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“Cute, cheap, close to the action...”
Review of Hotel Union Square

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Hotel Union Square
Ranked #101 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Cute, cheap, close to the action...”
Reviewed November 29, 2006

You guessed it... its an old hotel with thin walls, and there will be some noise from the street (you do know this hotel is on the cable car turn around, don't ya). If you need a little more peace and quiet, book a courtyard room... you won't hear much street noise from there.

Room was small but cute. Service was top notch and the concierge was more than helpful. Location couldn't be beat. Free WiFi, coffee...

We enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Rogue_Gent_612
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (286)
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California
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2006

Well it's pretty much on Union Square, which is fine but it's like staying in Times Square in New York... it isn't exactly a realistic slice of life here. But it's close to some great shopping, etc. We booked a very good rate, and our room was small. The staff was a combination of rude and unknowing. The bathroom was so small that if I was 3 pounds heavier, I would not have been able to fit in it. There was a baggie of cheap shampoo samples - the kind you get in a magazine that you throw away. That's fine but if you're trying to foist that on me like you're doing me a favor, save it - i'll take some halfway decent toiletries (of which there were none) instead.

But all this was no problem compared to the noise. The USC Trojans were in town the weekend I was there, and the walls were so paper thin that when a bunch of boozy alumni was having a lame mating-dance outside of our room at 3:45 in the morning, it was as if they were sitting next to my bed and talking. it was SO loud. I told them to take it somewhere else, and so they went one floor down to continue their lame party, but I could still hear it. And during the night, I could hear each person getting into / out of the elevator near my room in great detail. I can deal with some noise, but this stuff added up so much, along with the sub-par amenities, hard bed, small size of room and bathroom, that I felt pretty miserable by the time I checked out.

The next night we went to the Diva - it's in the same hotel group and it's so much better. I savored the quiet so much, as with the comfortable amenities, and it was about the same rate.

So bottom line, this hotel has a lot of bad reviews for a reason. If I had to do it all again and I was given a tempting rate for this "boutique" hotel - I would heed those reviews and opt out!!! My suggestion is that it's easier to handle being a bit farther away from Union Square than having the USC Trojans bark at you through your onion-skin walls. Try the Diva or the Carlton - similar price range and its a better place. .

  • Liked — Checking Out
  • Disliked — The noise
  • Tips/Secrets — Book somewhere else
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank a.p.1017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2006

Stayed at the Union Square for 5 nights and thought it was an above average, average hotel and would stay there again.
our room was 408 and was bright and fresh, great hot shower (not bothered by the small bathroom), beds and pillows were comfy and there was room to move, so didn't have the problems the other reviewers had. the room was noisy at night - it's in a busy part of town, so if you are not used to living in an inner city you WILL need ear plugs (or sleep with the windows closed). Didn't need the staff, though got polite smiles and hellos from them as i passed. Thought the location of the hotel was fabulous. very easy catching the BART in from International Airport (get off at Powell and only 50 metre walk up the street - cost $5.10). Streetcar goes from right out the front, short stroll to other transport so very wasy to get to other parts of town as well as the tourist spots. good diners across the road for breakfast.
would stay there again no worries.

  • Liked — location, bright and airy room
  • Disliked — no complaints
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank Lozski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2006

We stayed at the hotel for 2 nights. It was not too far from the airport approx 30 mins and $40 dollars. On the first impression the reception area/lobby was well presented. Staff were helpful and friendly. Our room and bathroom was small and view was non exsistent.

Location was good. Close to cable car turn table so it was easy to get around.

On our first morning was had breakfast at Tads (resturant next door) which was recommended by Hotel staff, wish we hadn't bothered it was awfull.

On conclusion it served it purpose but was average.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Lack of facilities
  • Tips/Secrets — Visit the Cheesecake Factory on top of Macys in Union Square
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Chuck1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2006

I stayed at the Union Square Hotel for 2 nights in October 2006. My business trip coincided with a 40,000 person convention and a marathon, so the stay was during a peak weekend and I was lucky to find the room for under $200. If I had to travel to San Francisco again, I would only stay at the Hotel Union Square if it were again the only place I could find. Here's why:

The hotel is old. Nothing wrong with that, however, little has been done to update the facilities to provide for modern conveniences, save for the free high speed wireless internet. The water pressure was low, the bed was average, the decor was spartan, and the bathroom was quite small. A tiny desk was provided which contained a coffee maker, the ice bucket (along with a few drinks that were for sale) and was also meant to be used as a work space. It was not really useful for anything due to its size and number of functions that it was supposed to perform.

