Sir Francis Drake Hotel

, San Francisco, United States
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Sir Francis Drake Hotel

, San Francisco
3 star

Rooms: 417

450 Powell Street - San Francisco - California - 94102 - United States Hotel Website | | 415 392 7755
881 Traveller

Reviews - Sir Francis Drake Hotel

Great location and ambiance
Submitted by: Tom Juarez in 04/07/05
  • Age Group: 51 - 60
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
Centrally located, adequate rooms, very welcoming lobby and staff. We were there during an anti government protest and there were many 'unsavory types' lingering out front. Thought the staff could have done a better job in removing them from the area immediate to the front entrance. Other than that it was great. I'll stay there next time!
Cramped and inadequate
Submitted by: Ruth Coppard in 27/05/05
  • Age Group: 51 - 60
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
We arrived at the hotel on New Year's Eve, and were shown to our room. It was tiny. This is not a cheap hotel but the queen size bed offered very little room around it. The television was on the cupboard to the side at an angle which made it impossible to view from the bed - unfortunately there was no where else to sit. The heater didn't work, the fridge worked very noisily. The bathroom was minute, anyone of slightly over medium build could not have fitted on the loo, bath tiles were cracked, the bath base was scratched and scruffy.
A very little was done to try and help 'but - they explained - this is a historic hotel'. My partner explained that his mother was older than this and was in much better condition. The hotel is fronted by a gloriously costumed beefeater who took the car away. There is a substantial parking charge. I complained loudly and the parking fee was refunded. Other people joined in my complaints, saying how disappointed they too had been. Positives: the Beefeater, the location.
Convenient but small
Submitted by: Chuck in 27/04/05
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Pleasure Seeker
The Sir Francis Drake could not be at a better location for convenience. The doormen are great and the old style decore is neat. The rooms themselves have much to be desired. The room that we stayed in was about a 9 by 12 room with a window air conditioner. For $450 a night this definately wasn't the kind of luxury that we were expecting.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Sir Francis Drake Hotel

Worst experience ever

from Eric_C_W
I booked a room thru Hotels, at $277/night. I arrived late at night and went to get dinner at La Scala before going up to my room. The food was terrible. I get to my room around midnight, it reeks of smoke. I asked for non-smoking but they gave me a smoking room. Furthermore, it was below the Starlight lounge and I can hear the music pounding thru the ceiling. I called to complain and they said there's nothing they can do because the hotel is sold out. They would've offered me a discount but since I didn't book the hotel directly, they can't do a thing. Later, when I received my credit card statement, not only did Hotels charge me, so did the hotel. I called to complain and instead of giving me immediate satisfaction (the accounting dept. was closed for the night), I had to call back later to complain. I'm never using Hotels again and I'm never staying at another Sir Francis Drake.

Not worth your time and money

from A TripAdvisor Member
I travel to San Francisco often but usually stay at the Westin St. Francis or the Clift. My wife arrange this stay based on a conference she was attending. I was disappointed by the hotel and do not believe that the relatively cheaper rates (compared to other hotels in the downtown area) make it worth it to stay here. The main basis for the disappointment was the room itself, which I found small and unattractive. Placing the veneer of "vintage boutique" did not make it any more appealing. The closets were too shallow to put coats in. The bathroom was particularly difficult to manuever in from a space perspective. The embedded hair dryer in the bathroom had a large piece of casing missing and smoked when turned on! While we were given a replacement, amazingly the original smoking dryer was never replaced. I would put even odds on the possibility that it will not be replaced for a while. The placement of electrical outlets near the desk was very inconvenient, forcing me to work sitting on the bed. Finally, the room service was "temporarily unavailable" two out of three nights, which was frustrating.

I will say that the wireless access was seamless, but I think that this should be expected of most hotels in SF.


from eddiefromsuckramento
Okay, so I thought I had found a deal on the Westin St.Francis, but to my surprise it was the Sir Francis Drake. Anyway we got to the hotel and checked in . The lobby is pretty nice, but that’s about it. My wife and I got to out room (Room 816) it smelt musty/mold. The smell was so bad I called the lobby. John was kind enough to offer us another room. In fact he was so nice he gave us a suite. We got to the suite and well, it was mediocre at best. Old, smelly and well just not worth $159 a night ($189 after taxes). Stay at the Parc55 or better yet the Westin St. Francis. :(

Spend Your Money Elsewhere

from A TripAdvisor Member
Yes, the lobby is lovely. The staff is relatively polite and accomodating. However, when we arrived in the early evening their was a long line of about 50 eurotrash who had obiously started early and were already sloshed standing in wait for the nightclub on the top floor. Smarmy stares from guys in cheap polyester suits and eau de alcohol was not what I was looking forward to after a long day of travel. Noises of people in a different mind state than ours lingered through the hallways throughout the duration of the evening as non guests explored.
Things took a turn for the worse when we stepped out of the elevator. THE HALLWAYS SMELLED OF PUTRID, ROTTING, RUBBISH! Perhaps somehow by result of the dumpster from the restaurant, but my spouse and I almost gagged! When we walked in to our room the smell was only slightly less, (or perhaps our noses just got used to it).
The rooms are clean and well stocked with amenities. The carpets are in bad need of replacement, (most hotels know that carpets should be replaced at least every two years, depending on traffic). The decor itself is outdated, which would be fine if we were not paying a high price. It felt like we were sleeping in a 1994 children's movie.
We had a large picture window with a fantastic view of... the roof. Oh, and the dozens of beer bottles left by past victims who obviously tool advantage of oppurtunity.
The bathroom was clean and cute, (ugh, but for the badly needed to be replaced wallpaper). I live in a house built in 1905, so I am used to antique fixtures. Yes, the Aveda products are nice.
The hotel sent me an online survey and I was frank in my response. Customer service was kind enough to reply, and informed me that the building is scheduled for renovation in 2006. She mentioned that the hotel is old and the srestle wih difficulties regarding age, but I stay in old hotels all the time and have never experienced issues like this. This is in fact one of my worst stays in a hotel ever.
Perhaps next year things shall improve, but I will never really know.

