I have lived in San Francisco for almost 20 years and know the hotels in the city pretty well. When I saw a new Hampton Inn opening in downtown, I was eager to try it out and was not disappointed. It offers modern rooms with good service in a great location and is worth considering for business and leisure visitors to the city! Read my detailed review to find out if it is a good fit for your needs!
Location: The Hampton Inn is in one of my favorite locations for visiting San Francisco. It’s in downtown on Mission Street near 5th Street, a 5 minute walk from the San Francisco Shopping Center and 10 minutes from Union Square with easy access to the Muni light rail, BART trains, historic cable cars and street cars, as well as to the highways leading South. From the San Francisco airport, you’ll need 20 minutes by car and 40 minutes by BART. The hotel offers valet parking at excruciatingly high prices like most downtown hotels, so I recommend to skip the rental car until you are ready to leave the city!
Service/Rewards: The front desk was friendly by San Francisco standards and had us checked in quickly. Check out was equally friendly and fast, making it an overall positive experience. That’s about all I expect from a limited service hotel in the US. Housekeeping was quick and thorough each day. The restaurant staff was also friendly, but struggled to keep up with the many guests for breakfast – trash and used plates were piling up and food was running out during our visit.
The front desk recognized my Hilton HHonors Diamond membership and upgraded us from a regular room to a room on a higher floor with a city view and a fridge, meeting the HHonors rules as much as a Hampton Inn can.
Room: Our upgraded room was very small, but functional, with the king-size bed taking up most of the room, a small wardrobe in the entrance way and a cupboard holding the fridge and safe, as well as a small desk and chair. The bedroom is held in beige/brown tones with dark wood furniture and grey doors, looking contemporary, and soft carpet The bathroom was relatively spacious with a large shower with full glass doors and a sink in a large countertop with enough space for toiletries. It’s held in grey tones with a white countertop, matching the decor of the bedroom. You get standard Hampton Neutrogena toiletries and thick towels. There is also a coffee maker in the bathroom. Everything was new, in perfect condition and fully functional. Overall, I very much liked the room – I’ll take a new, modern room over an older, larger room any day. If you are planning to spend a lot of time in the room, you might want to go for something larger than this!
The free WiFi internet was reasonably fast at 3.5Mbps, but unreliable and dropped to an unusable 0.27Mbps. I’d expect better from a brand-new hotel in the world’s high-tech center!
Amenities/Restaurant: The hotel has a small gym with cardio equipment and some free weights. It’s all new and in good condition, enough to get a light workout.
The Hampton offers a free buffet breakfast for all guests and the restaurant is located in the basement. It looks modern and inviting, with comfortable tables and chairs in the main room, as well as a high, communal bar table with chairs. Unfortunately, the layout is not well thought out, with the buffet in a small side room, accessible through a narrow door way. With the large number of guests, it’s very crowded and almost impossible to access the buffet. And while it offers the standard Hampton offerings with fresh fruit, pastries, hot eggs, meats and waffles, as well as coffee and juice, there was not enough space to provide it and various items were running out during our visit. Staff was trying hard, but couldn’t keep up. If you are relying on the breakfast, I recommend to go early and bring time and patience. Fortunately, there are plenty of good coffee shops in the neighborhood (including the excellent Blue Bottle next door).
Bottomline: The Hampton Inn San Francisco Downtown Convention Center offers modern rooms and friendly service in a great location and at our weekend rate of $176/night was a good deal for San Francisco. Weekday rates can be over $300 and are often higher than full-service hotels, including the Hilton Union Square or Financial District. At rates over $200, I’d choose a different hotel, but at the right price, I’d stay again. It’ll be on my list of places to check for future San Francisco visits!