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“Great location and room”
Review of The Donatello

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The Donatello
Ranked #44 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Traverse City, Michigan
Level Contributor
493 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
“Great location and room”
Reviewed 10 December 2013

This is the 4 th or so time we have stayed at the Donatello on a timeshare exchange. This is an exceptional location for exploring San Francisco. (TIP: Unless you absolutely need a car consider using the public transportation. The cost of a 7 day Muni pass is $28 per person and will grant you unlimited rides on the cable cars (normally $6 one way!), trolleys and buses. Parking can run $30-$50 per day in overnight lots and an empty street spot is very hard to find at any time of day. Plus negotiating the cable car right of ways, bus only lanes and pedestrians is not for the meek at the wheel.)

Our room had been refurbished since our last stay and was nicely appointed, comfortable and spotless. Should you be on an extended trip and need clothes washed you will either have to pay hotel fees or walk to a nearby laundromat as there is no guest laundry on site. There was a Shell Vacation timeshare booth in the lobby but we were (thankfully) never bothered. The lobby is staffed 24 hours a day and is very secure. The top floor has a nice lounge area, sauna and hot tub.

We were 1 block from Powell Street and Union Square where it seems the city never sleeps. Two of the three cable car lines original at Powell and Market just a couple of blocks from the Square. It's a short walk to China Town (Grant is loaded with tourist themed shops but Stockton is where you will encounter most of the genuine Chinese markets. Just at the North edge of China Town you enter the North Beach and Washington Square and area with many Italian restaurants. A little bit further and you will be at the Fisherman's Wharf area. All within casual walking distance of the Donatello. Tired of the walk? Catch a cable car back to within 1 block of the Donatello. Another good walk is from Market and Powell down Market to the Embacadero area passing thru the finacial district. You will see major high end stores, street people and panhandlers of all sorts. Thursday and Saturday there is a farmers market at the Embacadero that is a favorite scene to take in. Plan to eat at one of the food trucks on site.

Now back to the Donatello. Everybody travels differently. Some folks choose to be catered to, my wife and I prefer to be left alone for a weeks stay and leave the unit neat and clean on departure. There is a frequent tip mentallity here. Tip the bellman to take your luggage up, tip to get an ice bucket, tip (I assume) for a turn down service in the evening and daily restocking of the mini fridge of grossly over priced (non-perishable) stuff. We place everything on the counter and use the fridge for our juice, etc. Having someone enter our room a couple of times a day violates the privacy I am paying for. We therefore leave the do not disturb sign out and it is honored. As I said, some folks opt for more service than others. We just are opposed to what appears to be a fabricated industry of tipping. It doesn't feel much different than the street panhandlers. That sais the Donatello is a great place to stay in SF.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bill H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shell W, Social Media Team at The Donatello, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Thank you for taking the time to reach out and providing some helpful tips about the area for future guests. We appreciate your kind words and will share them with our staff. We are glad to hear you enjoyed your refurbished unit and resort amenities. We look forward to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (450)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
111 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2013

My wife and I stayed at this hotel when we exchanged our timeshare for a week. The hotel is centrally located - one block from Union Square and a few blocks from Market Street where it is a shoppers paradise. But in every direction around the hotel, there are stores and restaurants to satisfy almost all tastes. There were buses, trains and trolleys within walking distance to go almost anywhere within San Francisco.
The room was nicely decorated with a King bed, a sofa which folds out to another bed, a writing desk, large TV, and in the corner, a microwave, fridge and sink, with dishes and utensils. The bathroom had something that I've never seen before - a built-in TV in the mirror! We really enjoyed watching TV as we prepared for our day in the morning. Shower was good and hot. We asked for a quiet room so we were facing the back of the hotel so we didn't have a view. However, the room was super quiet and we didn't hear any of our neighbors, which was great.
There was a lounge on the top floor where there were sofas and comfortable chairs to relax as well as some views of the city from the balcony. They also had free coffee and tea, which we had every morning. There was also a gym and a sauna but we didn't have a chance to use them.
The only issue with the hotel that I didn't like is the valet-only parking and on a few mornings, it took 10-15 minutes before they got our car because we had to wait for other people in front of us. I'm just not comfortable handing my car over to someone and then having to wait for them to retrieve the car.
If we returned to San Francisco, we would definitely stay at this hotel again. As they say, location, location, location.

