Rated 2 out of 5 The Westin St. Francis Offers Guests a Mixed Bag of "Treats"
I reccomend this hotel with EXTREME CAVEATS.
I've been a guest of this hotel a handful of times of the years and it's always been a mixed bag. I've hosted a couple of large corporate events and those have always gone off without a hitch. This review refers to a specific stay I had in July of 2014 and is demonstrative of the mixed bag of treats I referred to in the review title.
I arrived at the Westin St. Francis in the mid afternoon after requesting an early check-in. I stood in the line for Starwood Preferred Guests and was greeted by an unbelievably haughty agent who took a full 15 minutes to get me checked in. At no point did my SPG status get mentioned. Once I received my keys one of the bellman, Chris (a darling and gem of a man), assisted me with my bags. He guided me up to my room through a maze of dirty and dingy hallways (actual LARGE dust bunnies on the floors) to a room that looked like it was straight out of a horror film. Besides the stench of staleness the bathroom looked like it hadn't been touched in over a decade, the window overlooked a maze of pipes and the lighting in the room was abysmal. Upon seeing my disappointed face and enduring my marathon sneezing the bellman called down to the desk and requested (without me asking mind you, the way it SHOULD BE) that I be moved to a cleaner and larger room. We went back down to the lobby and were greeted by the surly desk agent who gave us keys to an 'upgraded room' and mentioned that I was 'lucky' he was in a good mood because the hotel was 'overbooked'.
Once again the bellman, my cart of luggage and I made our way up the maze of dusty hallways (I photographed them the second time) to yet another dusty and stale scented room. Upon arrival I once again started sneezing because of the smells and dust and Chris the bellman took matters into his own hands calling the Guest Experience Manager. By the time we came downstairs for the second time my nerves were fraught (I was exhausted from my overnight and delayed travel and my allergies being flared up because of the dust and smells) and my watery eyes made me look as if I had been crying.
The Guest Experience Manager began by offering me a giant bottle of water, some chocolate and a sincere apology. She looked up my reservation (booked on points) and noticed my SPG Status and was immediately profuse in her apologies. Within seconds she had me moved to another room in the newer tower of the hotel. What a difference, the third room was! It was what I have come to expect from Westin -- CLEAN. The hallways in the newer tower had clearly been cleaned and vacuumed in the last decade. This room did have its quirks, the shower didn't work (maintenance had to come up and make a quick fix) and two of the bathroom light fixtures were without bulbs and one was suspended from the ceiling like it had been yanked out.
The Guest Experience Manager sent up a fruit and cheese plate along with some bottled water and did follow up with me twice during my stay. To date (three months later) I still haven't received the follow up from the general manager that was promised to me regarding the stay.
For me the bottom line was:
1. The Front Desk agents proved over and over again that them doing their jobs were a 'favour' to the guest. Do not expect to have your SPG status recognised of have your benefits extended to you without asking. (This has happened all three times in recent memory I've stayed at this property on my own or with my boyfriend.)
2. Do not stay in the 'historic' part of the hotel unless you come with a gas mask and low expectations of the overpriced rooms (I was on points and downright pissed that they were being wasted on such dismal rooms)
3. The bellmen (all of them that I encountered) were top notch. They were warm, efficient and went above and beyond the call of duty to be of service to me. The bellman I mentioned earlier even came by my room personally the next day to check on me and bring me bottled water.
4. The Guest Experience manager was wonderful and were it not for her warmth, efficiency and follow up I would have rated the hotel with a single star and probably done more than write this candid review.
5. Don't expect apologies, decent service or follow up from desk agents or front desk management unless you are distressed to tears. And even then the 'follow up from the general manager' isn't going to happen.
6. If you're coming here and having someone else pay (corporate travel) for your room, fine. If you're having to pay for the room yourself or use points they are better used elsewhere where you feel valued as a guest and your guest experience will be guaranteed without tears (of frustration or as a result of dust) or an intrepid bellman with a sense of service, honour and integrity (and frankly a hint of embarrassment on behalf of the surly front desk staff).
Three months later I want my points back for this stay and wish the general manager would have followed up in a timely manner for the experience I had.
