Hilton San Francisco

333 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, California, 94102, United States
(4 star hotel)
#85 of 363 hotels in San Francisco
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 17 reviews
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PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo

Hilton Union Square

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on July 20, 2014

Home base for a 2014 conference. We checked in fairly late on a Saturday night - no line to speak of. The check in was painless and friendly. I made my way up to my room in tower 3 - the rooms here are clean, but a bit on the small side. They had what I needed though - a nice big TV and a wall safe. The bed was very comfortable.

From a noise perspective, I must say I got very little noise from the hall or outside (I faced the parking garage across the street.) There were others in our group that had a lot of noise issues, but as I mentioned, I didn't. The housekeeping staff did a great job, my room was immaculate by lunch time every day.

The location is a mixed bag. The area around the hotel isn't the greatest (particularly to the left as you leave the lobby.) I think I was accosted by homeless folks every time I walked out the door (often before I even left the property.) On the flip side, you are only a short walk away from Powell street (which leads to the Wharf), Chinatown, a BART station, etc. So you really can get to a lot of great places from here.Several Walgreens within a few blocks for your grocery needs as well.

Overall, this was a good stay and recommended.

Unique Quality: Note that even if you are in tower 3, be sure to locate the elevator bank for tower 2 - that turned out to be closer to my room!


by written on May 18, 2011

Robbed in the hotel lobby!!! Was informed by police that the suspect was involved in other robberies around the neighborhood. Security was less than helpful, and was told management was not available.
To further point out the dangers of this hotel, people known to the local police department are allowed to roam all floors of the hotel and loiter in the lobby. After bringing this to the attention of the front desk, their response is that it is a public building accessible to everyone. Strange because I have stayed in many hotels where entrances are locked and only the front entrance can be used and security is actively aware of people coming and going. I am not sure about the rest of the people out there, but I know I don't feel comfortable having vagrants and apparently in this case criminals entering the hotel. To make it worse anyone can enter thru the parking garage ending up on the sixth floor where guest rooms are. Where is the security and safety for guests????
Yes the hotel is large but shouldn't there be some sense of safety and security as we walk down the hallway to the elevator. Do you really want to be asked for change as you open the door of your hotel and walk down the hall??? It's not like we are taking a stroll down the street!!! We haven't even left the hotel yet!!!!
Staying here was like a nightmare. This is supposed to be a Hilton property and as such, one expects certain standards to be in place. One would expect management to address the situation and provide some kind of assistance after going through such a traumatic situation. You would probably be safer pitching a tent in Union Square than staying in this hotel.

Dabs's Profile Photo

Large business hotel in Union Square

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on September 16, 2009

I found a great deal on the Hilton San Francisco for our 1st two nights by checking on the deals at Travelzoo which I booked through Orbitz for $74 per night after using a 15% discount coupon code that I found by googling Orbitz discount codes plus a $50 restaurant.com certificate to boot. This is a huge 1,908 room business oriented hotel, with one tower having 46 floors, many of the rooms have great views, ours did not but I wouldn't expect it paying $74 per night.

Check in was quick since it was already 8pm, checkout even quicker since the room was prepaid and we had no charges, just dropped the key in the box.

People told me that the area around the hotel, especially to the west in the Tenderloin, was a little seedy but we never felt uncomfortable walking around the immediate area or from the BART station. Yes, we did see quite a few pan handlers but none of them were threatening and you will see them all over San Francisco. Lots of restaurants in the immediate area and upscale shopping nearby. I didn't love the location, it seems like we always needed to be in a different part of the city than Union Square so it wasn't particularly convenient for us except for the trip from the airport and the ease of finding public transport including cable cars and the F line.

The Powell Street BART station is an easy 5-10 minute walk from the hotel.

Unique Quality: Room-we got a king room which turned out to be an handicap accessible room (3-953) on the 9th floor in Tower 3. The room was extremely large, as was the bathroom presumably because it needed to be wheelchair accessible. Bed was very comfortable. The room had a business desk with internet access (fee), coffeemaker, minibar, safe, ironing board, TV with HBO.

