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“Romantic place for a healthy start in SFO”

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Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Ranked #93 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Netherlands
Level Contributor
84 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Romantic place for a healthy start in SFO”
Reviewed 31 July 2010

This is the place to be in SFO. Romantic hotel, splendid service (the doormen make you feel at home right away) and location is great. Don't go to Marriott across the street, but feel the history in the Drake. Good price/performance ratio.
Food is superb. Try the Healthy Start breakfast, it's a treat in all its simplicity, including home made grenola. The rooms are nice, clean and complete, some of them would benefit from a little refurbishment but it's no big deal.

Eric Kuisch, NL

Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank kuisch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Level Contributor
70 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2010

The Sir Francis Drake is a truly historic San Francisco hotel in one of the best and most central locations for tourists. I lived in SF for 5 years and booked this hotel for my last night in the city before moving out of state. Staying here made my last evening really special!

For people visiting the city this hotel definitely has location, location, location on it's side. It is right in the center of Union Square, in the middle of it all. The hotel has
modern, stylish rooms that have been redecorated in the typically somewhat whimsical Kimpton style. The downside was that my room with queen size bed was tiny and the bathroom was miniscule (approaching cruise ship size), which could be a pain if sharing with another person.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank sfran_adventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SFDManager, Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, 28 July 2010
Dear sfran_adventurer, thank you for recognizing the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay and would return in the future.

There are larger rooms available in this hotel as well in the Executive category that are very spacious. They have upwards to 200 square feet of additional space than our standard room categories.

I encourage you to try them out upon a return. I'm certain that you will have a perfect stay.

Thank you again and take care.

Patrick Jackson - Hotel Manager
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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2010

I was traveling on business and usually stay at the St. Francis across the street, but a colleague recommended the Sir Francis Drake and I'm so glad that she did! This hotel is historic, quaint, and beautiful. All of the staff were so friendly and helpful. The bed was super comfy and I loved the view of the city. I also really enjoyed the daily "treats" in the hotel lobby, like the complimentary Arnold Palmers. Scala is an amazing restaurant, too. You can't beat the location and price of this hotel. I'll definitely stay again!

Stayed July 2010, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank travel4fun3319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SFDManager, Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, 28 July 2010
Dear travel4fun3319, the staff here takes great pride in this hotel and I will be certain to celebrate your comments with them.

Thank you for your review. We certainly do hope to have you as a guest in the future.

Patrick Jackson - Hotel Manager
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1 review
Reviewed 24 July 2010

If you're going to book this hotel INSIST you stay below the 15th floor and away from the side that faces union square. This first two nights we stayed on 16th facing Powell street and it was relatively quiet. Then we moved to the 17th floor and got a better view of the city facing union square. The view is beautiful but sooo not worth it. The level of noise from the Jazz club on 21st floor and Post St/Union Square is unbearable. I have the best earplugs known to man and it still didn't drown out the noise. So if you stay here, stay low and in a room facing Powell St or you WILL regret it.

  • Stayed July 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Protekt0r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SFDManager, Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, 28 July 2010
Thank you Protekt0r, for staying and recommending the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.

I'm sorry you found your room noisy from the hustle and bustle of the city's going's on. We do have a side of the hotel that does not allow for the noise you had described.

Thank you again for your stay we hope to see you again.

Patrick Jackson - Hotel Manager
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Austin, Texas
1 review
Reviewed 20 July 2010

I just returned from a stay at the Sir Francis Drake, and while the hotel itself was nice and the location ideal, I was incredibly displeased with the unfriendliness of certain members of the front desk staff and concierge. I don't believe I've ever been to a hotel with a rude employee at the concierge--isn't it their job to be helpful and friendly? Anytime we asked her or anyone at the front desk a question, they answered abruptly, without as much as a smile or a goodbye. My friend and I laughed at the fact that we were treated better by the airport staff--known for being notoriously unfriendly--than we were treated by the concierge at our hotel. Beyond that, the front desk always seemed understaffed--maybe just very slow? One guest asked the man at the front desk what time the hotel's restaurant opened (information that he should probably know off the top of his head), but instead it somehow took him around 10 minutes to call and find the answer. I don't think the location would justify staying at this hotel again.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jennilynn87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SFDManager, Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, 27 July 2010
Dear jennilynn87, thank you for your stay. I'm concerned over your comments about the friendliness of the staff and take your comments seriously. I do hope that you had shared your displeasure with management to allow us to correct any issues with staff. This hotel is know for being friendly and accomondating. To have a member of our team any other way is not acceptable.

