1353 Bush Street , San Francisco, United States
Doubles from: $39 to $99
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
Let us set this Cheapo scene: The Encore Express is a recently renovated hotel, in a super-central location, offering 36 well-appointed rooms and rates starting at just... $39. (Sorry, we just fainted.)
The catch? The two-star lovely also operates a functioning—and in very much in use—music studio in its basement (open until 11 p.m.). But, for those who don’t mind sleeping to (ahem) the beat of a different drum, the convenient, clean and affordable Encore Express is probably the best value in the city.
Guestrooms are rather spacious and each is uniquely decorated, with a mishmash of furnishings that adds up to a traditional-meets-modern charm. Beds are wrought iron or wooden and sit next to a side table, desk and dresser. Bedspreads are either whimsical toile or sophisticated brocade, and framed prints, mismatched lamps and rich draperies create a breezily stylish effect.
All rooms are equipped with a television and free Wi-Fi, and some have a mini-fridge. Studios, outfitted with a full kitchen, large mounted flat-screen TV, two double beds and room to spare, are great for groups. Some rooms have private bathrooms, but the cheapest have a sink and share bathrooms down the hall. Both private and shared baths are small, but clean and modern.
In tribute to the hotel’s musical focus, replicas of violins, trumpets and other instruments are hung along the somewhat hallways, which are also decorated with framed prints, potted plants and ivy.
Make no mistake, the Encore Express is a simple place, but it far exceeded our expectations given the rates. There’s even a bit of sophistication to the rooms. We did hear music on our tour, but for some that could be a bonus, and the studios are open from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m., so it may not be an issue if you plan to be out and about. Note that reception hours are from 9:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. (but there is a staff member on site until 2 a.m.
And speaking of “out and about,” the hotel’s location is a definite plus. It’s within walking distance of Union Square, Civic Center (and its many theaters and music venues) and the happening Polk Street, which is lined with fun bars. We should note that while it’s still technically in Nob Hill, the Encore Express is located in what’s known as the “Tendernob,” the gritty edge on of the ‘hood near where the dodgy Tenderloin begins. As long as you proceed with caution, though, it’s quite safe. Let the beat go on!
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
- Bathroom: Private
- Cable TV
About the Encore Express neighborhood
Nob Hill still drips with privilege. At its heart, Huntington Park sits across from Gothic Grace Cathedral, surrounded by upscale hotels, elegant architecture and genteel cocktail lounges that recall a bygone era. Venture west to Lower Nob Hill or north to Russian Hill and you'll find funky shops and popular bars and restaurants, especially along Hyde and Polk Streets.