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“Nice location met our needs.”

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Hotel Kabuki, a Joie de Vivre hotel
Ranked #73 of 227 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Nice location met our needs.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2014

Our stay at Hotel Kabuki was pleasant enough. The lobby area was very elegant and welcoming. The staff pleasant but we had difficulty finding the valet to assist us with our questions. We did find that the rooms do need some updating. The bathroom was very dark and the faucets on the sink were loose (just a matter of tightening some parts). The beds were clean and comfortable. We found the décor pleasant but some of the areas are showing wear which can be solved with a little attention. Overall it was not all that unpleasant and it served our needs.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Russ-Kathy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KabukiHotelManager, Manager at Hotel Kabuki, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, 27 January 2014
We're happy to have been able to share our property with the two of you and to hear that your visit was an enjoyable one. We take great pride in affording our guests an inviting escape with unparalleled access to the city's many attractions, and we're glad to have accomplished this for you. With an array of renovations underway and many more to come in the months ahead, we hope that you'll reach out to us again soon to share in this evolution. All our best in your travels to come, and thanks again for your time and review.
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1,898 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (467)
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English first
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2014

This hotel is in Japantown, a nice neighborhood. The staff here are very friendly. Ulysses the engineer and Katherine at the front desk were particularly helpful and kind. But they have to work overtime dealing with all the broken, molding, dysfunctional features of this outdated hotel.

My first room was tiny. The bedding, pillows, and mattress were nice. But the wallpaper was peeling and furniture seriously worn.

There was a strange system of electrical power in which one is supposed to insert one's room key into a light switch. But this is confusing: Which direction is the card supposed to go in? Why does the power seem to work even without the card inserted?

I tried to sign into the Internet via wifi and opted for the $5.95 "upgrade" to higher speed service because I was on a business trip and needed to use the Internet for work. But I got an error message saying the upgrade had failed. The regular service was OK but quite slow--too slow to play a short YouTube video, for example.

As I unpacked, I noticed that the entire closet smelled like fish, especially the room safe inside the closet. Housekeeping had never removed a pair of slightly dirty earbuds from the safe from a previous guest, so I discarded them myself. The closet ceiling was collapsing.

The bathroom had a few nice updates, but overall was a bit dilapidated. A shockingly disgusting hairdryer, ancient, falling apart, and slightly wet with a moldy smell, made a poor first impression.

The room was also very hot. To air it out, I opened the sliding doors to reveal a tiny balcony. The fresh air came wafting in. But a short time later, as I was trying to relax on the bed, a strange man appeared on the balcony in front of my open door, and I realized that my tiny balcony was shared with the room next door. As a woman traveling alone I was quite freaked out by this and immediately shut the door, locked it, and shut the screens. It was impossible for me to door ajar to get fresh air--or the screen open for a view out--while retaining privacy and a feeling of safety and security. Also, I was bothered that only a small flimsy sliding door lock separated me from this strange male neighbor.

The room was still stuffy and hot. So I tried adjusting the thermostat to no avail. I walked downstairs to get instructions and later returned to my room to try them out, still to no avail. Eventually they sent an engineer to my room who explained that there is no AC, just outside air being brought in to cool the rooms. He tried to show me how to adjust the various settings, which are not intuitive. The system was still confusing, and I was still unable to get the room to cool down, even in the evening when the outside air was cool.

The real deal killer was that the room was terribly, terribly loud. I had jet lag and wanted to turn in early, but between the ice machine and housekeeping closet just outside my door, and the loud service elevator nearby, I couldn't get a moment's peace. I also couldn't get the image of the strange neighbor standing at my balcony door out of my head.

Eventually I asked if I could change rooms, which Katherine very promptly and kindly saw to. The new room was in a different wing with larger corridors and rooms. It was a lot bigger, quieter, and in better condition. It smelled better. And it had an even nicer bed.

But . . . as soon as I got settled I realized the toilet seat was broken in such a way as to reveal all the mineral-encrusted plumbing in the toilet tank. No big deal, I guess. But the toilet became plugged TWICE within less than three hours, requiring another call to the engineer to clear things up (literally).

Moreover, the TV didn't work at all--totally dead. The remote too was dead. I called the front desk and confirmed that my key was in the light switch, etc., for power, but they couldn't help me figure out why the TV did not work no matter which way you insert the card. I refused yet a third visit from the engineer--it was getting too exhausting to deal with constant dysfunction and repair, despite how nice he was.

