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“Fine for a couple of nights” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Union Square

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Hotel Union Square
Ranked #102 of 227 Hotels in San Francisco
Strandhill, Ireland
Level Contributor
336 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
“Fine for a couple of nights”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2014

I usually stay slightly further up nearer Union Square when in SF, but that place is more expensive, so I wanted something a little cheaper but still nice for the two nights we had in SF. That's pretty much what we got! The room was small but I knew that before checking in. It was fine for us. It was clean as was the bathroom. The bathroom was almost as big as the room! You could hear everything around the hallways though from the elevator ping to doors closing, people talking, so that was a bit of a negative. There was virtually no view, but you get that with SF hotel rooms that don't look out onto the street...it doesn't bother us.

The location is great if you use the BART to get from SFO & back.

I would stay here again, even though I do prefer the other hotel I usually use (The Inn).

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank irish_captain
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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (274)
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English first
Southington, CT
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2014

I was in SanFrancisco for business so it was just me in my room. The room was very small, but fine for just me. I did spend some time working in my room so the desk area was nice. I did enjoy the wine reception a couple times, and they concierge was very helpful with both recommendations and arranging a car for me to the airport ($50, less than a cab!)
Great location close to Mascone Center and can walk to tons of places. It was snowing and frigid back home so it was nice to be in "warm" weather (high 50's!)

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank TaraG22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burnham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
127 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2014

After lots of review reading we settled on this hotel for a 3 day stay as part of my wife's 40th birthday tour of the west coast. It was a great choice.

As has been said by many, the rooms are small however the hotel perfectly positioned in SF. The rooms and hotel in general are decorated with a good eye. The staff are friendly and the free wine hour with nice guitarist are a superb idea.

Thanks to suggestions on here we asked for a room at the back which worked well despite to poor view onto the "courtyard" (also known as a small rectangular space on the inside of a square of rooms surrounding it). There was a load hum from this space which seemed to come from the vent of the kitchen restaurant next door. It stopped around 11 and started at around 7 so wasn't too disruptive to sleep other than on our first night when we were in bed very early due to the eight hour time difference in our body clocks.

All in all a good hotel if you don't mind the trade off between small and perfectly located.

Room Tip: Book a room at the back and get a MUNI pass to cover the cable/buses (well worth the money). Also u...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank goodgrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Gatos, California
Level Contributor
48 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2014 via mobile

Booked this hotel because of the positive reviews and surprise surprise they were correct

This hotel is in a great location for a weekend getaway. We caught a show, had dinner and watched the Chinese New Year parade and all in walking distance of the hotel.

The room was small, but again perfect for a couple's weekend trip to the City. The location was great. A couple of blocks from Union Square, shopping and the theaters. The hotel was clean, with friendly staff and a nice decor. We will definitely stay here again.

Tip: if you are driving use the Powell street public garage around the corner for cheaper rates.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank giovanp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wollongong
Level Contributor
88 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2014

Excellent location, close to everything, could walk to many places, including the BART from the airport. Cable cars go right past the door and trolley buses in Market Street nearby. Fantastic Walgreens across the street where you can get all sorts of salads, yoghurts etc. and a brilliant Thai eatery next door.

The rooms were great, we got a free upgrade to the executive rooms, so we were high enough not to have any noise (4th floor). The staff were friendly and helpful, the hotel had a really good vibe. Happy hour each day from 5-6 with free wine was a great time for our group to catch up on the events and sights of the day. They also had a brilliant guitarist/singer quietly playing in the background, he is a real gem. We would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: if you are in a room at the front try and get one higher up, lower down could be a little noisy unti...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rel12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Personality H, General Manager at Hotel Union Square, responded to this review, February 28, 2014
Hi Rel12

Thank you very much for your kind words and for choosing Hotel Union Square during your trip to San Francisco. We are thrilled to hear that you had such a great experience with us, and we hope to see you again in the near future.

Best Regards
Domitille Montoro
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
100 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2014

Excellent location a block from the Powell BART station. Close to everything. Reasonable price.

