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“Not a typical Westin”

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The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
Ranked #74 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersBronze level
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Not a typical Westin”
Reviewed December 18, 2005

The location of the St. Francis is awesome and I found the staff friendly and helpful, contrary to other reviews but that's where it ends. The first room I was in faced out to the street, well come 1 am I paid for that. Drunks, garbage trucks and delivery trucks kept me up until 3 am. Then come 5:30 am, the elevator, which happens to be right behind my room, starts up. I switched rooms the next day, with no questions from the staff. I was moved into an interior room which was very quiet but it was in need of major renovation. The mold on the bathroom ceiling was especially wrong.

I also couldn't believe the nickel and diming. $44 a night for parking! The fitness area, $16 a day, I never used it because of the principle of the price. San Francisco is a great city and I would love to go back but I would not stay at the St. Francis.

  • Stayed December 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Burgman50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 13, 2005

We stayed just one nite (05-10-8) and were very disappointed. Room was okay but nothing special for 5 stars. After first entered our room with the key card we've needed to return to the reception three times (! - personal and via housecall) to re-enter the room again! After 30 minutes there was somebody who meet us at the room's door to let us in! Another strange thing: it seems that the hotel's management needs to earn any cent: on the minibars pricelist they really charged the coffee and tea making! And they charged the gym-usage (okay in Las Vegas it is common practise but as well in SFO?). So, we wouldn't recommend this hotel to friends..

Helpful?
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2005

This 100-year-old hotel has a great location and impressive lobby, with nice crown mouldings as one reader pointed out.

Unfortunately you can't sleep in the lobby. I stay in over 100 nights a year in Starwood hotels around the world and have seen some great Westins. But this is not one of them. As such a frequent guest I was put into a handicap accessible room, which means no separate shower, and strobe lights went off in the room when somebody rang my doorbell. If they treat their best guest this way, imagine what kind of room you'll get.

No water in the room unlike other Westins. And the kicker is, when I called down in the morning to request a local newspaper, I was told "you can buy it downstairs". This is the only Westin in the world that does not give you a copy of newspaper to their Starwood Platinum guest. Truly amazing.

I used to stay here in the late '80s and early '90s, and was always impressed with the hotel. So I was really looking forward to this return trip in over 10 years. Unfortunately so much has changed. This hotel has past its prime. I quickly cancelled my 6-night stay the following month. I think at the Park Hyatt they understand the value of a returning guest. You can find better options in San Francisco.

  • Stayed November 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank ZhengHe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ithaca
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2005

Long before our arrival at St. Francis for our holiday weekend stay, I had made reservations at their Oak Room for Thanksgiving dinner. Considering the upscale price of the dinner we were anticipating a first class experience.What we encountered was no class at all.

The hostess who greeted us in the doorway offered us a seating arrangement with two tables that didn't match in height and was crowded up to the buffet selection area. We looked around and there were ample unoccupied tables of the same height that could have been placed together. We told her our name and number of guests for the reservation but there was no check list that she looked at from what I could observe. She called for the manager to see if another table would be ready. Instead of suggesting that we sit at the bar and wait for an acceptable table we were given argument that the makeshift table was our only choice.

We have had dinners many places where the waitstaff had no idea they would be serving a party of 5-6 and they gladly pushed tables together and fixed the place settings for us.

In this case it was an advance reservation for a party of five. We had even stopped by an hour early to ask if the dinner included complimentary wine ( which it did not) and told the hostess we would be back by our reservation time. We should have realized when she didn't even check off our name that it was not as selective a place to dine as we thought it would be.

The discussion with the manager escalated to the point where instead of accommodating us he refused to seat us and called hotel security. I guess we were holding up a line of 3 couples and that was the maneuver to get us out of the way.

A representative from the hotel said that the Westin cannot control the management of the restaurants they allow in their building but they were willing to credit our rooms for one night and suggested a restaurant that offered similar fare for the inconvenience we were experiencing.
We provided our own transportation to a nearby hotel restaurant, Fournou's Oven at the Stanford Court , and it was a $470 night that the Oak Room could have earned besides denying their waitstaff a generous gratuity.

