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"Nice to see, nice to touch, but don't stay" Sir Francis Drake Hotel - A Kimpton Hotel Tip by aussierunamok

Sir Francis Drake Hotel - A Kimpton Hotel, San Francisco: 2,990 reviews and 14 photos

The Sir Francis Drake Hotel on Union Square is in a great location. The cable car stops are right outside the entrance (this is also a problem due to the noise they generate at night). Famous for it's Beefeater doormen, it's nice to be met with a smile after returning from an exploration of nearby Chinatown or the wharf precinct.

Reception staff are efficient, but very rude. Concierge service is the absolute worst I've experienced anywhere - you're probably better off DIY - or do what I was forced to do - go to the hotel across the street and see their concierge.

The hotel lobby has a quaint almost Aladdinesque feel to it - a little tacky for some. The carpeting in the hallways is reminescent of that in "The Shining". The rooms are clean, but need serious updating - peeling wall paper, every tile in the bathroom was cracked - plumbing needs checking (seems to take the bath forever to drain), and cracked bathroom mirrors. The window mounted airconditioning is noisy (useful for blocking out the clamour of the cable cars). The toiletries provided are nice though (Aveda).

The hotel restaurant serves Italian food - competently prepared with service to match. The cafe/bistro has a nice ambience to it, friendly staff and the coffee is very good. The Starlight room is spectacular - wonderful views, cocktails, a quality wine list. Live music some nights - great if you're into jazz and lounge, or for pre-dinner drinks - make sure you book on weekends. Gentlemen should wear a jacket.

So the verdict - great amenities - all open to the public. Poor service, dated rooms needing some TLC. Come for the bar and the restaurants, but stay elsewhere.

Unique Qualities: The famous Beefeater doormen - get a photo with one - they're very friendly.
Unbeatable location - close to cable cars, Chinatown, and with a bonus 24 hour Walgreens across the road for thos last minute "oops I forgot (my toothbrush again)" emergencies.

Address: 450 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Price Comparison: more expensive than average
Directions: Union Square - Powell St.
Phone: +1 800-795-7129
Price: US$180 and up
Theme: Hotel

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 2, 2006
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