The Hilton Financial District is right in the middle of Chinatown. The hotel could be so much better – I wouldn’t book to stay there again unless I believed improvements had been made.

We drove from Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino which we’d used as our base for visiting the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Glacier Point in Yosemite. The drive took about 3.5 hours.

We used the valet parking – we knew it would be expensive, although not as expensive as it turned out to be. The valet parking benefits from ‘in and out’ privileges, apparently self-parking only allows one entry/exit a day – plus of course someone parks your car for you. The valet service appeared on my bill as follows:
Valet Parking $60 per day
Valet Parking Tax $8.40 per day
Plus the tips I gave to the valet

It was Friday 31st May 2019 – the 100th birthday of Hilton Hotels. We wondered if there would be any special celebrations when we entered the lobby, perhaps a band or champagne on arrival. Sadly it was just like any other day.

We checked in two rooms, one HHonors Diamond and one Gold. We asked for a bay view and neither room was given that. We were given some vouchers to use in the bar as the Executive Lounge closes on Friday and Saturday nights. We were advised that breakfast was free for Diamonds but only a continental breakfast was included for Gold – this could be upgraded for a $5.00 supplement.

We took one of the four elevators to the top floor, the whole thing shook and felt like it would crash to the floor – we avoided that elevator after that and could see others doing the same.

My room was fine, not anything special.

My Son’s room (2725) was at the end of the corridor and looked like a broom cupboard. It was dark and the window catch was broken so it wouldn’t shut correctly. We returned to the front desk and explained that we weren’t happy.  The agent said “So what do you want?”. We said “change the room” and were told, rudely, that 2725 would need to be vacated, key returned and then it would be 30 minutes before a new room could be found. Luckily we had a least one room to use and store luggage while that happened.

The view from my room.

We returned to the front desk after 40 minutes and found a much friendlier desk agent who allocated a room, albeit on a lower floor but with a bay view. Oddly the telephone handset was missing the cable but we didn’t bother to report that. The room looked just the same as mine and so either we were both upgraded (unlikely), weren’t upgraded (more likely) or all the rooms are the same (maybe).

We realised why the lounge wasn’t open at weekends. It was ridiculously small for the size of the hotel.

I really hate it when a Hilton joins the franchise, but then does just the minimum to meet the requirements for HHonors members and those who book an executive room. Drinks on Sunday night were chaotic as it wasn’t self-service and there was only one barman.

There was a large TV room on the ground floor and that had the makings of an executive lounge. We watched the Champions League final in this lounge – hardly anyone else there.

Breakfast was very good, but why nickel and dime Gold members with a $5.00 change?

Room cost was $189 per night for Friday and Saturday, $97 for Sunday (a special offer from Hilton). Added to the $189 was:
Room Tax: $26.46
California Tourism Tax: $0.38
SF Tourism Improvement District Tax: $4.25
Just a series of rip off taxes that you aren’t made aware of when booking the hotel.

To add insult to injury, we later found that my Son’s room was charged at the full rate for the Sunday night and we had to write and complain to receive a refund.

This hotel needs to improve the guest experience, especially for Diamond and Gold members. The Executive Lounge needs to be moved to a an area four times the size of current. The valet parking fee should be reduced. Full cost of parking and room should be made clear when booking. And fix the elevators!

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
750 KEARNY STREET, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, 94108, USATEL: +1-415-433-6600 FAX: +1-415-765-7855

https://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/california/hilton-san-francisco-financial-district-SFOFDHF/index.html