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The Inn At Union Square, San Francisco, California

[Travel--Including Hotels, Modes of Travel, Places, Theme Parks & Any & Everything You Might Encounter on Your Travels]

The Inn At Union Square
Photo courtesy of The Inn At Union Square
The star rating system on most travel sites seems a bit unfair to the upscale, boutique hotels in that it is difficult to rate an older hotel with typically small rooms when one compares to the newer, modern structures.  It’s like comparing apples to oranges, as the old saying goes. 

But oftentimes, what the boutique hotels can’t offer in size, they more than make up for by providing personality, the hospitality “extras” and of course, the charm that the big chain hotels lack.  This is the case with The Inn at Union Square.

When one arrives at the Inn, parking to check in is simple and quick.  The traffic congestion at the square can be crazy, but a large space is provided directly in front of the Inn so that one can easily pull in and unload bags.  Omar, the friendly “Jack of all Trades,” meets guests with a genuine smile, helps with bags and handles the call to valet park guest cars.   

When we arrived, Omar informed us that he had upgraded us to a two-room, queen suite, which is always a nice start to any hotel stay!  The queen suite included a separate sitting room with desk, sofa and flat-screen TV.  The separate bedroom also offered a flat-screen and, more importantly, a very comfy, cozy queen bed with pillow-top mattress, high-thread-count, smooth sheets and feather pillows.  Color me happy!  (No, the hotel did not know that I write travel articles and reviews.)  I appreciated that, rather than waiting to sell the suite to a last-minute walk-in customer at a higher price, The Inn chose to upgrade a booked guest.

When we opened the door to our room, we were immediately pleased to see a freshly, remodeled space with very nice furniture and lovely, stylish new drapes.  The windows actually opened, and being a fan of fresh air as opposed to air conditioned air, I was happy to throw open the drapes to let in the natural light, as well; a big plus found in older, San Francisco architecture.  It was obvious from the look and condition of the room, that the hotel takes pride in choosing and maintaining the furnishings and interiors to please guests and assure comfort.

Prior to stepping into the elevator to our room, Omar explained the continental breakfast hours and location, and the wine and cheese reception offered each evening.  That same evening, we thoroughly enjoyed the tasty California Chardonnay and lovely spread of cheeses with crackers, nuts and salami, served on two different floors.  Red wine and soft drinks were also offered.  We found the wine reception at The Inn on the Square much nicer and more complete than we have experienced at other boutique hotels in the past. 

The continental breakfast was also nicely done, with a choice of pastries, cereals, juice and coffees.  All in all, these amenities alone afford guests of The Inn, a comfortable way to enjoy both breakfast and the cocktail hour, without having to leave the hotel.

The Inn at Union Square’s location is unbeatable!  Many hotels might say that they are “on the square,” when in fact they may be blocks away.  Considering the steep hills in San Francisco, the distance from restaurants and shops can seem much farther than stated in the hotel’s location description.  For those of us who like to walk, this might be fine, but if climbing is not for you, you will appreciate The Inn at Union Square’s location directly ON the square; okay, one half block up Post Street from the square.  The St. Francis Westin is directly across the street from The Inn, and having stayed at The St. Francis in the past, I spent more time walking through the St. Francis, across to the far tower, to get to my room, than I spent to arrive quickly at my room at The Inn.  We enjoyed the convenience to shopping, restaurants, bars and theatres just a few steps away from The Inn at Union Square.

Many of the major department stores are located on Union Square, a two-minute walk away from The Inn’s front door.  Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Sax Fifth Avenue sit very nearby, while Nordstrom and Bloomingdales are about a 10-minute walk away on Market Street.  In between are a plethora of excellent restaurants, shops, and the cable car line, to boot.  One would be hard pressed to find a more convenient, more central location. 

We took in a song and dance production at Marines Memorial Theatre, which is located just two short blocks away from The Inn.  Tickets to all of San Francisco’s excellent productions can be purchased at the nearby box offices, located directly in Union Square.

After the theatre, one might not be up for dancing at The Sir Francis Drake Hotel’s Harry Denton’s Starlight Room, but you might enjoy a nightcap at the very lively Bar Drake, which is located between The Marine’s Memorial Theatre and The Inn.  After your nightcap, you will be especially delighted that your room is just right around the corner! When you return to your room, you will find that the room has been spruced up with turn down service; very welcoming.

If you like a hotel with a large, luxurious bathroom, you will probably not find it in any boutique inn, and The Inn At Union Square is no different.  The bathroom though small, was well appointed and included upscale, very nice toiletries and amenities with fluffly, big cotton towels.  Like the entire hotel, the bathroom was updated and scrupulously clean. 

I was extremely happy with our stay at The Inn on the Square in San Francisco.  I will definitely join Inn’s Rewards Club and plan to stay at The Inn On Union Square again in the future.  I recommend it for individual travelers or couples, and business travelers as well, as complimentary Wi-Fi is offered throughout the hotel and a business/travel center with computer is also available.


High Fives to The Inn At Union Square for Providing:

  • A very nice continental breakfast
  • Evening Wine and Cheese Reception--very well presented and complete
  • Cozy, charming, sparkling clean, remodled rooms
  • Fantastic, central location near shopping, theatre and restauants
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Turn-down service
  • Room service from Morton's Steakhouse directly nextdoor
  • In and out valet car parking (for a fee or as part of a package)
  • Extremely comfy bed, sheets, linens and pillows
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Evening cookies, fruit and tea throughout the day
  • Friendly welcome and warm service
  • Excellent security after dark

Union Square, San Francisco, Photo by Shay Davidson

Nearby Favorite Restaurants:

Kuleto's on Powel near Market

Scala's Bistro Cool ambience and excellent Italian modern cuisine, around the corner at 450 Powell in The Sir Francis Drake Hotel.

Lefty O'Doul's 333 Geary, recommend daytime, excellent large Haufbrau-style sandwiches with tasty, fresh sides. Lively sportsbar atmosphere.




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