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W Hotel San Francisco [Master Thread]

W Hotel San Francisco [Master Thread]

Old Feb 23, 07, 11:46 am
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: ATL
Posts: 3,219
OMG I would never stay there! $8 for a bottle of water from a hotel! And you have to PAY for breakfast!
Tummy is offline  
Old Feb 23, 07, 12:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Tummy
OMG I would never stay there! $8 for a bottle of water from a hotel! And you have to PAY for breakfast!
Were you being sarcastic?
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Old Feb 23, 07, 2:59 pm
In memoriam
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Seattle WA
Programs: Kimpton IC, Hyatt Diamond, Gold Marriott, Lifetime Platinum Starwood
Posts: 8,665
This weekend at W SF

In all fairness, I am sitting at the SFO airport waiting to meet somebody for a "special weekend." I had emailed the hotel 4 times in the last 4 weeks as well as called the concierge 3 times and never received any type of reponse until I emailed the GM. The email I received back from the concierge (after the GM copied her on the email sent to me) was "generic" at the very least as though it was copy/paste from the Chamber of Commerce. She never did offer to assist me with my specific needs; I went ahead and made the arrangements myself.

I am hopeful that perhaps our check-in and actual weekend will be much better than this experience in the last few weeks. I'll submit a trip report once the weekend is finished.
ldsant is offline  
Old Feb 23, 07, 3:05 pm
Join Date: Jan 2007
Programs: Starwood, United, AAdvantage, Delta
Posts: 77
W hotels suck

Both the one in SF, and the other I stayed at in NYC were a very disappointing experience. The only thing I can say was unqualifiably good was the NYC hotel workout room, which was undeniably first class.

Very snotty customer service, useless concierge at both, pointlessly expensive, microscopic rooms (in NYC), refusal to even consider upgrade at any of the three stays (dispite being plat), useless and idiotic form letters in response to complaints... Need I say more?

Seriously, if the SF "W(orthless)" hotel is your favorite hotel, you need to try another hotel...another city...another country...anything.

But I guess I simply don't get the W hype, not at all. Spend a lot of money to be treated like crap. Wow...is that cool or what?

I prefer the Westin or the Palace hotel for SF Starwood properties. In both cases, I have never been turned down for an upgrade, and the service is first rate. The former is looking a bit tired, but the location is very good (off Union Square).
Alexzander is offline  
Old Feb 23, 07, 8:18 pm
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Tampa, Florida, U.S.A.
Posts: 7,664
Originally Posted by UAfan
Not based on my last stay. Despite a full hotel, due a trade show at Moscone Center across the street, the front desk agent was very friendly and helpful trying to get me a requested upgrade. After a lot of clicking on the computer, he was able to get me a one cat upgrade to a nice large corner room but it was the effort I appreciated even more than the upgrade. He also offered the 500 bonus points amenity without my asking. ^

All the staff I came in contact with, from food service to housekeeping, were awesome!
I had two stays at this property in November and was quite pleased with the services etc and on both ocasions we were ugraded to one of the corner "double suites.

Seems despite the legitimate complaints regarding the lost reservation the op is not quite up on the supposed SPG benefits ( which as a Gold aint much )

Must say I do find some of the comments on this thread funny ( silly might be the more appropriate word) so you dont get the W concept thats fine ( to each his own) but please spare us the superior nose in the clouds bs advice

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Old Feb 23, 07, 11:55 pm
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Originally Posted by TerryK
I have a different take.

Whenever I see "nightmare" in the title, I expect to see a newbie (<100) with minor issues.
Yes, and per Trip Advisor, only 18-24 years old. Methinks there is a whole other side to this story that we have not heard yet. Also, why didn't the OP challenge the charge with the credit card issuer if the wrong rate was charged??
DCBob is offline  
Old Feb 24, 07, 1:21 am
Join Date: Jan 2007
Programs: Starwood, United, AAdvantage, Delta
Posts: 77
If the W "concept" is bad service...

I get it. Just don't like it. Poor service, regardless of gimmicks, is still poor service.
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Old Feb 24, 07, 7:42 am
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Calgary
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W = poor service? Not in my experiences.

I don't think the W concept is poor service, but of course poor service can and does happen at any hotel from time to time regardless of the brand.

