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TravelPod Member ReviewsPowell Hotel San Francisco
With its splendour of years gone by, this grand old hotel remains quite comfortable. No doubt it can continue to trade on its central location for years to come.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Powell Hotel San Francisco
Old Hotel; Fabulous Location
We had a double bed occupancy room that was rectangularly long rather than squarish, so it felt like the room was cramp but in reality, the square footage of the room is probably average to other hotel's standard rooms. Everything was clean and tiny, but you can tell it was extremely old with a slight musty older and dull furnishings. And the room we got was in interior room with the window facing the back side of the other side of the building, which in our case seemed like the laundry room, so there was no view or daylight coming into the room.
I'm extremely sensitive to cigarette smoke, so I always ask for a non-smoking room, but I don't know if the whole floor is non-smoking, because we woke up one morning to the faint odor of cigarette smoke, which we couldn't really detect in the hallways, so it must have wafted through the ventilation shafts.
All this would seem like a disaster if it wasn't for the hotel location--right in the middle of downtown SF, with the Cable Car junction just several feet away from the front entrace! We just walked to everywhere, and since it was in the perfect central transportation location it was easy to stop back in the hotel room to drop stuff off in the middle of the day before going off in another direction without having to carry stuff.
Workers were extremely friendly and eager to serve, though. And if they spend money to replace everything, it could be a top notch hotel.
A great budget choice
I stayed at this hotel with my wife and 13-year-old daughter for four days in March. It was an excellent value in a great location just two blocks from Union Square at the end of the Powell Street cable car line (at Market Street). The hotel is old, but the rooms are clean, functional and not at all rundown. We were in San Francisco in the midst of an unusual spring heat wave. Temperatures reached levels (84F) that often aren't even seen in the summer. Rooms at the Powell don't have air conditioning (it isn't usually needed in San Francisco we were told) so this is a caution. When our room got a little too warm we asked staff for a fan and it was provided immediately. What more could you ask? The Powell is an excellent budget choice.
Powell Hotel is okay
We stayed at the Powell Hotel in February 2004 for two nights. The location is great. The room is very small! It was also quite musty smelling and the carpet needs to be replaced as it was old and stained.
Otherwise, the room was clean. We had a view of the cable car turn around. You are in walking distance to many restaurants, tons of shops and China Town.
A great experience
My fiance and I stayed at this hotel for 6 nights in Sept. of '03. As most of the reviews state, it is in a wonderful location, right next to public transportation, shops, etc. You do get what you pay for, so if you're looking for a luxory hotel, go someplace else. However, if your looking for a great experience in San Fran, this place is perfect.
Located downtown SF, the Powell is an older building full of character and charm. The rooms are a bit small (considering the time it was built this should not be a surprise), but we only used it for sleeping and winding down at night the rest of the time we were out sight seeing, conversing with locals, and trying to find our own unique experience away from the tourist traps. The Powell definately added to that experience, the staff (and everyone in SF for that matter) was very helpful and directed us to some local hangouts, and if course it is a very secure building. In the mornings, there always seemed to be some people singing for money at the cable car turnaround, and they were actually pretty good. Although they had nothing to do with the hotel, it was kind of nice waking up to an A Capella group in the morning.
All in all SF was a great place, very romantic, and the Powell just added a ton to the experience. If you're planning a visit to SF, I'd suggest that you do the touristy things if you want, but be sure to venture outside of the regular traps. Feel free to strike up a conversation with the locals, again they all seemed very friendly and proud of their city, but you should understand that many of them deal with crowds of tourists on a daily basis, so you need to plan your approach. Above all, don't forget why you're there, which is to have some fun!
Get what you pay for
You get what you pay for, which isn't necesarrily bad. The Powell hotel is what it is: great location, inexpensive, clean rooms. At the same time, there's nothing distinctive about the hotel. The rooms are on the small side. The building is old and a bit stinky. If you're in SF to see the sights and do things, then you can use this place as an adequate launching (and sleeping) pad. For us it was perfect because of the budget (we paid $56 per night in January) If you want a fancy hotel room, look elsewhere. The staff was friendly and helpful, and it's pretty centrally located in SF and near all the public transportation (bus lines, BART from airport, cable cars). Good security in that you can't enter the hotel at night without a room key.
Great location, direct acces to cable car
Powell Hotel is a nice residence place while Moscone congresses. The direct access to the cable station at Powell and Market streets crossing is a good complement if you want to see great things for few money...
Enjoy the small Segafredo Café Powell for a nice breakfast whith a real good double expresso, nice fruit juice and bakery...for those coming from lands where cigarette and strong coffee are a vice of the morning : the street is at a second,- there, you can smoke- with a must see in the city : the cable car ending/starting point. Go to the other extremity for 3 $ and enjoy a great trip to the sea and the Golden Gate...
Well, enjoy, have fun and find someone with a car to show you the town at night.
I loved this gem!
Great location overlooking the cable car turnaround (I requested a street side window so I could watch the tourists line up). If you take the BART from the Oakland airport or anywhere in the Bay area, there's a major station just steps away. It's withing walking distance to the Moscone convention center, Union Square, Chinatown and the theatres.The rooms are charming; remember this is a converted early 1900s building, so expect architectural idiosyncrasies and smallish, European style rooms. The staff was warm and helpful. I did miss an in-house restaurant but there's a small deli and tons of local eateries to make up for it.
Loved the Powell
Our first visit to San Francisco and booked this hotel online. It was just a perfect place for us to stay within walking distance to many things and right at the cable turn-around. Near the visitors centre. We went to Sacramento for a few days and came back to stay at the Powell for a couple more days. Would definitely stay there another trip. Great staff and clean rooms.Tip to anyone (which the hotel told us)watch your parking at night. They have designated street cleaning and the ticket is $35. But hey, we paid it with the air miles visa so not all was lost!
There is no doubt for location this hotel could not be better. You are right next to the cable car turnaround and the shops, buses and BART are just a few minutes walk. The hotel itself however was not so impressive. We stayed here for 10 nights and had to change room at 2.30am on the 2nd because of a mouse. While our room was changed we were offered no apology and told to move our stuff before 8am. We continued to have problems with blocked toilets and dirty shower cubicles. If you don't mind slumming it this is a great place to stay.
Friendly, well-located hotel in downtown SF
We stayed at the Powell Hotel for 3 nights in early July 2003, in a double room. We were impressed with the friendly reception staff - they actually chatted to you, unlike the often rather impersonal and cold staff you get at some hotels. He even got out a map for us (first time in SF) and showed us where the hotel was and other tourist attractions, etc, and marked the areas where NOT to visit (e.g. Tenderloin). This was great, and above our expectations late at night when we checked in.
The room was clean and reasonably sized - not tiny, but not that big either. The non-smoking room had a smell of cigarette smoke when we entered, but this dissipated upon opening the window. The location is fantastic for tourists (perhaps not for business travellers, though) - you literally walk out the door and you are at the Powell St cable car turnaround. The downtown/Union Square shopping areas are all within short walks from the hotel, and Fisherman's Wharf only a cable car ride away. Muni and Bart stations are just adjacent to the hotel, too. We would definitely stay here again.
TripAdvisor Reviews Powell Hotel San Francisco
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... space upon the shopping Centre's opening on September 28, 2006.
The mall is now decorated for the holidays - an impressive note appeared in the major windows that face Market Street, prior to Thanksgiving, that read,
From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving
We like celebrating one holiday at a time
so you won't find our halls decked
until Friday, November 26.
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