Bathroom-water pressure was a little weak, toiletries included La Source Crabtree and Evelyn shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap (no bath gel), nice big towels, hair dryer.

There is a outdoor pool and jacuzzi on the 16th floor, the water was heated. The health club is an extra charge, who needs to use that when they are climbing the steep hills of San Francisco anyway? Breakfast was not included in our rate.

Downtown Hilton - great location, great discounts

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on July 10, 2009

I have a confession to make. I hate San Francisco. But just for the first day. By the end of a week I usually fall in love with the city all over again.

Arriving at SFO is a hassle. Finding the sky bridge to the air train to the BART train, and then figuring out the crazy BART ticket machines is always a challenge, no matter how often we visit.

Arriving to a downtown San Francisco jammed with summer visitors and then waiting in the long line at the tiny kiosk for MUNI passport tickets adds to the first day frustrations.

Which is all the more reason to treat oneself to a really nice hotel room, like ours was at the downtown Hilton.

A quiet, comfortable, and conveniently located hotel room is a great refuge from the craziness of the streets below. Especially when it is available at a heavily discounted price on the internet (more about that later).

Some people prefer venerable old hotels for their local color. Others prefer trendy boutique hotels for their urban chic. We prefer four star, big box, business class hotels for their worldwide comfort and reliability.

The San Francisco downtown Hilton is located on O'Farrell Street (between Mason and Taylor) a few blocks northwest of the Powell and Market Street BART and cable car stations, which is a convenient transportation hub for cable cars, buses, trams, and subway.

The hotel is within easy walking distance of the Union Square and Market Street shopping districts. It is a longer walk to the SOMA district and Moscone convention center. It is a short tram ride to the Civic Center museums and concert halls. It is in the middle of the theater district.

It is also near the Tenderloin district, which lies between Union Square and Civic Center, a typically American juxtaposition of urban wealth and poverty. As in other cities, the homeless and scruffy street people are generally harmless, but the hotel maintains a reassuringly visible security staff.

This Hilton is huge. It fills an entire city block and has several separate towers of varying ages.

Even though we had reserved and pre-paid a standard room, we were given a nice 14th floor room in the business class tower-2. An upgrade to a city view room in a higher tower would have cost $75 more, so we declined the upgrade.

Best of all, our kind receptionist (Nathan) let us check in early (11 am) after our pre-dawn flight. At the end of our stay we were also allowed to check out late (1 pm) for our afternoon return flight. That is more generous than at most hotels.

This review is based on our tower-2 king room. I do not know what rooms are like in the other towers, although they are probably similar. Some rooms surround the 16th floor outdoor swimming pool deck, which is filled with families during the summer.

Our room was a bit larger than average, about 300 square feet, and was decorated in pale gold with burgundy accents. Furnishings were in a modern Federalist style. The king bed had a wonderful mattress and ultra-fine linens. Bath towels were extra large and thick.

Room amenities included a coffee and tea maker, a mini-bar, an iron and ironing board, a wall safe, a flat screen (but not HD) TV, a large desk with an internet plug, and an armchair with reading light and ottoman.

The travertine and tile bathroom had a single sink and a tub-shower combo. There were no bathrobes or slippers, no shaving (adjustable) mirror, and no bedside reading spotlights. A small table near the armchair (for drinks) would have been nice.

A USA Today newspaper was delivered to our room on weekdays. The windows did not open, but the climate control worked well, and there was a small fresh air vent below the windows.

Our room was wonderfully cleaned and restocked by our housekeeper Arnel. We always leave several dollars with a note each day as a tip for housekeeping rather than waiting till the end of our stays, and this seems much appreciated.

We did not use room service or eat at any of the hotel restaurants. The room service menu was limited and rather expensive: soups $12, sandwiches $24, and main courses $36. The breakfast buffet was about $30. These prices sent us to other nearby dining options, which I will describe later.

The hotel staff was uniformly friendly and efficient. We had one question each day for the concierge staff, and they were eager to help. They (rightfully) give priority those waiting in line, so our phone calls were occasionally answered by voice mail or placed on hold at peak times. In a hotel with 2,000 rooms this is understandable.

