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“Elevator Lenticular Mural” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of W San Francisco

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W San Francisco
Ranked #70 of 227 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Bay Area, CA
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Elevator Lenticular Mural”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

I admit I am having a difficult time articulating my opinion of the W San Francisco. In some ways, it was exactly what I expected: a hip, trendy hotel in a big, exciting city. But in other ways it wasn’t what I expected: that the room size felt tight. Beyond the quirky, but appealing design, it was easy to see that was an ordinary room on which I spent too much money.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the playfulness of the hotel. Heck, the first thing you see when you walk in the corner revolving door is the swanky bar. The normally front desk is located towards the rear, a design I assume to get hotel guests to order a cocktail on the way to check-in.

The location is great. You can walk to BART, museums, the convention center, shopping, strip clubs, the ballpark, and lots bars and restaurants.

As to getting a good night’s sleep, the primary function of staying in a hotel, the W succeeds greatly. The beds are comfortable, the HVAC is silent and there is no noise typical of an urban environment.

You should stay at the W San Francisco Hotel at least once. It is a lot of fun. Get slizzard in the lobby bar while listening to the DJ. One you’ve had enough, ride the elevator as you admire the lenticular mural, stumble into your room and behold the glowing Buddha. Then collapse on the bed with your clothes on and sleep off the booze.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank DonJulioAnejo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claudia N, Executive Assistant to the General Manager at W San Francisco, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Hello DonJulioAnejo,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review on your recent W experience. It sounds like you had a fun and relaxing stay with us! I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed our chic urban designs, the artworks, our comfortable beds and our convenient location (close to MoMA, the Ferry Building, Union Square, bars, restaurants and shopping). I know it can be a little confusing sometimes especially when being dropped off by a taxi on 3rd St, but I'd like to mention that we do have two entrances, one on 3rd St intended mostly for non-guests and locals that visit our bars and restaurant and a second one on Howard St - it's considered the main entrance and that is where our reception area is located. Thank you for staying with us and we are looking forward to your return!
Kind Regards,
Claudia Nuta
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,077 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Norten-Hardenberg, Germany
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

I have been there from 1st until 4th of April 2013 due to an IBC conference. My room was on Level 9 and it was spacy, which means entrance area, bath room, combined bed room with a seat area in the Windows corner were nicely sized. But... No free wLan, no coffee machine (One could Order One for free at the lobby, Morning coffee at the Lobby was free) and this for round about 290 $US.
The Location itself was well positioned and One can easily Walk to China town, Little italy(where we have taken Irish coffee from the jar, yes from the jar !,,i have Never made such an experience. From there we took a Streich limousine for 7 $US each, Not that expensive.
The hotel has a Good Kirchen and the breakfast was excellence, but again Not Chess which means 30$US inclusive tip (coffee, freshly squeezed Orange Juice \ delicious and egg Benedict on two Toasts inclusive potatoes).
The Gym was nice as well and the SPA too.
So ist Dependance on you and on your Budget to decide.
Have a Good Time

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank noerten40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claudia N, Executive Assistant to the General Manager at W San Francisco, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Hi Noerten40,
We really appreciate your feedback! I'm pleased to know that overall you had a good time with us and I'm sorry for the little things that you didn't find as expected. There is a fee for in-room internet access, but in the Living Room area and on the Second Level, you can access the internet at no cost. We also provide complimentary coffee makers upon request and we are actually in the process of getting all of our rooms equipped with the latest models of coffee makers on the market. As you mentioned too, the hotel is conveniently located and I'm glad that you enjoyed our rooms, our delicious breakfast as well as our gym facility and our famous Bliss Spa. Thank you for staying with us and we are looking forward to welcoming you back!
Kind Regards,
Claudia Nuta
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

Modern, check. Nice staff, check. Location, check. Value, check. Should be a five star hotel, but really was only a three star hotel.

My wife and daughter stayed in one room for the first three nights. They really enjoyed their stay. It was a 5 rating.

My wife said the concierges--amy, gordon, sylvia--were amazing. My wife loved that part of the stay.

I wish the story ended there.

Our son and I showed up on Saturday. And we got our second room.

We walked into our room and an ozone machine was plugged in. There was an obnoxious smell that reminds you of a 1950's roadside motel in Stockton. The machine was meant to get rid of the smell, but hadn't yet worked its magic. I should have changed rooms there and then but I didn't. I thought the machine could run while we were at dinner, but when we returned the smell and the masking scent were still there. (As I write this I'm still nauseous from the smell).

