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“Second Visit, One Year Later”

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Handlery Union Square Hotel
Ranked #73 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
Reviewed 3 March 2012

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.

Accommodations

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.

Amenities

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.

Transportation

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.

Other

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.

Room Tip: There are really two buildings with the pool and atrium in the middle. I have only stayed in the on...
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank whmurray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HandleryHotelsMgr, Owner at Handlery Union Square Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2012

Dear Whmurray,
Thank you for all of your insight on your return stay at the Handlery. I was pleased to read that you had another great stay and we appreciate your patronage. I am glad you liked all of the amenities our rooms have and that you had a wonderful experience in the Daily Grill. We look forward to having you back.

Sincerely,
Jon S. Handlery
President, Handlery Hotels

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 March 2012

I stayed here for 2 nights in February 2012 and had a fine stay. I was originally put in a room with a view on a construction site, that reeked of bleach. I immediately called down to the front desk and complained about the smell and the kindly and swiftly moved me to another room, slight bleach smell but less strong and the room was South facing and full of sunlight so couldn't be bothered to switch. Pretty clean, relatively spacious, flat screen TVs, I would say perfect for a business trip. I had a very nice lady check me in and a not-so-nice lady (her badge said front desk manager?) take my laundry and answer some questions, so mixed reviews on the staff. Also how is it possible that in 2012 places still require that you pay for WIFI???

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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Thank CF2252
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HandleryHotelsMgr, Owner at Handlery Union Square Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2012

Dear Charlotte F,
I read your review of our hotel and I am pleased that you overall had a pleasant stay. I am glad the staff was able to move you to a room you found more comfortable and we are evaluating our policy on charging for WIFI. Thank you for staying with us and providing your feedback.

Sincerely,
Jon S. Handlery
President, Handlery Hotels

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Reviewed 3 March 2012

The roosuper very small. But the bathroom is very clean and the in room AC seems to be working great. Fridge in room and large LCD tv as well.

  • Stayed: March 2012
    • Value
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Thank FoxyLdy6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HandleryHotelsMgr, Owner at Handlery Union Square Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2012

Dear Foxylady6,
Thank you for your comments on your stay at the Handlery. I was pleased to see you found your accommodations satisfactory and that you had an enjoyable visit. We hope to have you back soon.

Sincerely,
Jon S. Handlery
President, Handlery Hotels

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2012

My girlfriend and I decided to do a short SF vacation to celebrate a birthday, as we are both bay area residents.. We chose the Handlery in San Francisco Union Square. We were not disappointed. The hotel was clean, the rooms well appointed (we had 2 queen beds), the bathroom actually had a tub! Walking distance to all the shopping and eating we wanted to do. Very friendly and helpful employees. Parking garage is on the property. What's not to like? I will go again.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank terri s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HandleryHotelsMgr, Owner at Handlery Union Square Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2012

Dear Terri S,
Happy Belated Birthday. I'm not sure if it was yours or your girlfriends but I wanted to pass on my best wishes. Thanks for staying with us and I am glad you enjoyed your stay. We look forward to having you celebrate next year with us.

Sincerely,
Jon S. Handlery
President, Handlery Hotels

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2012

Good hotel for about a 3.5 star rating (in my opinion). Great location for Union Sq, but a few miles away from Fisherman's Wharf and all the bay area. Though easily accessible by cable car or bus. You will need to get down to this area for Alcatraz ferries.
Breakfast was complimentary, and of good quality. Bacon, sausages, eggs and toast with coffee/juice. Nice.
Only one bug to bear. There was a staff union demonstration across the road at another hotel, and these guys made a lot of noise twice a day it seemed (with megaphones). They have been making their loud protest apparently for many months now, and it is annoying particularly at 7am when they start their shouting!
The hotel actually equipped us with ear defenders on our check in. I kid you not!
Besides this, we had a great time, and the hotel was just fine for the price.

Room Tip: Find out if the union protesters across the roasd are still doing their daily chant!
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank GriffoBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HandleryHotelsMgr, Owner at Handlery Union Square Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2012

Dear GriffoBristol,
First, let me apologize for the protesters across the street. I have asked them not to start so early but it hasn't worked which is why we reluctantly placed the ear plugs in our streetside rooms. I was happy to see that you found the hotel and our great location perfect for your visit to San Francisco. We hope to have you back again in the near future.

Cheers,
Jon S. Handlery
President, Handlery Hotels

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Handlery Union Square Hotel

Address: 351 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-1801
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#57 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#59 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#66 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range: €158 - €479 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Handlery Union Square Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 377
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 
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Also Known As:
Handlery Union Square San Francisco
Hotel Handlery Union Square
Handlery Hotel San Francisco

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