Sir Francis Drake Hotel

4.0 star rating

Quality accommodation with a variety of facilities and services.

    What to expect (based on 3780 reviews):

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-4

    Location

    Location-4.5

    Rooms

    Rooms-3.5

    Service

    Service-4

    Value

    Value-3.5

    5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

    Excellent valet staff, decent on-site dining, but room/amenities fall short from normal Kimpton standards

    Reviewed by tempscreenname(New York City, New York) on Apr 21, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    I stayed at this hotel because a colleague was already booked here for the week. Usually, he understands my taste level, though perhaps this time his taste level was a bit off (for me). For a Kimpton hotel, I honestly expected a bit better. Don’t be alarmed, the otherwise nice and efficient valet are wearing Medieval Times costumes. Exhausted upon my arrival, I was just so happy to have someone help me with my luggage and to park my car. They got this right. Thumbs up to the valet staff, as this cannot be easy to manage as flawlessly as they did in the busiest area of a busy city. Once upstairs in the somewhat oddly decorated lobby (maybe think Alice in Wonderland with a touch of The Shining and a touch of Grand Hotel Budapest), I waited for a short while to check in. Heading to my room, I discovered that the hotel also boasts what could be some of the slowest elevators in America. My first impression of the room with its mini “queen” bed, red lacquer furniture, and a mirror in front of the bed, was straight brothel. One furniture stand barely held my luggage. I set the other on the fabric chair (there was no floor space, even if I had wanted to set it on the floor). I thought about setting it up on the ironing board, but I actually needed to iron some clothes, and my fleeting plan seemed a bit too precarious for my heavy luggage. For an old building, the walls seemed somewhat thin. I quickly started to regret booking here. And not just because the walls that weren’t covered in a tasteful wallpaper, were painted with too many uneven coats of paint. The bathroom, while very clean, was small. Like so small that the door hit the toilet when opened, even though someone had clearly cut out the bottom side part of the door in an attempt to have the door clear the toilet (their sad project was a fail). The sink bowl was tiny, and the faucet was set too far away from the center of the bowl, so every time I washed my hands, water would inevitably pool on the very tiny countertop. I was continuously nervous that something from the tiny counter or shelves above would fall into the toilet. It was difficult to blow dry my long hair with the configuration of the outlets in the room and bathroom. When I first arrived, I called for a corkscrew: after 38 minutes, I called again, and was told it was coming up soon. It then arrived shortly thereafter. I called for clean towels later that evening: those arrived in record time (I later discovered that my room was right across from the clean towel closet). However, the next morning, my lotion (the only toiletry provided in a single-use bottle size) was not replaced. As I use a lot of lotion, this was - it’s needless to say - mildly annoying. But then on my SECOND day, it wasn’t replaced, either, much to my frustration. I loathe having to call service and loathe even more having to wait for service for something that should have been replaced without my request. I fortunately caught someone from the hotel in the hall and she kindly supplied me to save my dry skin. The day after my arrival, I went to my first two meetings nearby, and then came back to the hotel to get my car. Valet was efficient (I daresay the most efficient thing about the hotel); however, when I (finally, after another very slow elevator ride), got up to my room intending to quickly use the loo and to change my shoes, I discovered that my keys didn’t work. I had to then head back to the lobby to wait (too long) for an attendant, who informed me that my locks had been changed. I was issued new keys, but the entire situation left me internally cursing - it couldn’t have been more inefficient and ill-timed as after the two additional uber-slow elevator rides later, I was not only late to pick up my car from valet, but the service fail made me a 1/2 hour late for my last meeting of the day (exasperating). I was apologizing to the valet for being so late, explaining why, when someone who had just arrived overheard me, and returned with $50 in gift cards for the restaurant downstairs. A very nice touch in a galant attempt to save my experience, but it didn’t make me on time for my meeting (and I hate being late). At this point, my overall experience at this hotel was not doing my already mild aversion to the city of San Francisco any favors. Maybe the inconsistency of this Kimpton location is good for European tourists, which given my quick assessment of the property and patrons, make up a lot of its customers. But for a seasoned Kimpton hotel patron, I expected better. For the record, the service at the Scala’s restaurant downstairs was lovely. The food was average, but it was good for what it was. The hostess was sweet, and it had a nice ambiance. The avocado toast I had for breakfast one day was very good. The two public/communal restrooms on the mezzanine level were always busy when I tried to use them, and were not particularly clean. By the last day, I was getting used to the state of the hotel and room. And was maybe less bothered than when I had first arrived. After all: the sheets were clean, and my towels were replaced daily. And the lighting was good for a hotel. Products: Atilier Bloom shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, body lotion, and a small bar soap. Cotton balls and Kleenex were also provided. The room was equipped with two glasses, and a wine cooler. The room had a working safe. And an ironing board and iron. I always have a struggle rating hotels that failed, but then did try their best to make it up. If I could therefore rate 3 1/2, I would. But I can’t, so I will rate it a 3.