The shower head in the bathtub was too low for me, and I'm only 5'6". The bathroom sink faucets leaked water. One of my towels appeared to have already been used.

The real downfall of this much nicer, second room was that the Internet was so slow as to be nearly useless. My second upgrade attempt also failed, and the regular service was awful. It took about three minutes to load a simple, uncomplicated web page. I couldn't even use it to do web check-in for my flight out of town the night before I left. It just kept stalling.

Between no TV and no working Internet, I couldn't watch videos or TV or movies in my room at all. More importantly, I couldn't do essential work I needed to complete for my business trip--work that required Internet, which is an advertised service at this hotel.

In both rooms, the bathrobes provided were in terrible condition--very threadbare, old, and ugly.

There are not enough staff at the desk particularly in the evening. When so many things go wrong, it must be particularly hard on the staff. It takes the front desk an eternity to answer your call, and when you go downstairs there tends to be a lineup.

I really wanted and need things to just work and just be comfortable for this business trip. I had to spend way too much time getting things fixed, moving, dealing with dysfunction, etc. It wasted a lot of time, and I feel I paid high rates for very poor accommodations. The hotel is too expensive for all of this stuff to be so broken.

Room Tip: Rooms near the service elevators or passenger elevators are loud. Rooms near the dish closet are lou...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DWH C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KabukiHotelManager, Manager at Hotel Kabuki, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, 25 January 2014
We're glad to have had you as a recent guest of our property, and we're disheartened to hear that the experience was marked by the many concerns you've mentioned here. Our team certainly goes out of their way to provide our guests with an enjoyable stay, and we appreciate your attention to this. That said, we're sorry for the many impediments associated with your rooms, and we'd like to emphasize our immediate attention to these. We're in the process of performing upgrades and renovations all across our property, including a new, state-of-the-art business center and an upgrading guest network, and we hope that you'll consider reaching out to us again to share in our continued evolution. Thank you again for your time and attention. We wish you all our best, and we'd love to welcome you back and to host you again soon.
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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2014

I stayed two nights in January and went for the tub (in each room) and some comforting Japanese food. The neighborhood was great in Japantown, and I felt I had travelled to Japan without the airplane. I found delicious ramen and udon nearby, and rested well at the hotel. Room service offers a good range of western or Japanese cuisine, and the minibar included good sake! I would recommend this for an out of town visitor who doesn't need the downtown crowds, or a local who needs an easy and convenient R&R.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms not over the parking area or the street
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Green Features: Recyling encouraged but no specific barrels to collect glass and paper.
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mary F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KabukiHotelManager, Manager at Hotel Kabuki, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, 28 January 2014
We're happy to have been able to offer you a restful stay at our Hotel Kabuki, and we thank you for lending us such thoughtful words of the experience, Mary. As you noted, there's something for everyone on site and in the area, and whether you're from out of town, or a local who's just looking for an escape, we're happy to create a truly memorable and relaxing one for our guests. We'd love to hear more from you soon, and we hope that you'll reach out the next time you crave an escape. All our best until then, and thanks again for your kind review!
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san jose, california
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2014

Firstly, let me begin by stating I stayed at this hotel about 15 years ago and it was BEAUtiful. So what I had in my memory was not what I received. I also stayed recently at the San Rafael Embassy Suites and Fairmont San Francisco which were BOTH better than Hotel Kabuki. However, I have also traveled and stayed from greek hostels to Meadowood so I have seen a range of places to stay and I know what is clean and I know what is dirty. There have been clean looking dumps and not so clean "nice" htoels.

Firstly let me begin, I enjoyed the pleasantry from the bellhop/valet, Jimmy? He was very happy and helpful and made me feel comfortable with our car/luggage. When I walked into the lobby, it is kept up and done very nicely. I saw Adrian at the counter. I walked to the counter and his phone rang. There were no words between us. Instead of asking me to wait a moment, or saying "thank you for coming to the Kabuki and asking me to wait" he picked up the phone, which was an inside call, and ignored me. When the call ended, roughly 3 minutes later, that is when he talked to me. There was no words of, "thank you for waiting" or "sorry about that". I was the only person there to check in and he decided he would ignore me. He didn't ask me "checking in?" it was more of a look where he wanted me to tell him what I wanted. It was just a very odd strange introduction. Also when reviewing my stay, Adrian just didn't seem happy. He did not go out of his way to make me feel warm and fuzzy. Rather as though he was on auto-pilot and wasn't exercising anything more than he felt like.

