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“one of the best in downtown SF”

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Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Ranked #96 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Eskisehir, Turkey
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“one of the best in downtown SF”
Reviewed 8 August 2014

stayed for 5 nights, great location in hearth of the city, very convenient, room was a bit small, yet bed was comfortable, luckily price was very good compared to other hotels around! overall very satisfied and it deserves >4

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fdirisaglik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim G, General Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, 11 August 2014
Dear fdirisaglik,

Thanks for visiting from Connecticut; I really appreciate the great comments about your overall stay. The Drake is a great hotel in the center of Union square and if you don't plan on spending all your time in the bathrooms (some guests think their small, we prefer cozy) then this is the right spot for you. We appreciate your feedback!
Jim
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3,229 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (708)
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Oakland, California
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2014

I'm actually staying in the hotel as we speak, and so far, we're pretty impressed by the Sir Francis Drake! My better half and I are both hospitality professionals, so we like to think we've got some pretty high standards, but these guys really seem to care!

In some ways, it's the little things that show that a hotelier is really trying to make sure everything's up to par. How often do you turn on a lamp in your room to find that you've got a variable watt lamp with a single watt bulb in it? Almost always, in my experience, from small boutique hotels to big Vegas megaresorts. Not these guys, they've made sure that even that little detail it dealt with.

We arrived pretty early in the morning (8am, after a very early flight from Seattle), and were only looking to store our luggage for the day. When we checked with the desk, they found a room for us, and made it immediately available. Now, the Drake is a historic hotel, and assuming that the emergency map on the back of the door is "to scale," there are some rooms smaller than what we're staying in - but this room is just fine!

We're in a corner room, and we've got windows overlooking Powell street. If you're overlooking Powell, you'll hear some pretty regular bells ringing, every time the cable car comes by. If you're a light sleeper, that might be a problem, but for us, it just adds to the charm of the San Francisco touristy nature of our trip, I suppose.

If there's any suggestion we would have for the hotel, it would be to ask the housekeepers to try to keep the noise level down near a room with "do not disturb" on the door. But really, it's not THAT big of a deal, and it's kind of something you'd have to expect a little of when your room is near to the Housekeeping closet.

The Amenities are good in the room, there's a fun little complimentary wine reception each day in the mezzanine level (today it was hosted by the Hotel Director of Revenue Management - and she was there actually intently listening to any feedback nuggets that might be dropped during the reception), and believe it of not, there's free wifi (that is FAAASST) in this hotel - not something you usually see in a hotel of this caliber. You'll have to sign up to a free Kimpton account to get the wifi, but that's just fine.

I guess there's just one final thing I should note: I rented this room through Hotwire. That means I got it for a lot less than I could be paying, and usually that means that a hotel gives you a "run of house" type of room. What's that mean? That means that you would typically get the worst room, and might not even get the sort of beds you'd like. Sir Francis Drake, however, didn't seem to do that to us - we're in a room that's just fine, and with a comfy bed, not too close to the elevator or ice machine, and we're quite happy with it. Not only that, but we got to check in early in the morning!

Hey guys - you're doing a great job - keep it up!

Room Tip: Want a room away from Powell Street, if you're looking for something quiet - there'll be the...
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Green Features: Everything looks great to me! There's not only a "do not disturb" sign to hang on your door, but also a "don't make up my room" conservation sign you can hang - great!
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Stephen V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim G, Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, 23 August 2014
Hey Traveler,

What a great 5 star review! Thank you! It's hard to 'WOW' people in the industry something because we all travel with our high expectations, but I am delighted that we were able to knock it out of the park for you. We look forward to having you back next time you are in San Francisco.

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Assistant General Manager
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Willoughby, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 August 2014