October 24, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Rae57 Great location
Lovely hotel, great service all round.
Staff were very helpful at all times.
Great location to everything.
October 22, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by Twilight92 Good Location, but Overall Stay Could Have Been Better
To be completely upfront, my stay was not the best. However, I would stay at this hotel again if in the area. The issues I dealt with were unfortunate, but I do not think they were representative of the hotel's standards.
I was in town for the Nike Women's Half Marathon to support a family member that was running in the race. The location couldn't have been better as the race began right across the street and the room said online that it was recently renovated. I was a little disappointed with my accommodations upon check in as I was given a room on the 4th floor that had a patio with a couple of chairs surrounded by a concrete wall. The rest of my family, that paid the same amount as I did and checked in right after me, was given a room on the 21st floor with beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline. I went downstairs to the front desk to ask if I could be moved to a different room, but was told that they didn't have any other rooms available to change me too, so I was stuck in the room with a concrete wall. What really disappointed me though was that around 9:00 at night I came back to my room, and when I got off of the elevator on my floor the hallway reeked of puke. Later that night as I was trying to fall asleep the guests staying in the room over checked in and you could hear their entire conversation through the adjoining room door (they weren't yelling), which was a little weird and made me feel like they could hear my every move or word. I woke up the next morning and the hallway still reeked of puke. I was gone the until after lunch watching the race and when I checked out the smell was still so strong that I was gagging as I waited for the elevator. I told the front desk about the problem upon checkout and that it hadn't been dealt with for almost an entire day, but you would think that some of the staff/housekeeping would have reported or dealt with the issue during that time-span.
October 21, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Shay42 Overall Excellent
Loved my stay here for a business convention- perfect location- loved hearing the trolley go by! The staff was amazing and super helpful... while I did enjoy the rock concert put on by the street performers every night- if you are wanting a peaceful EARLY night's sleep may want to have an interior room!
October 20, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by saurabh311 Over hyped hotel
I booked this hotel just because it is the only hotel which is right on the union square. All other hotels are one or two blocks/streets inside. I read reviews and based on the feedback, booked tower room which was 25% more expensive. Moreover confirmed from the hotel that my room will have a view of the union square.
It was a bad decision, as first of all only rooms which are categorized as grand-view rooms, have view. All others don't. And then pretty much it becomes same as any other hotel in the area! Moreover front desk guy at the check-in (at SPG platinum/gold desk) was too intimidating and arrogant. I reached an hour before check-in time (I specified early check-in in the reservation), and he made me feel as if I have done a big crime. I had to wait past check-in time, remind the front desk again that it has crossed check-in time, and then I was given a room on a lower floor (even though I paid a higher rate for higher floor rooms)! And the reason given was the hotel was sold out. I enter the room, and there was smoking smell. I called up operator and asked to speak to manager explaining the situation, and she promptly moved me to a room on higher floor with slightly better view. So front desk staff at check-in intentionally didn't want to give me a room for which I paid! I was appalled by this experience, probably worst of all my starwood hotel experience so far.
Anyways, after this I didn't face any problem, and since my check-out was on Sunday, they didn't charge me for late check-out (Westin weekend) which was good.
I would advise that right being on the union square doesn't add too much value. There are other SPG properties in this area, which are cheaper, and have better rating.
October 14, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by ge12 Classic
The St. Francis is a classic and I always stay there when in SF.
October 13, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by WorldTraveler87 Highly overrated.
This hotel, while elegant, and well located, was the most unsatisfactory stay I have had in all my travels. The un-renovated rooms were loud, musty, and outdated. However the newly renovated rooms were at best par for the area; area, not price...the 379 per night is an outrageous price for the lack of class, and luxury that is to be expected from a Westin property. I will not be staying at this SPG property again.
October 8, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by frequenttrvlr Needs improvement
I stayed previously at this property and had no problems. My most recent stay was a disaster.
The hotel appeared dingy. The room was dirty. There were used coffee stirrers buried in furniture. There was a used left in syringe in the room. The hotel seemed understaffed.
