by Whitney Rife
Sir Francis Drake is not your typical upscale hotel. Though it presents grand architecture and elegant design, it has an air of nonchalance. It rooms are colorful and modern, complete with adult- and child-sized luxurious terrycloth robes, video games and pet-friendly amenities. Cribs are available free of charge upon request. Also, kids under 17 stay for free when staying with parents. Kimpton Kids is a program that provides accessories and activities for kids of all ages. Babies are covered with cribs, playards, booster seats and safety kits for the room. Kids receive a special welcome gift upon arrival and comment cards at the end of their stay. Parents are given a list of nearby attractions that are perfect for kids, such as the Yerba Buena Gardens or the Exploratorium. Parents can take a night off with Sir Francis’s onsite babysitting service. Scala’s Bistro is a chic Italian eatery run by recent “Top Chef” contestant, Jen Biesty.
Our Editor Loves
- Kimpton Kids program
- Elegant architecture
- Nearby family-friendly attractions
- Onsite Dining
First off, the building - especially the lobby - has loads of charm, and having a cocktail there was an absolute pleasure.
The location is extremely convenient, both for pedestrians as well as those hopping on a trolley.
I stayed in an older part of the hotel; while the rooms are small, they are bright, and the beds are comfortable. That said, all of the furniture in my room (and the mattress on the bed) were oddly askew when I checked in, and there was no mini-fridge, despite there being a bar menu for one. The windows are painted shut but don’t provide much insulation - I was in the 9th floor and could hear people’s conversations on the street.
The bathrooms are bright but tiny; the water pressure in the shower was so poor that I had to finish rinsing my hair in the sink.
The food is passable - the Italian restaurant is fine for a quick bite with colleagues, but the room service burger somehow managed to be undercooked and burnt at the same time.
Ultimately, this is the ultimate Kimpton property - the location is great, the staff is lovely, the food is fine, and the bathrooms leave something to be desired. I’d visit again, but might pay for a newer room.
The room is small, it is an old hotel. For the price I paid, the front desk staff not gracious. I had to have my key made 4x....no apologies....they acted like it was my fault. Has a seedy feel to it. Best thing is having Italian restaurant attached. I will not stay here again.