We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“San Frans best kep secret” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 10 more sites!
Save
You added Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel to your Saves list
Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1075 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109   |  
Hotel website
  |  
Hotel packages
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Announcement
Close to Everything
Ranked #35 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
adelaide
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“San Frans best kep secret”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

fantastic older renovated place to stay

well located within easy walking distance to union square and the cable cars

the staff are exceptionally helpfull and welcoming

the daily happy drinks (wine from 530pm to 600pm) is a hoot with theo acting out his altoego as a rock god/singer

good sized rooms with all facilities

Saha's restaurant on the lobby level is great for middle eastern fusion foods

have been staying here for over 10 years both solo and as a couple (my wife loves the place!!)

Room Tip: higher up is a bit quieter
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Hotel M, Manager at Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Thank you for an outstanding review! We are thrilled to hear how much you enjoyed your stay. OUr nightly wine reception is definitely one-of-a-kind, and we are pleased that you enjoyed it so much! We hope that you'll continue to choose the Hotel Carlton upon future visits to San Francisco, and we look forward to your return!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,915 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    805
    760
    249
    71
    30
See reviews for
219
853
118
198
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 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 (309)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

My wife, my 18-month-old son and I spent a week at this clean and charming hotel and absolutely loved it. The overall atmosphere of this hotel is very welcoming and it's family-friendly. It's in a safe area and it's only a short walk away from a variety restaurants, shops and many attractions. The walls are a bit thin, but the beds are super comfortable, so you end up sleeping like a baby! The staff provided a mini fridge upon request, which was great when travelling with a toddler. It is an environmentally-friendly hotel, which was a plus for our family. I tried the breakfast at Saha once and although it was a bit pricey, the portions were generous, which allowed me to share the meal with my son. We loved the wine receptions in the evening - it gave us a chance to chat with the staff and other visitors.The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful (they helped us to map our visit, make arrangements to the airport, etc). They really felt like family by the time we left San Fran!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel M, Manager at Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Thank you for a fantastic review! We are elated to hear how much you and your family enjoyed your stay. The Saha Restaurant is certainly a treat, and we are pleased that you enjoyed it so much. We hope that you'll join us again soon, and we look forward to your return!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile


Overall the hotel is good, the elevator is very old, rooms could be a little better.

On the other hand, the location is very good, near union square and away from honeless concentration. You can walk to and from union square without troubble.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Hotel M, Manager at Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Thank you for a great review! We are happy to hear how much you enjoyed your stay. We apologize if anything was not up to your expectations. We hope that you'll join us again soon, and we look forward to your return!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

We had booked two night in the king room. The first night was tough because we had loud people on either side of us with paper thin walls. Upon checking with the front desk about the noise level the next morning, without delay we were upgraded to a deluxe queen that had more room and less noise from our neighbors. The staff was very nice and accommodating. That being said, one let down was discovering upon check-in that there was an additional parking charge per night for valet of $35/night. I expected to pay for parking in downtown San Francisco, but was surprised at the cost and lack of options. Overall it's a great old hotel, but next time we'd go with a newer hotel.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Hotel M, Manager at Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Thank you for your review! We sincerely apologize if there were any inconveniences or surprises during your stay. Our building was built in the 1920's, and we feel the style is quite charming! We hope that you'll give us another chance to show you why our world-class-guest-service is so worth it. We look forward to your return, and hope to see you again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorba Linda, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

I've been staying at the Hotel Carlton for my monthly weekend trips to San Francisco for at least a couple of years. The staff are friendly and genuine and more than helpful. The rooms are cozy (it's a refurbished older hotel), but comfortable, clean, and a good value if there's not a convention in town. The hotel has got an international theme and its got an "adverturous world traveler" vibe. I choose to stay here for many reasons. If the Hilton or Marriott are starting to feel a little impersonal to you, perhaps this place will help you break the habit.

I like the fact that this hotel chain - Joie de Vivre - "gets it" and is energy conscious (solar panels on the roof) and has recycling bins in each room. They don't set out those little bottles to avoid the unecessary waste, so if you're a collector. . .not your kind of place. Instead the body wash, shampoo and conditioner is in convenient dispensers in the shower. Works for me and wish more hotels did that.

Besides the comfortable enough bed, each room has a desk, a flat screen TV and a collection of eclectic off-the-beaten-path travel photos on the walls. The closet (light turns on automatically) has an iron and ironing board, a safe and a hairdryer on the shelf. In the bedroom, there is also a ceiling fan and radiator for comfort control. The windows are open-able and for most days in San Francisco, that's all you need. However, if you're there during a rare heat wave, then it might get dicey. But I haven't had such a problem yet. Once in a blue moon the radiator kicks on to provide heat.