The hotel public areas are attractive and quite busy. Although there are lines at the reception desk, they move quickly and one can easily check-out by phone.

Hotel parking rates are high (over $50 per night I believe), but the huge parking structure across the street on the north has lower rates. Even if you do not have a car, be sure to stop by the Hilton parking garage entrance (in the southeast corner of the building) to see the decorative and humorous murals -- they are great homages to the San Francisco scene.

As I mentioned, we enjoyed our stay at the downtown San Francisco Hilton. Our only disappointment is that most hotel chains (Hilton included) are surcharging and over-pricing more and more amenities, just like the airlines do.

For example, use of this Hilton's fitness center is an additional $15 per day for hotel guests. An ordinary candy bar from the room's mini-bar is $7.

(At Trader Joe's on Bay street near Fisherman's Wharf we bought two bottles of wine, a loaf of sourdough olive bread, a wedge of brie, a cantaloupe, and a quart of strawberries for the price of two Hilton candy bars).

Any personal item forgotten in the mini-bar results in a $12 "cleaning" fee. An internet terminal in the business center costs $24 per hour.

Savvy travelers can avoid such high prices and surcharges, but it would be nice not having to worry about being ambushed by them (I always check our folio well before check-out time to assure no mistakes are being made).

The price of the room itself was very reasonable since we bid (blindly by hotel location and class rather than identity) on the Priceline website. We paid a non-refundable $85 plus $15 in fees per night for our stay. The Biddingfortravel website documented even better bargains for other weeks during the summer.

We often travel for pleasure: so far this year we have vacationed in Paris, Hawaii, London, Shanghai, Chicago, and Vienna. Priceline provided great hotel deals in each location (except Paris which was a disappointment, and Shanghai which we booked directly to assure a convenient hotel location near the Bund).

Large business class hotels with excess capacity benefit by selling rooms on Priceline, and we are happy to purchase them whenever we can.

As a price comparison, for our travel dates in San Francisco, the usual large internet booking sites were offering the Miyako at $99, the downtown Hilton and the Mark Hopkins at $109, and the Stanford Court at $119 per night (all plus 15% tax and all discount rates non-refundable). Generally, the hotel websites have higher prices, and their "best available price" often is not.


Unique Quality: Sightseeing: The best deal anywhere is the series of free guided walks offered by SFcityguides, a volunteer organization sponsored by the public library. Their website lists the walks, which cover almost every neighborhood and hidden gem in the city. There are usually several walks offered each day. A donation (most participants give several dollars) is requested at the end of each walk to offset their office expenses. We have taken more than a dozen of their walks and have never been disappointed.

Near the downtown Hilton: The Parc 55 Hotel diagonally southeast of the Hilton has a tasty and inexpensive Thai restaurant in its northwest corner (enter from the street level diagonally across from the Hilton parking garage entrance, or from the Parc 55 lobby). Most meals are around $7 and they are open from 11 am to 10 pm. An older restaurant across the street (Thai Siam) has the same name, but we have never eaten there. The west side of the Parc 55 building has an internet cafe which charges $7 per hour (as opposed to Hilton's $24 per hour). A donut and bagel shop is located across from the southwest corner of the Hilton. It looks clean and good, although we have never tried it. Mini-markets and liquor stores surround the Hilton, but we prefer the larger Safeways farther away for larger purchases. Boudin's Bakery has a sandwich shop on the street level at the back of the Union Square Macy's department store. They have famous sourdough bread. Early in the morning (8 am) one can usually board the Powell Street cable cars (without waiting) at the southwest corner of Union Square for the trip to the Chinatown dim sum parlors described above.

No surprises, no problems

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on November 30, 2008

I didn't have the problems others have described with noise, etc. and am someone sensitive to noise, so it's possible to get a quiet room there. I was on an upper floor in the north tower. Otherwise everything was as expected. Room was clean and comfortable. Nothing outstanding, either good or bad. The location is just so-so; while it is central, it's also on the homeless circuit so you can expect to be asked for money repeatedly on the street outside the hotel. Only limited food options in the immediate vicinity later at night. The room was a bit cramped but I got a decent rate for it.

