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“Still a great location with knowledgeable concierge service”

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The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
Ranked #76 of 231 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 10 January 2011

This might not be my first review of the St. Francis, can't recall, but I've stayed here several times. There are certainly nicer hotels, the St. Regis for one, but the location is great and the concierge service is very experienced in terms of finding information, tickets, anything really. There is free internet in the lobby. I don't like that it's nearly always crowded in the lobby and at check-in - there are a lot of rooms for a small public space. The old building (nearest Union Square) has unique rooms and configurations, but it's older. The tower has good views above around 25 floors and is newer. The beds have all been pretty good Westin mattresses. There's a great ramen place called Katana-Ya which is one block away on Geary Street.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ajsm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,359 - 4,365 of 5,798 reviews

Reviewed 4 January 2011

We stayed in this hotel for 4 nights over the Christmas Holiday. I got a very good rate because I'm a starwood preferred customer. If we'd paid rack rates to stay here I'd probably feel differently. The main issue was the elevators in the Tower, which is in the 1970s portion of the hotel. Every time we got in them there was some issue, the door wouldn't close or the elevator would stop at random floors. At one point, there was only one running. The wait was 20 minutes to get back to our hotel room. The staff would not let us climb the stairs because of security. Luckily this didn't impact our stay tremendously because we did not need to go back to the room frequently. The location right on Union Square is great. Our room was large and well-appointed. I love the Westin Heavenly bed.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Maude3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2011

A belated review, we stayed here in October, but wanted to write about it. Hubby had a conference here (we stayed at Westin in Napa prior to this - see my other review) and we brought our 4 1/2 year old daughter. It's true, this location is really perfect, close to shopping, Cheesecake Factory in Macy's (yum!) and close to the start of the cable car line and the muni line, both of which we used. The thing is, if you're into historical, you'll probably really get a kick out of this place and you should stay here. If you're not, or like remotely fresh surroundings, than you would probably do better to say somewhere more trendy. Since it was for a conference we stayed here in the Towers. Part of the lobby, facing union square is very, very dark. Hallways seemed dark. It runs a bit dark in general. Our room was nicely spacious, but not memorable. The view was very nice, but oddly when I opened my curtains all the way to really appreciate the big panoramic view I saw the man in the next room doing the same in his underwear - ewwww. The bathroom was done in a lovely old marble and was spacious for a city hotel - but - I have a major problem with industrial toilets with the big silver arm that you want to put your foot on to flush. So this was pretty hideous to look at in a pretty marble bathroom. Sadly there was no fridge space to store any personal items, but that's pretty standard. After coming from the fresh spankingly modern efficiencies of the Westin Verasa in Napa, this was kind of a letdown. There was nothing really majorly wrong, so if you do stay here it's likely you'll have a pleasant stay (housekeeping was very good), but it's definately lacking some kind of special panache. As far as conference hotels go - it's better than most and did not have that 'dinged all over look from luggage' that some conference hotels get.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled on business
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1  Thank Amymow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2011

This hotel is a historic landmark and located right in Union Square... as everyone has stated in their reviews. Since all the other reviews cover the location/surroundings, I'll quickly cover our room. It was small and the king size bed took up most of the room. The bed and bathroom and closet were clean and the ceilings are high so you don't feel claustrophobic. Keep in mind the hotel is old so expect a certain amount of noise from the hallway and the other guest rooms. I was disappointed that the wifi wasn't free like the Four Seasons or the Fairmont and if you are driving in, expect to pay about $50 a night for valet.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank alexkim7718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2011

New Year's Eve trip to San Francisco. Chose the St. Francis becasue of its location. Previously have stayed at the Fairmount and Hiton Union Square. Nothing beats this location. Cable cars at the front door. Across the street from Union Square, Macy's, Sears Fine Food, and the life of San Francisco. The location cannot be improved. But the hotel could. We had a 350 s.f. room on the 25th floor of the tower. The views were nice. The room was only OK. It was tired. The carpet was just shy of being worn. The furntiure was worn. The bathroom needed renovation. Even the hallway wallpaper was very outdated. We visited the Fairmount during this stay and instantly remembered what a nicer hotel it is. That said, the staff were very nice. Room service, even at 12:30 AM on NY Eve was quick. Bell service was excellant. Dinner at the Oak Room was very nice and quite reasonably priced. The hotel needs a facelift, but the location and staff more than make up for it.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank catatthebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2011

