First, a comment about the street noise mentioned in some of the previous reviews. The hotel has recently replaced the windows in front with triple-pane glass. We stayed in room 203 for 7 nights. Second floor, overlooking bustling Powell Street. Noise was absolutely NO PROBLEM for us, with the windows closed. You could hear the cable cars as they went by..... kind of a muffled rumble; also could hear an occasional siren or cable car bell (also muffled), but NEVER any thing overbearing or that would keep us awake. When we would open the bathroom window a bit, it was amazing how much the windows blocked the noise when closed. If someone was to be bothered by the little bit of noise there is, running the window unit fan on low would surely muffle any and all noise.
Second, the location. Incredible. Everything you need is either here or a few steps away. Good little Thai joint right next door (Bangkok Cafe). Another one 1/2 block away (King of Thai Noodles..... open very late on weekends). Next door the other direction, a cafeteria style steakhouse (Tad's), also good and inexpensive. Tad's also provides room service breakfast, lunch and dinner for the hotel until 11:00pm, with very reasonable prices. Anything else you need can be found right across the street at a new Walgreens that had their grand opening during our stay. This is NOT your father's Walgreens. Full grocery and liquor store, juice bar, bakery, coffee stand, all kinds of casual fare from sushi to sandwiches that all looked very appetizing. I believe this store is open 24/7. I think the only other Walgreens megastore like
this is in Chicago. For more high-end shopping, also right across the street is a clothing store called Uniqlo. 1 1/2 blocks up Powell is beautiful Union Square, which is surrounded by high end stores. Within a 6 block radius there are dozens of great eateries, inexpensive to lavish. Huge Westfield Mall is right across Market Street, with movie theatres and more high-end stores, as well as a high-end grocery store and dozens of places to eat. Powell Street Muni (subway) station is 1 1/2 blocks away. Care for the Castro? 10 minutes on Muni or 30 minutes on the vintage trolleys that run up Market and you're there. Fisherman's Wharf? Trolleys will also take you there, as will the cable cars that run right in front of the hotel. Chinatown is a 5 or 6 block walk. I could go on and on about the things that are available nearby, but space prohibits. If you are there for a week, make sure and buy a $28 pass that you can use on any public transportation including cable cars, Muni, and trolleys but excluding BART. It will pay for itself many times over, and can be purchased at the info booth at San Francisco International, as well as in town.
Finally, the hotel itself. The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. The lobby is cozy and lovely, in art deco style. There is a flat-screen framed TV that plays clips from movies from the 30s (sans sound). Each afternoon between 5pm and 6pm they provide wine in the lobby for the guests. Some days they had a guitar player there. Each morning, complimentary coffee in the lobby. As for the rooms, I think they have a wide variety from small to large. We had an executive king, and it was great. Fridge, safe, a/c, full closet, large bathroom, coffee maker, flat-screen, free wi-fi, nicely refurbished and smartly decorated, and quiet. Bed was comfy. Don't know what else you could ask for. I think the key here is to be very explicit as to what you want, room-wise and amenity-wise, when you make your reservation, and they will see that you get the room that suits your needs as well as your budget. Can't wait for our next stay at this great little hotel!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- •Complimentary morning coffee & tea in the lobby•Complimentary evening wine reception ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Union Square San Francisco
- Union Square Hotel