Sir Francis Drake Hotel - A Kimpton Hotel
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TravelPod Member ReviewsSir Francis Drake Hotel - A Kimpton Hotel San Francisco
Just like so many of the buildings in San Fran that surround Union Square, Sir Francis Drake is a beautifully restored and cared for older building with so much charm and grace! Its staff are helpful and its facilities accessible.
Gets my tick so far!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
This hotel is stunning. When you first walk in you immediately enter into the bar area where you are greeted by a giant red statue of Sir Frances Drake himself. The architecture in this hotel has an old world feel but the furniture that adorns the bar area is somewhat contemporary and chic. Big long couches with comfy pillows and separate seating areas for several different groups. The only negative about this bar area is the automatic doors are constantly opening and shutting and blowing in cold air so the bar is constantly cold. The servers said that it has always been this way and that this time of year (May) is better that in the summer. They said it is much colder in the bar then. The service from the bartenders to the the servers and the concierge was very prompt and friendly.
The room was very clean and the bed was comfortable. Because this is an old, historic hotel, the bathroom was very tiny. Just a sink, toilet and shower.
No counter space to put your toiletries. But overall, for our 2 night stay it was sufficient.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Sir Francis Drake Hotel - A Kimpton Hotel San Francisco
Enjoyed the Sir Francis Drake
Loved the location - cable cars, Chinatown and Union Square shopping all nearby. Yes, the street noise was loud at times but with earplugs I had no problem sleeping. Our room was larger than I expected for a city hotel and very clean. Parking is expensive so try to avoid that but the valet service was top notch. Staff was cordial, and helpful. The restaurant attached had excellent food. Spent some time in the lobby - comfortable seats (needed the rest after hiking the hills).
Worn but Charming
I stayed at the Sir Francis Drake on a trip to San francisco for business. My room was small, but nicely furnished. The bed was comfortable, and the bathroom, though showing its age, was clean and well-stocked. The staff was pleasant and helpful (front desk and concierge). though i did not go to the upper floor nightclub, one of my co-workers did, and says he goes there every time he visits SF, and recommends it. I'll be in SF again in November and may stay there again.
Good value, good location
We stayed 4 nights and were very comfortable. Room was clean with plenty of space (after all, we were just sleeping there and watching a little TV, not holding a ballroom dance), with queen bed, TV/dresser, nightstands, mini-bar, two armchairs, plus desk with chair. Location was great -- with cable car outside door and streetcars, BART and buses just a few blocks away. The bed was maybe the most comfortable hotel bed I've ever slept in. Chinatown nearby, and Union Square was only a half block away. Definitely would consider this hotel on a return trip. Staff was very friendly.
What a disappointment
Stayed in the Sir Francis Drake for four nights recently. When I rang to confirm booking, the receptionist complained that I had not booked directly with the hotel as she said it was available for the same price. In fact when I had tried to book directly, I was informed that there were no rooms at all avialble for the dates in question. This was the most overpriced location I ever stayed in for the quality of the accomadation and service. Air conditioning noise from other rooms all night, every night, constantly having to request extra towels although there were three pople booked to stay in the room, towels left for two people only. A late night party next door which required two phonecalls to get security to deal with. And it is the first time I was asked to give up my seat in the 'Starlight Room at 10.p.m. to apparently accomadate other patrons although we were resident in the hotel. Even on the morning we left, the staff appeared unwilling to call a taxi to the airport. This is the most disappointing stay I have ever had in any hotel and for a similar price in Europe, the standard would have been significantly higher.
Do not waste your money !!!!!!!!!!!!!
This hotel is a DUMP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The lobby area is cute, but the rooms are old an durty, the carpet smells really bad.
Needs Major renovation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Very nice Hotel
I booked The Drake thru Hotwire, for 55% off rack rates ( $81 nite). I was somewhat trepidatious after to reading some of the reviews. Now I am wondering what planet the naysayers were on. Our stay was perfect. We wanted a hotel with charm, not glitz, in a central location (Union Sq can't be beat for short stays). I did not expect the Rockettes to give me a personal visit, so room size was adequate. We are not honeymooners, or weekend lovers, so why worry about a larger room. We wanted to see San Franciso, not hotel room fittings. From the beefeater at the door, to the desk staff on, everyone made us feel welcome. Noise was minimal at night. ( it is in the middle of a lrge city, so there will always be someting now and again!) The bed was comforatble. Housekeeping was excellent. All the plumbing worked as advertised. Its true I would not pay rack rates for this hotel, but what knowlegible traveller does? If you get this on Hotwire, relax and enjoy yourself.
I liked this hotel very much
I just got back from San Francisco (7/20/2005) and stayed one night at the Sir Francis Drake. I read the reviews before going and was thinking it would be a bad experience. I liked it very much.
First of all the lobby is wonderful and grand. I really liked that they have two computers by the front desk. Each has a printer. Each guest can have 15 free minutes on the internet before it logs you out so that another guest can take over. I needed to check my hotmail and my friend needed to print a Southwest Airlines boarding pass. We were on for 5 minutes. It was so much better than at the Westin where I stayed the night before. It would have cost my friend about $15 to print a couple pages (login fee and a charge of $2 a page).