Room Tip: Get a room facing the back if you want a quiet room.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tourhound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shell W, Social Media Team at The Donatello, responded to this review, 7 December 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback including some area activity suggestions for future guests. We appreciate your kind words and will share them with our staff. We are glad to hear you enjoyed the unit accommodations and property location. We apologize for any inconvenience with the valet parking and will be sure to look into resolving this issue. Again, thanks for reaching out. We look forward to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oregon
Level Contributor
48 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 December 2013

Having just got back from are trip to SFO and staying at The Donatello for part of the trip I had to say thanks again. We go to SFO 3 or 4 times a year and try to stay here always. From check in to the time to go home the staff is the best.
This last trip was proof of that. When we came back to the city they where booked so we had to stay are last 3 days at the Mark Hopkins and we will not go there again. If that is the only place to stay we will go home.
We will make sure to change are dates if we can't stay at the Donatello.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sadbuttru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shell W, Social Media Team at The Donatello, responded to this review, 6 December 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. It’s great to hear you are able to visit us so often. We appreciate your kind words regarding our staff. We look forward to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2013

We stayed here for a week and really loved the place.

The room was amazing, we had a good view, the beds were some of the best we had ever slept on, the decor was classy and the bathroom had a TV in it! What will they think of next!

The parking was great, the Valet always looked after us and had our car down as quick as possible.

We used the Gym, it was small but had most things you need for a work out

Location. The hotel was really close to the square and we walked there daily.

If we came back to SF in the near future we would definitely stay here again

Room Tip: Give the Valets a couple bucks extra and they always had our car parked at the front of the cue
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steveclifton1440
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shell W, Social Media Team at The Donatello, responded to this review, 4 December 2013
Hi Steve,

Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. We appreciate your kind words and will share them with our staff. We are so glad to hear you enjoyed the amazing view from your unit, as well as the gym and property location. We look forward to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ukiah, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2013

We love the Donatello and have been coming here for years. In fact if we can't get a reservation we simply change the dates of our trip.

But this review is not to add onto the numerous rave reviews. This review is to tell you what terrific service we got from Michael at the front desk. When we checked in I had a special request -- wait for it -- a toaster! Why? Well, we are too frugal to go out for breakfast and bring juice and English muffins with us. But this time we forgot the toaster.

At first Michael was doubtful he could find a toaster, but when we returned to our room there was our toaster! I was thrilled, and even more thrilled that Michael went out of his way to satisfy an eccentric guest.

Thanks, Michael!

Room Tip: This is city hotel -- there will be noise -- get used to it!
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mpfund6617
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shell W, Social Media Team at The Donatello, responded to this review, 2 December 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. We appreciate your kind words and will share them with our staff. We are more than happy to hear you received the Count On Me service that our guests deserve. We look forward to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2013

My husband and I stayed in Club Donatello (part of Donatello Hotel) for 3 nights in June 2012 during our USA honeymoon and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay!!

The hotel is in a great location - on Union Square, close to many shops and restaurants and about 10-15 mins scenic tram drive to Fisherman' s Wharf. We arrived early in the morning from New York and although our room was not ready, very helpful concierge took care of our luggage and gave us directions to what to see and assisted us in getting public transport tickets (as we decided to start exploring the city asap) Reception also took our phone number and when our room was ready, they gave us a call which we really appreciated.

