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“A Disappointing Experience”

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Hotel Vitale, a Joie de Vivre hotel
Ranked #49 of 231 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 27 May 2012 via mobile

When in San Francisco, I typically stay at The Kimpton Palomar, but decided to give Hotel Vitale a try due to a last-minute special on Hotel Tonight.

After I booked the room I called the hotel to see if they have rooftop hot tubs or just soaking tubs. The woman I spoke with told me not only did they didn't have a rooftop hot tub, but did have a pool and sauna--I was ecstatic! I called a few friends up who live in the city and told them we will be having drinks poolside at the hotel soon!

Upon arrival to the hotel, no one greeted us or said they would be with us soon until I finally asked one of the bell boys if I was in the right place to check in. While this would be expected at a cheap roadside hotel, I was a little surprised to be left hanging at a hotel of this caliber.

After getting our room keys, I excitedly headed to the rooftop to check out the pool. It was non-existent. I wandered around the property in search of the pool and sauna without any luck. We finally headed down to the front desk. The woman working told us there that the property did not have these amenities, but we could use a complimentary guest pass at the YMCA to use their hot tub and sauna. Looks like rooftop pool drinks were off. I was a little bummed, but didn't want to let it ruin our vacation, so we headed to our room to get settled.

Our room was beautiful, that is, until I noticed the loud screeching noise coming from the "kitchen vent" outside our window. I called the management to see if there was any way to switch rooms, but the manager I spoke to said the hotel was fully booked and we could switch rooms the following day.

I feel truly sorry for anyone who paid full price for this room, as I awoke early in the morning to a screeching humming noise when the kitchen opened and only got about 5 hours of sleep. I called the front desk again and they said they could switch us at noon to a room on a higher floor or could charge us to move to a less noisy oceanview room.

I'm anxiously awaiting the room change to get away from the noise. Whatever you do, DO NOT stay in an interior-facing 3rd story room unless you are very heard of hearing or deaf.

I hate leaving a review this negative for a Joie De Vivre hotel, as I've had so many great experiences at their hotels in other cities, but they really could use some improvement here. Unless you are staying in one of their large oceanview suites, I would say you're much better off at the Palomar.

  • Stayed: May 2012
    • Value
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4  Thank EliseDawnP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 May 2012

I adore Hotel Vitale! I received an upgrade to an Urban View Room during my most recent stay which includes a huge soaking tub. I was in room 730 which was right across from one of the suites where they have meetings and events. There was an event one evening in the room that went until 8pm and was a little noisy so request a room away from these meeting rooms if you need quiet. Be sure to join the Joie de Vivre loyalty program so you can enjoy your welcome gift when staying at this or other Joie properties. Everyone on staff during my stay was super friendly and make me feel very welcome. My only concern about his hotel is the limited equipment in the fitness center and lack of windows in the fitness center. You can get a free pass to the YMCA which is very close to the hotel or a pass for $10/day to the Bay Club Athletic Center which is a little less then a mile from the hotel. Hotel Vitale has a calming effect on me each time I visit.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Travellover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Vitale, General Manager at Hotel Vitale, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2012

Dear Travellover

We are so fortunate to have you as a Joy of Life member, and are humbled by your kind feedback. I’m sorry to hear that you were disturbed during your stay by an event adjacent to your room and apologize for this inconvenience – we never want to compromise our guests’ comfort. As we are a boutique hotel, our fitness center does provide a more intimate atmosphere, and if you are looking for something larger, than the free YMCA passes and $10 day passes are a great alternative. We look forward to having you back and to providing you with a continued sense of calm upon your return.

Warm Regards,

Melony Williams
General Manager

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Reviewed 24 May 2012

Pros
-- Nice decor
-- Nice amenities
-- Great location for public transportation access (not a fun location though)
-- Overall clean and well kept


Cons
-- So loud. It's 3 a.m, and I am writing this review from my hotel room. I've been here 6 nights, and I haven't gotten a decent night's sleep for six nights. I would like to leave. Now. Please. I have a "city view" room, which is a view of buses on a dirty street. Between the buses decompressing and idling outside my window, the drunks on the street, the people in the building that I can hear peeing and drunkenly screaming, and the random noises from the patio above, I really have not gotten any peace or quiet.

One of the issues is that there is a rooftop garden that is open at all hours. So if you are in one of the many rooms under the rooftop garden, you get to hear everything that happens on the garden. This includes people walking up and down a metal stair case, the random drilling and machine noises, crap falling off the building (what IS that?), etc. If you get a room under the rooftop gardens, you know you're in a cheap room. You got screwed.

The walls are very thin. I can hear everyone above and next to me when they use the restroom.

And, since I'm up, I thought, why not watch some TV? Let's see. I can watch reruns of Seinfeld or a cable news channel.... Or Seinfeld. Or a news channel. They maybe have 10 channels, and MSNBC doesn't even come in well. Fox News comes in real well. Splurge a little, Hotel Vitale, and get some real channels so that people have something to do while your hotel keeps them up all night.

The hotel staff never responded to any of my questions about noise. They'd listen politely and then do nothing - not even call back. So don't bother with them; just get a different hotel.

The Hyatt Embarcadero is just around the corner. I am going to try there next time I'm here.

The other reviewers are correct about the hotel restaurant. It's always packed. It's very loud and obnoxious.

Overall, this is just not the right hotel for a business traveler.

Room Tip: Don't stay here.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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5  Thank BusinessTraveler90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Vitale, General Manager at Hotel Vitale, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2012

Dear BusinessTraveler90:

I am extremely thwarted to hear of your discomforting stay. The problems you experienced are uncharacteristic of Hotel Vitale and I am disappointed that we did not exceed your expectations. Your experience is important to us, and I would love the opportunity to speak with you personally regarding this matter, if you would be open to discuss. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to resolve these problems.

