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Union Square

Sir Francis Drake, a Kimpton Hotel

Travelzoo Staff

Why We Love It

  • Famous for its Beefeater doorman and rooftop cocktail lounge -- plus a free wine hour for guests
  • The Powell Street cable car runs by right out front and Union Square is around the corner
  • Surrounded by the city’s top shopping and swankiest ’hoods
  • All guests are invited to the complimentary evening wine hour

"Prohibition-era gem in Union Square" -- Condé Nast Traveler
Enjoyed This
(333 Member Ratings)
"The restaurant next door Scalas and that it was close to Union Square"
Nov 06, 2018
San Jose, CA, USA

Map & Directions

The hotel is a five-minute walk from the Powell Street BART station. Fare from SFO is $8.95. Or a cab from SFO will take around 20 minutes in good traffic and would cost around $50.

Rooms & Rates

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Two -- some would say three -- San Francisco icons are at the doorstep of the Sir Francis Drake hotel. The first is Union Square, “one of [the city’s] main retail and cultural centers” (SFGate.com) with department stores, major fashion houses and glitzy restaurants. The second is the Powell Street cable car, which runs right in front of the hotel on its journey down to Market Street or up to posh Nob Hill and Fisherman’s Wharf beyond.

The third icon is the hotel’s own doormen, nicknamed Beefeaters, who dress in red-and-gold-fringed regalia taken from the hotel’s English roots from the 1920s. The lobby soars in marble and wood paneling up to barrel-vaulted ceilings dripping in chandeliers. Farther up on the 21st floor is the Starlight Room, wrapped in windows with a 180-degree panorama of the bay, hosting nightclub acts and Sunday brunch drag shows. The Starlight Room is closed on Sunday and Monday evenings. 

The rooms are rich with oversized jacquard prints, bold injections of color, sleek black lacquered furniture and oblique reframes of royal portraits. All hotel guests get free morning coffee and tea and admission to the wine hour in the lobby from 5-6pm with complimentary pours.

Reservations are recommended at the on-site Scala's Bistro. The bustling tourist magnet also draws in local crowds for its old-world ambiance and rustic Italian and French eats.

From the press:
  • “Beefeater-costumed doormen welcome you into the regal lobby of this 1928 landmark property” -- Fodor's



  • Infant cots / cribs
  • Gym / fitness center
  • Restaurant
  • Nightlife / entertainment
  • Pet-friendly
  • Extra beds (fees apply)
  • 100% smoke-free


  • 24-hour front desk
  • Concierge service
  • Currency exchange / ATM
  • Laundry / dry cleaning
  • Room service (limited hours)
  • Safe in reception (fees apply)
  • Business center

Room amenities

  • Air-conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pay-per-view / movies on demand
  • Safe
  • Flatscreen TV
  • iPod/iPhone docking station


  • Complimentary Wi-Fi in public areas
  • Wi-Fi in guest rooms (fees apply)
  • High-Speed Wi-Fi (fees apply)


  • Bathrobes
  • Hair-dryer
  • Luxury toiletries

Parking A Parking Fee of $59 (plus tax), per day (with in/out privileges) applies and will be added to your bill at the hotel. This rate is subject to change at the discretion of the property.

  • Valet service (fees apply)


  • Accessible bathroom in some rooms
  • Accessible meeting room
  • Accessible parking
  • Accessible restaurant
  • ADA compliant rooms
  • Facilities for guests with special needs
  • Roll-in shower
  • Wheelchair accessible


Check-in: Standard Time is 3pm.

Checkout: Standard Time is 12pm.

Children and additional guests: Children 17 and under stay free of charge when sharing parents’ room and using existing bedding (on request).
Pack 'n Play available on request, free of charge for children up to the age of 4. 
Extra bed available on request; $30 plus tax per night.
Extra person charge is $20 per person, per night plus tax.
Charges will be added to your bill at the hotel.

Pets: Pets are allowed on request, free of charge.  Charges may apply for any damage.

Cancellation: Cancellation policy & booking conditions vary by 'rate plan'. These will be displayed on the payment page after you have searched for your dates and selected a rate.

Additional details: A $100 refundable deposit for incidentals will be charged per day.
A Parking Fee of $62 (plus tax), per day (with in/out privileges) and $72 (plus tax) for larger cars applies and will be added to your bill at the hotel. This rate is subject to change at the discretion of the property.

Have a Question? Contact Travelzoo.

Customer service available Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm GMT + 8.

Rates may vary by date, are subject to availability and are not guaranteed until your purchase is complete.

Please note: Some amenities and services may not be available in all rooms or may incur an additional charge. All prices stated have been verified at the time of publication and may vary at the discretion of the hotel.

Enjoyed This
(333 Member Ratings)
Ratings & reviews reflect verified member feedback for Sir Francis Drake Hotel (Kimpton Hotels) over the past 15 months.
4.4 Ambiance
4.9 Location
3.9 Rooms
4.5 Quality of Service
4.4 Value for the Money
Show Reviews
Enjoyed Most
The restaurant next door Scalas and that it was close to Union Square
Other Comments
The staff here are so kind and helpful. Made me feel welcomed.
anna Nov 06, 2018 San Jose, CA, USA
Enjoyed Most
Location, bar.
Tammy Nov 04, 2018 Windsor, CA, USA
Enjoyed Most
Beautiful hotel and great location
Leslie Sep 25, 2018 Altadena, CA, USA
Enjoyed Most
history, old, old building, classic old-school feel and look comfortable bed and pillows quiet
Other Comments
remember it is a very old hotel, rooms are small, elevator is slow, but all of that is part of the charm!
donna Sep 24, 2018 Redmond, OR, USA
Enjoyed Most
Staff was extremely friendly and professional
Robert Sep 23, 2018 Santa Rosa Rosa, CA, USA
Enjoyed Most
Lobby decor and location were perfect!
April Sep 20, 2018 Smyrna, GA, USA
Enjoyed Most
Location and valet service good.
Other Comments
Room very small and view was aweful on the parapit wall but i guess that was why it was affordable. Coffee and tea service was very slow. Evening bartender was rude and never checked back with us for more drinks.
Clarissa Sep 17, 2018 Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Other Comments
rooms are dated
doug Sep 16, 2018 San Diego, CA, USA
Enjoyed Most
The velvety old school look of the place, yet still upkept and maintained. Accommodating customer service. Good free coffee every morning served by a friendly female host who even remembered my room number!
Angela Sep 16, 2018 Chicago, IL, USA
Travelzoo Deal Expert
Enjoyed Most
Spent a wonderful recent 4 nights at this awesome older property. The location can't be beat right on the cable car line. The ambiance and decor was just what I was hoping for. I had booked a Grand King room and was very pleased. The Sir Francis Drake proved to be an excellent choice for our little getaway. The staff and concierge were tops and couldn't do enough for you.
Catherine Sep 15, 2018 Hobe Sound, FL, USA

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