Doubles from: $59 to $199
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
Part art gallery, part hotel and all magnifique, the Hotel des Arts offers great cheapo rates and a central location, with pizazz to boot. Situated across the street from the Chinatown gate, a five-minute walk from North Beach, and a hop, skip and a brush stroke from Union Square, this simple but sleek two-star art hotel has “fashionable” painted all over it.
Each of the hotel’s 43 rooms has been decorated by a different local artist. Picture an Asian motif of flowing skirts, florals and the San Francisco skyline in the Sam Flores room, or Alayna’s (the mind behind the Sexy Ink Girls clothing line) bikini-clad cowgirl with turquoise hair flowing over to the adjacent wall. (And don’t even ask us about Anthony Skirvin’s “unabomber room.”) There are also soothing rooms, abstract rooms, cartoon-y rooms and a room done all in grafitti.
Even the door hangers at the Hotel des Arts have an playful edge—a woman’s legs in sexy heels exclaim “I like it dirty” (translation: “Do not Disturb”) on one side, while on the other side a man hanging boxers on the line has “I like it clean” scrawled across his rear end. Because of all this color, furnishings are understandably simple and stark: pure white bedding, small bedside tables, a simple desk with metal chair. All rooms are equipped with a television, phone, mini-fridge, microwave and free Wi-Fi.
Some private bathrooms are sleek and modern, with black sinks and glassed-in showers, while other have old-fashioned claw-foot tubs. The cheapest rooms have sinks only and share bathrooms down the hall, but all are provided with toiletries.
The quietest rooms face the interior of the building, overlooking a small, mural-covered courtyard. Guests in the rooms that open directly onto the courtyard have access to it when the hotel is not hosting small events here. A few suites—including one by Shepard Fairy (of Obama-poster fame), have a full bedroom plus a living room with futon, great for groups.
The mod lobby, the hallways and stairwells throughout the hotel serve as an art gallery, open to the public. The des Arts hosts art shows and events, and a majority of the pieces are for sale—and are affordable.
Continental breakfast is included in the room rate. Note that the bar in the neighboring alley can get noisy at night. Also note that the bar sometimes offers discounts to hotel guests (if you can’t beat ‘em...).
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.
- Breakfast Included
- Reception: 24-Hour
- Wi-Fi: Free
- Bathroom: Private
- Bathtubs Available
- Cable TV
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447 Bush Street
Union Square, San Francisco, United States
About the Hotel Des Arts neighborhood
The heart of San Francisco’s downtown area, Union Square is named for the park that was once the site of pro-Union rallies during the Civil War. These days, it’s a shopper’s paradise, home to department stores, upscale boutiques, tourist shops and salons. Just off the park, you’ll find Chinatown to the north and a cluster of theaters and art galleries to the west. The area is also a transportation and hotel hub.