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“We loved the Hotel Rex” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Rex, a Joie de Vivre hotel

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Hotel Rex, a Joie de Vivre hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   562 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94102   |  
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Ranked #37 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
Silver Spring, MD
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“We loved the Hotel Rex”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2005

My fiance and I stayed at the Rex at the end of July, and had a great experience. I was attending a conference around the corner at the Westin on Union Square, which was a bit too pricey, even with the conference rate discount. We booked a room through the Hotel Rex website, and managed to get a deluxe queen for 119.00/night with a choice of free breakfast or parking. Since we rarely eat breakfast, and most hotels in the area charge at least 35-40/day for parking, we opted for the latter.

The staff is extremely friendly and welcoming. They were happy to check us in a few hours early (we were exhausted from a very early morning flight from DC), and seemed like a jolly bunch. The room was on the small side (typical in city hotels), but perfectly adequate, with a wardrobe/closet, desk, minibar, chair, and very comfortable queen-sized bed. (Great cotton bedding, too.) Though it wasn't really hot enough for A/C, we'd just left a heat wave in DC and were in the mood to be COLD, and the room's window unit did the trick. (I don't usually care much for window A/C units, but this one was new and worked really well without being too loud.) The room's decor was charming; interesting art in the room and bathroom, unusual lamps, and a just a wonderful uniqueness to the place. Very appealing and cozy.

The bathroom was older, but perfectly functional and spacious. Nice thick towels and Aveda tolietries are a welcome touch. The room was extremely quiet--we never heard any other guests, though the place was fully booked--and every staff member we dealt with, from the check-in staff to the bartender to the maid, was friendly.

There's a very cute little bar called the Vicious Circle (the hotel has a literary theme) downstairs, and guests are invited to have a free glass of wine between 5 and 6 each night. We didn't eat in the restaurant, but the menu looked interesting and affordable, and the place seemed to be doing a very good business. We would definitely stay there again. The location is excellent and the room was great. It's a charming place.

(The Theatre Too cafe across the street has great morning coffee and cheap internet access, and we had a delicious lunch at the Cafe Persimmon next door to the Rex. There are loads of bars, restaurants, coffeehouses, diners, and shops in the immediate area--it's in the heart of the theatre district--so it's very convenient. Enjoy!)

  • Stayed July 2005, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,177 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (145)
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English first
New York, NY
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
315 helpful votes 315 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2005

There's no doubt that for a great value in the Union Square area, you can't really go wrong with this hotel. That being said - the other reviews for this hotel seem a little overdone. Sure, this is a nice little place, but it's not all THAT nice, and we were just a touch let down after reading all these reviews.

The public spaces in the hotel are pretty dark and a little worn on the edges, and you can tell that it's an old buildling. Athough it's been redone, the dark lobby/bar area look like it was once a hip and cool hangout that's a little past its prime. Still, it's a nice enough place to get a drink and sit.

Our room was clean and comfortable, and had some of the kitschy touches that we look for out of the Joie de Vivre and Kimpton hotel chains. For whatever reason, the room had a slight bizarre odor to it - almost like it was once a smoker's room that was never aerated fully. The bed was VERY comfortable, and the homey bathroom looked like it could have been in someone's house rather than a hotel. Overall, the fixtures in the room are nothing special and for some reason, we were expecting a little bit ... newer? nicer?

But given the price of our room, we had no right to expect more. This was a GREAT value, and while I'd probably try another hotel if I was in the area again, I do recommend it for anyone looking for a Union Square room under $150 per night.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, PA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2005

Our first trip to SF, I chose the Hotel Rex based largely upon the reviews on this site, and we were not disappointed. The location, as many other reviewers have mentioned, is excellent. Close enough to Union Square to be easy and convenient, yet enough on the edge of the neighborhood to be quiet and non-bustling.

The artsy, literary motif is pleasant and relaxing, the room cozy and inviting. Jazz CDs in the room were a nice touch, the decor is interesting and attractive, and the bed was one of the most comfortable I've experienced in any hotel. We didn't interact too much with the staff, though they were helpful and friendly whenever we engaged them. The onsite restaurant served a great breakfast, though we didn't eat dinner there based on the limited menu.

