All right, Let's get this out of the way up front. Like most moderately priced hotels in San Francisco, the Handlery is an old property. In one or two places, the carpet looks a little bit shabby. However, in all the ways that count, this is a nice comfortable, full-service hotel that may be one of the best values in this very expensive city.
On my latest trip, I had room 847, spacious and nicely furnished. It was larger than the room I had last year, perhaps because I mentioned that I had reviewed them for Tripadvisor. On the other hand, the bath was not quite as spacious. There was a desk with lamps, desk-top plugs, and a great chair, In addition to the desk, there was a large dining table. Under the large flat-screen TV there was a small refrigerator.
I liked the interface on the TV. On the power on screen, there is a scroll that shows the available channels and their numbers. This saved me from having to scroll to find the channel that I wanted. Since I now watch movies on my iPad, I did not notice the movie selection or the prices but I would expect them to be good.. I almost forgot that there was a safe in my room.
There was a coffee bar in the room, but since the weather was good, I just went across the street to one of the three Starbucks in the block. (Lest you think that is a lot of Starbucks, there is a spot on Market street from which one can count five Starbucks. There are another two closer than the furthest of the five but which one cannot see.)
One of the advantages of an older property was the large walk-in closet. [I hate those tiny presses that pass for closets in "modern" hotels. ] The clock radio had a line-in connector for mobile computers. As an iPhone user, I might have liked an iPhone adapter but this arrangement accommodates my iPad, laptop, and your Android or Windows device.
The king-size bed had a very comfortable mattress, plenty of big fluffy pillows and a bolster. There was a room service breakfast menu and order form on the bed.
Okay, there was no scale in the bathroom. That is by way of saying that is the only thing I missed. All of the permanent and consumable amenities were there, including my favorite, the curved shower curtain bar that makes the shower seem more roomy. There was a generous supply of generous sized towels and was clothes. The modern plumbing delivered plenty of hot water.
The Handlery offers all the amenities one would hope for, from a knowledgeable, polite, and helpful concierge to shampoo in the bath. There is a very nice pool in a large atrium, a barber-shop, a business center, and an exercise facility. While I did not avail myself of any of these things, they were all pleasant, well-equipped, and popular. While this is not a convention hotel, there is a small number of meeting rooms.
Wireless Internet is $9.95 per day or $40- per week (per device). While free would be nice, this is cheaper than most commercial hotels. These think nothing of charging $20 per day on top of much higher room rates. (In the US, economy hotels include free Internet but luxury properties charge extra.) Last year, when I mentioned that I had three computers, they gave me a code.)
There is a vending machine and an ice machine across from the elevator on all floors. Unlike most hotels, where one finds the vending machine by the noise, these are silent (Silent!) and out in the open.
Dining is in the Daily Grill. For world travelers, the Grill is a very popular pub. You can find the menu on the web. I like it so well that I try to eat there at least once on any trip to San Francisco.
The Handlery is at Union Square, the heart of San Francisco. The garage entrance is two blocks up Cyril Magnin from the Powell Street BART station, 30 minutes and $8.10 from SFO. One can spit from the front entrance to the Powell Street Cable Car. There is always a taxi queue at the door. (I shared a cab to the airport with a colleague; the fare was $66- before tip) San Francisco has world class public transportation and Google and the BART app, make it easy to use. However if you choose to drive, guest parking in the Handlery garage is $34.00 per day, a discount from the daily rate for those who are not guests.
The Handlery is a no-smoking property and one must agree to a $250- cleaning charge if one violates this policy. Of course, many Americans prefer smoke-free properties. The result is fresh and pleasant atmosphere throughout. (I did notice an ash tray by the pool.)
I hope that this review has helped you decide whether the Handlery is for you and that, if you choose it, you will have a pleasant stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Handlery Union Square Hotel is located in the heart of San Francisco's Union Square, within walking distance of world class shops, the Moscone Center, and the Powell Street cable car line. All 377 rooms feature wireless Internet access, mini refrigerators, and in-room safes. Enjoy traditional accommodations in the Historic Section or luxurious, oversized rooms in the Premier Section. The hotel features on site valet parking, an outdoor heated pool, sauna, and fitness room. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Handlery Union Square San Francisco
- Hotel Handlery Union Square
- Handlery Hotel San Francisco