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“Let down on this occasion”
Review of W San Francisco

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W San Francisco
Ranked #67 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersGold level
Burgess Hill, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Let down on this occasion”
Reviewed 26 May 2012

We stayed last weekend at the W San Francisco - four nights overall Fri thru Mon. It was our third stay at this W but I regret we were let down this time on a number of counts:

Firstly, we arrived on the afternoon of Fri 18th May around 4pm. We were seen immediately by a very polite and amiable representative on Reception but then we proceeded to wait, and wait, and wait...for 25 minutes in all. We were standing by the desk all this time while the poor person banged away on his computer key board, head down, seemingly frustrated but we did not know why. Various whispered conversations went on with his colleage, and they both disappeared in to a room at the rear, behind reception, for 5 minutes, leaving us standing there.

Eventually he said our rooms were sorted out (I had booked two as we had my parents with us) and when I asked why it had taken so long he just said "oh' we're really busy - sorry it's taken so long'. My parents are elderley, in their seventies, and throughout this wait they had no option but to stand with us. I would have hoped that at least, given the delay in assigning our rooms, some form of refreshments would have been offered...but no, we were just given our keys and that was it. Even the porter was left waiting with our luggage all this time.

On the Monday morning my parents went to breakfast at Trace (I was with them to begin with to ensure they got a table OK) and they were welcomed nicely by a hostess and escorted to a table and given menus. I left at this point as I had some work to attend to. Later in the day when I saw my parents again I was horrified at what they told me. Despite having been escorted to a table by the restaurant hostess and having been issued with menus, after 5 minutes a male staff member evicted them from the table! He abruptly said "this table is reserved, you can't sit here" Even though the (somewhat embarrassed hostess was there with him) there was no apology and they were told to go to another table. My parents were astounded - never before has this happened anywhere else. In the end they left and went to Starbucks for their breakfast.

At the end of Monday we all returned to the hotel from a fun day out only for my parents to find their room had not been cleaned/serviced. This was in the evening, they were tired and all they wanted to do was rest & sleep. So they had to phone housekeeping who then said they must leave the room while they serviced it. My parents had to go downstairs and bide time while the room was done. No apology was offered.

On checking out on Tuesday morning I mentioned both issues above (restaurant and room cleaning) to the staff member who checked us out. He assured me he would pass the details on to the relevant people and offered an apology.

A few hours later I received an email from the W's Food & Beverage manager, Julie Mulvey, stating that my parents were the ones at fault in the restaurant because they had 'sat themselves' and not been allocated a table by the hostess. I was astounded, this was so far from the truth! Indeed my elderely parents would *never* seat themselves, they *always* wait for a hostess to see them. I myself had even been there when they were escorted to the table and menus issued. I replied immediately to Julie's email stressing what really happened. That was four days ago - but I have never received a reply, despite chasing.

I am so disappointed with the W San Francisco, especially as the issues I have highlighted adversley impacted the experience of my elderly parents. Our stay here was our last stop on the trip of a lifetime, staying at Starwood hotels in nearly all USA cities we visited. At the W I received no acknowledgement of my Gold status. In all the other Starwood properties on check-in we received room upgrades to 'next level available' and even were given SPG Gold key card wallets. At the W San Francisco there was no acknowldgement - not even a 'welcome back. We were just given the Cool Corner rooms we had booked (and paid a very high rate for - $2000 per room for the four night, $4000 in total). Incidentally the difference between our two rooms was huge, my parents (and I'm glad thet got the nicer room!) had a much larger room than ours - they had 2217 which had a massive bathroom and overall a bigger room. Our room, 2208, had a tiny bathroom and overall was smaller. I have no idea whywe were allocated two very different rooms despite booking two identical rooms?

I do hope that someone at W San Francisco gets in touch with me. Our trip of a lifetime was tarnished by the issues I have described here and we have a sour taste in our mouth because this was the one Starwood property we 'saved up' to stay in since the cost was so astrominically high.....we have never in our lives spent $500 a night on a hotel room!

Thanks
James

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank JimSouthUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brad_Wulff, Guest Relations Manager at W San Francisco, responded to this review, 28 May 2012
Hello James,

Thank you for taking the time to provide this review on your recent stay with us. I am so sorry that your stay did not live up to your expectations. The experiences you wrote about are not typical of the level service we hold ourselves to.

I would love to discuss your trip in further detail, please feel free to reach out to me directly at your convenience. Thank you very much for your continued loyalty to the Starwood family!

Sincerely,
Brad Wulff
Brad.wulff@whotels.com
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Los Angeles, CA
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2012

This was my first time at the W. Check in was quick. The lobby was modern and jumping at 6:00 when I checked in. They had a DJ in the lobby and it looked like it was a great place for after work drinks. The bar was right in the lobby, and they had lots of servers and bartenders. My room was on the 14th floor. Not large, but comfortable. Again, modern and compact. The bed was really good, bathtub large. There was a flat screen TV but the reception was bad, and it kept cutting out. If I was going to say there longer, I would have complained. There is wifi free in the lobby, but in the rooms, they want $15 per night for internet. I understand that parking is $40 per night, but I think that is typical for SF. If you like trendy and young, this is a good place. If you want elegance and style, you might try somewhere else.

