Kensington Park Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Union Square, San Francisco, California

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Stately relaxed vibe
  • Large rooms with fresh bedding and 36-inch flatscreens
  • Free tea and sherry in the lobby in the afternoon
  • Free morning coffee on the 9th floor
  • SF Playhouse, a popular theater destination, is located on-site; guests can reserve tickets when making their reservations at the hotel
  • Pet-friendly: food/water bowls; organic dog treats
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Only 15 channels on the TV
  • No in-house business or fitness center (though free use of fitness center at Hotel Diva, a few blocks away)

Bottom Line

This charming boutique, situated in an impressive historic building only a block from Union Square, offers attractive rooms that mix modern comforts and antique furniture. But amenities are few -- there's not even a fitness center on-site (though guests can access one at a different hotel a few blocks away). Still, its intimacy and stately feel make it one of the better options for the price in this location.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Keinsington Park Hotel is housed in a historic building near Union Square with a beautiful marble lobby, lovely rooms with Serta beds, and a stately, relaxed vibe

The lobby
The lobby

This stately hotel, housed in a 1925 Moorish/Gothic building in San Francisco's Union Square area, is a throwback to an era of huge marble lobbies, massive wood-paneled elevators with loveseats, crystal chandeliers, and gold accents. The hotel, which takes up the first floor as well as floors five to 13, shares the building with an Elks Lodge, an old-timey social and philanthropic club founded in 1868.

Though the hotel and the Elks Club are unaffiliated, the hotel may be especially appealing to visiting Elks members, who can access the Elks Club's gym, sauna, billiards room, and pool. The hotel itself has few features, but guests do get free passes to the fitness center at Hotel Diva, which is a few blocks away.

There is much to recommend the rooms Kensington Park Hotel, which completed a handsome $2 million restoration in 2008. The 350 square-foot Corner View King Room is impressive, featuring a terrific bed with a Serta mattress, headboard covered in white leather, monogrammed pillows, a soft faux mink blanket, a vintage-looking ceiling fan (much-needed as there's no AC), furniture that mixed old and new (such as the antique dresser and the hipster lamp), and bathrooms with brass detailing. The building's been around a while, so, understandably, there were scuff marks.

Kensington Park sits right in the middle of the popular oft-crowded upscale shopping and theater districts, so its leisurely parlor room-feeling offers a nice change of pace. The free afternoon tea and sherry in the impressive lobby with the painted ceilings and the freaky horse sculpture is a classy way to unwind.

Price-wise, the Kensington falls in the middle of Union Square options, but it lack amenities that some other area boutiques offer. It's still a solid option, though, for its attractive rooms and stately, intimate feel.

 Location

Kensington Park is a block off of Union Square on a safe street.

Beyond the retail trade, the broader Union Square area is popular with out-of-towners because it's a transportation hub with easy access to cable cars, buses, trolleys, BART trains, Muni light rail, and even the occasional cab. From Union Square, visitors can easily make their way around the Bay Area. Union Square has plenty of restaurant options, but it isn't a hot spot for nightlife.

  • Just under two miles to tourist haven Fisherman's Wharf
  • Just over a mile down Market Street to the Ferry Building
  • Roughly 1.5 miles to AT&T Park, home of the Giants
  • Golden Gate Bridge is a 20- to 30-minute drive without traffic (for public transportation, the #28/#29 buses are the best bet).
  • Five-plus miles to the heart of Golden Gate Park
  • The western edge of the Union Square area bumps up along the seedy Tenderloin.
  • 30- to 40-minute cab ride to the airport.

 Food

Kensington Park has no restaurant, but it shares the building with Farallon, a fine dining restaurant focusing on seafood

Farallon
Farallon

Farallon, one of San Francisco's premier seafood joints, is housed in the same building as the Kensington, though it is operated independently. It's a pricey place, but Kensington Park guests get preferred seating. (And, for what it's worth, the grilled Atlantic scallops with Yukon gold potatoes and oxtail ragout were tremendous.) Even if dinner isn't in the game plan, it's worth stopping in for a drink to take in the lively under-the-sea theme atmosphere, especially the glass jellyfish floating above. Make a reservation through the Kensington's concierge and you get a complimentary glass of champagne.

  • Room service is available from Morton's Steakhouse.

 Bottom Line

This charming boutique, situated in an impressive historic building only a block from Union Square, offers attractive rooms that mix modern comforts and antique furniture. But amenities are few -- there's not even a fitness center on-site (though guests can access one at a different hotel a few blocks away). Still, its intimacy and stately feel make it one of the better options for the price in this location.

Things You Should Know About Kensington Park Hotel

Address

  • 450 Post Street, San Francisco, Ca 94102

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Kensington Park San Francisco
  • The Kensington Park Hotel

Room Types

  • Corner View King Room
  • Deluxe Room
  • Royal Court Room
  • Royal Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 92
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
View All

Hotel Information

Location: Union Square, San Francisco
Address: 450 Post Street, San Francisco, Ca 94102
(See Map)
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