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“Concierge Professional Was Exceptional”

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Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Ranked #95 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 11 August 2014

My sister, daughter and I recently visited this beautiful hotel. We were celebrating my daughter's 17th birthday and it was an early graduation present too. Anyway, we stayed in two rooms on the 19th floor of the hotel. Since we wanted to dine at some wonderful restaurants, we met Leif at the Concierge Desk. He helped us make all of the reservations for restaurants and excusions for Muir Woods and Sausalito. On the last day of our trip, we were watching a movie in our room when the fire alarm sounded. My sister came down the hall from her room. The alarm siren kept ringing and a voice told us to not use the elevator. So, we frantically climbed down 19 stories--not knowing if there was a fire, a bomb or shooter in the hotel. It was a horrible experience. My poor sister was shaking and crying. My daughter and I were kind of in shock. It turned out to be a false alarm, but the fire department came. When we reached the lobby, NO ONE said a thing to us, when it was clear that my sister was not OK....except then came Leif--our friend! He listened to our ordeal, helped us calm down and even offered my sister and I a glass of wine or drink if we wanted it. He couldn't have been more gracious or professional. We had first talked to the front desk and asked about the alarm--this guy named Nelson was a total jerk to us. He offered NO help. He just said it wasn't his problem or something like that. We were shocked at his lack of compassion or real customer service. If it hadn't have been for Leif, I promise we would NEVER consider ever staying there again. It is not like this hotel is a Days Inn. Their room charge is $369 per day--and we had TWO rooms, dinner at the hotel, room service, etc. Honestly, they should reconsider their current manager and put Leif in charge. HE is the kind of professional EVERY nice hotel should have in charge! Thanks, Karen Mitchell, San Antonio, Texas

Room Tip: The rooms were pretty, but very small. NO counter space at all.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Kmitchell1954
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 reviewResponded 23 August 2014

Dear Kmitchell1954,

Wow, that’s definitely not the feedback we like to hear. Although, I am thrilled that Leif took such great care of you our team should have shown more compassion during a chaotic time. Fire alarms are never fun, we are unable to announce it's a false alarm until we have fully investigated to ensure the safety of our guests we always recommend exiting. Thank you for taking time to express your concerns it sounds like we have some training opportunities.

Warm Regards,
Nikki Carlson
Assistant General Manager

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Reviewed 11 August 2014 via mobile

Stayed here one night. Although, can't complain about location the price I paid was very high for the small room I got. So small, the toilet door couldn't open fully!
The room was right next to the lift so all night I could hear the lift mechanism going up and down.
Couldn't wait to check out

  • Stayed: September 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Thank KatieKateW
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 reviewResponded 23 August 2014

Hey Traveler,

Yikes, you couldn't wait to check out, that's a disappointment for sure! Our goal is to ensure everyone is having such a fabulous stay that they never want to leave. It sounds like you stayed in one of our historic rooms; if you book again I would recommend one of our deluxe rooms for more space.

Cheers!
Nikki Carlson
Assistant General Manager

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Reviewed 10 August 2014

Hotel was built in 1928 so is very rich in SF history. Location is excellent, rooms are small but well laid out and comfortable as per Kimpton standards. Staff is very friendly and pleasant. Will stay again. A visit to the Starlight Room is a must for the views and charm of an old bar. Great unique drink selection.

Room Tip: our room on the 12th floor was great
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Marlos1
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 reviewResponded 11 August 2014

Dear Marlos,

Thanks for the great review; it always makes me smile when one of our guests say I"ll be back!
Excellent location, friendly staff and comfy cozy rooms are all ingredients of a great hotel stay. We look forward to your return.

Jim

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Reviewed 10 August 2014

Stayed at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco for 6 nights. The hotel is old and rooms are quite small. The bathrooms are very tight and needs updating. The vanity is so small that the water from the faucet leaks onto the floor. Just very poor design. There is no counter space, so there hardly any room for your toiletries, unless you want to put them on the top of the toilet tank. Not quite hygienic. Not even a place to rest the hair dryer.

Location, on the other hand, is a different story. Right in the middle of the city. Cable cars outside your doorstep. Good location to walk around. Dined at the Scala restaurant. Food is edible at best, nothing special. Needed help at the Concierge desk which is next to the front desk. No one was there but 4 people at the front desk not helping anyone but I had to physically ask one of them to come over and help me. For the price of this hotel, I expect more I guess.

I rented a car and checked in at the Sir Francis Drake late, almost close to midnight. As we all do, we check the rental car for damages at the rental place so we won't be charged for existing damages. There is valet parking. I used the car the following day but then we didn't need the car for a couple of days, so it was in the garage the whole time. When I got the car back, I drove it to the beach and noticed a few significant scratches on the front bumper. When I returned it that evening, conveniently, their other half of the valet stub marked preexisting damages. My half had none. I asked to see their computerized records as it seems the valet stub markings could have been added at anytime. They refused to provide these, and reassured me someone will get in touch with me the following day. No calls the next day. I followed up with Valet and the person said he was off so he wasn't able to call me. Another day passes with no resolution. Now, I am checking out. I get a letter a week later saying they are not responsible for any damages. My valet bill exceeds my rental car bill. The least they can do was take care of the car.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Thank VRMG44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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1  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 reviewResponded 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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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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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
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 reviewResponded 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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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 !!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about 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
#47 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: £114 - £340 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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