    Not the best Kimpton I've ever stayed at

    Reviewed by seunghyeh2017(Ashburn, Virginia) on Apr 21, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    I will start by saying that I love Kimpton hotels. But this one and I got off on the wrong foot. We paid a lot to stay here and a couple of days before our trip I checked to see what the rates were and it had gone down. I called Kimpton to see if they would adjust the rate and they said that they couldn't so I know that's a Kimpton issue and not the hotel but they said that they also talked to the GM and they couldn't do anything. So I have a big problem with this since we were paying a lot of money to stay here. The positives, I love the location of the hotel, it is right in Union Square and close to shopping if you love shopping. The wine hour is great and in this hotel they do it at the top of the hotel so you have an amazing view of the city. The food that they offered not so good. I love that that they have complimentary coffee and tea in the mornings. And their beds were very comfortable. The negatives, the hotel staff is not that friendly, the rooms and bathroom are tiny, tiny, tiny. I understand it's an old building but the rooms are very small especially if you have more than 2 people staying in the rooms. Also no fridge in the rooms, if you want want it's an extra $10 charge. Plus the cost of parking is outrageous! $65 for valet parking is insane! Since it' s an old building we could hear everything happening outside. Bring earplugs! I would stay hear if you get get a good rate but not worth over $350 a night!

    Individual ratings:

    Rooms

    Rooms-3

    Service

    Service-3

    Value

    Value-1

    Great location

    Reviewed by nicolag601(Hornchurch, England, United Kingdom) on Apr 20, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    Stayed in room 337 and was really pleased. Yes the bathroom was small but I don't sleep in there! Facilities were great for us. Lovely touch of the coffee in the morning. Shower was nice and hot and the bed was very comfortable. Would use again and recommend to others. AC was bit noisy.

    Just Okay

    Reviewed by T675TUstephens(San Juan, Puerto Rico) on Apr 20, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    Stayed here as a part of a convention group. Found most everything as adequate. Rooms are small. The place is shop worn and poorly maintained. Lots of street noise in this busy section of town so don’t expect to sleep in. Staff was helpful and friendly and the breakfasts included at Scoma’s were very nice. It is convenient to shopping, cable cars, transportation and decent restaurants.

    I expect better

    Reviewed by Joe A() on Apr 16, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			1
			 out of 5

    Not worth the money. Central location but streets are rolled up at night unless you like taking a long walk or rideshare. Rooms are small. Staff is stuffy. Pet friendly hotel if that’s what you seek. But, “dog” rooms should be like the old “smoking rooms” …i.e., set aside non pet friendly rooms for those who wish not to sleep with the smell of dog in their room. Do you really want dog hair on your clothes because you sat down on a chair? Elevators were even worse, smelling of wet dog. They claim they have amenities included, but there is a $38 surcharge for them which is not shown in their room rate. If you wish to print anything at their “business center”, there is a minimum $4.95 charge which your amenity fee does not cover. There are a lot better hotels nearby with better rates. We will not be staying there again. Hotel might still carry the Kimpton name, but it’s not the same place it was 5 years ago.

    Individual ratings:

    Rooms

    Rooms-1

    Service

    Service-3

    Value

    Value-1

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