Not bad for the buck
My friends (5 of us) and I stayed at the San Remo Hotel, San Francisco on the Veterans Day weekend. My first impression of the hotel is friendly, personal, and well kept. The hotel attendants are friendly and helpful. They provide all the neccessary amenities with the exception of an in-room telephone. We didn't mind the shared bathrooms and showers because there were plenty to accomodate all the guests. I didn't have to wait for the bathroom or showers even at peak times. I highly recommend bringing a pair of shower shoes or flip-flop to shower in. The rooms are small, but big enough to move around comfortably. The hotel location is safe and is close to most of the attraction within walking distance. I will definitely come back to this hotel.
I Will Stay Nowhere Else in San Francisco!
I stayed with a friend for a week at the San Remo Hotel in June 2004 and we loved it! This place is a rare deal in a very expensive city and I will stay nowhere else next time I'm in San Francisco. Here are our thoughts:
WHAT WE LOVED:
1) The location is A+! Being within walking distance of tacky Fisherman's Wharf and the cable car lines is a definite plus. This building is a gem in North Beach and has easy accessibility to restaurants, transportation routes, supermarkets and laundromats.
2) What a deal! My friend and I stayed in an octagonal-shaped room, full of antique furniture (brass beds, wardrobes) and lots of light. The fan was great for keeping cool and, although there wasn't much of a view to speak of, we felt right at home in our room. The room came with some funky extras, such as a back scratcher from Chinatown and a copy of the Tao Te Ching.
3) Facilities were very good. The place is filled with plants, books, and Victorian charm, not to mention that funky San Francisco vibe. The washroom facilities were shared but very private. Toilets were nice & were of th echain-pull variety. Shower rooms were also private and decorated with black & white tiles, Wood panelling, stained glass & skylights. The heat lamps and brass towel warmers were also appreciated on those chilly mornings. There is another bathroom with a claw-foot tub and an amazing view of the nearby cathedral.
4) The hotel staff were wonderfully helpful. They get major bonus points from me -- My friend was leaving before me and I was switching to a more basic room for a couple days more. I wanted to move my luggage into my new room early in the morning, so that my friend & I could spend that morning together. Instead of allowing this, they decided to let me stay in our current room for the remainder of my stay. Although this room was worth way more, they let me stay at the more basic room that I had intended to stay in! WOW!!!
5) Honeymooners should consider staying in The Penthouse. It's views are divine.
POINTS TO CONSIDER:
1) There is a huge flight of stairs to contend with when you enter the hotel, which can be difficult to negotiate with a lot of luggage. I'm pretty sure that this hotel is not wheelchair accessible.
2) Space is scarce in san Francisco and we found our room to be a little cramped for space. The "lobby" is tucked away in a corner and if there are a lot of people in the halls, it can get a little claustrophobic. Generally, I feel like this hotel is very cozy and has a lot of character, though.
3) The walls aren't too thick and noisy neighbours could definitely be heard. Also, I believe there was a party going on in the Penthouse, which did contribute to the noise levels. All in all, though, we were not disturbed much by noise.
This is a fantastic place to stay in San Francisco!
There are pros & cons
San Remo Hotel
This hotel has many positive attributes, but it will not suit everybody. I’d like to provide a list of the things I think were good and not-so-good, and let you decide for yourself. First, the good things: the hotel itself is unique and decorated in a way that is both cozy and cute, sort of like a grandmother’s guest bedroom in an attic. I was pleased with the ambiance in the hallways (potted plants and holiday lights wrap around exposed pipes, and skylights provide lots of light on the top floor.) They owners have cleverly created natural light for many of the interior rooms by cutting windows into the hallways, near the skylights. All the windows, both interior and exterior, have lacy curtains and shades for privacy. The price is a definite plus. Our room was $75, but we had an exterior room with a sink. A sign outside said that their lowest priced rooms were $55. The neighborhood was perfectly fine – seemed absolutely safe not only around the hotel itself, but also on the walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf. The cable cars are indeed very close – just a block away. And the street train that can take you to the BART is only about 3 blocks to the north. Transportation is really no problem from this location. Another plus: there is a Trader Joe’s grocery about 2 blocks away. I wouldn’t call our room “spotless” but I don’t mind dust bunnies under that bed that much. Our room was certainly clean enough for me. The other hotel guests were perfectly polite and seemed like decent folks. The hotel staff was very efficient and they took their jobs seriously. The towels near the shower rooms were all on electric brass towel warmers and that was a very nice touch! For breakfast, we greatly enjoyed the food at Pat’s Café which was one block away – it was delicious, the portions were generous and the price was good. Now for the list of things I didn’t like about the hotel: Number one on that list is the