A typical SF hotel probably converted from an old apartment building. The size of my room was very good by SF standards but very long. Almost like they narrowed down the hallway and made it a new room (so it doesn't have a window). It also doesn't have a desk, which would only be a problem if anyone who wants work in the hotel room (sadly that's me).

That being said, the room is very clean, well decorated. I wish they used a vanity with a larger counter or even shelf space. The towel bar was installed directly on the side wall of the bath tub. It's stainless steel with sharp corners (very nice looking) but I managed to bump my head twice on the corner.

The staff are nice.

The floors were split, i.e. you may need to take a few stairs from the elevator for some rooms. If you have heavy bags and don't want to walk up stairs with them, ask for a room on the same level with the elevator.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BTT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2014 via mobile

We approached this place with caution – the reviews indicated that it was a bit of a mixed bag so we didn’t really know what to expect. We also booked for a great rate after an exhaustive search to find a room that was well located and affordable. San Francisco seems to be notoriously pricey and hotels near Union Square appear to be the most expensive. It was a toss up between this place and a hotel down at Fisherman’s Wharf. So glad we opted for Union Square. Whilst the wharf is nice for a visit it is very touristy and there is nothing down there after dark; just restaurants hawking for the tourist trade which normally means the food is poor and the cost is high. Union Square is definitely the spot to be. It is the buzzing heart of San Fran and is seconded only by the Castro district but this appears to have a massive lack of decent hotels.

Heeding the advice of other reviewers we specifically requested a room at the front of the hotel with a window. We actually wanted to hear the cable cars pass by and didn’t find the noise invasive at all. The number one objective was to avoid one of the internal rooms with no window.

This is an old hotel and apparently one of the first boutique hotels in a city known for boutique hotels. It also has a bit of a spooky reputation confirmed by a quick google search on the day that we checked in (we just had a feeling!). The hotel has been modernised over the years but the renovations are a bit hit and miss. Lots of corridors, staircases and rambling hallways. It is actually kind of charming but they really need to lighten up the colour scheme a bit or put in far better lighting. Everything is just too dark. Still some renovation works going on but, to be honest, this wasn’t disruptive.

Our room and its bathroom were cosy. Maybe a little too cosy. Apparently a queen size bed but it really felt like a double. A couple of things missing – most notably a refrigerator and an in-room safe. I understand that this was one of their basic rooms but the in-room safe is a must - especially for a place proffering a 3.5 rating. The room was really more like a good 3 star hotel -functional and clean.

Despite all of the above Hotel Union Square actually grew on us. The staff are exceptional – from the front counter to the cleaning team – perhaps the friendliest hotel staff we encountered whilst holidaying in the USA. There are also some quirky little touches that end up being endearing. Whilst we didn’t partake in wine hour we thought it was a cool idea. The free coffee each morning was brilliant.

The best thing about the hotel is the location – so darn handy. Close to the cable car, close to the trams, close to shopping and also a Walgreens (pharmacy, convenience, liquor etc.) right across the road should you prefer something healthy for breakfast. The steak house next door is nothing special despite having relatively good reviews. Being in the heart of everything also created a fantastic atmosphere and allowed us to experience San Fran at its best.

One tip though. Be very careful of which way you turn when leaving the hotel. Make a wrong turn and you will end up in the Tenderloin district and that is no place for a tourist too find themselves. This applies to all hotels in Union Square though. The best district in the city is right next to the worst. Despite this, Union Square is still the place to be if it’s a first time visit to what is a very special city and Hotel Union Square, if you get it for a good price, definitely ticks most of the boxes.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank Drew1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Personality H, Manager at Hotel Union Square, responded to this review, February 11, 2014
Hi Drew,

Thank you for sharing your experience at Hotel Union Square. We are glad you enjoyed the location and that you found our staff to be very helpful and friendly. There is always room for improvement but we are happy to hear you found some of our quirks to be endearing. We hope to see you again on your next visit to San Francisco.

Domitille Montoro
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 
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Also Known As:
Union Square San Francisco
Union Square Hotel

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