White Swan Inn
What We Love
- Central location on Bush Street, close to Union Square, Lombard Street and a short walk to the Embarcadero
- Intimate vibe in the heart of the city; the hotel has just 26 guestrooms and a plugged-in staff
- Daily buffet breakfast (baked goods, eggs, fruit and more) served in the colorful dining room or on the furnished outdoor patio
- Free WiFi
What To Know
- No gym, but staff can organize passes for a nearby fitness center
- Valet parking is available for an extra fee
- Pets are not permitted
- Not the pick for minimalists; the decor is all bold colors, patterns and graphic wallpaper
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
In San Francisco’s posh Nob Hill neighborhood, White Swan Inn is an Anglophile’s dream, all country cottage prints and mod-inspired accents. Interiors are done up with acres of colorful, graphic wallpaper, from classic English rose motifs to full-on floral bouquets, plus patterned carpets, richly upholstered sofas and armchairs, and mahogany furniture. The small living room is a cozy space with a working fireplace for the inn’s daily wine hour, while the homemade breakfast buffet is served in the kitschy dining room or on the furnished patio each morning. There’s also a library for playing vintage board games or relaxing after a day of exploring the local sights. All 26 guestrooms are individually designed but uniform in their more-is-more design brief, with colorful wallpaper and monochrome accents, plus comfy four-poster beds, LCD TVs, mini fridges and tea and coffee makers. Simple tiled bathrooms have over-tub showers and single vanities. There’s no gym but the staff can organize passes to a nearby fitness club, or recommend city walks to take in all the nearby sights.
In the Area
The hotel is centrally located near many beloved cafés and restaurants. Farm:Table features delicious fresh produce for lunch, and the brunch at Brenda’s French Soul Food is wildly popular (hint: arrive late). On a sunny day, take San Francisco’s historic cable car over Nob Hill to Fisherman’s Wharf to gawk at the California sea lions. With Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Chanel, and Saks Fifth Avenue, Union Square is a bustling commerce hub. For an authentic speakeasy experience and some killer cocktails, book a reservation at Bourbon and Branch (a password is required for entry). On a boat trip under the Golden Gate Bridge and out to the Farallon Islands, blue, gray, humpback, killer, and sperm whales can be spotted seasonally. Check out San Francisco’s best bookstores: City Lights in North Beach (co-founded by beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti) and Green Apple Books, in the Richmond district.
How to Get There
We enjoyed our stay! We had a luxury king room, which was HUGE! More space than we really needed, but it was nice to come back after a day of exploring and not be cramped. Be aware that this B&B does not have air conditioning in the rooms, so it can get warm! The windows do open, but do not have screens, however we had ours open our entire stay and had no issues with any bugs coming in or anything. Ask for a room at the back of the hotel for a more quiet stay. Breakfast was good each morning, hot items, fruit, cereal and pastries. The in room water and soda was a nice added touch! All of the stay we interacted with were so nice! The old Ottis elevator was really a really neat feature as well. Great location - a couple blocks from Union Square and Chinatown, two streets down is a Cable Car stop, and many bus stops nearby.
We would definitely return to the White Swan!
I am so very disappointed in this hotel. I had such great expectations based on prior reviews.The room had no climate control aka no air conditioning. It was about 85 degrees in the room w no way to cool off except to open windows ,w no screens, 5 stories up. Thank God we did not have kids w us! There were 2 fans in the room. But only one worked. The temperature was easily 15 degrees cooler in the hallway. Mind you it was 72 during the day and it was in low 60s when we attempted to go to bed.
The decor is horrible. It is a gaudy mix of Victorian, weird 60s posters and other strange artwork-none matches.
Wine hour was a joke-2 open bottles of wine, no set out glasses and a pasta salad, chicken salad and a pie. Certainly not the wine and cheese hour described in the advertisement.
This inn failed expectations in every way possible. Very old elevators-if the persons before you failed to close the elevator door you hiked up 5 floors of stairs to your room. God help you if you needed any assistance.
Also the tv did not work until we spent 45 min replugging in and adjusting settings-we called the front desk but they never showed up. No sleep timer either.
Bathroom is very tiny and door does not stay closed.
What was supposed to be a beautiful romantic end to our trip ended up leaving us extremely irritated, hot and extremely price gauged! And we paid ALOT for this disappointment!!!!
I would highly consider looking elsewhere unless you like getting totally ripped off.
I wished someone posted an honest assessment of this inn! We would have never ever booked it!!!!
I booked my room on hotels.com and paid in full at the time of booking. When I got to the hotel I was asked for a credit card for incidentals. Imagine my surprise when I checked my credit card statement and it had charges pending for the price of the room! I went down to the front desk immediately to straighten it out and got a series of answers from 2 different people ranging from "It wasn't us who put the charge through maybe it was expedia" to " Our system automatically charges you when we run the credit card for incidentals". We asked to speak to the manager. who was unavailable. It took us serveral hours to sort this out, which was not how we wanted to be spending our time on vacation. I would have thought it was just a simple mistake but then I read a review on tripadvisor from July and they complained of the same thing, with no response from management when they brought it to their attention.
I'm giving 2 stars because the gentleman at the front desk was very nice and I truly think he was trying to sort it out for us, and the valet was very good.
But I would definitely not stay here again.
The rooms are in need of refreshing and have no A/C, which probably isn't typically a problem but was during our stay.