The Powell Hotel

3 out of 5 stars3 Stars

28 Cyril Magnin Street, San Francisco, California, 94102, United States

2 Reviews

Powell Hotel
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Satisfaction Average
Very Good

Value Score Poor Value

Costs 56% more and rated 18% lower than other 3 star hotels

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Good For Solo
  • Families58
  • Couples51
  • Solo60
  • Business38
  • Identity theft ring at Hotel---- Don't stay here--


    I have stayed at this hotel several times. Never had any problems until my last visit during August 2010. I am of the opinion that there is an identity theft ring run by some of the employees of the hotel. It happened to me during my stay. I have contacted the Powell to get this matter resolved. I was promised by the hotel manager that I would be provided a copy of the key log enteries for my room during my stay. After they contacted me a few days later, they informed me that no one else except for myself entered the room and they refused to provide the key log enteries as proof citing policy. The Hotel Manager Mr. Pehalba indicated that they still did not see this as their problem and that he would have the general manager, Mr. Henry Flynn contact me. It has not been two weeks, and no phone calls. Hence, the review.

    I will no longer stay at this hotel and can not in good conscience recommend it when in my opinion, it places no value on security.

    Below is the letter emailed to the Hotel Manager Mr. Penalba.

    As we discussed per our phone conversation, this email will point out what has occurred regarding the theft of financial information from our room.

    Sometime between 8/8/10 and 8/10/10 the financial information off of my wife's ATM/Mastercard was scanned. The card was not physically taken, nor was the magnetic strip removed. Again, the information was scanned.

    My wife's purse was in our room. I believe the room was 601. It was in the room during our entire stay and had never left the room. The purse was placed inside of a suitcase which was placed in the closet. The purse, her walle tand ATM card never left the room during our stay. Further, this was the first time that my wife had ever brought her ATM card to San Francisco.

    During our stay in San Francisco, we only used my private credit card or paid cash. My private credit card is not connected with our bank that issued our ATM card.

    During our stay at the hotel, we did not find it necessary to have our beds made. The maid knocked on the door and we spoke to her in the hallway. We informed her that we did not need her to come in to make the room. She asked if we needed any towels, we informed her we did not at this time, but if we did we would let her know. Each day we placed the do not disturb sign on the door. Each day the beds were not made up. Nothing appeared to have been altered in the room. We checked on on 8/10 and went home.

    We began to receive unusual charges to our checking account beginning on 8/30/10. There was a charge for the Raddison Hotel on the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco for a charge of 1320.00. We have never stayed at this hotel. We were not in San Francisco during this time either. We called our bank and disputed the charges. Those were removed, but other charges from the Raddison replaced them. There was a charge for $1600.00 on 9/3/10, and another for $338.73 on the same day. Again we disputed these with the bank.

    On 9/4/10 we called the Raddison and spoke with the hotel manager named Lisa. We explained to her that we have never stayed at her hotel and that we have been getting charged. She indicated that she would investigate this and have someone contact us.

    On 9/5/10 we were contacted by a person named Matt from the Raddisson. Once we provided my wife's ATM card number he was able to assist us further. He indicated that the electronic information from her card was placed onto the card of a person named Marcus Shyu who checked in with them on 8/27/10 and checked out on 9/1/10. He did provide identification and it matched the card that he provided.

    During this time period, we also had other charges against our account. They are as follows:

    8/27/10 Valero $30.00
    8/27/10 Subway $18.85
    8/30/10 Casa Hookah and Pizza $80.00
    8/30/10 Subway $18.19
    8/30/10 Subway $3.92
    8/30/10 King Ling $55.70

    All the fraudulent charges to our account are from San Francisco.

    Thus far, a total of $2145.00 was taken from our checking account. $600.00 was taken out of our savings account to cover the returned check fees when the fraudulent charges were charged to our account.

    I understand in our conversation yesterday that the key card access indicated that no one else entered the room. I suspect that those records have been altered. I have been attempting to have this matter resolved for some time now before speaking with you, and I was specifically speaking with Johnny about the key access issues. I believe that the records have been tampered with.

