Doubles from: $109 to $139
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
The uber-cool three-star Hotel Tomo takes whimsical design to a whole new level. Located in the heart of San Francisco’s tiny Japantown, this hip, modern spot takes its inspiration from Japanese pop-culture. Rates are at the higher end of the cheapo spectrum, but the fun, unique experience is worth the splurge.
The Tomo’s 125 spacious rooms exude cheer. Beds, desks and night tables of warm, knotted pine mix well with modern, furturistic lamps and chairs. Doors are painted bright yellow to match the comforters, on which recline cartoon-y “pillow pets.” But the centerpiece of each room is a funky mural by Japan-based artist Hon-yeisuke Kitazawa.
As would be expected in such a modern space, amenities abound: air conditioning, coffee and tea facilities, a flat-screen TV (on the desk next to a yellow, glow-in-the-dark blotter), mini-fridge, phone, iPod dock and free Wi-Fi. Rooms facing Sutter Street offer impressive views of the pagoda-dominated Peace Plaza across the street and the city beyond (ask ahead).
Private bathrooms are sleek, sophisticated and painted slate gray with pale yellow tiles and accents. Like the rest of the rooms, they are modern and comfortable, with fluffy towels, toiletries and a hair dryer.
Downstairs, the “anime-nia” continues with a swirly yellow ceiling mural and giant-eyed cartoon characters running across plasma screens. In the center is an enormous mod chaise in bright turquiose, perfectly poised for taking it all in. Free computer stations in the corner look out at the street and plaza, and a vending machine sells plush toys and other Japanese pop trinkets.
With more murals, domed lights and an orange formica bar, Mum’s, the hotel’s basement restaurant, has a sort of throwback feel and specializes in shabu-shabu (a fun dining experience where guests cook thinly sliced meats and vegetable at the table). The walls are lined with artsy framed photos of the restaurant’s staff.
As a part of the Joie de Vivre hotel group (who also operates EuroCheapo picks the Hotel Phoenix and the Petit Auberge), the Tomo offers extra perks like access to the Golden Gate Greeter program, which provides individualized city tours with a local volunteer guide. Guests will also sleep soundly knowing that, in accordance with the Joie de Vivre Gives program, the Tomo donates time and money to a local charity, in this case Rosa Park School.
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.
- Wi-Fi: Free
- Air conditioning
- Bathroom: Private
- Bathtubs Available
- Cable TV
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1800 Sutter Street
Pacific Heights & Japantown, San Francisco, United States
About the Best Western Hotel Tomo neighborhood
Populated by exquisite Victorian homes and grand mansions, posh Pacific Heights has a long legacy of extravagance. Fillmore Street is lined with luxury boutiques and plenty of sidewalk cafés. Amid all this glamour is Japantown. Today this workaday enclave stretches only a few blocks around the pagoda in the Japan Center Mall.