Patchy service takes the wow away from W San Francisco – W San Francisco, San Francisco, USA

It was a deliberate decision on our (my partner and I) part that we should try as many Starwood hotels as possible when we visited San Francisco in May this year. We stayed at the Le Meridien and St Regis hotel last year. The former was a disaster while the latter was spectacular. This time, we told ourselves that we had to return to St Regis for its impeccable service. But we would also stay at the W San Francisco and Westin St Francis too.

Anyway, let’s start with W San Francisco (and I shall leave my review on Westin St Francis in a separate post). This is our second stay at W San Francisco. The first time was probably about 5 years ago. The impression of that stay was vague. Can’t really remember much about that stay except that we got a beautiful room that faced the Golden Gate Bridge.

Cool Corner Room, W San Francisco

This time, the patchy service left such a deep impression on us that it’s hard to forget the less-than-satisfactory experience at W San Francisco.

My partner and I had stayed at the St Regis hotel for 4 days before we moved over to W San Francisco, which is just next door to the St Regis. We knew that the overall experience at W San Francisco wouldn’t be anywhere near to the more prestigious St Regis but we didn’t expect such a drastic difference especially when we were booked in a Cool Corner Room (in terms of category, it’s in the middle).

Writing desk in Cool Corner Room, W San Francisco

The indifferent service started at the reception. My partner and I are both Gold Starwood Preferred Guests, hence, we usually get upgraded to the next higher category room if there is an available room in that category. This time, the front desk staff said that the hotel was pretty full and they were not able to upgrade us. It was perfectly fine with us since we would only be there for less than 20 hours. But the staff’s snotty attitude that really put us off. There was no smile nor apology.

Bathroom in Cool Corner Room

We were on a holiday and we didn’t let it bother us that much. But when we arrived at our room, it was a disappointment. At first glance, the room is pretty huge and comfortable for two adults. On closer look, the room is tired and the fixtures were very worn out and distressed. And the view wasn’t impressive at all. Although the bathroom is big, it is not great and the wears and tears are very obvious.

The wear and tear in the Cool Corner Room

We tried not to let such minor stuff spoiled our trip but it was a stick-by-the-book housekeeping that really got on our nerves. We were thirsty after checking in and called the housekeeping for another small bottle of complimentary drinking water. The person on the other line refused to give us another bottle! It was only after my partner had to justify that there were two persons staying in the room and a small bottle of drinking water was not sufficient for us. By then, I was so thirsty that I decided to head down to the Living Room bar.

Living Room bar, W San Francisco

The service at the Living Room bar on the ground floor was lacking. I was seated at one of the bar tables and waiting for the waitress to come over and take my order. Although the bar was relatively quiet, I could never get hold of the waitress’ attention. I ended up walking to the bar counter and ordered my drink. It was only then she was enlightened that this guy wanted a drink. The service was non-existence and I left without giving a tip.

A drink at the Living Room Bar

Surprisingly, the service was such better when we returned to W San Francisco after our dinner. We received a call from the Whatever/Whenever® service to inform us that they had delivered the water to the room and we should contact them should we require anything else. Seriously? That wasn’t what the housekeeping told my partner earlier in the day.

Lumina, a light sculpture, inside the hotel’s three-story entrance

Other than the patchy service, the hotel is pretty well equipped if you’re not looking for anything frivolous. The well-equipped and spacious FIT GYM is awesome simply because the mood lighting gives the gym an interesting vibe and encourages you to work out.

FIT Gym at W San Francisco

We didn’t eat our breakfast there mainly because there are so many cafes around the vicinity.

Thank goodness, the service was way much better on the day of our departure. Leon, the porter, was extremely helpful with our six suitcases. The front desk staff was equally courteous.

The stark difference in service really took the wow out from W San Francisco. Despite the wear and tear, this review would have turned out differently if their service had been consistently good.

W San Francisco
181 3rd Street, San Francisco,
CA 94103, United States
Tel: +1 415-777-5300

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