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“Amazing Stay”

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Handlery Union Square Hotel
Ranked #68 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
New York City, New York
1 review
“Amazing Stay”
Reviewed 20 September 2011

Every year my wife and I decide to make a trip up to San Fran and usually we tend to stay around the Fisherman's Wharf area but this year we decided to change things up and stay at The Handlery. The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Union Square in downtown San Francisco. From the time we stepped off the plane I decided to call the hotel for a direct but reasonable choice in transportation to the hotel. Immediately I was greeted by Jason an employee of the hotel. He gave me clear and precise choices without being biased over one or the other. Being a person who takes customer service and attention to detail very seriously, my wife was quite impressed with his knowledge of the city and its surrounding areas.

As soon as I take a hotel shuttle to the hotel (very reasonable at $17 a person), we were immediately greeted by the bellman Hermie. Now we could tell he's been doing this a while as it seemed like he knew we were coming all along. Very friendly and very efficient. Then it was onto the Front Desk where Tony helped us out of a small jam. Tony gave me a small warning that the Hotel Frank had protests across the street and that may interrupt our sleep in the morning because we were facing the Geary side of the hotel. Knowing I didn't want to get woken up rudely by them he helped me move over to the Premiere side of the building so that we could a more comfortable stay. Great job for that.

To our surprise a voice message from Jon Handlery the owner and GM of the hotel was waiting for us! He apologized for not being to meet us in person and that he wished us a wonderful stay in the city. I don't know about you folks but to me when someone from the top genuinely cares about the welfare of his/her guests, then that makes me want to come back again and again. The room was quite spacious with a singly king bed and we were able to overlook the outdoor pool (which is heated by the way!). Along with the usual amenities it was nice seeing a snack bag in our room as we were starving from our long trip from New York. Seeing a mini fridge in the room helped as well as we are not huge eaters and bringing back leftovers is a must.

During the rest of the trip I wasn't able to interact with many other staff as I was consistently out exploring the town but I can tell you that everyone I did speak or interact with was very enthusiastic and it seemed like they loved what they were doing. The only thing I would say could use improvement, however, is their air conditioning system. Seemed like everyday it was quite hot inside of the room but the Front Office Manager Catherine, and Engineer Carmelo took care of us to make sure our room was in working order. Good to see an efficient bunch of employees.

Overall this is the best hotel we've experienced in the San Francisco area so far. If you're ever in town be sure to check this place out as you can do anything and everything you want. Mr. Handlery you run a wonderful hotel and we can't wait to see you again.

Room Tip: Stay on the Premiere side of the hotel!
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HusbandofMargaret, Owner at Handlery Union Square Hotel, responded to this review, 4 October 2011
Dear John W,
First, thank you for staying with us and I am glad you enjoyed your stay. I was pleased to see your interaction with Tony, Hermie, Carmelo and my daughter, Catherine, was positive. We hope to have you back from the Big Apple in the future and thank you again for staying with us.

Sincerely
Jon S. Handlery
President, Handlery Hotels
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 September 2011

Checked in by friendly and efficient staff, concierge was very helpful. Having just come from MGM Grand in Vegas, the room size and bathroom was a little dissappointing but a good standard. Main issue with this hotel is the noise from outside. From around 7pm until 10pm we were 'treated' to a steel band which was very annoying. It is located on one of the main traffic streets and as such suffers from constant beeping, emergency vehicle sirens etc we were on the 7th floor out of 8 as well. Also the area can be a bit unsettling at night due to the number of homeless people around. Air conditioning in our room was also not that great and the windows had to be opened to let cooler air in. Bathroom only had a shower, was a bit small.

On the other hand, it is centrally located for Union Square and the shopping district. Sightseeing buses within a 2minute walk which will take you to the main city attractions including Alcatraz (we couldn't get tickets for Alcatraz whilst we were here so make sure and book before you come!) and we got a complementary breakfast for each day we were there which was a welcome bonus. Choice of a cooked breakfast, cereal and fruit or waffles. The breakfast is served quickly by friendly staff. Dinner at the restaurant was also very nice and reasonably priced.
5 minute walk from the BART station, so easily get to it to go to the airport, was only $8.10 each way.

