safe the whole time. We walked about 8 blocks (4 of them through Chinatown) to get to Bund Shanghai restaurant; eat there!

A couple of negatives on the hotel: there were a few mold spots in the tub/shower area where the grout had deteriorated a bit-- really just needed a good bleaching. Also, for our second night there, we opted out of having our room cleaned ($5 food credit/incentive) -- the idea is that the maids don't change out the towels and sheets and reduce laundry/water. However, I would have been happier if we could have had our room straightened (bed made, etc) just without the change of linens rather than having to choose between full service and no service altogether. It was also a minor inconvenience that the mini-fridge was stocked with items for purchase-- we were able to stack a couple of our own water bottles and soda cans on top of the items, but for future reference, will reserve a mini-fridge in advance. Note: there IS a Walgreens 3 blocks away if staying multiple nights and you want to buy your own snacks rather than paying hotel-priced ones.

Bottom line: Would I stay here again? Yes, in a heartbeat! No hotel is perfect and this one satisfied us in most areas.

Room Tip: The new tower is nice.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anna T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westin_St_Francis, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Thank you for choosing our hotel and for your review. I am happy to hear you enjoyed your room and the view from your room. Its is also great you found our location excellent and our concierge team friendly and helpful. I hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back again soon.
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Chicago Ridge, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

Great location! Spacious rooms,great customer service and was able to check in early without any problems. They have luggage storage which is great and the check in rep even gave me Macy's coupon ;) how great it's that!.. Only neg thing of notice was that the comforter in the bed had a funky smell? I called quickly was changed out

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mvaldi2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westin_St_Francis, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Thank you for choosing to stay with us and thank you for your review. It's great you enjoyed our great location, spacious rooms, and great customer service. I hope you come back and visit us again soon!
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San Francisco
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

I was going to stay the night with the family there. Made cash and points reservation. Arrived a little late in the day and quick check in. They upgraded us to a huge suite in the new tower. A total of 3 separate rooms. The middle room had a dining room and living area. SubZero Microwave and Fridge. Huge with a great view of Union Square. The hotel manager even left a note and some treats for the kids. Totally worth it and convenient to everything. Did late checkout no problem and took breakfast downstairs. Would have camped out longer if we had known we were getting such a nice room.

Room Tip: As for the new tower since the rooms are more modern
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tvterror
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westin_St_Francis, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Thank you for staying with us and thank you for your SPG loyalty. It is wonderful to hear you and your family enjoyed your stay with us. We will look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lafayette, Colorado
Level Contributor
79 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Lovely hotel with interesting history, really a genuine slice of San Francisco. Great location right on Union Square with parking underneath at $51 daily (24 hours). Local parking close by is around $32 daily but when the weather is bad closer is better. VERY nice to have the use of Westin umbrellas from the front desk! Check in on Easter Sunday was easy and we stayed in the newer tower, room 2195 a corner with great view of Coit Tower. The ride up in the glass elevator is an experience in itself, not for the faint of heart.
Usual "Heavenly bed" which is great if you like them quite soft but not so great pillows. Dark industrial carpet seemed dingy but the lighting was good. Fainting couch instead of easy chair was not really comfortable to watch TV but desk and office chair adequate. Speaking of office REALLY Starwood, $15 to get WIFI, you need to get with the times!
Also annoying not to be able to use the small fridge without pre arranging since they have auto charge if you move so much as a water! Would be nice to have REAL coffee cups instead of paper in a 5 star hotel?
Quite amazed that this deluxe room did NOT have a bath but the spacious shower was adequate. Bathroom amenities were totally minimal, soap, shampoo, conditioner and I expected a little more upscale at this hotel.
Every staff member from maid to concierge was pleasant and helpful and a credit to Starwood. Dining and room service costs were reasonable.

Room Tip: New tower as high as possible.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Scotty-TA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

I made a reservation 3 months in advance, which was paid and confirmed. As I arrive there they say they tell me and my companion that they had overbooked and since there were no other vacancies downtown (not true, as some friends of mine coming to the same conference found hotel rooms nearby using the "Hotels Tonight" app) they were going to send me to the airport hotel (a 30 minute cab ride away; I was going to a conference that was taking place in the Westin, St. Francis). The hotel staff was completely unapologetic, and they seemed to think that there was nothing wrong with what they were doing. They did pay for our cab, but they would only give us a voucher for one company, and it took more than 30 minutes for a cab to arrive, while there were plenty of cabs from other companies (this was all happening at 1AM). The hotel also offered no compensation (they said they gave me a room upgrade for the next night, but a friend of mine said my room was identical to his). The next day I use the Business office to prepare handouts. There is a minimum $10 charge for something like 20 minutes of computer use, and as I print my handouts, I find out that they charge $1.50 per page for a grand total of $55 for 5 minutes in the computer printing 30 pages. In fairness, they did cancel the charges after I pointed out that I already fulfilled the abuse quota that they seem to reserve for each guest. The room was reasonably spacious, and the bed was comfortable, but the noise isolation was non-existent. Anytime the fellow next door was get up from his bed at night, my bed would shake, and I would be able to listen to each of his steps. He was probably taking showers in the middle of the night, as the hot water was gone by the time I would shower. The fitness center is not bad, but I highly recommend that you use before 6:30 AM as there is about one cardio machine per 200 rooms. To top it all, as I get home there is a $2 charge from the airport hotel on my credit card that I never incurred as a memento of the whole experience. The location is very good, if you they don't ship you somewhere else.
If you really want to stay at a Westin, I recommend going to Seattle.

Room Tip: Avoid the old towers! The rooms are stuffy and tiny but not cheaper.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sergio T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westin_St_Francis, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Thank you for choosing our hotel and thank you for your feedback. I am sorry to hear your experience. It is both rare and unfortunate we had to relocate you to another hotel due to an oversold situation and I apologize on behalf of the hotel. I am also extremely sorry you felt like our staff was unapologetic and did not compensate you to your satisfaction. I do hope you choose to return and stay with us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

I am so glad I kept my reservation at this hotel. I almost changed it given some mixed reviews but after staying here for 3 days I am not sure why this hotel isn't rated higher. We booked the larger family room with two double beds and it was huge. They could fit two King beds in this room and still have plenty of space. The beds were very comfortable. Yes it is old so if you like new this isn't the place. It reminded us of the Waldorf in NYC with the high ceilings and large hallways. This hotel has so much character. I have a hard time faulting this hotel.

The location is perfect. Sits right at Union Square. The trolley comes right in front and the tour buses are just across the street. Easy and safe walk to Market Street. We travel with our children so I wanted to make sure we were in a safe area regardless of time of day, and this place met our goals.

We didn't eat at the hotel but the restaurants in the hotel looked very good. The one night my wife and daughters were hungry when they should have been asleep (hotel restaurant was closed). I walked a half block and had several choices for them.

In my opinion this hotel is as good as you will find in SF. Yes you can spend a lot more but I don't think you will get more, maybe you will get a more updated bathroom but who cares. The service was fantastic, the staff was great, the hotel is exceptionally clean, .... The list could go on.

For our purposes we made the right choice. I read many reviews about visiting SF and many said to stay in Union Square area, they were right. Fishermans Wharf area is a nice place to visit but it is, in my opinion, a tourist trap. If you are coming to visit SF and see the sights then this is a great place. I did get great deal booking online and using AAA. I paid about $200 a night and we did not get a car so we had no parking charges.

When we come back this is our hotel.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FamilyoffourPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
#43 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#53 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#59 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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