Unique Quality: Nice view of the city and the ocean.

chengie_19's Profile Photo

San Francisco's Finest

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on July 6, 2008

When looking for a hotel in San Francisco, look no further than the Hilton San Francisco hotel. This hotel is very well located in the Union Square area, close to great shopping and many restaurants. The rooms were incredible. The rooom have comfortable beds, the bathroom had all the amenities needed plus more. A fantastic view awaits you when you stay in this hotel. It would be like living in a palace. I am recommending this to anyone who wants to visit San Francisco because it gives a feeling of comfort to those who will stay there.

Unique Quality: This extravagant hotel caters to the needs of everyone, may it be for business or leisure purposes. It has internet access, heated outdoor swimming pool, jaccuzzi, spa and health club, gym, business center and a whole lot more. Also, this hotel is just a few blocks away from a lot of tourist attractions like the China, Union Square and just minutes away is the most popular Golden Gate Bridge.

Directions: Union Square's high-end shops are two blocks away from the hotel. The Powell Street BART station, three blocks from the hotel, offers light-rail train service to major destinations within the city.

heryanta's Profile Photo

Affordable Union Square Hotel

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on June 23, 2007

Occupying a whole city block the Hilton is conveniently located on the edge of Union Square.
I have stayed in this hotel three times: in a standard room, a club level room and a junior suite. The junior suite gives the best value of money while the club room access is a joke. You have to pay for drinks at the club and the breakfast don't even offer prepared eggs.

Rooms are clean, amenities are ample, the bar downstairs is reasonably priced and within 5 minute walk you are at Union Square. When you get out from the main entrance, to the left is Tenderloin, San Francisco's bad neighbourhood. Don't go there at night, but during the day there are many ethnic restaurants that are worth trying out.

Considering price, location, room quality and amenities I will stay here again in the future.

Directions: O'Farrell / Mason - Just Southwest of Union Square

CruisingGoddess's Profile Photo

Upscale Zen without the Price

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on June 20, 2007

Contrary to the misleading name, the Hilton San Francisco Financial District is not located in Financial District but in Chinatown bordering North Beach. The hotel decor was very upscale with an Asian / Zen style. It's hard to believe this hotel used to be a Holiday Inn. The rooms were also very upscale and modern but a little smaller than other Hilton hotels that I have stayed at. Since the hotel is one of the tallest buildings in the area, we had a fantastic view of Coit Tower from our room! The Chinese Culture Center is located on the third floor of the hotel and a walking bridge takes you from the hotel directly into Portsmouth Square. The exciting nightlife of North Beach is only a few blocks away so there is always something to do. However, I would not feel safe walking to North Beach or around Chinatown alone at night. Other than being close to North Beach and Chinatown, this hotel is not close to the more popular tourist activities but I was able to get to Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Coit Tower by walking (and I hate physical activity). Lastly, we accidentally stayed in the hotel on the weekend of Chinese New Year and every night we were there people in Chinatown set off firecrackers throughout the entire night so it was hard to sleep. If you’re traveling in the beginning of the year, make sure you check when Chinese New Year is!

Unique Quality: Modern Asian decor, Chinese Culture Center on 3rd floor, walking bridge to Portsmouth Square, a couple of blocks from North Beach

Directions: Border of Chinatown & North Beach

Rixie's Profile Photo

Pretty Hoity-Toity

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on November 19, 2006

Big convention hotels are usually not my style -- I prefer small hotels with personalized service. But I stayed at the Hilton San Francisco as part of my sister-in-law's birthday celebration and found it interesting, a change of pace. I enjoyed sitting in the chandeliered lobby and watching the people go by.

The room was comfortable and tasteful but smaller than I would have expected for $159 per night.

Unique Quality: The Hilton offers a spa, swimming pool, and exercise room, although I didn't have a chance to check them out. The bar on the top floor has an amazing view of the city, absolutely gorgeous at night, but was so crowded that we weren't able to find a seat. We had to be content with walking through, ooh-ing and ah-ing at the cityscape, and taking the elevator back down.