Room Tip: Ask for a room not on the Geary street side.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank AllanY60713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HusbandofMargaret, Owner at Handlery Union Square Hotel, responded to this review, 4 October 2011
Dear AllanY60713,
I appreciated that you took the time to post a review of our hotel on TripAdvisor. I was pleased that overall you enjoyed your stay and apologize for the street noise you experienced. I'm glad you liked your breakfast and dinner in the Daily Grill. We hope to have you back to the Handlery in the not to distance future.

Sincerely,
Jon S. Handlery
President, Handlery Hotels
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2011

The Handlery is right in the middle of Union Square right near all the greatest shopping. The hotel is a bit quirky as there are two parts to it with stairs separating them (making it very difficult to get your luggage up and down.) Be sure to ask the front desk if you will need to use the stairs (by the outside pool). You might need help with your bags. Clean and beautiful rooms. comfortable beds. All in all a good stay.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Philygirl4ever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HusbandofMargaret, Owner at Handlery Union Square Hotel, responded to this review, 4 October 2011
Dear Philygirl4ever,
Thank you for staying at the Handlery and taking the time to let us know about your visit. I am glad you enjoyed your stay and the ease to the shopping district from our hotel. We hope to have you back from Atlanta soon. All the best and thank you again for staying with us.

Sincerely,
Jon S. Handlery
President, Handlery Hotels
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level 6 Contributor
195 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2011

Just returned from San Francisco having picked up my partner from SFO, we decided to stay at the Handlery Union Square...listed as a boutique hotel near Union Square we were intrigued since we typically stay at more upscale facilities such as the Sir Francis Drake and the International...
Not knowing what to expect, I was pleased to find it within easy walking distance from my Amtrak bus shuttle (I took the Capital Corridor Amtrak to Emeryville, which then has a choice of three bus shuttle destinations: Ferry Bldg, Shopping Ctr. on Market, and Financial District). Thanks to Google maps, I found the "Shopping Center" destination to be the closest!). I just walked up Powell, took and left on Geary, and there was the big "H" sign for Handlery...easy!

The check in was fast and efficient; I asked for an inside corridor room (I needed quiet from the street noise since my partner was flying back from Hong Kong and needed to rest) which the reception desk courteously accommodated and even upgraded the room!
Although the room was characteristically "compact", (given its vintage era) it was efficient and updated with a large flat screen TV, marble bathroom, large closet with an in room safe (with a "key", imagine that?!)

We were surprised by the heated pool that was located inside the hotel, but outdoors...loved it! It is open 8am to 8pm daily...

Since my partner was bringing back our car from SFO skypark, she parked at the on-site valet hotel parking that is located around the block, also landmarked with a big "H"; please note, parking for hotel guests is $38/24 hrs, plus San Francisco's infamous "parking tax" of an additional $3.35...however, this price allowed us unlimited in/out privileges and the porters do pick-up and off-load your luggage to and from your car...

Seriously, if you can avoid taking a car, I would recommend it since public transportation is fairly good, the problem only exists for you real "nightowls" who might find themselves stranded in the hood...

There were lots of Australian visitors at the Handlery, they shared that the exchange rate is great (in their favor), and there are direct flights from Sidney....hmmmmmmm!

Our room was quiet, very comfortable bed and the linen upscale; only downside, no refrigerator in our room...that's okay...plenty to drink within walking distance....

Overall, we very much liked our stay and would recommend it to our friends...

Room Tip: If you want quiet, ask for an inside corridor room....
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CEUS69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HusbandofMargaret, Owner at Handlery Union Square Hotel, responded to this review, 4 October 2011
Dear CEUS69,
Thanks for your input on your recent stay at our hotel. I was glad that you enjoyed your stay and our outdoor pool and convenient location to all modes of public transportation. We hope to have you back from SACTO soon and thank you again for staying with us.

