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“More like a brothel than a hotel” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Union Square

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Hotel Union Square
Ranked #102 of 227 Hotels in San Francisco
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
48 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“More like a brothel than a hotel”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2007

It was dreadful. We had a corner room and the door to our room was opaque so you could see the outline of us if we stood near the door. I was so worried that the place may have had bed bugs that we place all our luggage on the bathroom sink and the toilet. The window in the bathroom (if you can call it a bathroom - it was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo small) was open and could not be shut. I have stayed in some cleaner backpackers than this place. Read my other reviews, I am not a real fussy person - but this was just dreadful!
I had a reservation for 4 nights, we checked out after just one night.

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank DVS4017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,575 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 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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English first
Burnley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2007

We used the hotel for a three-night stopover in San Francisco. We left early every day for sightseeing and arrived back late. It was just somewhere to sleep and it served that purpose OK, although there was a lot of street noise at night. Garbage collection and drunken behaviour outside was intrusive.
The location is good as a base for exploring the city. Our room was clean enough, but dated and shabby, and had just enough storage for our purposes. It was a corner room overlooking the Cable Car terminus at Powell Street, which added a touch of character and was OK for a couple passing through, but I wouldn't want to use it for a longer stay or with children.
Breakfast was a problem. We didn't find any local diners open before eight in the morning and ended up getting sandwiches from the shop across the street. We did not take advantage of the complimentary morning coffee or evening wine. On the day of departure we breakfasted at Lori's Diner across the street which was an amazing 1950's-again experience.
Staff were helpful and friendly.
There is complimentary internet access from a laptop in the lobby and it is possible to print out boarding passes etc.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Noise at night
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Greywanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san leandro
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2007

Great location with lots of character. Staff was wonderful!!!

  • Liked — Location and Staff
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank RepairmanCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa, CA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2007

My daughter just started college at a small private school in the Union Square area of San Francisco. As we live 2 hours away and she has early classes 2 days in a row, I decided to rent a hotel room for her for the night between her early mornings to see if this would be a good alternative to an expensive apartment and the very long commute.After reading reviews and checking prices, I chose the Hotel Union Square as it was reasonable and only 1 block from her school.( It can be scary and dangerous for an 18 year old girl to walk around alone in the city).I was able to make a reservation online, gave my credit card, was given a confirmation number, etc.
The day before my daughter was to go to the hotel, I called the front desk to make sure everything was set and told the friendly person that my daughter would not have my credit card with her-would that be a problem. She said no, saw my confirmation online and said all was well. In addition, I had asked if my daughter could check in a little early, as their check in was 3 PM and she had a break between classes from 12-3. Could she check in between 12 and 2:30? The front desk person said it would probably not be a problem at all, they have a lot of rooms in her category, she should come over at 12:30 to see if she could get in.
A few hours later I had another question and called the hotel again. After asking my question I again asked if there would be any problem if my daughter did not have my credit card with her. The male staff member was curt and seemed in a hurry and said"no problem, we will just charge your card you made the reservation with online when she checks out".
My daughter went to check in at 12:30 and was told the room wasn't ready, come back at 2:00. At 2:00 she was told it wasn't ready, come back at 3:00. She told them she couldn't come back at 3:00, it would now have to be after 6:00 PM, when her classes were over.
When she went back at 6:00 PM she was told she could not check in at all because she didn't have my charge card! I was at work and she couldn't reach me right away. When I got her message at 6:45 PM, I called her and she said that they had emailed me a form that I would have to fill out and fax , along with a copy of my driver's license and credit card, or she would not be able to stay there.!!!No one had told me , on the 2 occasions I called and could easily have taken care of this, that this would need to be done. In the meantime, they told my daughter she couldn't check in and she was there, in the city, walking around in the dark without a place to stay!
I got home at 7:15 PM, opened the email, faxed the required info and called the front desk in a fury. Lance was at the desk and was helpful and apologetic. This situation was exactly what I was trying to avoid with all my phone calls. I was trying to make my daughters first days of college as smooth ,simple and safe as possible, and it ended up a nightmare! When my daughter went to check out the next morning, they STILL asked for my credit card!
When I told Lance my story, he suggested I call the general manager's number and leave a message, that he would call me back the following day. I left a somewhat detailed message and was clearly extremely upset and said I needed a call back the next day, which I never got. So, I decided to share this experience with the people like me who use Trip Advisor, and recommend that no one use this hotel!The customer service is horrific!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Poor check in, customer service.
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SantaRosaJan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2007

We stayed at the Union Square Hotel for 4 nights in a Deluxe Queen Queen Room, on the 6th floor. I felt like the website did accurately represent the room that we would be getting (maybe our room was the one they took the picture of). The bathroom was small, the floor was slanted. BUT the location can't be beat! The staff was helpful, and the coffee was good. I would stay here again!

