Powell Hotel

, San Francisco, United States
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Powell Hotel

, San Francisco
2 star

Rooms: 114

28 Cyril Magnin Street - San Francisco - California - 94102 - United States Hotel Website | | 415 398 3200
478 Traveller

Reviews - Powell Hotel

Plain and simple
Submitted by: Sally Brown in 27/05/05
  • Age Group: 18 - 25
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Backpacker
I spent two weeks travelling round Western USA and stayed in various accommodation and this was the most basic one that I stayed in (but still cost as much as the others). The room was quite small but it had all the basic features that you need and it was clean. It is well positioned for getting out and seeing San Francisco and there are a large choice of places to eat nearby. Satisfactory is the word that sums it up.
Nice & comfortable
Submitted by: Benoit in 02/05/05
  • Age Group: 26 - 30
  • From: Belgium
  • Traveller type: Business Traveller
This hotel is quite comfortable and reasonably cheap. Moreover, it is very well-located in the centre of the city. I strongly recommend it to anyone going to San Francisco

Historical Traveller Reviews of Powell Hotel

Terrible noisy room, not that clean but good hotel location.

from lee_bear
I stayed at the Poweel for three nights from 25th June 2004 on my way to Hawaii and for the Gay Pride weekend in SF.

This was not my first time at the Powell but on the other occasion I had a much nicer room. I was given a twin bedded room with two single beds when I had requested a double through Expedia.. Okay fine this happenes sometimes on a busy weekend and they could not swap my room. However the room was right next to an ice machine that kept me awake clunking away all night. I know I paid a budget price but the rooms are in desperate need of renovation and are not that clean really.

A place to stay if you want to be in a good location to get around the city but don't plan to spend more time in your room than when you are asleep.

The Powell Hotel - Misleading and disappointing

from A TripAdvisor Member
We just spent a weekend in San Francisco to shop and play. I booked a room with The Powell Hotel online using Expedia and after looking at the hotel's website and reading some reviews. The location and lobby of the hotel are great. It is right on Market across from Nordstrom. There is a nice espresso bar, efficient valet service, and the lobby was clean and newly furnished. The rooms are a different story. They are old and have a musty odor. The carpet was stained, the beds uncomfortable, and honestly, the bathroom had not been updated since the 60's. Our first room had a soggy wet spot outside of the bathroom and so we were moved into a room that looked the same but was dry. The room was $100 a night which may not be a lot in a big city but there must be better out there. Luckily, I brought my 15 year old niece and not my husband, because he would have thrown a fit and moved us!

Great Location - terrible smell !!!

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed here May 2004 for 3 days as part of a fly-drive around California. We chose this hotel as it was cheap, the location looked good and the reviews didn't seem too woeful. When you exit the hotel you are right at the start of the Powell tram line - excellent for a queue-less morning start. There were a couple of vagrants wandering around at night, but according to the hotel staff (who were very friendly and courteous), such problems have been much reduced of late, and we felt quite safe on the main street at night. There is a small coffee-shop in the lobby with bagels and such, but for a full breakfast you’ll have to go outside - there's plenty of choice, try the excellent upstairs diner just up the road. The room we got on the 6th floor was quiet, bright and large with a slightly dated but adequate décor and a large and comfortable bed. Now why didn’t we give this hotel a higher score ? It wasn’t because we never got a clear TV signal. What hit us when we entered our room was the strong mildew smell that permeated everything (it also didn’t help the general ambiance that someone had recently been sick in both lifts). The hotel staff were sympathetic, but another room they showed us on the 2nd floor was also smelly and was quite dark so, jetlagged as we were, we decided to chance it in the first room. They offered us a large fan (which made no difference), I left all the windows open during the day (which made no difference) but my trip was to the drug-store for a can of Ozium Air Sanitizer finally did kill off the worst of the smell (excellent stuff !). If you’re planning on staying in the Powell and they have the same crappy old carpets and musty smell I would highly recommend a trip to the drug store for a can of air freshener !

Amazing experience for travelers on a budget!

from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I, both students, couldn't believe the great hotel we snagged for $65/night on Expedia! The Powell has 1920s charm - from the wide staircases to the cosy rooms - that you just can't get at a Super 8, but it's still the same price! The location is amazing - just 25 steps from the nearest BART stop, plenty of shops and restaurants, and the trolley car turnaround. We requested a room overlooking the turnaround, where only pedestrians and trolleys are allowed to cross over the cobblestone street. So charming!!! The staff are friendly and helpful. The hotel closes its doors to everyone but guests after dusk to ensure adequate security. This was definitely a major plus in our first trip to San Francisco and we hope to visit again soon!

