Background:

As part of my extended weekend getaway to San Francisco, I needed an extra night before flying back to LA. We started our trip at the Clift Royal Sonesta which is in the Union Square/Tenderloin area. I wanted to find a hotel nearby the Clift so that we could easily move our bags from one hotel to the other. The Hilton San Francisco Union Square was just around the corner, and seemed like the best value option as well.

Booking:

I paid $220 all in for the lowest price standard room option which was the “1 Queen Room”. With my Hilton Diamond Status, I was hoping for an upgrade to one of the Skyline View rooms with a balcony (which is rare to have in the city). The day before arrival, I saw that I was upgraded to a Skyline View (no balcony) on the Hilton Honors App. I used the chat function to see if any upgrades to the balcony room were available, and they quickly responded and granted my request which I appreciated!

First Impressions:

The Hilton San Francisco Union Square is massive, consisting of three towers and totaling up to 1,921 rooms. It’s actually the largest hotel on the West Coast, which I found pretty interesting. When I walked into the lobby, I noticed a few conventions going on, and some flight crews staying here, but I bet during non-pandemic times, the hotel would be even more bustling.

Lobby

As of March 2022, I got an email stating that the only dining venue open would be the Herb N’ Kitchen Grab and Go. It’s like a large Starbucks, and it’s open from 6:30am – 10pm (11pm on weekends). The lobby bar is also open for drinks Tuesday-Thursday from 5-10:30pm and Friday-Saturday from 4:30pm-12am. Since I stayed Monday night, I did not see the bar open.

Also, I was a bit bummed that the rooftop bar Cityscape on the 46th floor was closed for construction. When researching other hotels in the city, many have shut down their full service dine in restaurants as well.

Herb N’ Kitchen Grab and Go

Check-In:

I arrived at the hotel right before noon, wanting to see if my room was ready. I thought it was worth a shot, and would be nice to just shuffle our luggage from the Clift Royal Sonesta across the street after check-out.

Reception

A very friendly agent helped check me in, and she said she would definitely find me a room! The original room granted on the app wasn’t available, but she moved me just down the hall which was perfectly fine. I really appreciated being able to check in early! She also let me know about my dining credit for being a Hilton Honors Diamond Member. In certain markets like San Francisco, the credit is $18 per person (up to 2), so I had $36 to spend during my stay. She also handed me a bag with 2 water bottles, which was funny because we got to the room and there was another bag hanging on the door.

Room:

So my room type was the “2 Double Skyline View with Balcony”. These rooms are located on the 20th-44th floors in Tower 1 and have a view of the San Francisco Skyline. We were assigned a room on the 34th floor.

The first impression from entering the room is the massive balcony and amazing city view! The patio furniture could have used some TLC, but if they renovated the balcony, it would be a very nice place to relax and enjoy a drink.

Hilton San Francisco Union Square

Huge Balcony

Hilton San Francisco Union Square

Night View

The room itself was decent, with Two Double Beds, a chair off to the side and a desk chair. The double beds were a bit small which might make it hard to share for 2 adults per bed, but when traveling with just one friend it was more than sufficient. The beds and pillows were comfortable, much better than the Clift across the street.

2 Double Beds

In terms of space, the room was a bit on the smaller side, at 280 square feet. There was a tablet to view the hotel guide and menus, coffee maker, and mini-fridge for personal use.

Desk + TV

The room was fairly clean, just a few stained towels in the bathroom. I did notice the furniture in the room was aging, with some dents and scratches. It might be time for a soft renovation soon.

Some Nicks + Scratches

The bathroom was on the smaller side, but perfectly adequate. Toiletries were provided by Crabtree and Evelyn. The shower pressure was good, and water flow was sufficient.

Hilton San Francisco Union Square

Bathroom

Amenities:

The hotel is quite large, and it did offer a fitness center located in Tower 1. The hours for the fitness center are 5am-9pm. On the 16th floor of Tower 3, there is an outdoor pool and spa that is open from 5am-9pm as well. It was cool that there was a Skybridge from Tower 1 to Tower 3 to connect to the pool, and from the Skybridge there were cool views at night. The pool area was underwhelming, with a lot of empty space. I do wish that they would have a larger pool, or maybe an outdoor bar/restaurant to liven up the area.

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Breakfast:

We used our $36 food/breakfast credit at the Herb and Kitchen Grab and Go, and pretty much used up our credit with the Eggs + Bacon + Potatoes Plate, a Brownie and a Fruit Tart. I believe the Eggs + Bacon + Potatoes Plate was $19 itself. For a grab and go, the eggs were surprisingly tasty and the bacon wasn’t bad (but a bit too salty). The potatoes were fine, but a bit plain.

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Location:

So the hotel is located a few blocks away from the actual Union Square, and is bordered along the Tenderloin District which is not a great part of town. We walked in the morning to Union Square which was fine and also walked north-east to the Ferry Terminal (30 minutes, 1.3 mile walk), but I wouldn’t recommend walking west deeper in the Tenderloin. I also relied on Uber/Lyft to get me to the places I wanted to go.

Verdict for Hilton San Francisco Union Square:

Overall, the hotel was a great one night stay. Easy access to Uber across the city, and the balcony room with the view of the skyline was definitely memorable.

 

Have you stayed at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square before? What were your thoughts? Comment below!

 

Safe travels,

Ty


Have any questions? I’ve also started working with a travel agency, Fora Travel, and can assist in booking hotel stays or planning trips. Comment below or email me at takeofftotravel@gmail.com. You can also view all my other posts here! Thanks for stopping by!