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“Above average - customer service”
Review of Hotel Whitcomb

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Hotel Whitcomb
Ranked #174 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
2 reviews
“Above average - customer service”
Reviewed 27 March 2012

Location and customer service are top notch! I was with my infant son in the lobby area at 4:30 am - we were on Eastern timezone. One of the security guards asked if I needed help and I jokingly said I needed coffee. Starbucks next door didn't open till 5:30 sadly. He graciously, said, I can get you some coffee and he appeared 10 minutes later with a steaming cup full of coffee. That kind of customer service is unparalleled and I just wish I remembered his name so I can give him the credit he deserves. One downside is the expensive parking, $35 per day, but I suppose it is nice to have in/out privileges. The civic area is not the best but should be fine during the day. Nice shopping area within 5 blocks of the hotel.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ejstrommen123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Sleep Quality
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Chico, California, United States
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2012

We booked through Hotwire, so we didn't know what we were going to get. When it was the Whitcomb, we looked it up and were dismayed by the reviews. If this is what happened to you, don't worry. It's not as bad as all the reviews say it is. In fact it is kind of charming in an old European way. Don't expect it to be brand new. It's historical, which can be kind of charming.Our room was fairly small and the view was of an alley and the back of a building, but we weren't there for the view, so it wasn't the end of the world.

The room was clean, and the staff seemed really nice, although the guy who checked us in was not that welcoming, everyone else seemed really nice from the doorman straight through to the room cleaners who always greeted us with a hello and a smile in the hallway. It is right on Market street and we were able to catch several different types of Muni and street cars to other parts of the city really easily. So that was great and we went to the Starbucks on the ground floor everyday we were there.
There are homeless people around, but a lot of the people writing reviews make it sound like you will be running a daily gauntlet of people accosting you. That is not the case. There are some, but most of them either ignore you too, or if they ask for change, and you don't have any, they tell you to have a nice day. That's it. If seeing homeless people, or "different" people is going to bother you, then don't come to San Francisco to start with. That is part of the city.
Overall the hotel was fine for what we were using it for. We parked in the Civic Center Underground parking which was about two blocks away and cost $24 a night instead of $35 at the hotel. The Wi-fi mostly worked and we went down and had a drink (all by ourselves at the bar) and that was nice. We didn't eat at the hotel restaurant, although the menu looked pretty good.
We only paid $69 a night through Hotwire and this stay was definitely worth that. If you get a good deal, and you don't mind not having a super modern hotel, then this place will be good for you.

Room Tip: We were on the third floor facing back. Didn't seem very loud, but then again...no view...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sarah K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whitcomb1, Manager at Hotel Whitcomb, responded to this review, 27 March 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for posting your feedback about your recent stay. We do appreciate all your comments and are pleased that you did enjoy great customer service and a clean facility. We do hope that you will keep us in mind if you return to the San Francisco area.

Thank You.

Kris Betz, Director of Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2012

Yes this Hotel is convenient to all Public Transportation. And yes it is in a central location. BUT...the San Francisco you get directly outside the doors of the Hotel is disappointing. 6 blocks south and it is a different world. I didn't go North, but I hear the Castro isn't bad. But right where the hotel is...it's a bit sketchy.

To be fair, I stayed only one night with my Fiancee. But I found this hotel to be a mixed bag. When I first walked into the GORGEOUS lobby from the shabby world outside their doors, I was impressed. BUT...I also noticed the sound of a phone at the front desk ringing, and ringing, and ringing. As I stood in line, waiting to check in, I noticed the Bellman taking an extraordinary amount of time offering advice and ideas to a couple just visiting. And the front desk clerks were dutifully checking in the guests in line. But this is why I say it was a mixed bag. That damn phone kept ringing, and ringing, and ringing. I didn't know who was on the other end of that line, but I felt for them and hoped I didn't have to call the front desk during my stay. I appreciate that they were focused on helping the guests in front of them, BUT answer the phone. Can you not do both? Are you not allowed to? 5 minutes it rang, and I am not exaggerating. Then it was picked up and placed on hold. A minute later, it began ringing again, in double time, to indicate that the person on hold had not gone away. And still they kept checking people in and ignoring the phone. It got to the point, that when I arrived at the front desk, I was praying they would tell me to hang on one second, so that they could deal with the phone. They did not. I wanted to ask, "Do you want me to get that?"