TIP: There is no AC, so leave the windows open, but because of the great location, the streets are busy below....so bring ear plugs!

  • Liked — Location!
  • Disliked — Noise
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank gelaine3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2007

Hotel Union Square Date: 10th Sept 07
Reviewer: Carol - London UK.
Apologies for late review. Arrived from UK looking forward to our stay in the Hotel Union Square especially after seeing their website, extremely disappointed. We asked for a non smoking and quite room, we got room 425 on the 4th floor overlooking the car park, refuse to take this room, you could not swing a mouse let alone a cat in that room, it was the smallest closet I have ever seen, and the bathroom was smaller that a cruise bathroom. My husband immediately went to see about changing rooms, they then offerred us room 415 on the same floor - the bathroom was larger, the closet was walk in but still small just enough to put the cases in, but the room was still small, we had no drawer space hence had to live out of our cases. The coffee machine was on the top of the TV, but to make coffee the machine had to be placed on the floor because the flex wire did not reach the plug socket. The view from our bedroom was another guest's room, our windows were opposite each other so when they were in we had to close our curtains. The reception staff were helpful and friendly. But the location is excellent and right in the centre of everything. On leaving the hotel I asked how many of the rooms they had like the one on the website and the picture by the lift, the receptionist told me that they were doing up the rooms and the website is very misleading to guest booking that hotel. Would not ever go there again. The Trading Standards dept in San Francisco should investigate this hotel as it is totally misleading people who book this hotel.

Stayed September 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank HattieLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2007

Hotel Union Square is a zero-star establishment. This property is an antiquated dump in an excellent location. Untiil the hotel is renovated, don't waste your time or money.

We booked the Hotel Union Square at $189/night because it was recommended in connection with a conference, because it was centrally located, and because the hotel's website presented it as a boutique hotel.

The property's Union Square location was excellent, but it is in no way a boutique establishment, despire a renovated lobby and-- as of September 2007-- three (3) renovated guestrooms. Here's our experience for your edification.

The first room we were shown (on the fourth floor) was perhaps big enough to swing a cat, but hardly sufficient for two. The furnishings were threadbare (indeed, downright shabby) and the room overlooked the hotel parking lot. But that wasn't the deal breaker. I had work to do on the computer and the (small) desk did not have a free outlet. We requested another room.

The second room, a supposed upgrade on the third floor, did indeed have a (small) desk with an outlet. But the room had no windows and no air conditioning, although the temperature outside was in the 80s. The room also possessed an internal airshaft, which allowed the guest to peer into a Dickensian metallic contraption, and was downright creepy.

Having struck out with both rooms, we checked out immediately. To its credit, the Hotel Union Square gave us access to its business center to enable us to book another hotel (the excellent Nikko, for a mere $40 additional per night). When I remarked to the desk clerk that the rooms we were shown did not match the advertising on the Hotel Union Square's website, the clerk commented "I wish you would tell our marketing people that. A lot of people come here and are disappointed-- it's not what they expect."

Our young and patient bellman had lugged our baggage from the parking area to the fourth floor, to the third floor, and back to the parking lot. We tipped him for the service that he'd provided, and apologized for our rapid check-out, noting that we were not the type of people who usually checked out of a hotel upon arrival. Said the bellman, " Don't worry, it happens all the time."

Don't let this happen to you, at least not at $189/night. Avoid this dump until the promised renovation is completed, and do find out in advance if your room has air conditioning if you are booking for the warmer months.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Comfort, cleanliness, computer access, furnishings, air conditioning-- all substandard
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank AnonymousTravelerUsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Union Square

Property: Hotel Union Square
Address: 114 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-2204
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#43 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#72 Business Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Union Square 3.5*
Number of rooms: 131
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•Complimentary morning coffee & tea in the lobby•Complimentary evening wine reception ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Union Square San Francisco
Union Square Hotel

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