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Union Square

Sir Francis Drake, a Kimpton Hotel

Carina Stebbins
Deal Expert

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

88% (382 Member Ratings)

"The location; the friendliness of the staff; the charming Beefeater at the door; the wine reception; the beautiful lobby; and its interesting history."
Jul 11, 2017
San Mateo, CA, United States

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

Check Rates


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 5-6 p.m. 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



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


  • 24-hour front desk
  • Baby-sitting service on request
  • 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
  • Video games on request


  • 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

Please note: Some amenities may not be available in all rooms and some amenities or services incur an additional charge and are subject to change. Please check with the hotel directly.


Check-in: Standard check-in time: 3pm.

Checkout: Standard checkout time: 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. 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.

Fees: A Parking Fee of $59 (plus tax), per day (with in/out privileges) and $64 (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.

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

Have a Question? Contact Travelzoo.

Customer Service available 24 hours

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

The room rates listed are for double occupancy per room unless otherwise stated and exclude tax recovery charges and service fees.

It is the responsibility of the hotel chain and/or the individual property to ensure the accuracy of the photos displayed. Travelzoo is not responsible for any inaccuracies in the photos.

88% Positive
(382 Member Reviews)
Ratings & reviews reflect verified member feedback for Sir Francis Drake Hotel (Kimpton Hotels) over the past 15 months.
4.4 Ambiance
4.8 Location
3.9 Rooms
4.5 Quality of Service
4.1 Value for the Money
Show Reviews
Enjoyed Most
My companion. Location.
william Jul 23, 2017 el segundo, AL, United States
Enjoyed Most
Half of he staff was pleasant and helpful. Free wine in the afternoon.
Other Comments
Half of the staff was rude. Bathroom needs some sprucing up. Chipped tub in several places, peering paint, and stained grout.
Lisa Jul 17, 2017 Bristow, VA, United States
Enjoyed Most
Great location, nice rooms, if a bit small.
Other Comments
Very helpful front desk and concierge.
Sarah Jun 27, 2017 Elk Grove, CA, United States
Other Comments
I did not receive my $20 beverage credit, and I woke up this morning to find $231.74 posted on my credit card. This was prepaid to May 8th. TZ reference #9464-3852-6079
John Jul 10, 2017 Hercules, CA, United States
Enjoyed Most
The location; the friendliness of the staff; the charming Beefeater at the door; the wine reception; the beautiful lobby; and its interesting history.
Other Comments
The last time I stayed at the Sir Francis Drake was in 1947; I moved with my parents from Arizona to California as my father had just received a promotion to manage California for his company,
John Jul 11, 2017 San Mateo, CA, United States
Enjoyed Most
Location, friendly staff
Diana Jul 01, 2017 Arlington, TX, United States
Enjoyed Most
The beauty of a grand old hotel with an extremely good job of decor and function in a relatively small room. Enjoyed the wine in the mezzanine and especially enjoyed meals at LaScalla It was a treat.
Rita Jun 14, 2017 Los Gatos, CA, United States
Enjoyed Most
The hotel's grand entrance and preserved history really makes you feel like you're going back in time, without sparing any modern amenities.
Ryan Jun 27, 2017 Lake Stevens, WA, United States
Enjoyed Most
Great location, awesome staff! Hotel and room was very nice as well.
Other Comments
The entire staff was extremely friendly and welcoming. Lief at the concierge desk was exceptional, but from the bartender to our room service person, everyone was fantastic .
Daniel Jun 26, 2017 Puyallup, WA, United States
Enjoyed Most
It was comfortable and once again Kimpton went above and beyond to help us have a great say in the city. The lobby was a beautiful inviting meeting place for the rest of the group we came with. Good walking distance to the theater and little Italy. Good food, coffee and wine at the hotel.
Brooke Jun 19, 2017 San Jose, CA, United States

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Sir Francis Drake, a Kimpton Hotel