On the bright side, the food was excellent. However, it took a very long time for staff to remove dirty dishes and dishes were all over the hallway on Saturday morning.
September 29, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by eddieg3 Classic Hotel
The Westin St Francis is a timeless gem, in a fantastic location. Close to fabulous restaurants, theaters, and shopping. The hotel staff is first rate and the rooms are wonderful.
September 23, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by sanfranguest2 this was a beautiful hotel in a great location
We enjoyed our stay here very much. The view from our room was very pretty. The hotel was also located in a great spot to walk to many area's .
September 23, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Hudman Hotel Fabulous
The hotel is fabulous. Starting with the doorman to the Hotel staff and hotel management. Rooms were extremely clean and comfortable. I would recommend it to everyone.
September 18, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by W5109 Bourbon Steak
Wonderful dinner and excellent service.Would highly recommend!
September 18, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by NancyJane Best location! Great Hotel
Everything about this jhotel was outstanding. Best location. Great service.
September 18, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by kelsie1 Great hotel
Dear Mr. Kimball,
Our stay at St. Francis was perfect. The location suited our needs well. Our rooms were very comfortable especially the king size bed. The bed linens were much better quality than our stay in another local hotel. The large rooms and bath were very much appreciated after our cruise where staterooms and bathrooms are so small. We really loved all the space.
We were especially surprised at our welcome since the lobby and check-in area was so busy. A personal welcome by Marichu Alvarez was appreciated. She answered our questions and was very attentive, letting us know she would be available to us if we needed anything. Her smile and manner made us feel very much at home. Ms. Alvarez also offered us water and chocolates as we were waiting in the lobby for our shuttle, and she even remembered our names. She is a tremendous asset to St. Francis. We also noticed that she exhibited a very professional look - absolutely impeccable. GIVE HER A RAISE! Please let Ms. Alvarez know that we appreciated the welcome we received and all her help to make our stay perfect. She is one reason that we will stay at St. Francis in the future.
I don’t know the name of the young woman who checked us in, but she was also very professional. She obliged us by changing our room so that we could have a walk –in shower. She also is an excellent representative of St. Francis.
September 15, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by smcv2101 Unsatisfactory ambient and wifi in room
The conference I attended was hosted in this hotel. Preferential rates of 298 USD were given to attendees. I was assigned a room with handicap access and I did not need that. I had to stay by the room door since wifi was not good enough and I couldn't connect from my bed. There is no enough light in the rooms and in the hallways. This hotel needs RENOVATION badly. The housekeeping people is ANNOYING, they only want a tip so very DISTURBING!
September 15, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Berkhills They made me feel really special
This is my favorite spot to stay in the city. It is right on Union Square, and it he rooms are remarkably quiet. The staff is attentive and this year, on my birthday, I asked for help getting a cab. They set me up with the hotel driver instead and I arrived to my dinner in style.
September 14, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by Amir50 St. Francis Sept. 14
St. Francis ia a gorgeous hotel in the middle of San Francisco and I have stayed there many times over the last 20 years. However, things have changed. The only problem with this stay was the staff. The staff just doesn't live up to a caring responsive typical Westin. When I checked in, the front desk staff was less than helpful. The big problem is that the hotel is highly in demand and always fully booked and therefore not as motivated to please! I am not sure if this is good value!
September 13, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by UnhappyFamilies Reserve system and manager not prepared to deal with high occupation
Our experience was really bad. On the first night we were not allocated the reserved rooms. On the second night we were told the problem subsisted and, to our complete surprise and disgust, the manager threatened to call hotel security although we were not disrespectful.
September 12, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Mike62 Fantastic Hotel
The hotel was well beyond our expectations and made the visit to San Francisco the best yet. Location for a SF visit was perfect, shopping parks, cable car connection, bus tours, it has it all.
Will go back and that is were we will stay for sure.A bit of hotel history combined with a new room tower gives you the feel you prefer.
September 10, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Tracy18 Always Amazing
My (20 year old) daughter and I recently stayed at this hotel. You can't beat the location and the prestige of the hotel.
We had a lovely room on the 26th floor with awesome views. I come to San Francisco often and I wouldn't stay anywhere else!