Spent one night there with extended family (four rooms total) following Christmas visit with family living in Eastern California. Good parts: the room was comfortable (hotel beds rarely please me, but this one did; I actually slept well). Also, the location was perfect. Right on Union Square, just a couple of blocks from the BART station and right next to the trolley. Walking distance from Chinatown (do NOT walk north on Powell; big hill. Go to the other side of the square and then head north, and it's a much flatter walk). My wife made the reservation and said the price was comparable to some other hotels that were seemingly less-well situated; it looked more expensive than it was, at least with the rate we got that weekend. French Onion soup at the Oak Room was good. Did not try any other hotel food. Nicely decorated for Christmas. I noticed someone else thought it was "cold" & I'd just say it's a personal style thing: we like the historic feel of the hotel and I liked reading some of the old newspaper clips about famous events in the hotel's past. Much the same reason I approved the old Menger Hotel in San Antonio. Recommend the Sears restaurant (not to be confused with "Sears" the retail store) a block north for breakfast, despite the wait. Whereas the Menger Room was smaller than a comparable modern room, I thought the St. Francis room was a little larger. We were in the older part, not the tower added decades later.

Bad part was that it was hard to approach the hotel in the car, especially given SF's many hills and one-way streets. Had to drive out of the way around the square to approach the garage from the right direction. Parking was nearly $60 per day and when we tried to get the cars the next day it took a half hour, hard to get them back. Don't forget to factor in the price of parking. If you have somewhere else to park and can take the subway or a cab into the city, especially if you're staying a few days, consider doing that. Distance from the BART station isn't that bad, but it takes a while to take the SF "BART" subway all the way to the airport, if that applies to you (as it did to us).

Finally, was amused to return home and have my parents tell me this is the hotel we stayed at when I was a child in the 70's. I didn't remember that. All in all, I recommend.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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Thank AdoptiveDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2010

The location of the hotel cannot be surpassed. The entrance is directly on Union Square. Unfortunately, that is where the benefits end. The lobby is cold and impersonal, and that presages the service from the front desk on. The room, while satisfactory, is nothing special, but the wait for the elevators in unbearable. One day I opted to go down the stairs from the 14th floor after waiting 20 minutes for an elevator. The stairs led to the bowels of the building, and there I encountered other guests who were lost after opting for the stairs. Together we finally found our way out through a service garage.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank FCT3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

Address: 335 Powell Street, Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102-1804
Phone Number:
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:
#28 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#42 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#58 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#60 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#73 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range: £160 - £451 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square 4*
Number of rooms: 1195
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
More than just a hotel, The Westin St. Francis is a destination where you can unwind and be pampered by attentive, world-class service. As the only hotel located on Union Square, we are celebrated for our historic Magneta Grandfather Clock, a popular gathering place for generations of travelers, as well as our commitment to guest renewal and relaxation. Explore this legendary landmark, which has drawn locals and visitors for more than a century with our distinguished service and through the timeless refrain "Meet me under the clock!" Inside our warm and welcoming San Francisco luxury hotel, marble columns, ornate balconies, and intricate woodwork transport guests back to the elegance of yesteryear. Yet these magnificent appointments are balanced by modern, groundbreaking amenities including the revolutionary Heavenly Bed, our Starwood Preferred Guest rewards program, and employees dedicated to making you feel at home. Book one of our downtown San Francisco hotel rooms and discover the allure of the city's most charismatic and vital setting. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Westin St. Francis Hotel San Francisco
Westin St Francis
Westin San Francisco
Westin Hotel San Francisco
San Francisco Westin

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