Finally, they ended my misery, and the person on hold. The clerk politely picked up the phone and apologized for the wait. Then answered their very minor question. The Wi-fi was out and was being reset. That's all the guest wanted to know and all they had to say.

As for the room? The bed was clean. The towels were clean. The room was clean. Shower was clean. BUT, it is dated. The beds sagged throughout the night until you finally touched the floor. On this I am exaggerating, but not by much. The towels were the thin kind you find at motels with numbers in their names. The furniture was too new to be antique but not old enough to be quaint or nostalgic. It was just old. There was nothing wrong with the room per say, it just left you wishing for more. More new or more charming or more yesteryear but not what it was.

If what you want is a clean room to put your bags in, shower in, and sleep in, while the rest of your day and evening is spent out in the city, then this place may work for you. But keep your expectations tempered.

This hotel is right on the verge, it could be quaint or it could turn into a dive. I have no idea which way it is going. But next time I go to San Fran, I will spend more to get more. At this hotel, for what you pay, you get exactly that.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ZekeZelenker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whitcomb1, Manager at Hotel Whitcomb, responded to this review, 27 March 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your very detailed comments. We always appreciate the insight of our guests as we need to have this information to make positive changes. We do apologize for any inconveniences you may have experienced and hope that by the time you return we will have made those improvements. We do hope that you will give us another chance to show you our best.

Thanks Again.

Kris Betz, Director of Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these San Francisco hotels

Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2012

I travel to SF a lot for business, I have been to many different hotels in the city and the Whitcomb is my favorite: I love the old charm and grandeur of the Lobby, the rooms are very clean and spacious with really high ceilings, they have been renovated in the classy style of the building (which is historical: the old city hall), you can open the windows, that's an absolute plus as I feel claustrophobic in most of the hotels( where windows are condemned and you find yourself dependent on air conditioning in a city where the temperature is perfect and the air very pure). The staff is very friendly and helpful. There is a very good restaurant and a Starbucks in the Lobby area. Some people get scared or shocked by the homeless on Market street, I'm a woman alone and I don't have a problem walking at night from Union Square, I just go my way and was never bothered. The location is great close to the Civic Center, the BART, 10 minutes walking from Union Square. For my experience the best in its category in San Francisco.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Francoise Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whitcomb1, Manager at Hotel Whitcomb, responded to this review, 27 March 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay at the Hotel Whitcomb and for taking time to post your comments about your stay. We are all very pleased to know that you had such a "perfect" stay. We will be sure to share all these kind words with the staff to make sure everyone is aware you had a wonderful stay.

Thanks Again.

Kris Betz, Director of Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2012

The hotel is in a great location, it even has a BART stop outside the hotel. Close to banks, a Walgreens, plus some fast food places across the street. It even has a Starbucks inside the hotel, which is a plus.

Parking is ridiculously expensive, $35 plus tax a night. There are several overnight parking lots available for $10. Only thing that makes it worth it over the other lots is that you can take the car in and out as many times as you'd like.

Bedrooms have a nice decor, but you can definitely see the age. The bathroom is functional, but looks like something you'd get at a run down motel. Walls are paper thin, and you can clearly hear the people next door. Beds are great and comfortable.

All in all, it was enough for the price, as my family just used it to rest in between different outings, but it served its purpose. I would recommend it to someone who is short on a budget, but still wants to stay close to the action.

Also, yes there is homeless people the street behind the hotel, but honestly, with the times that we are in now, they're are not an uncommon sight.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tatdbzdm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whitcomb1, Manager at Hotel Whitcomb, responded to this review, 27 March 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us about your recent stay. We are pleased to know that the service and location were particularly great. I will make sure to share your concerns about the other areas you mentioned with the appropriate staff. We do hope that if you return to the SF area from NYC you will choose the Hotel Whitcomb again.

Thanks.

