Members Recommend
Average 3882 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Authentic Gothic Revival style and Art Deco interiors
  • Themed cocktails and variety shows at the Starlight Room’s “Sunday’s a Drag” brunch
  • Free morning coffee and tea, and nightly wine served in the lobby
  • Read more about what to see and do in San Francisco and Big Sur in our magazine section

What To Know

  • Free WiFi is available if you sign up for the free Kimpton Karma program
  • Each room is equipped with Yoga TV and mats
  • The hotel was built in 1928, so some rooms are cozier than others


  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Gym
  •  Handicap Accessible
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pet-friendly
  •  Restaurant
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
City Historic living room property home Bedroom Suite lamp leather


Gothic Revival landmark complete with local favorite restaurant and buzzy cocktail lounge in Union Square

The Look

Named after the 16th-century swashbuckler who sailed the California coast for Queen Elizabeth I, the landmark Sir Francis Drake Hotel blends classic Gothic Revival style with Art Deco glamour. A beefeater doorman welcomes guests in the ornate lobby, which is adorned in Italian marble, crystal chandeliers, spiraling staircases and gold leaf ceilings. The guestrooms are elegantly appointed quarters, with sleek glass-topped furnishings and retro chairs in playful colors of royal purple and silver. Equally stylish is the wood-lined Scala’s Bistro and the Starlight Room, on the 21st floor, where the ruby-red decor tries to compete with the expansive city views.

Bed and Bath

Handsome button-back chairs, Victorian headboards and damask drapes in the 416 rooms and suites channel the kind of opulence you might find in the master bedroom of the namesake naval commander himself. Complementing the hotel’s 1920s flavor are retro modern accents such as bedside lamps in the shape of hitching posts. Located on the upper floors, the stylish suites feature separate living and dining areas. Although small, the bathrooms are well equipped, with granite sinks, coconut-infused Gilchrist & Soames products and animal print robes.


After having a glass during the nightly lobby wine hour, snag a table at Scala’s Bistro, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and local hot spot. Standout dishes include the pesto and ricotta ravioli with lemon cream or marinara sauce, washed down with the Roseblum old-vine Zinfandel. Twenty-one floors up, the Starlight Room is a vibrant nightlife spot that hosts a “Sunday’s a Drag” brunch that features Donna’s Savoy Bounce cocktail (Prosecco, St. Germain, cointreau, absinthe, lemon) and a 45-minute variety show. Although the third-floor fitness center is small and modestly equipped, you won’t need it after spending an afternoon tromping up and down San Francisco’s hills.

In the Area

The hotel is on one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, Powell Street, where retail therapy choices include big name brands such as Neiman Marcus, Gucci, Burberry, Prada and Marc Jacobs. Throughout the year lively Union Square is a host to free outdoor entertainment, from Film Night in the Park to monthly concerts showcasing up-and-coming Bay Area musicians. For some of the best views of San Francisco, hike up Grant Avenue to North Beach’s latest artisanal cocktail spot, 15 Romolo; we love the punchy Pimm’s Cup and the Rio Grande (bourbon, Reposado tequila, lemon, lime, syrup). Or hop on the cable car on Powell Street and head for Nob Hill and join well-heeled residents at the speakeasy-style Bourbon & Branch for creative libations. Save room for the best Bay Area bites at the gourmet vegetarian Union Square restaurant Millennium, where herbivores will love the masa dumplings with porcini molé and agave-centric elixirs. For a modern spin on traditional Vietnamese, head over to Charles Phan’s Slanted Door in the Embarcadero’s Ferry Building.

How to Get There

Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
450 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102 United States


3.5 Average 3882 Reviews
San Fran Sept 2019
Sarah Jane P

Great hotel, helpful staff & great location. Nothing was too much trouble for them, I would highly recommend you booking this hotel if you are looking at a trip to San Fran. If you have forgotten anything you can be sure they have it & will send it to your room!

Perfect location

A boutique style hotel taking you back to the 1920’s with a Beefeater waiting to greet you. Located close to Union Square it was the perfect location for our site seeing plans. Cable cars and subway easily accessible and nearby. Hop on hop off bus stop at Union Square too.

Elegant lobby and bar area with gorgeous architecture, chandeliers, and very helpful staff. Lobby furniture did seem a little ‘tired’ though. Pet friendly hotel with sign at registration greeting the furry guests. We had a small king corner room that was modern in decor, but had a walk-in closet that felt larger than the bathroom. The bathroom was updated, but extremely small. Sink had no counter space, but did have small storage area under the sink. When you walk into the bathroom you literally have about 2ft and then you hit the tub. The bathroom was one of the smallest hotel bathrooms I have even seen especially for the price of the rooms. Not a fan of the shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel in pump bottles attached to the wall either.

The beds and pillows were comfortable and the room was dark for sleeping. Unfortunately our room had an unpleasant odor and we asked to move, but no rooms were available until the following day. We spent most of the day out site seeing and only there for two nights so we decided not to move the following day. However, every time we walked into the room we were greeted with the smell of ‘light’ sewage. Never did figure out where the smell was coming from.

Starlight Room was under construction so unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to have a drink and see the views.

Overall the location is prime, but I expected more from the Kimpton brand.

A good stay, great location
Trevor H

Good facilities [in room and bar!] and great location, perfect for a business trip [walkable to Salesforce Tower, but also to the pier / restrautants]. Friendly staff with an evident sense of humour, which was nice....