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“Not a great stay”

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The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
Ranked #70 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed April 30, 2005

The Westin St. Francis has a long history - but it needs help. If you are staying in San Fran - I would recommend any number of boutique hotels in the Union Square area before I would recommend the St. Francis. We stayed in one of the older rooms and there is a big issue with mold in the bathroom. There is no ventilator fan so all visitors in the older rooms rely on open windows to keep the bathrooms free of steam. Yes, they have the heavenly beds, and yes the staff is nice, but this is not a great stay.

10  Thank KASheely
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,946 - 4,952 of 5,612 reviews

Reviewed April 22, 2005

I just returned from a 5 night stay at the Westin St. Francis. I paid $113 through Priceline. When I arrived at the front desk. I started asking about the 30 dollar upgrade and if it applied to a king non-smoking room in the tower building. After first telling me, "hold on hold on, let's bring your reservation up first", he informed me that the priceline/hotwire upgrade rooms were sold out. He then asked me how much I was willing to pay for an upgrade which I thought was a bit odd. When asked, I replied, "How much do you want me to pay?" I felt like I was bartering. He then replied, "Well, I do have a non-smoking mini suite with one king sized bed that I suppose I can give you for 30 dollars per night." I thanked him profusely. I took the elevator to the 11th floor of the 12 floor historic building and opened the door to a beautiful huge corner room overlooking Union Square. The room contained a sofa, sitting chair, cocktail table, heavenly sleigh bed, desk and chair, armoire, closet and a small yet art deco type black and white marble bathroom with all amenities one could desire. The room was immaculate and beautfully refreshed and restocked each day. Sure there were dings in the furniture, nicks in the woodwork, a crack in the ceiling and slight signs of wear and tear in the furniture. However, to me this only enhanced the feeling that I was staying in a grand guest room of a fabulous old mansion. The high ceilings, crown moldings and crystal chandelier added to the old world elegance. The beds are truly heavenly with crisp sheets, down duvets and a selection of soft fluffy pillows. I had room service breakfast delivered every morning and while it was expensive, it was a treat beyond words as I sat in my comfortabe robe and the room service steward poured my coffee. Upon checkout I noticed that the 30 dollar per night extra charge was missing and yes, I asked about it. I was told by the front desk clerk that it was their pleasure to upgrade me and thanked me for my stay and asked me if my room service each morning was satisfactory. I replied that it was excellent. I have a feeling that they waived the upgrade charge in light of my room service bill :). At any rate, it was a wonderful stay and I willl think back fondly of my 5 nights of ever so slightly faded old world elegance and how I wish it could have lasted forever.

  • Stayed: April 2005, traveled on business
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12  Thank JohnInSeattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2005

Stayed here 4/7-12 of 2005. Booked on Priceline and understood that there would be a $30 per night upcharge to get a room with anything other than one double bed. Upon arrival I met a nice lady at the desk that was working with a new computer system and explained there might be a little
time involved checking in. I asked for a room with two double beds and politely indicated my willingness to pay extra. She asked if I was a Starwood preferred member and I said i'd registered for it. She found my name and proceeded to upgrade me to their "Traditional room" with two double beds. There was no additional charge. I can't say if this upgrade was because I was very nice and patient or because of the Starwood membership. These people aren't highly compensated and the fact is they are there to serve not to be treated as servants. Be nice and patient and see how your requests are handled here! My guess is you'll be treated with the level of respect you exude to those you deal with. The room wasn't anything special...no grand view etc. But it was what I asked for.
You do the math.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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6  Thank doveman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2005