    Our proof that my wife's card was not used in San Francisco during our stay is by our bank statement. There is no shown with regard to my wife's card during the time period of our stay.

    This appears to be a very sophisticated manner of financial theft. I think that normally it would be difficult for a person to know where their financial information was taken if they were in the city and they used their card someplace else. It would make it difficult to pinpoint where financial information was stolen. However, in this case there is an exception. The card was not used anywhere else. It never left the room. Someone came into the room, got our luggage, got into my wife's purse and scanned her ATM card.

    Due to the apparent sophistication of this fraudulent behavior, I encourage your hotel to deal with this situation immediately.


  • dila's Profile Photo

    great area powell hotel


    it is an bit of an old hotel but comfortable.
    it lays at the turnpoint of the cablecar Hyde and Powell. the market street with a lot of public transport like the F line and BART.
    what is less
    you have to pay $26 for valet parking.
    so we did not have a car for the beginning of the vacation. (parking places are very expensive if you find them.)
    picture room with king size bed.

    Unique Quality: nearby a lot of public transport in the centre.
    nearby union square.
    we were with 2 persons and had a package but i think the price is about $140 per room.

    Directions: powell station with Bart
    5th street (F line and more)
    Hyde and Powell cable car

More about The Powell Hotel

shuttles from SFO

by dila

we took a shuttlebus from san francisco airport and paid together $25 because we both went to the Powell hotel the driver could make a different price he said.
so if you are with more people to the same adress i think you can talk about the price. you share the shuttle with other people so maybe the shuttle goes first to another adress.

cable car

by dila

we stayed in the Powell hotel near Market street. here is the turnpoint from the cablecar Hyde and Powellstreet. if you stay in line here i think you have to wait for an hour sometimes. if you walk a bit one or two block you might have more luck.
you see a sign where the cable car stops.
buy a muni pas one day $6 three days $10.
a single ticket will cost you $2 and we have been sent wrong ways sometimes.
daytickets you have to scratch the date when it is the first day you will use it.
more pictures at my travelogue.


by dila

before we left san francisco we picked up our rental car at hertz in masonstreet.
this was walking distance from our hotel. powell hotel powell street.
we allready payed in the netherlands.

Great budget Hotel

by A TripAdvisor Member

I found out about Powell Hotel when i was searching in the internet for an hotel in San Francisco. I was amazed by the site.

I've stayed a week in San Francisco at the Powell Hotel in May. It's a wonderful budget hotel, it's near everyhting and with a lot of transport options. The hotel staff were very friendly... and weren't expecting tips in return of favours... The room furniture was a little old, but the bathroom was renewed... i had a big bathroom.

I left my heart in San Francisco and in Powell Hotel too:)

Great Location, Bad Smells

by A TripAdvisor Member

The Powell Hotel is situated in a great location, with shops, restaurants, and the trolley literally a few steps away, access to muni and bart is also nearby. The lobby of the hotel is quite nice and conveys that this place is dignified and contemporary and yet also historical. The customer service (very cordial hard workers) was excellent and the accomodations fair for the price we paid. Unfortunately, we did not have a great experience with our room. The room, #401, reeked of stale urine and the shower fixtures for hot and cold water were problematic. I would return to the Powell Hotel but not stay in #401.

Completely satisfied!

by A TripAdvisor Member

I spent hours reading reviews, researching room rates, etc. before settling on the Powell Hotel. We spent 4 nights there and had a terrific experience! The location is unbeatable in terms of public transport, shopping and eateries. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. The Powell is a cool old building, if you don't appreciate the beauty and quirkiness of historical buildings, don't stay here. Despite its age, our room was very clean and comfortable, which is all that matters. I will definately stay at the Powell when I return to SF, especially after the nearby construction is finished!

