Kimpton Hotel: Sir Francis Drake, San Francisco

Discussion in 'Other Hotel Programs' started by tondoleo, Oct 30, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. tondoleo
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    tondoleo Gold Member

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    The Sir Francis Drake on Powell Street near Union Square was the second of the troika of Northern California Kimpton's I would stay in during KivaDO2 weekend. This is an old property with a rich history in the City. It was unlike any of the other 8 Kimptons I have stayed in this year.

    You can enter the hotel via Powell Street where a jolly fellow in a Beefeater costume will welcome you and offer to help with your bags. Or you could round the corner like me to the Sutter Street entrance.
    As you walk up the stairs one is greeted by a large Beefeater Statue and a wide Bar and lounge area. It was noisy and folks were sipping cocktails when I arrived at 12:15 p.m. The front desk is to the right.

    Although Kimpton does a great job "spoiling" their top tier Inner Circle members they do not have a designated check in area like some hotels do for their elites. Perhaps it is due to the efficiency of the staff or the fact their boutique hotels do not have massive amounts of rooms. After a ten minute wait a kind front deskperson told me that it was great to have an IC elite staying at the hotel. We had a nice chat about college football. He told me the Historic Queen room I booked had been upgraded to a Junior Suite, that my amenities were being sent to it, and the room would be ready in 1/2 hour. I told him not to despair for lunch at Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store was on my schedule. I dropped by stuff with the bellman and headed out.

    After a great 2.5 hour walk and lunch I returned to the hotel. This is where I had my least pleasant experience at Kimpton this year. The front deskperson at 2:45 was a young woman I had met the night before at the hotel. She directed me to the hosted Wine Hour where I met fellow FLounger dmel. Of course she did not remember me 21 hours and 15 minutes later. I am so bland and faceless and can blend in anywhere. I introduced myself and repeated the information supplied to me earlier in the afternoon by her colleague. She looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language. She said your room is not ready. "You are not in a Junior Suite. What amenities are you talking about. It is only 2:47. No one gets their room until after 3." I calmly asked her what could have motivated her colleague to provide me with the information that he had read off the same screen she was looking at. Completely perplexed and utterly flustered she called upon Calvin, another front deskperson, to save her from this aging hippie maniac. Calvin informed me that I was in a King Grand Guestroom that some folks call a Junior Suite and that it was available.

    I went to the 7th floor. It was a long narrow hallway with room doors on either side in a reddish hued wood. The room itself was U-shaped. When I walked in there was a closet on the right and the bathroom on the left. The bathroom was no great shakes. It did have a stand alone shower and separate bath tub. There was a King Bed, a sofa and table, a desk and ergonomic chair. To the right of the bed was a cabinet containing the mini bar and some drawers. On top of it was a flat screen tv that faced the sofa. On the other side of the U to the right of the bed down a short hall way was another closet. I thought that was odd. The room overlooked Powell Street and I could hear all of the wondrous sounds of the vibrant City for most of the night. The windows were not as thick or soundproofed at the Hotel Palomar the evening before.

    Upon returning from my visit to Kiva HQ I discovered that my alleged Inner Circle treats had been delivered. I say alleged since the hotel did not give me my choice of items. They provided a bucket of 4 beers includeing an Anchor Steam. If this was last century I would have been pleased. However, for reasons I do not even remember drinking a beer is not on my list of things to do. There were no nuts or fresh fruit or chocolate. Hopefully, this is not too whiny but if Kimpton states IC members get the snacks and drinks of their choice the hotel should come through. The SFD did not. I was disappointed.

    I did not eat at the hotel restaurant "Scala's". I was interested in a light meal and went up the street to Bush and Powell and ate a Vito's Pizza (review to follow).

    Check out was simple at the SFD except for the look of scorn by yet another cranky front deskperson who scowled at me for not spending more money on site and merely getting a nice room at a very low rate.

    I don't know if I would return to the SFD. I enjoyed the Palomar more. I still have 5 more Kimpton hotels to try before an overall winner is declared. In sum I had the worst customer service experience at a Kimpton. Based upon what others on MP have reported in their interactions with hotel staff and physical facilities I will not complain about my experience.

    Thanks for reading.
    dmel, iolaire and kellio like this.

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