As for the Westin itself, I agree with comments made in other reviews. It has a magnificent lobby and friendly bellhops but the housekeeping leaves much to be desired.
Our sons' room had robes but ours did not. Our shower curtain had questionable matter on it; a burned out lightbulb was never replaced , the bulb was set out for the maid to see and replace ;wet carpeting had pieces of glass on it and a hand towel had traces of blood which indicated that someone broke a glass, was cut, and it did not get cleaned up thoroughly before we checked in. An empty water bottle was found under the edge of the bed 3 days into our stay and the coup de grace was the wine glasses.
The clean glasses were actually speckled with chunks of debris.
Even with the windows closed , sirens could be heard throughout the night - I thought I was in NYC with all the police/ambulance activity that we heard.

The bed was indeed heavenly but the early housekeeping activity did not allow for late morning indulging. The heating system was not very quiet either.

The bathroom amenities did not include a disposable showercap, mouthwash, q-tips, shoe mitt,or cotton balls like we are used to receiving at other hotels such as the Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt and SwissHotel.

In conclusion I think if a guest is a Starwood elite member then it should mean something to the hotel and they should book us accordingly. Unfortunately it is human nature to remember the bad and overlook the good. The manager of the Oak Room whose name I am not allowed to mention in this review spoiled an otherwise nice time in the city.

Helpful?
12 Thank chambord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morgan Hill
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2005

I booked a Union Square view room several months ago but when we checked in we were told no rooms facing the Square were available but they offered to upgrade us to a Jr. Suite (great but it still didn't face the Square). Very noisy rooms both from the hallways and the street bands that played until late, late in the evening. I finally called security who in turn called the police to break up the corner band. Old musty smell in room, clothing hook in bathroom broken. No complimentary water until asked for. Parking for 2 days a little over $80., the Heavenly Bed was so so. Their 260 thread count "luxury sheets" didn't hold a candle to my at home 1000 count. When the heater kicked off it was like someone slamming a door right next to your head. This went on several times during the night. Our hallway smelled of Marijuana and when leaving the Oak Room after a mediocre meal 3 street teens with skate boards were walking through the halls reaching up with their boards and breaking the chandelier crystals. Mr. Berlin an employee of the hotel was most gracious and I think one of the only good things going for the St. Francis. Over rated and over priced. Our favorite is the Ritz Carlton but there are many little boutique hotels in the Square area far more appealing then the St. Francis. We stayed once but never again-..

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Princessliu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CA
Level Contributor
25 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2005

I love beautiful crown moulding, old doors and doorknobs, windows that actually open and chandeliers. All these were present in my room at the Westin St. Francis. I stayed in the old tower for two nights on business. I loved it. The hotel is just gorgeous and my room was lovely, and I am very particular when it comes to hotel rooms. I paid $199 a night, after haggling ALOT on the phone and finally getting their lowest available rate. It was well worth it.

The room was nice - beautiful old doors and windows and that great big nice bed. The bathroom was pretty, yet the tub was very old. I would not take a bath in that thing! Unless they sandblasted it first. But if you like showers, that heavenly dual shower head makes up for the bad tub. I opened the windows and listened to the sound of the city and woke up to fresh air. I love that!

Now the rest of the story - the gym was $12.00 to work out in, and it was OK. They do nickel and dime you a bit, as the water at the gym was $4.00. And they could have had better weight benches and mats, but overall it was fine. The girl at the gym's front desk asked me if I wanted a towel - as if most people don't... it was kind of wierd.

The lounge area downstairs is a bit odd, as you get a drink in the lobby - and it is not cosy at all. But good people watching. The public areas are just lovely.

I did not order room service or eat at the hotel, but the prices looked sky high. I saw more than one couple walking in with groceries for their room.

The employees were all nice and respectful. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who likes old world charm and history. It was lovely.

  • Stayed November 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank meowlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tennessee
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2005

Well the room was great. I stayed in the tower on an upper floor. The bed is one of the most comfortable I have slept in all my life! The view was incrediable. I sat in front of the window, drinking a beer, and taking it all in. BUT... this is where it starts. That beer which I got from the mini bar was $12! Everything is obscenely over priced here. $27.50 for an average martini in the hotel bar, $15 for an hors derve tray, that was nothing more than crackers and cheese. $50 for the breakfast buffet! Thats just plain insulting to your guests. It seems like the St. Francis is one big clip joint. Even the wealthy guests told me, they felt taken advantage of. The staff, was very unfriendly, and I was shocked that professional service people could act this way. I will not stay here again. The bed and view, were not worth it.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank cwbyht
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
#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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