Sincerely,
Jon S. Handlery
President, Handlery Hotels
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2011

A friend and myself visited San Fran and needed a decent place to stay with good public transport options. The Handlery was perfectly located within easy walking distance of Amtrack, Bart, and cablecar with a very friendly staff. So far so good... BUT; we just booked the first room that popped up on Hotels.com, (Petite) and for $163 we were put in the tinest of rooms imaginable, with only a dbl bed and so little room that the TV was at right angles to the bed. How are you supposed to watch? We are two single, energetic guys, and being stuck in a tiny room completely piled with our belongings wasn't very cool. So to the front desk we go. Very polite, but the pool and excercise room both close at 10pm. What is a guy supposed to do???
On the positive side, very clean facilities, great staff and perfect location. Only take my advice and buy a queen room at minimum and get in your excercise early. Cheers!

Room Tip: Anything above Petite, unless cash is a serious issue
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dutchdrifter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HusbandofMargaret, Owner at Handlery Union Square Hotel, responded to this review, 4 October 2011
Dear Dutchdrifter,
Thank you for your feedback and I was pleased that you generally enjoyed your stay. Our rooms in the Historic Section do vary in size but I apologize for the inconvenience you experienced. We hope to have you back and thank you again for staying at the Handlery.

Sincerely,
Jon S. Handlery
President, Handlery Hotels
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Liverpool
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2011

Hotel lobby was clean & spotless and staff were very friendly!

Whilst checking in we were handed vouchers for free breakfast which gave you choice of 3 things on menu which was a bonus!

We also inquired about wifi as we were under the impression you had to pay €9.95 a day, however we were given a voucher which enabled us to access wifi totally free!

The room was tidy and clean. Had two queen size beds and was quiet considering that the hotel is on union square. In the rooms there was a tv, free safe and fridge!

The location of the hotel was great for shopping as it was located right on union square and a short walk to the mall approx. 5mins or shorter down the hill. You could also catch the cable cars from side road near hotel which would take you fisher mans wharf etc these ruEn till either midnight/2am and cost approx $14 all day. We also had the Alcatraz & all loops bus tours (city sight seeing) which picked you up outside Macy's next to the hotel.

In all I would defiantly recommend hotel was lovely and could not fault! Will hopefull return in the future!

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tasha5390
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HusbandofMargaret, Owner at Handlery Union Square Hotel, responded to this review, 4 October 2011
Dear Tasha5390,
Thank you for your nice comments on your stay at the Handlery. I'm glad you had an enjoyable stay and the fact that we feature complimentary in room safes and have fridges. We hope to have you back with us soon and thank you for choosing the Handlery.

Sincerely,
Jon S. Handlery
President, Handlery Hotels
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2011

An excellent base as just a block away from all transport and obviously the Shops !!! bars and restaurants all around. There is a safe in the room which is always a bonus. The room was spacious and beds comfortable. Ignore the reviews about it being noisy - we had a room over looking the picketers over the transport system and didn't notice anything. It was a bit noisy to start with but being that a) we were in bed by 11 due to having a 7 year old and secondly compared to NY / London etc - the noise died down by midnight. The pool area was lovely and pool was warm even though outside wasn't so warm. Staff were all excellent. The only thing that really needs changing were the lifts (elevators) and Showers were a little but dated. other than that great value for money and great location !

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shelley C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HusbandofMargaret, Owner at Handlery Union Square Hotel, responded to this review, 1 October 2011
Dear Shelley C,
Thanks for staying with us and I am glad you enjoyed your stay. Many guests like our complimentary in room safes and I am happy you liked our outdoor pool. We hope to have you back across the pond in the near future and thank you again for staying at the Handlery.

Sincerely,
Jon S. Handlery
President, Handlery Hotels
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 Handlery Union Square Hotel

Property: Handlery Union Square Hotel
Address: 351 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-1801
Phone Number:
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 Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#57 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#59 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#66 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Handlery Union Square Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 377
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Handlery Union Square Hotel is located in the heart of San Francisco's Union Square, within walking distance of world class shops, the Moscone Center, and the Powell Street cable car line. All 377 rooms feature wireless Internet access, mini refrigerators, and in-room safes. Enjoy traditional accommodations in the Historic Section or luxurious, oversized rooms in the Premier Section. The hotel features on site valet parking, an outdoor heated pool, sauna, and fitness room. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Handlery Union Square San Francisco
Hotel Handlery Union Square
Handlery Hotel San Francisco

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