We reserved a deluxe king corner room which guaranteed a stay between the 11-16 floors which is what we got. The elevators need a refreshening.

The room is tired. Granted the rice paper and wall decor is lovely, there is also some drabbiness, and extremely poor housekeeping. On the north wall, the entire wall looks like there has been water damaged, because you can see how it buckles and doesn't fit flush against the wall. This might be because of the skinny balcony. Also the wallpaper is beginning to peel from the corners. But the room did smell fresh.

We walked on the narrow balcony and noticed the old tired artificial fake turf, was beginning to have mold, and that reflected on the outside doorways. Also, there was an empty coffee cup on the balcony that housekeeping never picked up. The view was GREAT.

The bed was king size, VERY comfortable and the pillows were FABULOUSLY fluffy. VERY comfortable BED. The bathroom big tubs were still fabulous, I turned over the dunking bucket as I filled the bath and it was full of mold!! Disgusting. Also, although there were two of us, there was only one robe. And it was tattered, EXTREMELY worn through, frumpy and simply ugly. I noticed on the hotel room information book that they listed the robe as $80!! I could have found a better robe at Salvation Army - no I am not kidding. It was that bad, to the point of seeing through the thread. The robe was so bad, they should just not even offered it. Because with the disgusting mold and the gross robe, it just made me notice every single thing wrong with this hotel.

Also since we have had summer time weather in NorCal, the temperature was in the 70s. The room was hot. I had the door open a little, but we wanted to go to bed and we did not want the window open all night. I called downstairs and found out that they have a separated heater for heating the water and a separate engine for A.C. You can't have them both going at the same time.

Anyway, we had a fun evening in the japantown mall, eating the BEST Sushi at Icheban (3rd time I've eaten at this sushi place) and buying little knickknacks at the cute stores. Like with great sushi, you feel full but a few hours later you are hungry. We ordered the room service of the lava cake with strawberry sorbet. Quick delivery and the dessert was very very good.

Also they brought an extra salt scrub very quickly to the room when asked. That is when I sent down the mold bucket so he can share it with the staff.

Since we arrived at a convenient time mid week, we were able to have a parking spot right outside the hotel. This is extremely ideal, especially if you left something in the car and have to retrieve it. I might add the parking guy working the midnight shift was consicentious that all the cars were locked. HOwever, because it was so hot in the room, we were outside on the small balcony talking and we saw him making sure all the cars were locked one by one. We thought that was very conscientious to make sure everyones car was secure. But he reached one particular car and the car alarm went off when he checked it. That led to about what seemed like 4 minutes of car alarm going off before he retrieved the right key and turned it off and then locked it. A small error at midnight, it may awake people. At least we were awake because the AC wasn't working!!

So, even though the bed/pillow was fabulous, the AC not working well due to this on/off with the tubs, we did not sleep that well. We also had to take the elevator to an even number floor to get ice. I wish we knew that before we kept walking around the floor. That was Adrian error of not informing us.

We ate breakfast at the hotel restaurant and enjoyed the buffet offering. The pancakes were good and the fruit plentiful. My spouse commented on the fantastic bacon and selection of grains for toast. OJ and coffee were good.

The Kabuki spa is next door, so you have to exit the hotel to get there. Not my cup of tea.

I brought the yucky robe down to the front desk and showed it to Adrian. He took it and said he would share it with his manager.

One of the best things going for Hotel Kabuki is Annalisa. She is FANTASTIC in any sense of the word. She is helpful, understanding, and simply a fun pleasant person. She simply enjoys people. The level of service went up because of her.

So I have very mixed feelings about this hotel. Maybe I just can't get the better standard from its previous incarnation and Adrian lack of friendliness, the mold, and the horrible disgusting nightgown, the bad AC.

Now I can't bring back the better days of this hotel, but after consideration, it is unlikely I will spend that kind of money to stay again in the Hotel Kabuki. Frankly, I can find good deals in outstanding Union Square hotels for even less, but chose Kabuki due to a local event. My husband found a great promotional rate at the Fairmont in December that was less than the Kabuki. Next time, so next time I will do a thorough job to consider alternatives.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank catalinamarin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KabukiHotelManager, Manager at Hotel Kabuki, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, 25 January 2014
While we're happy to have you as a returning guest of our property, we're sorry to hear that the recent experience was a mixed one for you. We certainly aim to offer our guests a level of hospitality that's unrivaled, and we appreciate you bringing any exceptions to this to our attention.

