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“Just good enough”

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Chancellor Hotel on Union Square
Ranked #16 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Just good enough”
Reviewed 23 September 2011

The best thing about the Chancellor Hotel is its location. We stayed there 3 nights and walked down to Powell and Market St. to catch the bus towards Embarcadero/Ferry Building. (We came back on BART to test the subway. TIP: cheaper to pay Bart $1.75 than the $2 bus fare.) We also got on the 38 bus that rides out west on Geary Ave.

The central location also puts you in the heart of shopping action, many stores within a 3 block radius.

We wanted to try Sears restaurant next door for breakfast but the line was too long, so we took out from Starbucks at the corner of Powell and Sutter. At the opposite corner, there is a drugstore to pick up beverages, snacks and other conveniences.

Our two best meals were at Slanted Door (Ferry Building) and Empero Taste on 42nd St. near the Golden Gate Park. We tried Fino Ristorante in Andrews Hotel on Post Street … but it turned out not so fino.

Back to the Chancellor Hotel. Overall, we were satisfied with the room for the price we paid. We had two twin beds in a very small room that also included a desk and chair, flatscreen tv on a bureau of drawers, and two more chairs around a small “coffee” table.

I was put off by the poor lighting in the bedroom; you have to turn on all the lights to see properly. Fortunately, with all lights on, it was adequate.

I laughed at another reader’s comment that the closet was larger than the bathroom. True! Actually, we had to keep closet closed at all times (losing the use of the full-length mirror on the door) because of the horrible odour. It smelled like 1864 in there. The bathroom could use some design tricks – one skimpy towel bar to carry six towels (2 sets of towels) was not wide enough to hang used towels… Why not install a pivoting towel bar on the wall? Only one short hook on the back of the door… Why not install a double hook? Hardly any counter space, certainly not for two people.

The best thing in the room was the bed linen – pillows and duvet. Sadly, the same could not be said of the bed mattresses, which sagged in the middle.

There is no a/c in the small room, so fortunately, we didn’t need it. If you go in months hotter than Sept, you may want to find another hotel. Such a small room without a/c can be claustrophobic.

In the hotel lobby, you can do web check-in for your flight boarding pass. Very handy.

While not the best hotel experience, other hotels were charging $20-40 more per night for about the same quality. So overall, Chancellor Hotel was good.

Room Tip: Pick up breakfast next door at Sears Restaurant or walk to the the corner of Sutter and buy from Sta...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank IntrepidinMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Plano, Texas
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2011

The Chancellor is quite a find right at Union Square. I did quite a bit of research before deciding on The Chancellor. For the price it was perfect. There are lots of high end hotels around it, but for comfort and value this can't be beat.

The hotel: very clean public areas, very friendly staff. My room was still being cleaned when I arrived so went and grabbed a bite and came back. Very friendly bellman retrieved my stored luggage and escorted me up to my room. NOTE: I was impressed with the elevators. There were only two and I was staying on the 13th floor, and they always arrived promptly and moved quickly.

The rooms are small but comfortable and nicely appointed. I was traveling alone so the smallness didn't bother me as much as if I had had my wife along. The closet was HUGE. Lots of hanging space with safe, ironing board, umbrella and portable heater all inside with still lots of room for my luggage to sit on the luggage rack.

I agree with several reviewers that you should request a high floor. It can get noisy, especially the cable car bell that dings constantly. And there is no A/C, but the open window and ceiling fan keep the room cool (and I was there during a SF "heat wave": 80 degrees!

Location is fantastic. 1/2 block to Union Square with shopping and dining galore. I walked the neighborhood and found tons of restaurants, both chains and independent. Scala's is right across the street who's chefs were both on Top Chef. I just ordered a takeaway margarita pizza and it was delish.

Transportation is easy to secure. The SF MUNI system is very efficient. While there is a cable car stop right out the hotel door, by the time it gets there from it's origin at the base of Powell street, it was always full. I did catch it early one morning around 8:30 and it wasn't bad. Walk about 2 blocks and you can catch a trolley car to Fisherman's Wharf. The trolley cars are old restored trolley cars from various cities. The city name is printed on the side. I rode one that was from Milan, Italy and still had signs in Italian. They literally are "museums on wheels." And BART line is right there as well, which you can take to and from the airport. I also rode it into Oakland to go to a Rangers/A's game and it was great.

Anyway I ramble. Bottom line. Great hotel in a great location for a great price. You won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: Higher floors better to avoid some of the street noise.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank geewalt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chesapeake, Virginia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2011

This hotel is beautiful. The staff is first rate. The rooms have been remodeled and are very nice. We were near the end of July and the temps got up to around 80 for a couple of days. We were on the 15th floor and there was no air circulating. There are ceiling fans above the beds. The sun hits the room if you stay on the back side, but there are blackout curtains. Leave the windows closed and curtains drawn during the day. We didn't and it was a little warm when we returned in the evening. You risk the noise from the street if you stay on the front side, as you have to have the windows open that time of year. You still get some noise on the back side, but not as loud. However, I called and asked for another fan, and they were prompt on getting it for me. I'd like to have had a coffee pot in my room. Every morning I had to throw glasses and clothes on and ride 15 floors down to the lobby for a cup of coffee. I got use to it, but it was still a pain. Otherwise, good location, and reasonably priced for such a nice hotel.