StublueKPL's Profile Photo

Nice place

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on October 24, 2006

Stayed here for one week in June 2006. Had a very pleasant stay. Service in the rooms was great, everything tidied and cleaned to a good standard, as you should expect in a Hilton.

Only word of warning would be the surrounding area. It seems pretty run down towards the back of the hotel but if out and about keep heading towards the centre and you wont have any problems.

alfredop's Profile Photo

A great option near Union Square

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on May 7, 2006

Impressive hotel with small but nice rooms.

While traveling to San Jose we stopped at San Francisco for one night, we got the best rate by calling 1800HILTONS (145+TAX during holidays) as the rate at the front desk was too high (350+TAX)

We came back from San Jose and stopped for three nights but the rate duplicated in less than a weekend so we went to the new Hilton Financial District which was cheaper (130+TAX), well located and with bigger rooms.

Do not walk opposed to Union Square at night as it is a high crime area right across the hotel's street. You'll see lots of people selling drugs, massage shops, prostitutes walking by. Be careful.

Unique Quality: Located 4 blocks away from Union Square. Hilton quality but small rooms.

A brief trip to SF

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on May 27, 2005

I stayed here for a conference during May 2005 and had a great time. Although the hotel is huge the staff are v friendly.

If you are leaving on an afternoon or evening you can request a late checkout which means you can do some sightseeing in the morning and then come back to your room to change or have a shower before leaving.

Also we found that getting a hotel car (sedan) from the hotel was just as cheap if not cheaper than a taxi!! It also has more style!

Unique Quality: The rooftop restaurant has fabulous views over the city. Make sure you have a drink and admire the view

Jeannette1's Profile Photo

Hilton near Union Square

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on November 7, 2004

A beautiful hotel on O'Farrell street 2 blocks from Union Square.

Unique Quality: Citiscape Restaurant is on the top floor (46th floor). Not an inexpensive restaurant but a beautiful view.
A superb Sunday Brunch but too pricey ($46 per person). We skipped it :-)

Bela_LUng's Profile Photo


Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on May 6, 2004

Ugh, well, the hotel has a great location downtown, but I have to agree with other people who have reviewed this hotel....it sucks. For a downtown hotel to offer such crappy service and rooms and for it to claim it's a 4 star hotel....riiiigh. I won't be staying here ever again that's for sure.

My room was well sized but the damn elevators kept me up *all* night. It was insane! The walls must be paper thin or something since I wasn't even the closest room to the elevator shafts. Gah.

The beds were ok, but sleeping on them was nearly impossible due to the constant and I do mean all night long constant noise.

I complained to the front desk and was pretty much ignored. Niiiice. Glad it didn't cost too much to stay here or I'd have pee'd on the carpet or something.

Unique Quality: It's extreme suckage.

Sunshine64's Profile Photo

Are you sure I'm not in Vegas?

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on July 28, 2003

The first time I arrived at the Hilton San Francisco on a Tuesday evening the HUGE lobby was filled with people, many dressed for an evening out. It was a loud, busy place. That, coupled with the giant chandiliers and the fact that there are 3 "towers" in the hotel reminded me a bit of a hotel in Vegas.

I have visited this hotel on several occasions, and each time my experience has improved. The last two times I have gotten a room in the newly remodeled "executive" tower, which is quite nice.

Unique Quality: The "Executive Lounge" on the 45th floor has a great view, as, apparently, does the restaurant on the 46th floor.

The hotel's spa includes probably the best hotel gym I've visited - and I've visited a lot of them. Each piece of cardio equipment has a small, flat-screen TV attached and a place to plug in your headphones.

Directions: Near Unioin Square

Nearby Hilton San Francisco

Hilton San Francisco

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

  • San Francisco Hilton
  • Hilton Hotel San Francisco
  • Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel San Francisco

Address: 333 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, California, 94102, United States

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Amenities at Hilton San Francisco

  • Restaurant
  • Swimming Pool
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Room Service
  • Fitness Center
  • Business Services
  • Pets Allowed
  • Suites
  • Bar / Lounge

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