Again, the bathroom was small and the toiletries provided were average at best. For some reason, I had a bag which included a Harlequin romance novel and a woman's razor included in my provided toiletries (thanks for the free stuff, Union Square Hotel, but I'm a guy).

The location was VERY convenient, both to BART, the cable car lines, and the F streetcar. Many attractions are also accessible just by walking. Although the location is great, not much has been done to insulate the rooms from the noise of nearby union square.

I paid just under $200/night for this hotel. If I hadn't been staying during a peak weekend, I would say that was an outrageous rate, however, given the circumstances, I'd say it was fair. For any time of normal demand, I'd say that anything less than $120 would probably be a good value.

  • Liked — Great location
  • Disliked — Not exactly the most comfortable place to stay
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank zski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marina del Rey, California
Level 6 Contributor
55 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2006

You get what you pay for....This hotel has a great location for the price and depending on the room you get it could be a wonderful or horrible experience...We had both during our visit so I'll tell you about both.

We originally booked a room with two double beds room through hotels.com and since we had a discounted rate they gave away our room preference and we were stuck with a room with two twin beds on the first night. The manager Peter, who needs a lesson in hospitality and tact explained the policy of room availability to us in the most condescending tone imaginable when we asked why we were not getting the room we reserved. The rest of the hotel staff was wonderful, helpful and friendly.

First the unpleasant experience......

At first we were given a room they already had given to someone else so we had an unpleasant suprise as we walked into a room that had someone else's belongings and we saw firsthand how relaxed their security was.

The first night we stayed in room 228...at least it was not the haunted room (according to the rumors, it's 207). The room was extremely small and was part of the fire escape route so there is a need to evacuate people would have to use this room. The bathroom was tiny (approx 5x5) and if you are any larger than a size 10 you will have a tough time getting into the shower. The sink area was so small there was not enough space to put your toiletries on the sink. There is no air conditioning and when we turned on the ceiling fan it wiggled so much that it looked (the base of the fan and the arm holding the blades looked as if they were were going to disconnect) and sounded (squeakiest fan ever) as though it were going to fall off the ceiling right on to your bed directly underneath it. If you want to leave the window open ...since the fan is so loud and squeaky....you risk having someone from the next room or someone from the fire escape coming into your room....since we were two women leaving that window open was not a viable option. Also, this room has a door or half door since half of it is a window, which is covered with white paper and white blinds so at night the room is illuminated from the lights in the hallway....I would request this room if you are afraid of the dark!!

Now for the positive......The second night we stayed in room 325. This room had two double beds and it was a huge improvement over the first room. The bathroom was a decent size and had a bathtub and the sink had enough space to put your toiletries on the sink.

Stayed October 2006
Helpful?
2 Thank BellaFromLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2006

I was a bit leery after reading other reviews, but I figured, "at this price, I'll survive a bit of inconvenience." I was wrong. Even though SF was in a cold-snap, upon arriving in my room, it was stuffy and uncomfortably hot. The window in my room opened to a parking lot, and would only stay open when propped up with my notebook. When I asked for a fan, they said b/c my room had a ceiling fan, they didn't have one for me. The beds were tired (springs would go bioooo-ing, when I shifted my weight (which is rediculous, as I weigh approx. 120lbs.), and the bathroom was so tight I had to straddle the toilet to close the door, in order to reach the light switch behind it.
All this being said, the location is fabulous, and when I asked the hotel staff to leave my window open during the day, the room was more tolerable. Bring ear plugs and your patience.

  • Liked — Location right on convenient Powell St.
  • Disliked — Location right on noisy Powell St.
  • Tips/Secrets — Ask for a room away from the front of the hotel.
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank AlTri11
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 
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Also Known As:
Union Square San Francisco
Union Square Hotel

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