Room Tip: Stay on the back side, high up, and if it's a warm time of year, ask in advance for a fan as the...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank CammyO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2011

Great location, very friendly yet efficient staff. Breakfast is a nice change: its reasonable, quick and you can order exactly what you want. Nice change from buffet breakfasts. Room was clean and overlooked the street. No noise from neighbouring rooms but street noise was audible if windows left open. Not a large or a pricey hotel but felt very safe. If I ever get to go to San Francisco again, at least my choice of hotel will be very easy: this one.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank dreamer2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Western Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2011

We stayed at the Chancellor Hotel for 4 nights and had never been to San Francisco before. The hotel itself is right on Union Square so is good if you are wanting to get onto transport or tour buses. There are trams right out front and the tour buses all line up outside Macy's across the road.

The hotel itself was nice - while we were there they were re-painting the lobby. The hotel style is sort of like the old victorian style buildings so don't expect modern or sleek at this hotel (not in a bad way). The roooms were tiny - probably the smallest rooms I've ever stayed in but I hear this is normal for San Francisco, especially if you're on a budget. The rooms were clean and tidy, the bed comfy and they had a pillow menu which we didn't use but I thought was a great idea. The bathroom was even smaller and the thing I found funny was that the closet was almost bigger than the bathroom. I would prefer a larger bathroom than some closet space as I just leave my stuff in my suitcase when I'm at hotels, but that's just my opinion.

We only went to the bar for an hour or so one night and it's really small so it's not really designed for if you're looking for a night out. There was a market a couple of blocks away from the hotel where we were able to buy beer, toiletries and general stuff. We asked the concierge where we could eat - we aren't foodies so we generally look for averaged priced restaurants, nothing fancy. We were advised that there was a pizza place a few blocks away that was good. As we had spent the whole day travelling to San Fran we weren't looking forward to the hike up the hills to find this place and as we stood outside we noticed right next door a place called Sears Fine Food. After looking at the menu this is exactly the place we were looking for. Reasonably priced food - steaks, pasta, that kind of stuff. The food was great we ate here for dinner twice and breakfast twice. I have no idea why the concierge didn't tell us there was a restaurant right next door.

We also used the concierge to book a hop on hop off tour and a city. We are usually the kind who likes to explore on our own but as we only had two days here we wanted to get the most out of the two days. The hop on hop off wasn't worth it. They were meant to loop around ever 15-30mins and we got off to look at the crookedest street and we waited over and hour for them to come back, in the end we rang the tour company to find out if they were going to come back for us! They did come but it was annoying because it took precious time from our schedule. In saying all this, this was nothing to do with the hotel itself.

All in all a nice hotel and one of the cheaper around San Francisco. I would probably not stay here again, but only because we aren't "city people" and would most likley visit the outer suburbs of San Francisco if we return.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Carolind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zapopan, Mexico
1 review
Reviewed 18 September 2011

For many year I chose this Hotel And was never disappointed about the service, location and food. Staff is well trained and could not be friendlier. Mrs. Ursula Lederer.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Ursula l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2011

Union Square is a brilliant location if you wish to stay near the city centre. Close to all forms of public transport and get a travel pass if your there for a few days and it gets you on most forms of public transport (except the BART) so it's easy to get around and you then get a choice of which form of transport you want to use - use them all! Hotel is satisfactory and all was good just the room was quite small as they could have got rid of a couple of items of furniture which would have made it a bit more roomy. But we don't see that as real problem as you only sleep, shower and dress in the room so it was fine. I would say it was above average for our needs but not very good but as there is nothing in between we've given it the very good tick of approval.

Room Tip: Our room faced Powell St which is the main street so we did keep the window ajar the 1st night for s...
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank norgenvaaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chancellor Hotel on Union Square

Property: Chancellor Hotel on Union Square
Address: 433 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-1503
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#9 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#9 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#10 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#12 Best Value Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Chancellor Hotel on Union Square 3*
Number of rooms: 137
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The BEST LOCATION at the BEST PRICE...The Chancellor Hotel on Union Square is a historical, boutique hotel located in the heart of San Francisco where the Cable Car stops at the door step. Experience the best service and thoughtfull amenities while being surrounded by world class shopping, dining and theaters. From Union Square, ride the Powell Street Cable Car over Nob Hill, past Chinatown and North Beach, to Fisherman's Wharf. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chancellor Hotel San Francisco

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