Kris Betz, Director of Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
88 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2012

Someone else made this booking for me and after reading many other traveller's review I was very pessimistic about what to expect. I’m used to staying in more modern bigger chain hotels. I do; however, enjoy old historic type hotels from time to time…this being one of them. So, for those of you who are looking for something modern and chic…this is not for you.

The staff were super friendly, which was really nice to see from a 3 star hotel. They truly seem to aim for 5 star service. Don’t be shy to ask for anything as I got the sense they would try their best to accommodate.

The room I had I was pretty clean. The “bones” of the room were old, a/c unit sticking out of the window and a bit noisy. But it drowned out the noise of the street so that was good…especially since I could hear almost everything (including people shouting on the street and sirens at night racing down Market Street). I was on the 7th floor. My first night, I was sooo tired that despite the noise I slept pretty well. The next night, I got in late and was scheduled to check out the next day so I couldn’t be bothered to change rooms. When I mentioned it at the front desk they told me that it would not have been an issue to change rooms…oh well.

The room had an old musky smell to it. Almost like an old basement. I ended up opening my windows to air it out and sprayed some of my perfume around. It helped…a little. The TV had poor reception but then again who really wants to spend their time in San Francisco sitting in a hotel room watching TV? On the up side, the bed was very comfortable and the sheets were clean. The furniture looked like it had been updated and there was a huge closet…for those of you who pack on the heavier side or are planning to stay a while. There’s also free wifi. Not sure if it was part of the room rate or if it’s something they offer all guesses.

It is true about the area. Do not go out at night on your own…especially if you’re a woman. Even the concierge warmed me against it. If you need to go out at night…take a cab!! During the day, I felt safe enough. Just be smart about not drawing too much attention to yourself. I walked from the hotel to Union Square along Market St. one late morning and no one bothered me. Another day I took the street car to the Pier ($2 per ride). Took about 20 mins or so. Very convenient as the stop was just steps from the front of the hotel. Be sure to visit the concierge desk for a city map and tips about which streets not to cross into.

If you’re on a budget but want to be somewhat close to downtown San Francisco, you might want to consider this hotel. I heard the restaurant in the lobby is pretty good but never got around to trying it. There’s also a Starbucks just off the lobby which was nice.

Room Tip: Try to get a room facing the back of the building. Might be a lot quieter!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AAYL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whitcomb1, Manager at Hotel Whitcomb, responded to this review, 19 March 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are very pleased to know that the level of service you experienced was excellent and you noticed that we are striving each day to get better. We do hope that each time you are in our area you choose to stay at the Hotel Whitcomb.

Thanks Again.

Kris Betz, Director of Operations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
138 reviews
125 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2012

We stayed for one night in this hotel because we were attending a concert at the Herbst Theater nearby. I got a $79 rate on Hotwire. I knew the Civic Center location wouldn't be great, but I work not that far away so am somewhat used to the area. The lobby is beautiful and the staff were fine. We couldn't believe how many guests were checking in and coming and going. There seemed to be a lot of extended families staying there. Can't think why everyone wants to stay at Civic Center, but maybe that's just me. Anyway, the room is small and very old fashioned (no flat screen TV and the bathroom is very dated). That being said, we would stay again if we had an event nearby. It is true that there are a lot of homeless people around but you can say that about a lot of places in San Francisco, and no one bothered us except to ask for spare change. I would suggest taking a cab at night though. Walking around in the daytime is probably okay. There is a BART station right outside the hotel so it is very easy to get around on public transportation. We were surprised that the station doesn't open until 8:00 a.m. on Sundays, so double check BART hours if you need to be somewhere.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank shario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
whitcomb1, Manager at Hotel Whitcomb, responded to this review, 19 March 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for posting your feedback about your recent stay. We are pleased to know that you would choose to stay with us again in the future as that is the best indicator that we are doing well. I will share your comments with the staff to see if there are some areas we can make imporvements.

Thanks Again.

Kris Betz, Director of Operations
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 Hotel Whitcomb

Property: Hotel Whitcomb
Address: 1231 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103-1400
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 ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #174 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Whitcomb 3.5*
Number of rooms: 460
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Also Known As:
Whitcomb Hotel San Francisco
Whitcomb San Francisco
Whitcomb San Fransico
Hotel Whitcomb San Francisco

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