Sincerest Apologies,

Melony Williams
General Manager

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Reviewed 23 May 2012

Stayed here May 2012. In a good location at the Bay Front with views of the Bay Bridge at the foot of the financial district overlooking the Embarcadero. We had requested a Superior Room with a Water View and were pleased to have been told that we were upgraded at check-in. Thank heavens we were, the room whilst large and clean was definitely in need of refurbishment, especially the bathroom where there was no separate shower cubicle, just a shower over the bath and a shower curtain. If this was an upgrade, what are the rest like? The view on the other hand was excellent.

The hotel appears to be geared up for conferences as there were at least 3 during our 4 day stay. The hotel bar at night was uncomfortably loud and full as a result and was not somewhere you would return to relax in after a long day. Interestingly, it was quiet one afternoon and we tried to sit down and have a soft drink while catching up with the English papers only to be told that they were shut and wouldn't serve us and we were asked to order through room service. Speaking of which, room service whilst efficient failed to fill the fridge every day we were there which was annoying given that I had to call down for drinks as we were avoiding the hotel bar!

Note also that concierge is not 24 hours so if you you want to book a meal or excursion or general advice make sure you do so during office hours!

This hotel is not cheap, nearly $450 a night to stay plus taxes. It is definitely overpriced for what you get. A small Holiday Inn springs to mind which if you are happy with a Holiday Inn fine, it is not what I thought I had booked and not what I wanted. I would not return.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SpikeyMikey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Vitale, General Manager at Hotel Vitale, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2012

Dear SpikeyMikey:

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent stay at Hotel Vitale. I am sorry to hear about the several problems you experienced during your last stay, and am disheartened to learn you were bothered by other guests. Our Hotel is a hub for several meetings and social gatherings, however we do not intend to compromise the serene experience our other guests, like yourself, have anticipated. I also would like to apologize that your fridge was not restocked, and will be bringing this to the attention of our Housekeeping Supervisor. It is through your candid feedback that we can better assist our guests, and appreciate your honesty.

I do hope you will consider staying with us again, and if you need any assistance with future reservations, please do not hesitate to contact me.

All the best,

Melony Williams
General Manager

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Reviewed 20 May 2012

Comfortable, great location. Many excellent restaurants within walking distance. Love having the Embarcadero at your doorstep and the Ferry Building blocks away. Quieter than the area around Union Square and easy access to other neighborhoods if you're exploring. A few minor irritations, no paper a few days although I'd requested one, no water one evening after several days receiving it, otherwise staff and service were excellent. Loved being able to open the window for fresh air and city sounds. "Fresh" products were a treat. The cocktail area seems to have a good crowd for happy hour, only had an after dinner drink there one evening and it was fine.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
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Thank cpniner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Vitale, General Manager at Hotel Vitale, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2012

Dear cpniner:

We are please to hear you enjoyed your recent stay with Hotel Vitale. Our prime location does make Hotel Vitale one of the most favorable establishments in the area, and I am thrilled you were able to partake in the local offerings. I apologize that you did not receive your morning paper, or a refill on your water. I will be discussing these issues with our Housekeeping team to ensure these items are taken care of in the future.

We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Warm Regards,

Melony Williams
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2012

I've stayed at this property several times and I have enjoyed my stay. The location is perfect, close to BART and the Embarcadero and if you choose a room with a view, it's quite nice.
The room could not have been nicer, view of the Embarcadero and the Bay Bridge. Amazing bathroom, great amenities.
Points to consider: when I checked in they asked if I would like a newspaper? I asked for the NYTimes. I never received the newspaper. I was going to mention it to the Front Desk, but decided not to -- after all, why should I?
The second day, I need to have laundry done and there was no bag? I called downstairs and it was promptly delivered.
Similar occurrence, ordered breakfast and asked for bottled water -- no water?
Sounds petty, but to me these are things that make hotels GREAT.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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1  Thank gcosta58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2012

This is my second stay at the hotel and I was not disappointed. Consistently well run with excellent staff and cleanliness! Love the location near the Ferry building and the views of the Oakland Bridge and Treasure Island not to mention all of the sail boats is great. Had a room on a high floor but wish they had informed me that there would be a Hospitality suite in the same hall as did hear noise and lots of people that would have been far less on another floor. Since I was only there for two nights it seemed way too much to ask to move. High floor though incurs an additional room charge which is hefty for a room where you can't open a window and get that wonderful San Francisco air!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Thank bently1614
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Vitale, General Manager at Hotel Vitale, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 May 2012

Dear bently1614:
Thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent stay—we are thrilled to hear our service exceeded your expectations. Because of the impressive location of our larger suites, they ore often times used for events, and we are extremely sorry to hear that one of these events inconvenienced you. Your comfort is a priority and, in the future, please do not hesitate to let us know if we can better accommodate you – we would be happy to do so.
We hope to see you again at Hotel Vitale soon.

Warm Regards,
Melony Williams

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Vitale, a Joie de Vivre hotel

Address: 8 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-1227
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > SoMa
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 Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#30 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#31 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#32 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#41 Business Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range: £198 - £553 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Vitale, a Joie de Vivre hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Relax and rejuvenate while enjoying our stunning water and city vistas, in-house spa with rooftop soaking tubs and signature Americano Restaurant & Bar. It's time for some "you" time.Our guestrooms offer luxurious limestone bathrooms, soothing color palettes, honor bars with decadent and healthful options, and the rejuvenating LATHER line of bath amenities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vitale Hotel San Francisco
Hotel Vitale
Vitale San Francisco

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