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“Great Option for San Francisco”

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The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
Ranked #72 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed June 4, 2007

Booked on Hotwire for $129/night for a Fri/Sat night stay. I was a little concerned because there was no way I was going to stay in a closet room with a double bed and a view of a brick wall, and all rooms booked on Hotwire/Priceline are given this type of room. But, you do pay about $100 less per night using Hotwire if you can upgrade your room at the hotel to a tower room (AAA rate for a tower room is $230/night).

I have never had problems with check-in people at hotels because I don't treat them like they automatically owe me something. Upon our check-in, I was nice to the girl checking us in, made a little small talk, offered a little humility saying, "I know I booked this on Hotwire, but if there's anything you can do...." Sure enough, she just gave me the upgraded room in the new tower.
Didn't have to pay an extra dime for a king room on a lower floor with a view of Mason Street. I think usually it's $35/night if available, which you still would be saving $65/night by booking on Hotwire. The tower rooms are well equipped and nice. Beds were super comfy as per Westin standards, room was quiet (of course there was street noise, but you're in the heart of Union Square, not a B and B in the country.)

The shower was probably the best part about the room. Overall it was
comfortable, clean, and very contemporary. The hotel itself mixed contemporary with a classical feel, which I thought was very unique.

The concierge desk was super helpful too. The guys working there seem to be on top of their job. They got me dinner reservations and mapped some stuff out for me in the city.

The parking was a bit outrageous, but I knew that going in, so I parked around the corner for $28/day instead of the hotel's $54/day. There are about 3 garages that were within a block of the hotel -- worth the 200 foot walk if you ask me. These garages do not have in/out priveleges like the hotel, but if you are only staying in the city, there is absolutely no need to use your car -- nor is there parking anywhere else in the city that is free anyway.

I go to SF every now and then, and this Westin gets a good mark for location, comfort, and value. Good for groups, and good for couples, too. Its a fun place -- the lobby bar is always crowded and Michael Mina is a top rated SF restaurant located in the hotel that had some terrific appetizers and drinks.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Reviewer10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,843 - 4,849 of 5,694 reviews

Reviewed May 28, 2007

I read on their website that the hotel went through an upgrade in 2005, but their bathrooms looked like it could use an upgrade. I'm thinking that the room that I got may be a room that has not gone through an upgrade. I've noticed that some hotels will say they went through an upgrade, but they've only upgraded some of the rooms. The bathrooms looked a little outdated and could use a rennovation. I'm a Gold Starwood Preferred member, and the look of the Westin at St. Francis is not the same as most Westin hotels. The theme of the hotel is more of an older style and not modern contemporary. Overall, the rooms are very nice and spatious, the lobby and restaurants are inviting and fun, but the bathrooms could use some updating.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled with friends
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Thank ilovetotravel24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2007

I booked through Priceline ($100), so I was a little worried that I would get a shabby/small/dark room. I called ahead to ask for a room in the Tower, preferably as high up as possible. No problem. I got an upgrade for a 15th floor room with a partial view. Only $35 for both nights. It was great! Every bit of Four Stars.

We drove, and it's tricky to park your car in that area, but if you're clever, and you can read SF parking signs REALLY WELL, you can park on the street. The second night we parked way up on Nob Hill and walked back down to the hotel.

In all, I was glad I hadn't booked into one of the zillions of 3-star hotels in the Union Square area. We got a much more luxurious room - it was large, and the bed was amazing - than we would have at one of the smaller hotels in the area.

Last but not least, our service was spectacular! Polite, fast, and warm. I agree with whoever said some people are just cranky, and they elicit matching responses from the staff.

  • Stayed: May 2007
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2  Thank plumtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2007

Let me begin by saying that I have been staying at this hotel since I was a child, and this means I have seen it go through many iterations for over 45 years. This most recent stay was so utterly disappointing, I simply do not know where to begin. The recently refurbished lobby on the Union Square side has become this odd assemblage of Art Deco-like seating which one has to wind around just to get through. It takes some time to recognize that this is the hotel bar! Prior to this strange transformation, the bar was the lovely Compass Rose, which now houses a restaurant. The lovely jewelry store on the right was going out of business, and other shops that were a delight over the years no longer exist. I am a Starwood Preferred Guest, so check-in is never a problem anywhere in the world, and is still fine at St. Francis. The particular evening I was there, the lines to get up the tower to my room were extraordinary, and the wait excessive. I will say that the rooms are still decent and the beds comfortable, but there is something that has simply gotten lost overall: the sense of a bygone era, of attention to detail, of feeling that the individual matters. I am so sorry to see the demise of a crown jewel of San Francisco and reluctantly am going to stay elsewhere on my return to the City.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled solo
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5  Thank LAPlatinum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2007

I have stayed in a lot of five star establishments in my time and the Westin had the flavor but was somewhat lacking in the execution.

