Stay: Sir Francis Drake in San Francisco
The Sir Francis Drake in San Francisco has a colorful history. Opened in 1928, the 21-story hotel became the status symbol of luxury. Celebrities and socialites flocked to be seen in its posh interiors adorned with iron grills, gold-leaf vaulted ceilings, and dramatic entrance staircase. Rumor has it that that alcohol flowed freely here in a hidden speakeasy above the elevator during Prohibition. After falling into decline in the 70’s and 80’s, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants rescued the building in 1993 to upgrade it back to grand splendor.
This iconic hotel is now a base for urban travelers seeking convenient and elegant accommodations in the heart of San Francisco. It is also home to Italian-inspired Scala’s Bistro, Starlight Room lounge, and swanky Bar Drake in the lobby.
A modern interpretation of 1920’s opulence
This lavish hotel is located one block from Union Square, San Francisco’s main shopping hub. It’s on hilly Powell Street, along a cable car route and is a five-minute walk from a BART station.
Sir Francis Drake Hotel has a selection of guest rooms and suites that range from cozy historic queen size rooms to a spacious 1,125 square-foot Presidential Suite. The accommodations all come equipped with:
- flat-screen TV with cable
- beds dressed with sumptuous comforters
- in-room yoga mats
- minibar snack and drink selection
- housekeeping service (forego cleaning and receive a daily $10 voucher to the hotel’s restaurants and bars)
- seating area
- Atelier Bloem bath products
- iron and board
- outlets stations to charge devices
Three of me and my girlfriends stayed in a Classic Guestroom with two plush queen-sized beds. The room was decorated with neutral walls, handsome furniture, and dark, glam accents. As expected in a big city like San Francisco, it was a little on the small side but offered smart storage options like drawers, a closet, and luggage racks to keep it from feeling cramped.
The bed was one of the most comfortable I’ve ever experienced. The mattress cradled me and comforter cocooned me perfectly. The small bathroom was equipped with fluffy towels and upscale bath products but is a little tight on shelf space unless you reconfigure the towels.
The service at Kimpton Hotels is consistently professional and friendly which is why I like to stay with them. The staff at Kimpton Hotels are always accommodating and their passion for the brand and travel is contagious. This is probably why the brand has consistently been named as one of the best workplaces for diversity and rated in Fortune as one of the top companies to work for.
Part of the reason I enjoy staying at Kimpton properties is for its personal, boutique amenities. The ones at Sir Francis Drake include:
- complimentary social hour in living room lobby with wine and snacks
- expert concierge and personal assistant services
- Wi-Fi (complimentary for Karma Rewards members)
- 24-hour fitness center
- complimentary morning coffee/tea service
- complimentary use of bicycles
- pets stay free
Rates start at $225 USD depending on the type of room and season (please note: rates are subject to change)
- Bypass the $25 facilities fee and sign up for Kimpton’s free Karma Rewards program to receive complimentary internet, drink and food vouchers, and credit to raid the room’s snack bar.
- Some of the guestrooms do not have mini fridges.
- Parking is not included in the room rates.
Sir Francis Drake Hotel
450 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102
phone: (415) 392-7755
Have you ever stayed at Sir Francis Drake or any other San Francisco boutique hotels? Share your questions and comments.
Lara was instilled with the travel bug at an early age and has visited over 25 countries. Her mother’s job as a flight attendant enabled a childhood of discovering the world. She recently relocated to Seoul, South Korea, where she hopes to explore much of Asia for the next few years. In addition to being the founding editor of En Route Traveler, Lara also works as a freelance graphic designer. In her spare time, she contributes as a Local Expert to AFAR, is an ambassador for FIG Clothing, enjoys vegetarian cuisine, instructs Zumba, practices yoga, dabbles in photography and, of course, travels as much as possible.