The lobby was busy and had a nice feel.
The front desk let me check in early (around 10:00 AM). That was very big help. My friend needed a place to keep his bag and change before heading out for a late afternoon flight. The staff was nice.
The rooms are older. A bit like staying at a charming hotel in England. My room had one queen size bed and was not gigantic. But it had a very comfortable feel. I had a corner rooms with wonderful windows. Paying careful attention to the condition: the wall paper was a nice wide stripe. The room did not look beat up. The curtains were nice.
The bathroom had it's original tile in very good contition (very clean). It was upgraded with an italian waffle weave shower curtain. A signature black top hat was monogramed on. There were Aveda bath products. They had sealed packets of cotton swabs and wipes for makup/shaving. I liked those touches.
The sheets were in very good condion. The bed was comfortable. There was an extra pillow in the closet.
The staff was very nice when I asked to look around the roof top restaurant to see the late afternoon view.
This is an older hotel. I felt very good here. Loved the location (Union Square). THE ROOM WAS NOT OLD HOTEL DEPRESSING, and I liked that. I felt that I was staying at a historic hotel that was well taken care of. I liked that they did not remove the original charm.
I would stay here again. This is my first review. I felt I needed to say something after reading some of the other reviews.
Hotwire rates this a 3.5 star - No way!
We booked this hotel through Hotwire. My mistake and it won't be repeated. In hindsight it seems reasonable that only the bad hotels use Hotwire. A good one wouldn't need too. If you aren't booked or can cancel go to the Handelry. Similar price but much better facility. If you are booked and can't cancel then bring your ear plugs. It isn't that this hotel has no redeeming value, it provides free robe and slippers, a nice mini-bar and nice hotel staff Although I think they were tired of all the complaints they get. As I was checking in folks were complaining and when I stopped by to see if they had closed the window in my room that was stuck open they were complaining. When I checked in I called to see if I could get a quieter room and was told it was the nature of their hotel to be noise, which since it clearly was I said thank you, put my ear plugs in and went to bed. There are two main problems with this hotel. The old (and cracked in my room) single pane windows do not cut down on the noise from outside. I book a hotel for a good nights sleep so am not too concerned with room size. The other main problem I discovered when I wanted to take the stairs for exercise. The old fire escape stairs are a death trap in an emergency. They are narrow enough that only one person could go down them at a time with no room to pass or get around someone who has fallen without stepping on them. I never thought of checking this type of thing at an old hotel before as I often take the stairs for exercise and have never seen anything that looked as potentially dangerous as this. Other random comments. The room was reasonably clean but clearly to a one or two star standard (plenty of dust and dirt for those who looked for it). Sears fine food across the street is over rated.
Disgrace and dishonor to the kimpton name
My father recently under went major vascular surgery in San Francisco so I flew from the east coast to visit my dad and mom. I have stayed at some 11 different kimpton properties throughout the country and have loved every single one until now. Sir Francis Drake should not bear the name of a kimpton hotel on the premise that the hotel is extremely in need of repairs, most specifically a fowl smelling mold problem which exists on the upper 5 floors amongst many other major premises. They say that every kimpton hotel tells a story, well this hotels tells a story of foul smelling rooms, rude and arrogant staff( with exception to the beefeater dressed doormen), overpriced parking, imitation marble sinks, fixtures that date back to the early 1900's. (My rooms toilet was assembled in 1919) Although a neat artifact it does not remove unpleasant odors from rooms which allows for a urinal cake smelling room and floor. My room had an incredible view of Union Square however it came at a heavy price. My rooms had a total of 3 large sized windows. Of which one was slightly cracked, not big enough to call HUD but enough to impair the line of sight onto union square. The other window would not close at all so all night I slept with the sound of San Francisco loudly played in my room. The third window was fine. There was 6 different pieces of gum smushed into my carpet( Seriously, what is the econolodge) of which only two where super highly noticeable the other four blue pieces of winter fresh camouflaged in with the green and blue carpet. Upon advising the front staff of these problems, I thought everything would be fixed and I would be able to salvage the image of my favorite hotel line. They promised an engineer would arrange to fix the window within the next half hour and that the cleaning staff would be up shortly. The engineer did not a nothing and I am yet to see the cleaning staff, maybe they came up after I checked out. My advice to you don't even check in.
Only saving grace for this hotel is its location, one block from Union Square. This hotel desperately needs a facelift, both inside and outside. Rooms are indeed tacky with green and yellow wallpaper. Bathroom is small but excellent water pressure for a 6th floor room. Lobby is beautiful but that alone doesn't make up for the rooms in the hotel. Worse, the "wireless" internet connection was barely existent; had to borrow a bridge adapter (twice) from front-desk to even get internet access.
The only silver lining in my opinion is that I paid a fraction of the lowest advertised price on the hotel's website. I don't plan on staying here again.