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
This is a small hotel close to Union Square. Rooms are spacious, with gas fireplaces for the cold days and windows you can open for the hot ones. The place feels quite European. Nice breakfast, reliable WiFi, good location, good price for a major coastal American city. I prefer privacy, comfort and quirk to corporate boring packed in with 2000 other people, so White Swan is my kind of place.
This was my families first trip to San Francisco and we loved our charming stay at the White Swan! Tue staff was so kind and helpful. My son loved the scavenger hunt and the chocolate he scored:-) My favorite was the evening wine/hors d’oeuvres and delicious breakfasts. Thank you White Swan!!!
We loved this hotel. Check-in was quick and the staff were very helpful and attentive to our needs. Our room was large, airy and scrupulously clean with a fireplace with gas fire if required and the parlour and other communal spaces (indoors and out) were great for enjoying complimentary coffee any time of day and wine and canapés in the evening.
The hotel is perfectly situated for Union Square and central San Francisco (5 minute walk) but I would suggest you take a taxi if arriving with luggage via Powell Street station, as it is a steep uphill climb for several blocks.
The only negative was after we checked out we discovered that we had been charged $1100+ by the hotel despite having already paid Hotels.com in full. We felt confident this was a genuine mistake which would be corrected quickly by the hotel. However we had no response from them to our email so after 2 days we contacted Hotels.com for their help. They immediately contacted the hotel on our behalf and a refund was arranged from the hotel. (Thank you Hotels.com)
I would like to think that this lack of response from the hotel was the result of them not having received our email, as the service had been so good during our stay, but we still did not receive any acknowledgment/apology from them after the refund was paid - pity.
I would fully recommend this hotel but suggest that if you pay for your stay in advance through a third party that you make this clear on check out to avoid any chance of double charging.