No place is perfect... I can easily overlook the tiny elevator, the noisy air conditioner, and the sound of garbage trucks in the street at 7 am, but I do have one complaint.... Note to staff: Please clean up the pile of cigarette butts on the fire escape outside the bathroom window. I'm coming back next year to make sure you've done this!!

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2005

Hi everybody:

I have never taken the time to write a review but Hotel Rex deserves it. I live in Mexico, and anybody who's been there knows Mexico has excellent service so I like to be treated well. I went with my parents so we stayed at one of the two suites the hotel has, it was incredibly large, the beds were wonderful, the pillows were excellent, the service ohhh my God, the concierge was excellent at getting us reservations for dinner every night on short notice like for the Zuni Cafe and the really nice places. Breakfast at Cafe Andree is delicious, well any time you eat there is great, turn down service every night, complementary wine every night, really attentive staff. I can't even begin to tell you how we enjoyed our stay there, the decoration is ecclectic and somewhat odd but it's fun. The hotel is conveniently located a block away from Union Square, in the middle of the theatre district, close to everything.

My parents and I reccomend it to everybody!! Hotel Rex is a sure bet for a great stay in San Francisco!

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2005

This was the cutest hotel! My husband and I stayed there for a weekend get away for our anniversary. I loved the literary theme, and the decor was nice. The rooms are a little small, but this is common in SF. They were very clean and I loved the two jazz cd's they provided in the room. The restaurant is magnificent -- I highly recommend the portobello mushroom eggs benedict thing.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle, wa
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2005

Finding a hotel in SF is tough. I saw the good reviews here and gave it a try. The price was ok, but bear in mind the parking fee is $40/night. As this is typical in SF, I didn't get too upset about this. I later found that they parked my car on some street (covered in dew, flower petals), so someone got a pretty good deal on that! The room was small, but clean, looked like it had recently been remodeled. The location is the key selling point. About 3 blocks from Union Square, 3 blocks from Chinatown gate, and a pretty safe nighttime walk in either direction. We were on the 2nd floor, and I must admit there was considerable street noise (glass bottle recycling seemed to occur both mornings of our stay), but hey, what do you expect in a downtown hotel? We didn't spend much time in the hotel other than sleeping, but the staff seemed nice, the restaurant looked good.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2005

We stayed at the Hotel Rex for a weekend getaway and were very impressed. The staff was outstanding, assisting us with all our requests. The Rex Hotel is located central to everything you would want to see either by foot or on San Francisco's famous trolleys. The only reason I would not give this Hotel top billing is the rooms are slightly smaller than other more modern hotels but the price is a whole lot smaller so well worth the minor comprimise. The Rex is styled in a 1920s literary lounge and it fulfills that ambiance exquisitely with a quiet lounge/bar area hosting a nightly wine tasting. The Rex Hotel was a big part of making our short trip one of the best weekend excursions my wife and I have taken, and we've been on quite a few. I would highly recommend this hotel to couples looking to have a wonderful getaway with nice ambiance and a great location to do anything in town. As you have probably heard in other reviews, leave the car at home if possible and don't bother renting. Parking is expensive and public transportation or cabs are a better deal.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Rex, a Joie de Vivre hotel

Address: 562 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in San Francisco
#19 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#31 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#62 Family Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Rex, a Joie de Vivre hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 94
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Rex was inspired by the San Francisco art and literary salons of the 1920's and 30's. Vibrant and alive, the clubby lobby surrounds guests with distinctive period furnishings, walls of antiquarian books, and an exceptional collection of exotic objects and original portraits and murals.The Hotel Rex was designed by noted San Francisco interior designers Candra Scott & Anderson.The Library Bar is where travelers meet the local arts and social scene with themed evenings such as Movie Night, Records at Rex - our bartender plays real vinyl records, Live Jazz on Friday and other days featuring Poetry readings, live coffee house type acoustic guitar performances and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rex Hotel San Francisco
Hotel Rex San Francisco
Rex San Francisco

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