Upon arriving I witnessed a heated argument between a cab driver and an employee with the Westin Bell Boy shouting "Don't you touch my f****** cart, I don't touch your cab" ..... I guess he was protecting his tip but frankly it was the kind of welcome that in itself would put me off and as he ranted about his "Five Star Hotel" while trying to convince me to let him carry his bags all I wanted was for him to go away. I wouldn't voluntarily give my hard earned cash in the form of tips or anything else to such a rude, uncouth and salty individual and he certainly should not be employed at a Hotel ... he might make a decent bouncer.

Apart from the initial poor greeting everything else was on par. The hotel is in a good location, the interior was clean and had all the trappings of a good hotel. The staff where extremely helpful, informative and useful. The room itself was somewhat lacking while in no way bad. A bed, a TV and a small desk -- it didn't feel much different from your bog standard Hyatt.

For $300 a night? its relative - you are going to pay through the nose in SF regardless, I think I'd be inclined to look around next time I was in town but would have little objection to staying here again.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled on business
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Thank Englishman1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2007

The Westin St. Francis is a nice place for the price you pay, but there are some downfalls to that price as well.
I was immediately irritated with the guy that unloads suitcases from the car, he was a very arrogant European man that continually reminded arrivers that they were staying at a "5-star hotel," but there was nothing "5-star" about him. He was very abrasive and quite rude to some of the arrivers.
The people in the lobby were friendly as we stood in the queue to check-in, but they were very fake friendly, and more irritating than anything.
Our room was very spacious and clean and the bed was very, very comfortable. The room had everything that we needed to feel at home during our stay.
My favorite part was the dual shower-head, making it a great shower experience with twice the HOT water available.
Another thing that I really disliked was the availability of breakfast. The hotel offers a $20-something breakfast buffet in one of the restaurants. Personally, I find nothing appealing about paying that much money for a big spoonful of eggs out of a vat. There are several diners close to the hotel that offer a much better breakfast for nowhere near the cost.
I traveled to this place with my boyfriend on a work trip, so we didn't foot the bill, but if I had the money to spend on this place myself, I'm not sure I'd go to the expense. If you have the money to spend, it's worth it.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank missourigirl127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2007

Can't understand what the fuss regarding hotel staff is all about...I suspect some folks are very difficult to please.

Our experience was excellent from the moment we arrived. The main lobby and parlor are exquisitely furnished, balancing the old world feel of a bygone era with slick modern design and lighting. The public areas are elegantly decorated with redwood bonsais and orchid blossoms in crystal cylinders. WIth high backed settees and deep club chairs the feel is rather hushed and decidedly unhurried, which is such a treat to escape into from the bustle of Union Square just outside.

We found we could not be upgraded as is our custom because the hotel was hosting a massive contingent of Prom revelers, yet the registration clerk Alexandra, was ever so accommodating in dealing with our disappointment.

Our room in the new tower was spacious with an interesting view of the Starlight Room across the way. When the fog cleared the view extended out to the bay and beyond. Bathroom vanity was enormous with plenty of counter space for mine and my sister's mountain of make-up, hair equipment and assorted toiletries...and large enough for the two of us to primp together without causing a scuffle. We needed extra towels, wine glasses, pillows, etc and all were whisked up to us within minutes of our contacting housekeeping...and very cheerfully delivered as well.
Plenty of room, period... great seating area around desk and roomy closets with plenty of hangers.

Two quibbles: the T.V. located in the room's armoire...ridiculously small in this day and age, and the mini bar with obnoxious notice warning guests not to store personal items in fridge lest being charged for items removed. We ignored this and chilled our champagne and O.J. and were billed for the items misplaced. This was resolved at check-out however. Still, this practice is irritating.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled with friends
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4  Thank willemagrippa
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:
#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: $167 - $839 (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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