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“Great Place to Stay!”
Review of White Swan Inn

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White Swan Inn
Ranked #8 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Richmond Hill, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Great Place to Stay!”
Reviewed 23 January 2012

My Husband and I stayed here in December 2011 when we were visiting his family in San Francisco. It is really an adorable place, with cute all sorts of collections of antiques for decor - teddy bears, china, even matchstick models. The old fashioned elevator was a real treat! The service we received from the staff was great. The maid service was especially good - when we put the do not disturb sign up, the maid left a bag of fresh towels on our door handle for us. Very nice! The breakfast has a fairly good selection and the hot food would vary from day to day. Breakfast is served in this downstairs lounge - they had it all decorated for Christmas! It has a fireplace sitting area, some couches, lots of room and is a great place to sit and chat. They also serve wine and snacks from 4-7pm, which was a nice touch and helped my husband and I relax after a day out walking. The room itself was was really cute and having a fire place was great and romantic! And everything was clean and well taken care of. Being a Joie de Vivre property, you can sign up for their loyalty card for free - which my husband and I did - which meant we got a little bottle of wine, some chocolates and free teddy bear upon arrival. This is without having stayed at one of their properties before, so you don't have to have any points to start getting the benefits! They have a valet parking service, which we used once when we rented a car - it was quick and I think the price was on par with what you'd have to pay elsewhere in the city. The only small issue I had with the hotel was that whatever cleaner they used left a smell behind, which made the place smell kinda like a hospital. We got used to it after a bit but both of us having mothers who are very sensitive to smells, I just wanted to point that out because if you are sensitive to that kind of thing, it could be a problem. But really, that's a very minor thing and everything else was fantastic.

The location is close to Union Square, however, it is up a fairly steep hill - which you may be able to manage quite well normally, but with 30-40 pounds of luggage, we found it quite a challenge. Please keep that in mind if you decide to take transit from the airport rather than a shuttle or taxi.

Overall, such a great experience! We would definitely go back on our next visit!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Jessica F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New York
Level Contributor
54 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2012

My wife and I chose White Swan Inn for a long weekend in San Francisco, and enjoyed it immensely. It's a few (steep) blocks from Union Square, with a selection of bars and restaurants, some of them exceptional, nearby. Our clean, comfortable room on the fifth floor was large, bright, and interestingly decorated, with bay window and a gas fireplace. It's an old building, but in good repair, and quiet even though in the heart of the city. The elevator is old-style, with a gate and manual door, but works fine. The staff were all extremely friendly, helpful and service oriented. The hot breakfast was excellent quality, a different selection each day, and the evening wine and hor d'oeuvres gathering provided a comfortable place to unwind and socialize with other guests, or a quiet moment at the end of the day. We will definitely return the next time we are in San Francisco.

Room Tip: The elevator works fine but is old, slow and 'interesting', if you don't like stairs cho...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank mac_the_wild_rover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Napa, California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2012

This was a special from Joie de Vivre so I booked it from my husband's birthday. The room was huge, it seemed to have been recently decorated and very, very clean. Even though the bathroom was 'well loved', the bathtub (not a fiberglass tub) was one of the best for relaxing with a book for an hour soak. The bed was super comfy although the room, due to the hotel's age and location, can be a little noisy, but all in all a great stay. Breakfast and wine hour quite generous and tasty. I have to say that the all the Joie de Vivre hotels that we have stayed in in San Francisco have just been a delight, each one has it's own personality. We happened to be wandering around during the 49ers extraordinary win against the Saints - crazy! Nothing like a fine weekend in San Francisco!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank PirateKat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2012

We just returned from a week stay at the White Swan Inn between Christmas and New Years. We arrived early which was not a problem. The staff was very helpful and friendly. Our room was lovely. Very spacious and comfortable. Loved having a real gas fireplace in our room! It was hard for us not to over eat at breakfast because everything was so delicious! After a hard day of sightseeing, it was nice to unwind and visit with other guests at the wine and hors d'oeuvre happy hour. The location is perfect. Close to everything. We will definitely return.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 37. My opinion is that it is the best room there. Luxury king suite on the back of...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Bebe R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, Minnesota
Level Contributor
75 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2011

My husband and I stayed at the White Swan for five days while he had a meeting in San Francisco in November, and had a delightful stay. Our large bedroom (the king suite) had a cozy gas fireplace to warm us up on chilly nights. There was plenty of space for the rollaway bed we asked for on the couple of evenings our adult daughter was able to join us from her home in Oakland. Wine and light appetizers awaited us in the Common Room each evening before dinner, and we enjoyed the buffet breakfast with real French pastries and good strong coffee in the mornings. English prints, china, and cabbage rose wallpaper completed the decor. The staff was friendly and accommodating at this charming inn. Well-located--just a few blocks up hill from Union Square.

Room Tip: Elevator is very tiny, so it might be difficult to bring up a large load of suitcases.
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank PeaSeeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 December 2011

...If you are a couple looking for a truly memorable,reasonable stay in San Francisco, or anywhere... The White Swan Inn is that perfect get a way! Gas Fireplaces, old world charm, convenient location, 2 blocks from cable cars, walking distance to Union square, quiet neighborhood...amazing staff and service, complimentary breakfast in AM and wine and goodies in late afternoon are a bonus in classy surroundings with fireplace / library / outdoor terrace etc...and the elevator is old school fun! So if you really need a relaxing , romantic vacation, this is the place, but maybe we shouldn't tell the world! We cant wait to come back!
Rudy and Chris Vancouver BC

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Rudy E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2011

Room was spacious and comfortable, breakfast was fine (although don't go if you like full breakfasts, cause it's all fruit, cereals, croissants and things like banana bread if you're lucky) Although after waiting in a quene for 25 minutes to check out, we then had to wait a further 45 minutes for the valet man to get our car (we weren't allowed to park it or to go get it ourselves - you HAD to use valet), making us late for a pre-paid excursion we were going to. Consequently we were too late for our excursion and missed it completely. We got no apology when we eventually got our car and if anything, the guy waited expecting to be tipped! Obviously that didn't happen. For this reason I'd not go back. However if you're a really healthy eater, even on holiday and you're not planning on taking a car then sure, stay here. :-)

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank GK83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about White Swan Inn

Property: White Swan Inn
Address: 845 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108-3312
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#7 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#9 Family Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — White Swan Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a crackling fireplace in all 26 guestrooms and suites, the White Swan Inn is a romantic small hotel in the Nob Hill/Union Square area. The White Swan Inn is a visually stunning tribute to the intimate hotels of London. Dark wood paneling, rich floral carpets, comfortable furniture and enchanting English art and collectables set the tone. All guests enjoy a generous breakfast buffet and evening wine and hors d'oeuvres served fireside in the parlor. You can also check out our sister hotel, Petite Auberge, just 20 feet away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
White Swan Hotel
White Swan San Francisco

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