September 3, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by SAG2013 Excellent location for business travellers
This hotel is good for business travelers and family as well especially if you want to explore downtown San Francisco. Great towers and lovely views of downtown sfo.
For SPG guests this hotel however is pretty low on benefits like club lounge facilities.
September 3, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Gravinaut Limited Drawer Space
We like to unpack and not live out of a suitcase during our stay but there were only three very small drawers in this room. There was a long shelf in the closet but that is not an acceptable substitute. Making the situation worse, the nightstand had a false drawer-front.
September 2, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Robyn375 Love the historic value
Only real disappointment was there was no bathroom amenities. We had to call housekeeping for shampoo. Room was quite small and I had forgotten how small a queen bed was...
Someone needs to clean outside the window
We were in room 375 and there was debris and cigarette butts outside our window
September 1, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by 21Steffi perfect hotel to explore San Francisco
Perfect location to explore the city. Located on Union Square with the cable car stop in front of the hotel and many shopping and dining spots in walking distance.
Restaurants and shops even in the hotel.
Friendly and competent staff.
September 1, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Urie Dustin Corisey Front Desk Agent
I arrived at the hotel on August 16, 2014 at 5 pm and remained at the hotel until August 24, 2014. If it had not been for Dustin Corisey, I would have checked out on August 16, 2014 and not returned to this hotel again. Dustin was excellent using his professional qualities to help, so this made the staff responsiveness excellent. Due to Dustin Corisey's professionalism the facility met my expectations. Also, if Dustin had not been there to assists me, I would have checked out of the hotel the same night I arrived.
I will not go into great detail as to what occurred it was not good and hopefully the hotel has made some type of plan of correction. I heard and talked to other people who were staying at the hotel make dissatisfying comments about the hotel.
Thank you Dustin Corisey
August 29, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by WilliamNY Poor service mars an otherwise solid hotel
I just returned from a stay here, and although the accommodations were pretty nice (I think we got a better room as SPG Gold members), the staff seemed disorganized, understaffed and not up to the task (despite coming across as well-meaning). We called ahead for a crib, but it wasn't there. Arriving at midnight, there was no bellhop around. We asked for the crib immediately and had to call back an hour later to ask again. Traveling with a 2 year old, this 2 am need was a serious problem. The next morning, the safe was broken and I wasted a morning trying to get someone to fix it, when it was already broken upon my arrival so I don't understand why they didn't fix it previously. Minor complaints, but when you spend this kind of money, you expect good service.
August 26, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Anni67 Heavenly bed is heavenly
We lucked out with a spacious, well-appointed corner room overlooking Union Square. The famous Heavenly Bed is indeed heavenly, with several down pillows and 2 layers of comforters. The AC worked well and was quiet, and the room was almost soundproof (for exterior noises), but not between rooms, through which we could hear 2 dogs barking. The bar seemed too crowded and noisy for a cocktail. The Internet worked well most of the time, but is pricey ($20/day)
August 25, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by mNSara I love this hotel, but they did not have my reservation
I booked online through the App. I have never had a problem with this before. This was the stay that made me Platinum for the year. When I got to the hotel they did not have a reservation with me. The lady at the counter was very argumentative and told me that I was wrong, so I pulled up the app and showed her the reservation. She went behind the office and was gone for a very long time. Then the manager came out. The manager was awesome. She bought me breakfast and was very apologetic. I was really angry because I was tired and just wanted to go work in the room, but she was nice and she fixed it. I guess there is a glitch in the SPG software, which makes me leery now to use it to book rooms. Everything else was great, but I was in a non SPG preferred room. No waters, etc. Not really what I expected for finally reaching Platinum status.
August 25, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Jimmyryry Great Staff, Service and History...
Thanks, we had a great time...Classy as usual!
August 25, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by lynn64 Beautiful classic San Francisco Hotel
I'm a fan of classic San Francisco locations, architecture and ambiance. The Westin St. Francis has it all plus the best location in town. Close to all, large and beautiful. The rooms in the Tower are modern and clean with everything we needed. A+ rating.
August 25, 2014