I stayed at the W SF a year ago as a gold and experienced amazing service. I booked a "pay for 2 days get 3 days" long weekend in the cheapest category room available and was a gold at the time. I was upgraded to a high floor with a fantastic view of the Bay bridge (and this really meets the terms of a gold upgrade). I was given this room at 10:00 AM when I checked in, fantastic to not have to wait until the afternoon and again, above and beyond on the hotel's end. On my last day I wanted to go online and print my boarding pass but the business centre was closed. I asked at the desk if there was a chance I could get in for 10 minutes and they said no problem. They sent someone up with me who cheerfully let me in and they did not ask for any charge for this service. Needless to say I'm a fan of the W SF.

One more example of W service would be my last stay at the W Court in NYC. I was upgraded to a suite. Upon showering the first morning the drain was a little slow. Not a huge deal or a "nightmare", but a problem I simply mentioned to the front desk on my wait out that morning. When I returned that day the problem had been fixed and there was a very nice fruit and wine basket left for me on the desk with an apology note for the inconvenience. To me this is above and beyond and one of the many reasons I love returning to W hotel's.

There are many more examples (like the time the W Times Sq store was out of an item I wanted to purchase so the hotel manager told me to take the item in my room instead free of charge) so I don't think "W = poor service" is a fair generalization. I'm sure there has been poor service given at W's (and Westin's and Sheraton's and Hyatt's and Marriot's...) but I don't think it's fair to categorize a brand that way. I'm more curious as to how hotel management respond to poor service when alerted at the time of stay than to how a letter is responded to later.
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Old Mar 4, 07, 8:02 am
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Posts: 8,665
W SF - Trip Report - 02.23-26.07

Had emailed the hotel 4 weeks ahead of time as well as having the Plat Concierge call for me as well to ask for an upgrade due to this being a special occasion (first time for my niece to go to SF). The following is a mini trip report of the weekend focusing on the W hotel only.


Bellman was right at the taxi door. Helped us with our bags. Was very polite. Hotel was slightly busy but nobody waiting in line at check-in.


Check-in was fine. Nothing special. No recognition of Platinum status. Did not receive an upgrade (was told later that they were busy that weekend with a convention in the property). Although I had emailed the GM and the concierge, no notes, no mention of anything that I had requested. Apples were available. I'm from WA so a bit of an "apple snob" These were fine; nothing to write home about. (Try Pink Lady or Gala for this time of year )


27th floor. OK view (loads of buildings, some of the East Bay). Noisy neighbors, small room. Very comfortable, if small (full-size), beds. Window seats are always nice. The bathroom was great. My niece (who is 16) thought the room was fantastic and honestly, that's all that mattered to me


Fantastic! Seriously. This property has some of the best housekeeping I have ever experienced anywhere. The room was well maintained, turndown service occurred every evening, Bliss products were replinished without a hassle (take note W NYC! ), and the room was really clean! Ran into the housekeeping staff twice to ask for extra bath towels - no problem, no hassle, VERY pleasant employees (2 different ones). Offered if we needed/wanted anything else. This was a superb point to the hotel.

Room Service

Poor at best. The first evening we had purchased water at the local grocery (since the bottle of water was $8 in the room with no offer of free water amenity to Platinum guest). My niece picked up the glass by the bed to pour some water and handed it to me explaining that she was not going to drink out of it. I am by no means a germaphobe, but this class was, to say the least, filthy. Gross and disgusting are better terms actually. Crusty crud around the glass, looks like it hadn't been cleaned for weeks, etc. (I know we already have a thread about this so I'm glossing over here). Called Room Service to ask for 2 clean glasses and was told "Call housekeeping <click>" I called down to the whatever/whenever desk and asked for the Manager on Duty. It was the same person that had checked us in. T was very apologetic. I went downstairs and took him the glass (he agreed it was gross), apologized again, and offered 2 bottles of water complementary to make up for what had happened. Later a room service person brought up 2 CLEAN glasses to the room. Now that is SERVICE! Honestly it's never the "big" things that make a stay unpleasant; it's a series of little things. But the difference is how the problems are handled. Room Service did a HORRIBLE job; but T did a GREAT job!

Ordered room service the last night we were there (my niece loves getting room service and only has it when we travel together ). I am still apalled at the "service charges, delivery charges, and tip" charges, but understand and know that they are there. We ordered some overpriced and horrible tasting food (the fries were pretty good) and that was the extent of room service. The person who delivered the food was fantastic! He didn't have a badge on so I don't know his name but he was personable, friendly, nice!

XYZ Bar and Restaurant

Three of my friends met us for dinner at my favorite restaurant (Trattoria Contadina) on Saturday night. Afterwards we went to the XYZ Bar for some drinks. The bar was packed downstairs, but seating was available upstairs. I like the cushions, the pillows, etc. Cracked me up that there is a complete book for the drinks they have! I ordered a blue drink, my friends had wine, and cosmos. Service was fine although he never came back to ask if we wanted another drink once ours were finished.