shared bathrooms. I enjoy staying in youth hostels and I have never had any issue with shared bathrooms. However, I doubt I would stay at the San Remo again, and it’s because of the toilets. They appear to have 5 or 6 toilets for the entire hotel. Shower rooms were separate as were the spaces that had sinks. With 60 or so rooms, some of which are occupied by two people – that’s a lot of use for a few toilets. The problem was not that the toilets were always in use, because generally you could find open ones. The problem was that it was hard to find one that didn’t smell bad and/or which didn’t look like an overflow waiting to happen. The odd historic toilets have the water closet way up by the ceiling and a long pull chain. It appears necessary to pull the chain for a few seconds longer than usual so the toilet flushes. I believe a lot of folks only flushed halfway without realizing it, and with each successive use the problem would increase. I noticed toilets being cleaned in late afternoon, but during the night time they would get so much use that urine odor was strong. I imagine that some of the men would have trouble negotiating them in the dark, and I in my socks would wonder if I was going to step in somebody’s puddle of pee. The light in the toilet rooms was faint, too. I think that if they designated separate women’s and men’s toilets I would consider staying there again, but not until! Other things that people could consider problematic: upon check-in you are given two metal keys – one for the room and one for the hotel’s main entrance. Some people consider the lack of electronic room keys a security problem. If you have nothing in particular that’s very valuable you’ll be leaving in the room, then no big deal. Another potential issue - the hotel is on the second and third floors of the building and there is no elevator. This hotel does not offer stuff you might expect in modern hotel rooms: no telephone, box of tissues, alarm clock, blow dryer. They do provide soap, towels and washcloths and some mints. There is a telephone booth on the second floor, but when we needed it, it was in use by somebody who was making a VERY long phone call. Now, about the room size. We had a double bed and the room itself was not that much bigger than the bed, to tell you the truth. There was about 18 inches of space between the foot of the bed and the wall. (See photo.) That was my passageway for getting over to my side of the bed, and I usually knocked against the brass footboard getting over there. Our room had an armoire and I managed to get my luggage into it (being as there was practically no place else to put it), but whenever I needed something, it was a bit of any ordeal to get it out. This room was probably as small as it could be and still have a bed in it. It would be no problem at all for one person, but two people can feel cramped in that space. Also something to consider – the antique beds do squeak. Now that I’ve described the downside, let me make a few suggestions that will help mitigate a few of the problems. First, wear something to bed that looks more like regular street clothes than pajamas. T-shirts and knit shorts or something like that would be good. If you have to get up in the middle of the night to pee, at least you can go down the hall looking somewhat dressed. Second, if you have your own shampoo, soap and toiletries you like to use, pack a small plastic bucket for carrying them to the shower. The shower stalls have dispensers holding liquid soap, shampoo and conditioner but they don’t have any shelves for your own things. They do provide a stool in there in the dry half of the shower stall, so you can put your bucket on the stool and get everything you need. Don’t forget flip-flops for wearing in the toilet room if not in the shower as well. Ladies, if you like good light for putting on makeup, bring a mirror you can set up in your room because the shared sink areas in the hallways are not well-lit (they have dim antique light fixtures which are quaint but which do not give abundant light.) Finally, if you are thinking of paying the extra money to have a sink in your room, I would suggest that the convenience factor may not be so great as to warrant the extra money. We only used our sink to brush our teeth, and we could have easily done that down the hall since we had to go down the hall ANYWAY to use the toilets and shower. Also, my traveling companion suggested that he thought some men might pee in those room sinks rather than go down the hall in the middle of the night. Ours seemed clean and didn’t smell or anything, but still it’s something to consider before you fill that basin up to wash your face. When selecting a room with a double bed, keep in mind that some rooms have the beds in a corner and some have them in the middle of the room. Ours was in the middle. If you are traveling alone, you might do very well to get a room with the double bed pushed in the corner. It will leave you more floor space for your luggage and things.
San Remo Hotel-Sanfrancisco
Any one stay at the San Remo Hotel inSan Francisco? Just curiouse what everyone's opinion is. Will be staying in SFO on the night of may 15.
Re: San Remo Hotel-Sanfrancisco
What a cute place and a great location! If you don't get any replies, let me know - I can go check it out on my lunch break, it is not too far and it would do me good to take the walk.
Re: San Remo Hotel-Sanfrancisco
Tiny room, shared bath, quaint, great location, no parking nearby.
Re: San Remo Hotel-Sanfrancisco
Check out fodors.com for good consumer hotel reviews....