The rooms in Club Donatello looked a bit dated but were very very specious with amazing bed , big and clean bathroom and all important amenities such as fridge, iron and ironing board, tea and coffee maker etc. We tried to order room service but I was a bit disappointed with my meal and I did not eat it but when I informed the staff, they quickly refunded the cost. I also tried the gym which I found really good - also with a great sauna!!

We spent most of the days outside of the hotel exploring San Francisco but we were always happy to come back. I would love to especially praise concierge - they were really friendly and gave us a lot of helpful advice how to enjoy the city in quite short time we had there. They also helped us lot by keeping our luggage over night after we checked out and went for a 2 days trip to Yosemite as we were not allowed to take the big luggage with us.

Overall, hotels in San Francisco can be very expensive but Club Donatello provides really great value for money and I would not hesitate to recommend the hotel to anybody!!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Veronika C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shell W, Social Media Team at The Donatello, responded to this review, 2 December 2013
Hi Veronica,

Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback along with some helpful tips regarding area transportation for future guests. We appreciate your kind words and will share them with our staff. We are glad you enjoyed the unit space and amenities along with the resort concierges services provided. We look forward to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LA
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2013

A value at $139/night including parking in the city!! Parking alone can be $50/night. I believe this is a Time Share property, so it has a few extra amenities that are nice.
Greeted at the Valet. Bellman started unloading my truck immediately, and waited with us while we checked in (a plus!) Check in was a breeze, two minutes tops, no line. Escorted to our room on the 9th floor, by the very friendly bellman. Well appointed larger room (for frisco) King bed with sofa sleeper pullout. Wet bar, fridge, coffee maker, 32"-40"(?) tv with cable and DVR included. Don't expect much from the TV. Buzzing sound while using the DVR...I checked all the connections. And as I have found in many hotels, management thinks that a big screen with cable is great...its not if you if you don't have a HD feed into a big flat screen...the Quality isn't there. Bathroom is ok and maid service was excellent. There is a CLUB level on the top floor. It includes a fitness center, coffee/tea/hot chocolate. There is a sitting lounge with an outside area(balcony) too. If you are a "CLUB" member, I think there is access to more?? We didn't take advantage of the 2nd floor higher end restaurant and bar, but it smelled yummy.

The surrounding area can be sketchy, depending on which way you go. If you go directly to Union Square...no worries. Wife and teenage daughter felt safe walking to Union Square. Go any other direction, and it can be sketchy (like many downtown cities).

Noise level cars/buses/fire trucks in the room,was a bit high. Again, like most rooms downtown.

I would definitely recommend this hotel at the right price. Would be average at a price above $160. but at $139/valet parking!! A GREAT VALUE!!!

Room Tip: Pay for the parking in a package ahead of time...its cheaper than daily rate, and you get in and out...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank h82luz2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shell W, Social Media Team at The Donatello, responded to this review, 29 November 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback including some helpful tips for future guests. We are glad you enjoyed the unit accommodations and maid service. We look forward to your next visit.
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 The Donatello

Property: The Donatello
Address: 501 Post Street, cross street - Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-1228
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 ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#25 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#29 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#31 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#54 Business Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Donatello 3.5*
Number of rooms: 94
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
FIVE-TIME WINNER OF THE CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE! Located in the heart of San Francisco's fashionable shopping and theater district by Union Square is the spacious Donatello. Settle into tastefully appointed rooms and enjoy the top floor fitness center, with a whirlpool spa and private saunas, which provides the perfect retreat after a day exploring the city. You can take a cable car up and down San Francisco 's colorful neighborhoods or explore the many streets of Chinatown. And when you work up an appetite in a city know for its cuisine, the Zingari Ristorante, located onsite, is a Northern Italian feast for the taste buds. Fully experience fine dining, theater and shopping in San Francisco at our luxurious retreat in the exciting City by the Bay-a San Francisco getaway perfect for romance, leisure and business travel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Donatello Hotel San Francisco
Donatello San Francisco

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