Went to the XYZ restaurant for breakfast one morning (this hotel does not have a lounge or any coupons for Platinum members). The food was poor at best (my niece did not eat more than 2 bites of her $11 pancakes) and service was fair. Never mentioned "can we bring you something else?" Never returned to the table during the meal except to bring the check once asked.

Bliss Spa

I am a spa "junkie" and have the good fortune that my niece enjoys going to the spa as well. Nice pool (lap pool) and jacuzzi. The workout room was small but had good equipment (plus walking the hills of SF gives you the BEST workout anywhere! ). Made reservations by walking down to the spa and was able to get manicures one morning and facials in the late afternoon. The spa was clean. Provided a locker with a robe and flip-flops. Nice sauna in the women's locker room and steam room (although you need a Masters in Engineering to figure it out! ). Better products available in the hotel rooms imo. Nice relaxing/lounging room with apples and small treats along with magazines. One woman was in the room for over 4 hours (she was VERY relaxed! ). The treatments were nice and no hard sell/pushing products which is always very welcomed. As a hotel guest you receive 20% off of whatever products you purchase at the spa.


Checkout was proficient. No "thank you" or "have a good flight/nice day" or anything else from the person at the checkout desk. Was able to get a taxi right in front.

Overall Impressions

This definitely isn't my favorite W anymore (had stayed here several times before and really felt the staff was extraordinary). Not sure if they have had turnover, new staff, or just getting an "attitude" but the place just felt "off" in many ways. The one person who really did his best and seemed to care what was going on was a gentleman named Matt. He listened graciously and without interruption. It's disappointing to see how this hotel doesn't really 'stand out' anymore imo. I highly doubt that I would stay here the next time I'm in SF (later this year); it's nothing "big" it's just more of a culmination of things overall.

Last edited by ldsant; Mar 4, 07 at 8:11 am
ldsant is offline  
Old Mar 4, 07, 12:01 pm
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Wow! Thanks for this. I stayed there only once in June last year. Everyone and everything from the doorman to the checkout person was great. The whatever/whenever attitude was definitely there.

Together with the other reports about this property recently, it seems things have gone downhill really quickly...
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Old Mar 4, 07, 1:26 pm
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Location: La Jolla, CA
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Thanks for the report

I have 2 stays scheduled at this property in May. Now I'm considering changing one of them.

Do you remember the type of room you booked/were given?

We've only stayed at this W once and my recollection was that our room was small and there weren't any upgrades available.

I made sure to book a "fabulous" room this time:

I'm glad that your spa experience was good. I'm definitely a fellow spa junkie.

The only other thing I remember about this hotel was how close it was to the art museum.

You hit the nail on the head about the small things making or breaking a stay.

It's a funny thing about W's. A few of them have incredible staffs (W Union Square W Poydras) and others the opposite (W Westwood --- even though I love the rooms and location there)
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Old Mar 4, 07, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by damon88
Thanks for the report

The only other thing I remember about this hotel was how close it was to the art museum.

You hit the nail on the head about the small things making or breaking a stay.
The W is literally 50 feet away from the SFMOMA (Museum of Modern Art). There was an excellent Picasso exhibit and a great photography (Henry Wessum (?)) there when we were there.
ldsant is offline  
Old Mar 4, 07, 2:31 pm
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Thanks for the report.

Just FYI, dirty glasses in the room is a housekeeping issue and not a room service issue according to the book.
AAEXP is offline  
Old Mar 4, 07, 2:43 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2000
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Posts: 8,665
Originally Posted by AAEXP
Thanks for the report.

Just FYI, dirty glasses in the room is a housekeeping issue and not a room service issue according to the book.
What "book" is that?

I am of the belief that when a customer has any kind of concern or needs something it doesn't matter who you are - you take care of it (if we "pigeonholed" things where I work like this it would not bode well for either the employee or the company in the long run).
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Old Mar 4, 07, 2:53 pm
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Constructive comments:

(1) I'm sure hotels are bombarded w/"special event" upgrade requests. Often a high floor corner is as good as you can do in that hotel, and if you booked a low floor and got a high one, that may have been all that there was. No doubt I'd be disappointed too, however.

(2) Dirty glasses are housekeeping, not room service, for how they got there in the first place, but should have been remedied by room service per your request.

(3) I'm sure the GM would like to hear your comments. If it is still the same one, I'm sure she'd be displeased to hear of your experience and try and make things right.
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