My first visit to San Fran - Nice hotel experience

from ucantimagine
Nice hotel with friendly staff.
Good location in a very busy area of town near Union Square.
The rooms are clean, comfortable and we had a nice view of the city. The floors creak as they are made of wood, but having grown up in a house with wood floors, I liked it. :)
The colorscheme in our room was a light sage green and cream with medium-dark wood furnishings. The TV is not very big and the bed was not ultra comfortable like the new-fangled beds, but it was nice and cozy.
What I liked most about the hotel is that it felt more like a room at a bed and breakfast and not at all like a stuffy hotel room.

We must have been lucky!

from Frogwell
Well, we liked this hotel. I have just written 2 other reviews panning others so I am not a pushover.

Our room was really lovely, loved the old tiled bathroom, the bed was comfortable and really, I have nothing bad to say about it at all. Staff were very nice and efficient. Being able to go up to the Starlight rooms for a bottle of champagne before bed was great. Food was also very good indeed.

I'd love to come back, it was fun.

Wonderful experience stops at the Lobby

from vaznayak
Stayed 3 nights at the hotel - took up 2 rooms. Location is excellent! Lobby is awesome. However, the rooms leave much to be desired. We've stayed at several of the best hotels in the world, and this one was far from the best. While the room was clean, it was musty, smelled damp and the bathroom showed much sign of aging - not to mention that it was tiny. The beds were not particularly firm, and when we asked nicely for a late check out over the phone, the front desk guy was almost rude. When we went down to see him in person, he was being equally rude to anyone else on the phone.

Anyways, find it hard to recommend this hotel, unless you're getting a good rate.

Hotel in Bad Condition, Great Service!

from A TripAdvisor Member
My wife and i stay in the worst room i had ever seen room 532. The tub would not drain, wallpaper was ugly, room smelled musty. I asked the front desk (Martin) to move rooms and he smiled and he quickly moved me to a great room room 1801.. over looking the city. If you stay at this hotel ask for him. I might have gotten up and left to the Crown hotel next door if it was not for the friendly staff at the door and front desk. The roof bar had great views. Ask for one of there new rooms!


Great location, very dated accomodations

from SmileyChicago_IL
I booked 2 rooms on hotwire, was expecting the worse based on the reviews so I had low expectations. Generally, everyone was right on with their reviews. The bedding is very uncomfortable and worn, the bathrooms seriously need an update. One of our rooms had no faucet in the sink- water spewed out of the drain if you can believe it! Aveda products help make it better. Staff is helpful and the location is great but we stayed at the crowne plaza holiday inn 2 months ago and paid less on hotwire and the rooms were much roomier, comfortable and new. The staff was much friendlier too.
Luckily, only slept at Sir Francis Drake. We would not stay here again.

Disgraceful service for a reputable hotel

from marinaahmad
Everytime I am in San Francisco, I'll never miss a visit to Scala and Starlight at Sir Francis Drake. The service at both places had been excellent, until my last visit between August 18-22, 2005.

It was an unplanned visit and therefore I didn't bring along my exclusive dresses, only jeans, skirts and sneakers...but I thought that shouldn't stop me from enjoying myself.

On one of the nights, I handed over my jeans jacket and a handbag to the Hostess at the Cloak Room to keep as I wanted to dance. When I went back to collect them, I saw the Hostess kept my things on the floor, where there were plenty of hangers available, while my companion's jacket was kept nicely hang up. I was rather upset and cross and just refused to give her any tips, although my companion offered the tips on my behalf.

I don't know what was the reason for her to treat me with such a manner, but I thought that was very disgraceful for a reputable hotel like Sir Francis Drake, and I should let everyone know about it.

I will still visit the Scala and Starlight when I visit San Francisco, but surely will not consider staying at Sir Francis Drake Hotel.

Top Local Tips for San Francisco

Naan 'n Curry A cheap but fantastic Indian meal. Naan 'n Curry is part of a chain. To get there, exit the hotel and turn left (going down Powell), turn right on O'Farrell. Go a couple of blocks and it'll be on your right-hand side. Be prepared to get your own water, cutlery, etc. The chicken curry is fantastic and the naan is huge, delicious, and only $1!

Good basic Food at Leftie O'Douls. When in San Francisco and you want cheap eats you can't beat "Leftie's".

Great Breakfast Place Sears Fine Foods is just acros the street from the Sir Francis Drake Hotel and it's a great all-around restaurant. You can also order take-out and bring it back to your room!


Other names for Sir Francis Drake Hotel

  • sir francis drake hotel san francisco
  • sir francis drake hotel
  • kimpton san francisco
  • Address: 450 Powell Street - San Francisco - California - 94102 - United States
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