The location is in the Tendernob (the juncture of the Tenderloin and Nob Hill). Its safe, but don't venture south on Larkin towards Market unless you're adventurous. Any other direction is fine. Go west on Sutter to get to Japantown, north to Nob Hill, northeast to Chinatown, east to Union Square and southeast to Market Street. It's convenient to many places if you don't mind walking (I don't). There are a variety of restaurants on Polk street a few blocks away and Union Square is about six blocks down Sutter and one block south on Powell to the east. I walk to Powell and Market from the Carlton frequently (about 11 blocks) and it takes me about 20 minutes, so it's probably about a mile away. That's where the nearest BART station is, unless you're game to walk south down Hyde to UN Plaza on Market through the Tenderloin, a kind of run-down area with panhandlers and bars.

Do yourself a favor and ditch the car in San Francisco - its less expensive that way and you'll see more of the city by taking the mass transit (like the Muni). Parking at the Hotel Carlton is a hassle. It's just the area.

The Carlton has a free wine event for guests most nights with music supplied by their staff or sometimes a guest like a chamber group they had once. Fun and a great way to meet others staying at the hotel and swap stories.

The Saha restaurant off the lobby is excellent. I hadn't encountered Yemeni cuisine before, but I've enjoyed every meal I've had there. They know what they're doing. Try the "foul" for breakfast, a kind of thick wake-up soup made of fava beans, chickpeas and other things, served warm with an egg and fresh pita bread - great tasting fuel for the day and something completely different for breakfast.

Some hotels in the Fisherman's Wharf area or Market Street corridor can get noisy, but as long as you're in a higher floor at the Carlton, you won't have noise problems. Just the occassional siren (you're in a dense city, don't forget).

All in all, I would recommend the Hotel Carlton if you want to see more of San Francisco outside the touristy Union Square-Chinatown-Fisherman's Wharf areas. Those places are fine - you'll see them - but here you can soak in a different vibe from those spots (and save a little money too).

Room Tip: Higher floors are a little less noisy (less noise from the street). Each room is unique in its shape...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Hotel M, Manager at Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Thank you for an outstanding review! We are beyond thrilled to hear how much you enjoyed your stay. Your attention to detail is certainly helpful to us, and to our future guests. It sounds like you really took advantage of our location, and the convenience we share with the rest of the city. We hope that you'll join us again soon, and we look forward to your return!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aurora, Colorado
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

My husband and I had five nights books at Hotel Carlton, however our trip was cut short due to a family emergency. After one night we had to check out in a hurry. Emily, at the front desk asked if we were sure we wanted to check out since we had four more nights booked. We explained we had to fly home. Romero was also at the front desk. He asked how he could help. We said we needed a cab to take us to the airport. He suggested the hotel car service. The car service arrived within 5 minutes. We were only charged for the one night stay since we had booked the hotel directly. Emily expressed her concern, then said what else can I do. I asked her if she could print our boarding passes. The expression of concern and compassion from both Romero and Emily was genuine and deeply appreciated. Some day we'll be back to have our San Francisco vacation. Yes, we will stay at Hotel Carlton.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Hotel M, Manager at Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Thank you for a wonderful review! We are thrilled to hear how much you enjoyed your stay. We hope that your emergency was taken care of, and we are so pleased that we could make you comfortable during your stay. Emilie and Romero will certainly be recognized for their efforts in assisting you! We look forward to your return, and hope to see you again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013 via mobile

I just wanted to say my husband and I had a great time at your hotel. We were on our honeymoon and I happened to trip and hurt my ankle and your staff made me feel so comfortable and were very helpful. Emily was amazing to switch us to a first floor hotel and Theo and Edgar was amazing as well. They offered to order us food in so that my husband and I didn't have to leave much and put stress on my ankle. But we still enjoyed our time on our honeymoon and your Hotel and all your staff was simple AMAZING. I can't wait to return and enjoy time again at your wonderful hotel. Thank you again!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Hotel M, Manager at Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Thank you for a fantastic review! We are so sorry about your ankle, and we are pleased to hear that we could make you so comfortable during that difficult time. Theo and Edgar will certainly be recognized for their efforts in assisting you! We hope that you'll join us again, and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel

Address: 1075 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in San Francisco
#26 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#35 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#53 Business Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 161
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historic Hotel Carlton offers an international ambiance paired with outstanding guest service. Built in 1927, this nine-story San Francisco hotel is 3 blocks from the California Street cable car line, 6 blocks from Union Square, 8 blocks from the main entrance to Chinatown and 9 blocks from Civic Center. Complimentary evening wine receptions are held in Hotel Carlton's lobby nightly and feature live music from local artists. In addition, Hotel Carlton provides complimentary wireless internet to all guests; upgraded bandwidth is also available (surcharge applies). Recently renovated, all 161 non-smoking guestrooms at Hotel Carlton feature remodeled bathrooms including decorative floor and wall tiling, new vanities and sinks. The public spaces showcase cross-cultural design that incorporates treasures from Africa, India, Nepal, Laos and Asia. Our restaurant Saha features award-winning Arabic Fusion cuisine. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Orbitz, Expedia, Cheap Tickets, HotelTravel.com, TripOnline SA, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Priceline, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Carlton Hotel San Francisco
Hotel Carlton San Francisco

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.