To top it off the hvac didn't work right and you can't open the windows, so we were breathing smelly warm air all night. I stared at the room ceiling all night perspiring.

Furthermore, I didn't like seeing the room service carts from our neighbors meal outside our door. That happens, but the maid a couple of doors down should have informed room service to pick it up. She didn't. We did.

Blood stains on the bed throw grossed me out, too.

After a chat with the asst mgr before we fell asleep he offered to move us to another room on a different floor, but we declined. I was too exhausted after 18 hours of traveling.

Net, net. It should have been a great stay, but it was the worst hotel stay I've had in years. Could my experience of happened at any hotel, yes. But it happened at hotel w sf. House keeping needs better QC standards and procedures for allowing a room to be used by guests after maintenance and odor issues. This was miserable.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SantaMonicaMontana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claudia N, Executive Assistant to the General Manager at W San Francisco, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Hi Solumbra,
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on your recent stay with us. I am so extremely sorry to hear about your disappointing experience caused by the smell issue in your second room and us not being able to offer a better solution that wouldn't have involved you moving to a different room. I apologize for being given a problematic room in the first place - there is no excuse and our Style department has been notified and informed to be much more cautious when it comes to similar issues. I so strongly wish you that you had a flawless experience in both rooms - we are definitely able to create great memories to take home and it saddens me to know that you left with the opposite impression. I hope you decide to give us another chance and next time you visit, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly as I would like to personally make sure that your next stay with us is nothing short of amazing!
Warm Wishes,
Claudia Nuta
claudia.nuta@whotels.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I recently stayed at the W San Francisco and couldn't have had a better experience! The hotel itself was gorgeous, super clean, had all the amenities you could need, and had a nice trendy vibe. The location was perfect, walking distance of everything (BART, union square, Chinatown, etc). We used the complimentary Acura car service and were accommodated right away which was awesome and our driver was awesome! He was super friendly and helpful. The assistant manager Claudia knew we were there to celebrate our anniversary and went above and beyond to make our stay as special as possible! I had emailed her the day before check in to see if it was possible to check in early and even though the hotel was sold out not only did they accommodate us with early check in but Claudia treated us to a room upgrade with a beautiful view! Later that evening we were surprised with a room service delivery of appetizers, deserts, and free cocktails. Claudia also left us a super sweet hand written note as well wishing us a happy anniversary. Of all the hotels we have stayed at I've never had such a genuine experience with the staff like the way Claudia made us feel on this trip at the W. She made us feel truly special and we will definitely be staying here again at our next trip up to San Francisco.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Natey_Potatey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claudia N, Executive Assistant to the General Manager at W San Francisco, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Ms Molaie,
It was so easy to figure out that you were the author of this kind review! Many thanks for taking the time to share your W experience with the online community. And wow! how extremely nice of you to honor us with such amazing feedback. I feel so proud to have been able to contribute to making your stay a memorable one and I have to admit that reading your comments filled my heart with joy. We have a great team here at the W and we are always willing to go above and beyond in our efforts of providing our guests with the best memories to take home. I am so very pleased to know that you enjoyed the upgraded room, the little treats, our complimentary drop off service and everything about the property and all of our amenities. I sincerely hope that you do come back; it will be a pleasure to have you here again and please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly whenever you plan your next visit!
Warm Wishes,
Claudia Nuta
claudia.nuta@whotels.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ojai, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

This is not a hotel for the genteel. It seems to be mainly serving the massive conferences that take place across the street at the Moscone convention complex. That means never-ending noisy social encounters in the lobby/extended cocktail bar. It can be aggravating on the one hand, but it also gives the hotel a lively never-dull-moment atmosphere -- which makes the experience a potentially more desirable "fun" rather than a regretful "dull." The location, even if you're not a conference attendee, is desirable because of its proximity to SF MoMA (next door), shopping, and good stroll distance to the Ferry Building.

if all that sounds appealing, here's some things to be aware of -- the good and the bad. We always book a corner, city-view room. It's a great view to enjoy as a distraction from a room that badly needs updating. When we asked the manager, during a previous visit, about why the room looked so shabby (and expressed our resentment considering the room rate) we were told that the hotel remains so solidly booked they don't have time to update all the rooms. (they did offer to relocate us to another hotel or reduce our room rate.) When we recently returned to this hotel, however, we asked for an updated room. At first the desk clerk didn't know anything about this, but checked, and to his surprise learned about these rooms -- one of which was a room for disabled -- which we were offered since it wasn't booked. It was a considerable improvement in decor over our previous room/visit, and had spectacular views -- including a front row view of the light installation on the Bay Bridge.