LEft my heart in the Powell

from sg1phileshipper
We stayed in San Francisco for three nights in september 2003. We had already booked a hotel there, but I was still surfing the net for hotels since that's one of my favourite activities.
By accident I stumbled upon a great deal for the Powell Hotel. Stay two nights, get one free. I checked out the hotel and was surprised to find out it was the same place I stayed in in 1997. I booked without hesitation and I didn't regret it.
The Powell Hotel is at a great location, just at the end of the cable car and next to a subway station. From there on, you can literally go anywhere in SF.
We arrived in SF by air directly from Belgium and got dropped of at the hotel. We checked in, and the guy at the check-in (Gerry or Gary, can't remember) was really nice and helpful. He had a great sence of humour and treated us with a lot of respect. I immediately liked the guy. Without asking anything he gave us a map of the city and told us the places we should avoid. Very very helpful.
Our room was in the back of the hotel and had no view at all. But I wasn't gonna complain. For the price we paid it was still a great deal. That place is awesome, since you wake up in the morning and you can hear the cable cars ringing. It's a wonderful sound to wake up to. Sure, the rooms are a little oldish, but they have charm. I'm already planning my US trip for next summer with my mom, and I'll make sure to stay at the Powell Hotel.

Basic but great location

from Dubontheroad
We stayed in the Powell for 4 nights recently and found the hotel to be very old fashioned although they were renovating it at the time so maybe now its not so bad! The staff were quite rude and unhelpful. The only saving grace was the location of the hotel. Right beside the BART stop (handy if coming straight from the airport). The hotel was also very close to plenty bars and shops. Despite everything I would stay here again. Suit budget holidaymakers.

Perfect for what we needed

from A TripAdvisor Member
I stayed at the Powell for 3 nights with two of my friends. We were looking to do a long weekend on a budget, and I think this met our needs perfectly!
Like all the other reviews state, this is not a luxury hotel, but it is a clean, friendly hotel that positively added to our San Fransisco experience.
The building, being a little older, had some excellent, old architecture, and just had a nice charm to it. We had a room with two double beds, and I felt it worked out fine for us, none of us felt cramped at all.

Others have remarked on the friendly staff, and that is a very true statement. They seemed to go out of their way to help us with directions, or questions in general. We had a slight problem with our toilet one day, upon telling the staff, not only did they fix it very quickly, they gave us the key to the staff bathroom until they did fix it.

Of course, one of the best things about this Hotel is it's location. It is literally steps away from the Trolley turnaround, for a novice to public transportation, this made it incredibly easy. If you don't mind walking it is only a few blocks away from Chinatown (about a 10 minute walk), and it is only two blocks away from Union Square, for shopping, and good restaurants.

I would definitely stay here again, even if not planning a trip on a budget, just for the ambiance of the Hotel.

Great location

from A TripAdvisor Member
Great location. Unfortunately, we were only there for one night. I wish we were able to stay longer. Didn't even need our own transportation, we took the Bart in from the Oakland airport and excited at the Powell station. The station was only an escalator away from the hotel. Very convenient!!! Rooms are on the smaller side, but are very clean. I would defenitely stay there again.

You get what you pay for

from JackieMarie37
The Powell Hotel is a great location if you want to go to San Francisco and shop. There are literally hundreds of stores within the surrounding blocks. Coming from Chicago, this was not my idea of discovering a new city. The room was TINY and bathroom was small and old, everything smelled kind of funny. There is no AC, which probably isn't a problem most of the time, but we were there during a heatwave, and AC definitely would have made the stay nicer. There was also construction going on everyday, starting at 7am or so, and it was LOUD. The staff was really friendly and somewhat helpful (despite directing us into the Tenderloin to grab a bus at a urine-scented bus stop). Lobby was nice looking, furniture in room was outdated, tv was on a chintzy, wobbly stand. Locks on room doors didn't make me feel the safest. Great location for picking up public transportation, which we used the entire time we were there. The MUNI Passport is a great deal- letting you ride the buses, streetcars and cablecars for one price, and you don't have to deal with getting money out each time you get on a bus. I know I wouldn't stay here again, I'd definitely fork out the money to stay in a respected hotel chain next time.

Powell was perfect

from A TripAdvisor Member
The Powell is not a luxury hotel but its location and staff are superlative. The cost of the room was unbelievably low and although the room was not big, it was clean and attractive. I recommend this hotel most highly to anyone who wants to stay in the mddle of SF in a pleasant environment.

Top Local Tips for San Francisco

Take the BART Take the BART from SFO into San Francisco - cheap, reliable, clean

For a Quick Bite check out the basement level food court at the mall across the street from the union square stop for the trolly. It's pricier than most food courts but they have a great selection of foods and lunches and even a Bristol Farm's grocery store downstairs for picking up fruit or water bottles.

iPods and trains don't mix I almost missed my flight because some important information was said over the loudspeaker. The train (BART) stopped and everyone had to get off and walk to another platform to pick up the continuing train. I was lucky enough to realize the empty train and catch my flight but word to the wise, lower the volume on your mp3 player.


Other names for Powell Hotel

  • powell san francisco
  • powell hotel san francisco
  • Address: 28 Cyril Magnin Street - San Francisco - California - 94102 - United States
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