I'd also like to share some improvements, currently underway, that will surely enhance returning visits to Hotel Kabuki: a complete upgrade to our business center with brand new state-of-the-art equipment; refinishing of every desk and credenza in the hotel, along with new desk lamps that will double the light at the work space; 42" HDTVs in every guestroom, along with Sonifi Pay-Per-View system to provide in-room movies; plus, many more upgrades across the entire property.

I know that none of these improvements will change the experience you had with us, nor the impression we left you with, but please know that we're making improvements as quickly as possible. I'm confident that when you visit us next, you'll be able to enjoy these and other enhancements we're making to the Hotel Kabuki. Thanks again for your time and review.
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Santa Rosa, California
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2014

Kaiser's "center of excellence" for heart patients is just down the street. The Kabuki people were especially kind and understanding about requests when you told the that you were going into the hospital the next morning.
We found that the rooming floors were very quiet as were the rooms. Clean and cared for but not long til need for updating.
Nice sleeping temp. Good lighting.
Parking is a underground city garage that goes right up to the hotels elevators. We paid $17.00 for the night eventhough the hotel quotes $23.00.
Japantown is interesting and enjoyable for a afternoon walkaround.
Rates are low for SF. We paid less than $150 for queen including the parking charge.
O Izakaya Lounge is the hotels eating place. Good. Casual. Short menu but covering the bases. Very cold dratf beer. Great waiter, Fernando.
A good place to stay in this part of the city.







The hotel's eating place is O Izakaya Lounge. Very casual with a good short menu
and very cold draft beer.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TGO2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KabukiHotelManager, Manager at Hotel Kabuki, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, 23 January 2014
We're happy to have been able to lend our site and services to your stay in San Francisco, and we thank you for taking the time to review the visit with such thoughtfulness. We certainly appreciate the myriad of reasons for which guests come through our doors, and it's a pleasure to lend comfort and ease to your experience. We'd love the opportunity to host your next visit to the area, and we hope that you'll reach out to share in our continued hospitality and ongoing evolution. Many thanks again, and all our best.
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San Diego, Ca
Level Contributor
96 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2014

I have stayed here several times and I always love it. It is a Japanese style hotel and the rooms have Japanese baths. It is the deepest tub you will find in a hotel and a welcome luxury to me. I also enjoy the fact that it is in the heart of Japantown and had a fun mall right next door. The service and care at this hotel are exceptional and the spa associated with the hotel is well worth a visit. When we are in San Francisco this is our hotel of choice.

Room Tip: Ask to be on a higher floor away from where the trash cans are picked up outside. That happens daily...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank urbanmamma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KabukiHotelManager, Manager at Hotel Kabuki, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, 21 January 2014
We're so pleased to have you as a regular guest of our Hotel Kabuki and to hear that our site and services have become staples of your San Francisco visits. We're thrilled to be able to offer you a property that affords as much immersion into the city as it offers a relaxing escape from it, and that you've found an enjoyable balance of the two with us. We certainly look forward to having you back, and we encourage you to reach out to the team as you plan your return to the area. Many thanks again for being our loyal guest and for lending us such kind feedback of your visits.
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2014

The rooms are spacious and clean. Loved Japan Town, my first time there and it was great. Was able to walk to reataurants and bars easily. Felt safe at night and the area is clean around the hotel. My new place to stay in San Fran!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Regmark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KabukiHotelManager, Manager at Hotel Kabuki, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, 19 January 2014
We're so glad to have had you as our recent guest and to have found a quick fan in you. It's a pleasure to be able to share our site, services and neighborhood with newcomers, and we're happy to hear that it was a memorable experience. Thanks for your kind words, and we look forward to seeing more of you soon!
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Additional Information about Hotel Kabuki, a Joie de Vivre hotel

Property: Hotel Kabuki, a Joie de Vivre hotel
Address: 1625 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115-3603 (Formerly Miyako Hotel San Francisco)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > Japantown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Spa Hotel in San Francisco
#39 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#41 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#63 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#66 Family Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Kabuki, a Joie de Vivre hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 218
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences, Hotel Kabuki offers sleek and serene accommodations in the heart of Japantown. Unwind in style. Our rooms offer a refined and serene ambiance and an aesthetic that marries Eastern and Western sensibilities. Some feature luxurious amenities like Japanese-style soaking tubs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kabuki Hotel San Francisco
Miyako Hotel San Francisco
Hotel Kabuki San Francisco
Kabuki San Francisco

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