I could go on and on about the details, but the bottom line is you'll want to stay here if you want a lively atmosphere in the lobby and great city views. But if quiet and refinement is what you're seeking, there's probably better properties for you.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Louise s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claudia N, Executive Assistant to the General Manager at W San Francisco, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Hi Louise S,
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback on your recent stay with us. You made a few very good points in regards to our property and the type of guests it primarily targets. We do serve the big conferences in the city due to our proximity to the Moscone Center and our public space areas do tend to get very crowded whenever that happens - March is actually one of those very busy months with lots of big events across the street, but I wouldn't say that that is the atmosphere most of the time. Our location is indeed very convenient - next door from MoMA and right across from the Yerba Buena Gardens Center, close to Union Square shopping district and just a short walk from the water front. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the beautiful view of the Bay Bridge and our refreshed rooms - we are always making changes to keep up with the trends and W is one brand that never falls behind when it comes to staying modern and updated. We truly appreciate your loyalty and we are looking forward to welcoming you back!
Warm Wishes,
Claudia Nuta
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampton, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

Coming out of the club at 4am we were dead tired but still chose to walk toward the hotel. 2 min into our walk we were so thirsty we almost attacked a fire hydrant. There wasn't a place open around that sold any water either. But when I walked past the doors at the W, I saw a small asian woman manning the desk and figured I'd take a chance. She didn't know what to think of 3 wide eyed sweaty cold thirty somethings walking thru the city at 4am...but as luck would have it a superman appeared from behind the swinging doors and said, "what do you want?" ":Water please." I said, :"Can we buy some water from you?"
without hesistation he left through the same swinging door and reappeared with 3 bottles of high quality H20, and which time we almost hugged him. "Free of charge," he said...what a gentleman. I will never forget you Sir...you were big, and handsome, and could have thrown us out on the street. But you represented the W, and forever I will be grateful. Thank you W San Francisco, and thank you guy who works the 4am shift that looks like The Rock.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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?
Thank Rick P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claudia N, Executive Assistant to the General Manager at W San Francisco, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Hi Rick P,
Many thanks for sharing your story! It's such a great example of the amazing hospitality spirit we so proudly impress all of our guests with at any given time of the day or night! I shared your review with our night crew and they were all thankful for your comments and proud to have once again created an unforgettable experience! Thank you for choosing the W and we are looking forward to your next visit!
Kind Regards,
Claudia Nuta
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2013

This hotel was very accommodating to all of our needs. From complimentary Tums, to Toothbrushes, to Teas the hotel made it a point to satisfy and accommodate us.

Gordon the concierge was specifically EXCELLENT in guiding us around the city and extremely helpful saving us time and money with great suggestions and an awesome attitude.

Rooms are small but quaint and well maintained with great views. Rooms are also fully equipped with all of your tech needs and chargers which is really convenient.

Aside from the bathroom doors being virtually transparant the whole experience was excellent.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sirmatthews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Claudia N, Executive Assistant to the General Manager at W San Francisco, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Hi Sirmatthews,
We really appreciate you taking the time to write a review on your recent stay with us. It's wonderful to hear that you had a great experience and we are really grateful for your kind comments. Here at the W we show true and full commitment to our promise of service of providing Whatever the guests need - Whenever they need it. I am glad to know that you enjoyed the spectacular views from your room and I also shared your feedback with Gordon, who expressed his gratitude for your compliments. Thank you for staying with us and we are looking forward to your return!
Kind Regards,
Claudia Nuta
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 W San Francisco

Property: W San Francisco
Address: 181 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103-3107
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > SoMa , South Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#16 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#16 Spa Hotel in San Francisco
#36 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#40 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#61 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#70 Family Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — W San Francisco 4*
Number of rooms: 404
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of the SoMa district, and neighbors with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, W San Francisco faces the beautiful Yerba Buena gardens and is a short walk to Union Square's shops. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
w San Francisco Hotel San Francisco
w Hotels San Francisco
w Hotel San Francisco

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