The Hilton Hotel In San Francisco – On Union Square

The Hilton Hotel in Union Square is one of three Hiltons in San Francisco — there's another in the Financial District and the newest, Parc 55, is only a block away from Union Square. Here we review the Hilton Union Square, the largest hotel in San Francisco. The two skyscrapers tower over the city skyline and hold an epic 1,915 rooms!

The Hilton Union Square

A major refurbishment has given this San Francisco Hilton Hotel a much needed refresh with upgraded rooms, meeting spaces and common areas, including a very lavish redo of the lounge. According to the press release, the hotel is focusing attention on improving their appeal to the Millennial generation. Let's find out if it worked.

Top Details at the Hilton Union Square

You're close to the action of Union Square, downtown San Francisco and the Powell Street BART station. Nice features include the courtyard pool, the very large health club, and outdoor jacuzzi. Guests like the central location, the well-equipped gym and the pool. They're not so happy about the long lines at the reception for check-in, the outdated rooms, and the somewhat impersonal feeling in the hotel. Some also didn't like the high parking fees.

But there is good news, WIFI is free here (unlike at the Hilton Financial District location) and there has been a recent $25 million refurbishment completed in 2016, including a $6 million renovation to the hotel lobby.

The Hilton Union Square The Hilton Union Square
The Hilton Union Square The Hilton Union Square

Rooms & Suites at the Hilton

There is a wide range of rooms & suites with lots of different options. The basic room, Urban Contemporary, includes WIFI at no extra charge. Or you can upgrade to a Basic Skyline View which has a king bed and a balcony, above the 25th floor, free WIFI, and breakfast for two. There are also accessible rooms.

Suites as well come in many flavors. The Junior Suite has a small sitting room. Corner Suites have a separate bedroom and living room. There's also the Penthouse, Luxury, Deluxe, and Conference Suites with living rooms (they call them parlors), two bedrooms and three bathrooms. All have been recently refreshed with new decor.

Special Packages

There is an almost confusing array of special offers and packages — Family Fun, Park, Stay & Go, Stay Hilton. Go Out, Weekend Getaway, Breakfast & WIFI, Bed & Breakfast, Instant Getaway, & Golf Stay & Play.

The Family Fun package includes a full breakfast for four, free premium WIFI, which we guess means faster streaming. The Park, Stay & Go package includes free shuttle service to and from the airport. There are additional discounts for AAA members, and the military. We're not really sure if these packages are good value. We find that it's often best to simply search for the lowest rates.

Dining & Cocktails

Dining options are limited at the Union Square Hilton. The Urban Tavern serves full breakfasts only from 6 am to 11 am. There's a Continental station, an Asian station, as well as menu items. Here's one case where a package might be worthwhile; the Bed & Breakfast option includes breakfast (of course!), but breakfast on its own, it's an expensive meal — around $30 for the basic continental breakfast. Better yet, of course, is to take yourself out of the hotel and into one of San Francisco's diners that serve breakfast.

Back to the the Hilton dining options: the Herb N' Kitchen is a sort of grab-and-go kiosk serving a limited pre-made menu — baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, flatbreads with various toppings, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and salads. You can also order room service from here for limited hours — between 6 am to 11 am and then 6 pm to 10 pm. Many guests find the offerings very pricy and complain about the lack of freshly prepared food. But, since you're in a city famous for its restaurants, get out of the hotel… Check out some nearby restaurants.

The hotel's Lobby Lounge serves signature cocktails like the Ginger Stone Sour with Bourbon, Ginger Liqueur & Citrus Juice, Cucumber & Apple Martini, and Spiced Pear Daiquiri along with a selection of wines and beer.

The Bottom Line

You're going to get pretty much what you expect — a standard, safe, clean, corporate-feel hotel room, somewhat impersonal service, boring hotel food. On the other hand, it's right smack dab in the center of San Francisco action. Would we stay there? Sure, but on.y if the city's historic luxury hotels and the charming boutique hotels were all booked.

Hilton Hotel Union Square

How Our Ratings Work

Superb Plus = 93%+ Travelers Rating
Superb = 88%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated Plus = 85%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated = 80%+ Travelers Rating

Rating = Good
• Free WIFI
• 333 O'Farrell Street
• Neighborhood — Union Square

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