Just returned from spending several days in San Francisco. My husband needed to go down on business, so we went a day early and stayed at the Saint Francis before transferring tot he Marriott(separate review posted-would not recommend). Our room at the Saint Francis was much nicer than the Marriott. We stayed in the tower and had a corner room. It was large and we had ample room for the crib we had delivered from housekeeping. The Westin has great ammenities for people traveling with small children, cribs, strollers, booster seats,and diaper genies among other things. There is a mini bar, which was great as we could store babyfood, the Marriott did not have one. We paid $150 a night for the room and I felt it was a much better deal than the rooms we had at the Mariott. We had great service from everyone at the hotel, we were even able to check in early.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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4  Thank skiandboard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2005

What a shame - this hotel has a fantastic location and a very grand appearance, but it is yet again a once grand hotel that is relying on it's past reputation to get away with offering substandard accommodation. Booking on Hotwire, Priceline or Expedia (according to the front desk) will allocate you to a Standard room in the historic building. This will contain either a small double bed or a queen bed, and you will have an interior view and generally a dark room. The double beds are on the small side for a couple, let alone the "two people" that should be accommodated through Hotwire et al, and really should be only sold as single rooms. Also, don't accept a room with a Murphy Bed - for those like me who are not familiar with the term, this is a bed that folds out of the wall, and is in the lounge area of a suite. Whilst the room may be of a nice size, the Murphy bed is certainly not "Heavenly. "

Having viewed a few rooms in the historic and tower buildings, overall the accommodation is really quite tired and rough around the edges - stained and peeling paintwork, scratched and stained furniture and bare wires. The bathrooms in the historic building are very small, with no space for personal items, and all bathrooms have very dated wall tiling and fittings. After a number of room changes, we (two guys) ended up in the new tower. The room size there was much better, and the bathroom was a decent size with a good space for toiletries and you get a coffee machine. However, I have never stayed in a hotel with so much in-built noise. There was a constant buzz, you can hear your neighbours and the people upstairs and worst of all the air-conditioning made a noise like a door slamming shut each time it switched off, which kept us awake at night until we realised that it wasn't doors slamming after all and we turned the a/c off.

With almost 1200 rooms, it must be difficult to keep on top of maintenance, but they have really taken their eye off the ball. IMHO, this hotel is not of Westin standard and requires considerable investment to update and tidy up the bedrooms. Above all, they would be best knocking pairs of the small double rooms into one larger room and securing a higher room rate. I would stay here again if the price was right, but would make sure I was in the Tower or a superior historic room - you can pay a $30 supplement to guarantee this in advance according to the front desk. The hotel was completely full when we arrived, and finding an acceptable room took over 2 hours, so this may be worth considering.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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8  Thank BAMaracas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Washington, DC
11
Reviewed April 10, 2005

First of all, the location is great. Right in Union Square and many of the rooms have nice views of the city.

Now the bad, the service is sub-standard. When I was there I noticed picketers which makes me wonder whether the bad service I experienced is related to a temporary labor dispute. In any event, when I arrived, there were dirty dishes outside the room next to mine. When I left two days later, they were still there! Also, there were odd stains on the carpet in the room.

The worst issue was simply the unfriendly, do-the-minimum-possible, attitude of the staff. For a hotel of this purported caliber this is simply unexpected. For much better service check out its sister hotel, the W.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Los Angeles
12
Reviewed April 10, 2005

I have been staying at the Westin SF for a couple of weeks now and thought I would add a review.

A lot of people have alluded to the small rooms in the "historic" building. I have stayed in that building a few times and have found the "small" room once this past week. They are correct, the rooms are SMALL!!!! That said, most rooms are significantly bigger. Also keep in mind that the Westin has quite a few regulars staying, with Starwood status, as well as weekly conferences, so odds of getting a bigger room during the week is slim.

The location is the main reason we all stay at the Westin. it is in Union Square, 3 blocks from BART and near some eating places. The W is a couple of blocks South of BART but there is not that much to do near the W.


All in all, I am content with the hotel. Rooms in the tower above floor 6 are pretty sweet.

  • Stayed: April 2005, traveled on business
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2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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

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:
#40 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#53 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#57 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#60 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#73 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range: $227 - $800 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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