Excellent Location, friendly staff

by A TripAdvisor Member

We stayed at the Powell Hotel from September 11th to the 19th, 2004. It was perfect! It was very affordable. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The staff were very accomodating and helpful. The location could not have been better. The cable car stop begins and ends right outside the door of the hotel. All the shopping and restaurants were right around us, within walking distance. It even has a little café right in the building which was perfect for a light breakfast or quick snack. We felt safe in the area and would highly recommend it. Although there is no air conditioning (because it is not usually needed) you can request a fan which is more than sufficient since it never really gets that warm there.

Great charm and excellent location

by TripAdvisor Member KevinMP

After having stayed in San Francisco for about a week (at the end of April), we consider ourselves very fortunate to have found the Powell Hotel (we booked directly on their website - internet special of $89/night).

I would certainly recommend the Powell Hotel for those looking for value, character and a great location.

The Powell Hotel is wonderfully located about a 2 min walk from Union Square (nearly every shop you can think of is within a couple blocks) and about a 5 min walk to the Moscone Convention Centre (if you're there for a conference). Chinatown is only about a 5 minute walk.

In fact, if you enjoy walking, and don't mind a few hills, you can walk up Powell Street to the water (e.g. Ghiardelli Square/Fisherman's wharf) in about 30 - 45 min. You can also walk down Market Street to the Ferry Building in about 20 min (no hills) --- Sausalito is only a short ferry ride across the Bay, and is a great little spot for lunch and wondering around.

The cable car turnaround is right below the front of the hotel, but we certainly didn't consider it noisy even though our room was on the front of the hotel (mostly well behaved tourists waiting in line). This actually added to the unique experience and charm of the hotel. (The cable cars line-ups get busy at the turnaround, so walk up the street to one of the other stops to avoid the line).

The rooms were clean, fresh and comfortable; not huge rooms, but certainly not cramped either. The housekeeping staff were quick to make up the rooms.

We were in San Francisco during a unprecedented heat wave, and despite no air conditioning, the hotel provided fans which made it comfortable.

The staff were very courteous and always helpful.
The lobby is warm and welcoming, and has a modern art deco feel.
There is also a great little cafe in the lobby, which was excellent for a quick breakfast (bagels, yogurt, coffee, etc).

If you need to rent a car, nearly every major car rental company is within a block or two west of the Powell. This is great for getting out to Sonoma or Muir Woods and it's fairly easy to get in and out of San Francisco with a good map.

If you're into running, a recommended route is to go from the Powell, down Market Street (nice wide sidewalk and flat) to the water (i.e. Ferry Building). From the Ferry Building, turn left and run down The Embarcadero. You can keep running along the Bay and turn around at any time. If you're into longer distances, keep running toward the Golden Gate (it's a little over an hour). We ran over the Golden Gate to Sausilito (about 2 hours) had breakfast, and took the ferry back....probably one of the most memorable experiences.

The Cab fare is about $35 - $40 from the SFO airport.

The Powell is not within the Tenderloin Area (i.e. the rougher part of San Francisco). In fact, there is a lot of security people around with all the shops and banks nearby as well as the BART (transit) security.

Forum Posts

Powell Hotel

by beni1


Could anyone tell me what the Powell Hotel is like. I have booked for 5 nights and was wondering what the best things to see and do are that aren't goin to break the bank!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Lauren xx

P.s.This will be my 1st trip to the USA

Re: Powell Hotel

by FabienneCA


At the top, on the left of this window , there is a place called 'serach'. If you type San Francisco, you will get all the tips travellers on the VT wrote about the city.

Enjoy the nicest city in the world!!!!!!!!!



Re: Re: Powell Hotel

by beni1


All ready used the search option but nothing on there about this hotel


Re: Powell Hotel

by beni1


My mistake found it but what are the best things to see and do? Basically what must i see while i'm there?


Re: Powell Hotel

by keverina

how about free?i was there last year and there are excellent free tours sponsered by the san francisco library.there are over 100 options,i took the ferry building and haight- asbury tours,can't reccommend them enough.check you hotel front desk or the nearest library for the schedule.


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 The Powell Hotel

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

Powell Hotel San Francisco
Powell San Francisco

Address: 28 Cyril Magnin Street, San Francisco, California, 94102, United States