Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
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
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
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
We stayed at the hotel for only one night. Check in was fast and easy and very friendly. Got exactly the room we booked. Our room was on the 18th floor. Two beds. Yes the room is very small but it was fine for the two of us...remember it is a Historical Hotel. The room was clean and smelled fresh and looked like it was remodeled. There is a mini bar with all kinds of goodies. Flat screen t.v which you could access your Netflix, Hulu, etc on. Spacious closet with a safe in in. Bath robes for you to use. The bathroom is super tiny. There isn't much space for you to put your bath stuff, and the toilet is right up against the wall making it kinda difficult to go to the bathroom. It was weird. We put the AC on but it never got below 71...we happened to go to SF on a hot weekend in March. They have a hosted (free) happy hour from 5 to 6pm with wine on the 21st floor..The Starlight Room....AMAZING!!! The views are just beautiful. Even if you don't drink wine I suggest you go up there anyway. The Starlight room also has a happy hour menu on weekdays. I got the Tom Sweeney cocktail and it was soooo yummy. Location is great...a few blocks from Union Square and down the hill from Nob Hill. Cable car stops right outside the door. Everyone who works there that we came in contact with went above and beyond in service!! They do charge $62.00 a night for parking but that seems to be the going rate in SF. The only reason I am giving it 4 stars is because of the lack of AC and the toilet....but we would def stay there again..the next time we are going to bring our dog...no charge for pups!!! It is a beautiful hotel.
My Fionce visit his daughter or meet my sisters frequently in San Francisco and sometimes it’s noce to be in a hotel alone time. We choose the kimpton. It’s Beautiful,cozy,modern,classy hotel. We loved our stay at the kimpton. Friendly staff and clean. Great decor. We absolutely love it there. Always be back.
What a fabulous place to spend the week between Christmas and New Years! We were able to get a great rate for a large room. The hotel is stunning and the decorations were glorious! We so enjoyed the Happy Hour sitting by the Christmas tree listening to piano music. Looking forward to the next time we visit!
I really enjoyed staying here. The rooms were recently updated and very clean. They are maintaining the old fashioned vibe of the hotel, but with modern touches. I look forward to going back again. And the location was fantastic.
This was the worst hotel stay I have had. Every person that we came across as far as staff was absolutely rude, unfriendly, and not helpful besides the person that brought us our bags when we left. Multiple requests for additional/ clean glasses for our room were never met- the first night we requested one additional for having wine in our room, and the second day they never replaced the dirty glasses. Our "request" for two beds was "not a guarantee" which was a hassle and rudely responded to by the staff- do not be fooled by your "request" for a specific room! The only good thing about this hotel was the room. While it was small (normal for SF), it was nicely decorated and comfortable. I would NOT recommend staying here.