24 Henry Street, San Francisco, United States
Doubles from: $65 to $129
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
We arrived at 24 Henry Street during a flurry of activity—Walter, the genial proprietor, was greeting a returning guest (Curtis) and dispensing advice to a pair on their way out. It didn’t stop him from welcoming us, though—and introducing us to everyone else!
That’s the general feel of this sweet guesthouse nestled on a tree-lined Castro street. As Curtis put it (while arranging the flowers he’d bought up the street), “It’s like staying at a friend’s house.”
This friend’s house offers five simple rooms with mismatched antique furnishings and random framed prints (hanging in equally random spots). Fabric-covered chairs, odd rugs and dark bedspreads have a faded, mildly tattered look, but in a way that underlines the guesthouse’s cozy, lived-in atmosphere. Each room is painted in its own cheery shade: An earthy green in one provides contrast to white moldings, a mural spans the back wall in another and the “Garbo room” is decked out in peach wainscoting and coordinating floral-striped wallpaper. What the rooms lack in amenities (which stop at free Wi-Fi) they make up in character.
Four rooms share a large, clean bathroom, tiled in black and white, and the “Master bedroom” has its own private facilities.
The house was built in the 1880s, and has all the charm you’d expect from an original Victorian, including intricate ceiling medallions and a stained-glass skylight. Downstairs, the living room recalls a traditional Victorian parlour, replete with chandelier, plush red sofa and wooden furniture, plus the modern addition of a television. The adjoining room offers a free Internet station and breakfast nook where a complimentary continental breakfast is served daily.
24 Henry is a simple spot, but the kind of place to which guests return often. Walter himself stayed as a guest years ago, and liked it so much that he purchased it! He now lives there, knows all his guests by name and is always eager to share his knowledge of San Francisco. A Muni (the city’s enigmatic transportation system) aficionado, he’s papered the entryway with a transit map surrounded by trinkets of San Francisco pride, including a program from the grand opening of the famed Castro Theater.
Henry Street’s hush makes the lively Castro seem far away, but the gay and straight-friendly guesthouse is located a mere two blocks from the hustle and bustle of Castro Street. And since that area is a major transportation hub (just ask Walter), it’s well connected to everything else too. He also runs the Village Guesthouse, just a few blocks away.
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor and is recommended based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
About the 24 Henry neighborhood
Tucked at the base of Twin Peaks, the Castro earned its stripes as America’s most famous gay neighborhood during the political activism of the 1960s and ‘70s. These days, the district is a beating political and cultural heart—and a welcoming ‘hood. Here, stylish shops and eateries keep company with racy window displays and a sassy nightlife scene.