Please feel free to share any further information if you'd like. I can be reached directly at patrick.jackson@sirfrancisdrake.com. I would appreciate your insights.

Thank you again.

Patrick Jackson - Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
los angeles, ca
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2010

Here is a 'classic' hotel, built in 1928, and it shows. If you want to film a period movie and need grand ballrooms, huge chandeliers, plaster friezes, wrought iron, etc. then you might enjoy this hotel. But as a place to spend a night it is nothing more or less than a dump.

My first room (about 9x13 feet) reeked of mildew, so I asked to be moved. My second room (maybe 10x12) smelled slightly less of mildew. The large single pane windows, covered with grime on the outside, don't offer much of a view (owing to the grime), nor any ventilation (since they don't open), but they do allow in quite a lot of street noise from Powell Street below - on which runs the street car line. The bed had no support whatever; it felt like a 12-inch-thick mattress pad which was unevenly stuffed. The walls were papered with an unappetizing vomit green/mucus yellow vertical striped pattern - it reminded me of the Munsters house. Ventilation and climate control were very poor. In combination with the small size of the room, it made me claustrophobic.

After two nights of trying, and failing, to get a decent night's rest, I explained to Ryan at the front desk that the poor ventilation and excessive noise from the street coming through those single-pane windows made it impossible for me to sleep. He was sympathetic and allowed me to check out early without paying the $100 'penalty fee'. Good for him, because I would have raised Hell about that!! I wound up across the street at the Marriott ($20 more per night), where everything was fine.

The food in Scala's restaurant is good.

Harry Denton's Starlight Room doesn't explicitly say so, but seems to be orientated towards a gay clientele - just so you know. I did like it for the double-pane windows and the view.

There may be a market to whom this hotel appeals, but I am not familiar with it. I would suggest that anybody who wants a comfortable room in which to sleep and shower will definitely want to avoid the Drake!

If I could offer some constructive criticism to the Drake's management:

1. double-pane windows!!!!
2. replace the beds
3. brighten up the colors in the rooms
4. fix that mold/mildew issue on the 7th floor!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank shmekel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SFDManager, Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, 27 July 2010
Dear btownplayers, we are disappointed that you did not enjoy your stay with us and truly apologize. I'm glad that you found Ryan responsive and understanding and that Scalas restaurant was one that you would recommend.

I have shared your review with my staff in an effort to ensure that the rooms on the 7th floor do not have your previously described issues and are presentable to our next guests.

I do hope that we have another opportunity of you staying with us so that we may change your mind.

Sincerly,


Patrick Jackson - Hotel Manager
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Orange,CA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2010

Stayed the 6th - 10th. We got a great rate. Since we stayed 4 nights we got 40% off our room rate which came to 119/night. (Booked through their website.) In addition, if you forgo maid service they give you a $10 hotel credit each day you choose to do it. (We did it for 2 of our days and the $20 in free drinks was nice!) We stayed in room 1427 which turned out to be a corner room overlooking both Union Square and Powell Street and the views were AMAZING! We pulled the two overstuffed chairs that were in the room up to the window facing union square and sat and had drinks every night we were there. Try and get this room, the views alone make it worth it! (Oh, and the windows open, so we got a great cool breeze!) They have Aveda products in the bathroom, which is impressive. (Aveda stuff is not cheap!) The bathrooms are teeny tiny, and the rooms are smallish but who cares, we didn't go to San Francisco to hang out in our room! The hotel staff were super friendly. (Shout out to Steven the bartender - friendly and informative.) Also, at Bar Drake during happy hour every 2nd drink is only 28 cents! So, great deal there as well. Eat at Scala's if you can, we had dinner there (I had pasta my boyfriend had the lamb shoulder risotto which was divine!) We went up to the Starlight room one night for drinks and dancing - fun! (Older crowd, great views!) Overall - great location, great staff, great trip. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank OCMichelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SFDManager, Manager at Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, responded to this review, 27 July 2010
Thank you OCMichelle, for your kind words and, more importantly you staying with us. We are pleased that you were able to enjoy this hotel and it's great outlets. They are indeed a lot of fun and very delicious.

We do hope that we once again see you, and soon.

Sincerly,

Patrick Jackson - Hotel Manager
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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 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
#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 (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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