Room Tip: Higher floors for the possibility of a view.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jeffonthebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2012

An excellent service oriented hotel that provides for every business need and I intend to come back for a personal holiday too.
Check in was very efficient and they accommodated my request for a high floor - excellent views of San Fran bay area
Breakfast was always quick, great food and friendly service - even catering for tweaks to the menu
The bar was always lively with good music and atmosphere and, being right by reception, was a great place to meet.
The location of the hotel is perfect for conference as it's right next to the moscone centre, it's a short walk to the centre of town too where you can catch a tram to up and down town areas and there are lots of shops / restaurants nearby too.
An example of the concierge service - I had a suit that didn't fit as well as I remembered (too big!) which the concierge helped to find a new home for. This was a charity shop where the proceeds go to homeless and poor folk in the city and seemed like a nice example of a hotel going well beyond the day job. I am sure they would respond well to more relevant holiday/business type requests.

Room Tip: As for a high room - the views are amazing. Near or far from lifts isn't an issue as everything...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MrWolfy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brad_Wulff, Guest Relations Manager at W San Francisco, responded to this review, 28 May 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write this review of your recent stay with us! Seven days is a long time to stay in a hotel, and I am so glad that we were able to provide you with an amazing experience the entire time.

I am a big fan of our location in the SOMA area as well. Our Welcome Talent love the city, and it doesn’t surprise me to hear that they had a great idea on what to do with the suit. Thank you for choosing to share that particular part of the story here.

I look forward to welcoming you back next time you are in the area, for pleasure or business.

Sincerely,
Brad Wulff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2012

You would not thinking looking at the outside of this hotel that it would be trendy..but it is. If you like that lounge-like club feel for a bar/lobby then this is the hotel for you. The lobby is very upscale, modern and trendy, but you can't even hear yourself think with the loud music. Probably my biggest complaint for this hotel is the elevators. They each have a strange mural in them that makes you very dizzy after only looking at it for less than 5 seconds. This is a bit pricey as you can usually stay at the Palace for less. Also the valet is a bit of a pain as it is a very narrow alley. The hotel is a good downtown location right by the convention center.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelBunnyFooFoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brad_Wulff, Guest Relations Manager at W San Francisco, responded to this review, 28 May 2012
Hello, and thanks for taking the time to provide feedback on your recent stay with us! Although our Living Room can be a nightlife spot in the city, we do offer a more laidback scene in our UPSTAIRS bar, as well as in TRACE.

I am sorry that the elevators caused you any discomfort, we usually get positive feedback on the design of our public spaces.

I hope that overall your experience was a positive one, and that you think of us next time you are in the Bay Area.

Thanks again,

Brad Wulff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 May 2012

I was in San Francisco this past weekend for my boyfriend's 21st birthday. All I have to say is wonderful things about the W San Fran. We ate at TRACE for breakfast, had drinks at the hotel bar during the night, and stayed on the 22nd floor of the hotel for 2 nights. Every person we encountered from the hotel whether it was while we were eating, standing in the lobby, or sitting, they were so kind to us and made our weekend so memorable. Especially Jose and Anna Lynn from the Front Desk! We have stayed at other W hotels but this one stood out the most in which is why I had to come on to trip advisor! Bravo!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank priscillaavalee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brad_Wulff, Guest Relations Manager at W San Francisco, responded to this review, 23 May 2012
Hello, and thank you for taking the time to write this review! I am so glad you chose to spend your boyfriend’s birthday with us, and thrilled to hear how great everything went!

It sounds like you had an amazing time, and I will be sure to pass along the compliments! Looking forward to seeing you for the big 22!

Thanks again,
Brad Wulff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2012

Not only did the hotel live up to the fabulous standards of other W Hotels (great service, trendy decor), but the room was also much larger than any other hotel rooms I have had in San Francisco (where rooms tend to be tiny). My only complaint was the high price for parking each night, although that is also typical of San Francisco hotels.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank ramonaruby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2012

We stayed for a few days in May 2012, and didn't think the W was particularly special. The lobby is trendy, but most of it is taken up by the bar, so when you walk in with your luggage you feel a little out of place. Personally, I didn't think the location was that great, its too not far from Market Street and Union Square, but its not in the middle of the action. The room was average. Compared to some of the other W hotels, this one is not as unique and so feel a little disappointed in the price we paid. Swimming pool and gym were quite small. The do offer a good concierge and an Acura car service in town (I think for free?) but we didn't use it.

Room Tip: There is currently building work going on South-East of the hotel, if possible, stay on the other si...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chris T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about W San Francisco

Property: W San Francisco
Address: 181 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103-3107
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > SoMa , South Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Spa Hotel in San Francisco
#16 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#36 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#38 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#61 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#70 Family Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — W San Francisco 4*
Number of rooms: 404
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of the SoMa district, and neighbors with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, W San Francisco faces the beautiful Yerba Buena gardens and is a short walk to Union Square's shops. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
w San Francisco Hotel San Francisco
w Hotels San Francisco
w Hotel San Francisco

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