This was supposed to be "the trip of a lifetime" before our daughter goes off to college...and it was ! Overall I would stay here again. The General Manager and staff were very pleasant and helpful. If you have not been in San Fran for a while bring lots of cash. Public transportation was $60 per day for 4 of us and cash only. Driving is a challenge to say the least, but was a fun adventure when you are teaching your teens the ropes. There is nearby less expensive parking about a block away if you rent a car. One of the BIGGEST bonuses was a Wallgreens right across the street. Within walking distance of Chinatown, so plenty to do for 2 of your party when the other 2 are resting. Close places to eat (walking distance) Cable Car Cafe for breakfast, Uncle Vitos and Piraat have awesome pizzas. Do not recommend Johns Grill..the Maltese Falcon icon. $237 for a very unremarkable meal for 4. Had a great lunch with my son on the balcony at "Chinatown" in Chinatown...again within walking distance. Hike to the top of Twin Peaks if your heart is up to it. Beautiful. Haight Ashbury seems to be headed back to it's roots. The homeless seem a little aggressive all over, just be gentle and firm and all is well. Did I mention driving is a challenge ? The ONLY negative of the hotel is the work out room on the third floor is open 24 hours. I recommended they put a sign up for the weightlifters who were dropping barbells between 3 and 4 am (our room was right next to it). I had to "handle" this myself a couple of times. Like I said though, overall, we would go back tomorrow !!

Green Features: They give a discount (bar?) if you only have your room serviced occasionally.
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Steve N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim G, Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, 23 August 2014
Hi Steve,

Thank you for the great 4 star review! I am delighted that you spent such a momentous vacation with us at The Drake. From the sounds of it your experienced it all! We do have some great spots to eat right around the hotel, the location is perfect. Great tip about the early morning gym goers, we will address that! Can't wait to have you guys return for the next momentous occasion.

Cheers,
Nikki Carlson
Assistant General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Barbara, California
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2014

Stayed here for a business trip for 2 nights. Staff are great and very friendly. Rooms were clean and pleasant. Some people may consider them small, but I thought the room was fine for one person. It was comfortable and quiet the first night. The second night there was street noise, but expected considering the hotel is downtown. Overall I had a pleasant time at this hotel.

Room Tip: You can get free wifi if you join their free rewards program. Higher floors are supposed to be quiet...
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Green Features: They do offer vouchers if you choose not to have daily room cleaning.
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank skays56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lennox Head, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2014

This hotel was out of a horror movie. There was a light flickering in the hall the whole time we were there and even after telling reception, nothing was done about it. Noises at night like someone was being tortured, again, reception didn't care. Rooms were very small, as was bed. Could not be paid to stay here again.

Green Features: Don't get your room serviced and you can be ignored at the hotel restaurant with $10 off.
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bonnie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim G, General Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, 8 August 2014
Dear Bonnie H,

I'm sorry to hear that we didn't change out a flickering light bulb right away. It could have been a loose bulb, but I agree, it should have been looked at right away. Although, I see that you stayed with us in October 2013, a lot of improvements have gone into our hotel, including our beds. It also sounds like you might have stayed in one of our coziest rooms, but please know that our rooms vary in size, so do our beds: full, queen and king size to accommodate everyone's preference. Lastly, but not least, I wish I could have made your stay much better by knowing what you experienced during your stay.

I appreciate your comment.
Jim Gross, General Manager
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Ann Arbor
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Rooms are small and definitely and the bathrooms tiny. I know this is an old hotel but expected it bit more. Some updating is definitely called for. No coffee service in the room was a definite negative. Location is wonderful and the staff was most pleasant.

Green Features: The Klimpton group definitely has environmentally friendly practices
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank srf16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin TX
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

I have yet to have a mediocre stay at a Kimpton. They are all different and all without exception excellent and fun. This one inn particular. Huge public area. Gigantic bar. Very large area for happy hour. The room was a bit small even for a Kimpton, but it was beautiful and charming. Comfy beds. Elevator access was tight and getting to the public bathrooms was a trek, but I'm sure they have to have a code access for guests for the bathrooms because of it's location. The highlight for me was happy hour with hula hoops and giant Jenga. What a blast. Excellent location when staying in SF. Would stay here again, but probably request a larger room.

Room Tip: We usually get a corner room, so it would be a bit larger, but the concierge would be helpful in get...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kayakutie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel

Property: Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Address: 450 Powell Street, Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102-1504 (Formerly Sir Francis Drake Hotel)
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#46 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#58 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#70 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#75 Family Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 416
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, housed in a landmark building in the heart of Union Square, is quintessential San Francisco: exciting, romantic, timelessly elegant and unique. The ornately decorated lobby, old-world hospitality, and Tom Sweeney, the hotel's infamous Beefeater doorman, transport you to another time and place. The legendary Starlight Room, the adjacent Scala's Bistro and unmatched hospitality complete the picture to create an unforgettable San Francisco experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kimpton San Francisco
Sir Francis Drake Hotel San Francisco
Drake Francis Sir

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