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“Solid, Kitschy and Comfy Retro Motel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Phoenix Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel

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Phoenix Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   601 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA 94109   |  
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Asian Art Museum VIP
Ranked #24 of 234 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
USA
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Solid, Kitschy and Comfy Retro Motel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

While the Tenderloin is sketchy and often depressing, Phoenix Hotel was a good and affordable place to hang out and rest my head during my business trip to San Francisco. The Internet was free and strong. The employees were gracious and helpful. And the room was spacious.

You do hear other guests but that's more a factor of the glass windows facing the courtyward and the general classic outdoor hallway motel design. But it's minimal and I didn't find it distracting.

It was unusual to check in on a Sunday and have a full blown club turn up in the courtyard complete with thumping bass and flowing booze but it just added to the ambiance of the uniqueness of the hotel.

It's not the most kid-friendly place but the pool is a perk and I did see a number of European families at the hotel.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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655 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 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
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

Very cool place to stay. Staff is nice and very helpful. The rooms all view the pool and are very comfortable and decorated very nice. Amazingly comfortable bed. This isn't a super quiet location, but didn't bother me at all. I'll stay there again.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

Everything was great! We stayed over 4th of July Weekend and we were so pleased! Katie (sorry if I got the name wrong as I was pretty much always with cocktail in hand), Lauren and the Gentlemen at night were always so helpful and nice! Parking was a bit tricky with the 4th of July party that went on but night staff was cool about taking my keys and parking it for us! And hey, free parking in the City? Awesome! Saigon Sandwich is just across the street, great pool, comfy beds and pillows, neat decor and tvs that will let you hook up Nintendo? YES PLEASE! I really enjoyed my time in the City because I knew I had a great place to come back to after a long day of vacationing. Oh yeah, I mentioned when making the reservation that it was a special romantic getaway and there was a bottle of champagne and rose petals on the bed. : ) I own a B&B and know what it takes to make people smile. So, a big thank you to everyone at The Phoenix! Hope this place never changes.

Room Tip: We were in 42. It was great!
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Atascadero, California, United States
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

My husband and I travel infrequently. When we stay in hotels, we like to find spaces that are unique in some way while being a good value: the Phoenix surpassed our expectations.

Our check-in experience was excellent. The two gentlemen at the desk were genuinely friendly which made for a welcoming atmosphere. During our visit, most of the staff went out of their way to help us with directions, calling cabs, and even promptly delivering our missing "do not disturb" sign (which cleverly read: "Shhh...recording in progress"). At most of the hotels we have stayed, the staff is generally courteous but not necessarily down-to-earth nice like the folks at the Phoenix: this was refreshing.

This historic property has been updated to include modern technology such as wide-screen television, plenty of outlets for charging smart devices, energy saving appliances and bulbs, and iPhone docking/radio stations. These amenities complement a mix of contemporary furnishings such as molded chairs, modern-looking desks, and au current draperies, along with sixties-style dressers, retro bathroom tiles, and charming batik wall hangings. Poolside decor included a similar mix of old-and-new to create a warm yet hip environment.

We visited the in-house restaurant, Chambers, and ordered the Truffle Ricotta small bite--absolutely delicious! The ambience is, again, a blend of retro and modern, with contemporary food, drink, design, and furnishings surrounded by shelves filled with hundreds (maybe thousands!) of vinyl records. We were seated next to the facing "Led Zeppelin I" album, which, as musicians ourselves and fans of the band, we thought was rather serendipitous.

Many reviews talk about the location as "dangerous" but I disagree. The hotel is in a large, world-class city, situated in a typical American urban melting pot with the courthouse nearby as well as old bars, hotels, and food joints next to hip coffee houses, upscale salons, and the Clift hotel with its opulent Redwood Room. Yes, one is bound to encounter some unsavory characters on the street, but the majority of people on the street are folks who have normal, everyday lives in the area, as well as many business people and visitors. I did not feel afraid, simply "on alert" as I would be in any inner-city area, welcoming the change from life in a bedroom community.

The Phoenix hotel provided a fun, friendly space to stay while exploring the area. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a retro-meets-modern urban experience. The property has real character, unlike many of the other chain hotels, plus free on-site parking, making it an excellent value in a centralized location. My husband and I will stay again at the Phoenix.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Phoenix_mgmt, Manager at Phoenix Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, July 27, 2014
Dear SharineCalifornia,

We're so happy to have guests like yourselves strike an instant and resonating chord with this place. While we've updated rooms and amenities to match the needs of the modern traveler, we still pride ourselves on what brought us our reputation: one-of-a-kind rock-n-roll atmosphere, friendly, warm and genuine staff, at a location that allows guests to adventure the hidden gems of this beautiful vibrant city. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, and we look forward to welcoming you back to an even better experience in the near future!

Cheers,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

Hotel staff were really helpful and friendly. Hotel was clean, but decor was slightly tired. There was a party whilst we stayed, it was incredibly noisy all night with drunk guests (hotel advised us 4 days before we arrived it would be taking place). If you have small children it isn't suitable as the pool is not secure and is very deep. Be warned if you stay on a Sunday night the bar and the restaurant are closed. The city area the hotel is located is quite down and out. Would we stay again - probably not.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

I absolutely love this hotel, very cool funky ( in a good way ) artsy vibe! Sure it's a renovated motor lodge from the 50's but that just adds to the charm! It's in a better part of the tenderloin, not sketchy at night- and! Free parking in SF! Which is a must for me when staying in the city- very nice accommodating staff and good value! I just found my new fave place to stay when visiting family in the city!

Stayed July 2014
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Phoenix_mgmt, Front Office Manager at Phoenix Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, July 10, 2014
Dear Saraisis17,

We're always happy when a newcomer discovers us and makes that instant connection with the vibe, the people, and the surroundings. While we're not a 5-star hotel, we pride ourselves on providing a one-of-a-kind experience to our guests with amenities that are unique and service that is personal, friendly, and genuine. Thank you for taking the time to write about your stay, and we look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Cheers ~
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Orlando, Florida
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2014 via mobile

A few positives first, the staff was very patient and nice, room was clean and free parking.
Main problems with "Hotel" is that it is a 1/2 refurbished motel from the 50s. All the street noise and hotel neighbor noises carry into your room. Also, the bathrooms need to be gutted and redone.
Now, I would have been ok with the above even with the price we paid for the hotel but the neighborhood it is in, is NOT safe! I told the front desk person this and she said .... "well it's the Tenderloin area"
there are homeless people everywhere! your walk to civic center, to union square,golden gate park....you are surrounded! some homeless people were nice others drunk, crazy and would follow and yell at you. I saw NO police except for a funeral procession.
So.... if you get anything out if this review DO NOT stay in the tenderloin area unless you feel you can protect yourself if anything happens.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
PhoenxHotelGM, General Manager at Phoenix Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, June 26, 2014
Dear Sora21,
Dear Chris,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay with us, rest assure that I have taken your comments to heart and will work with my teams to improve service at our hotel.
The hotel was built in the late 50's, and the decor is set to hopefully match that era, with a few modern touches. We strive to do all within our power to keep the hotel in tip top shape, but as you can imagine a building this old does come with some challenges, such as sound proofing. However, we will continue to look for new ways to improve our building and the all around guest experience here and your feedback is of great value to us.

I appreciate your concerns with regard to the local street life and can assure you it is a weight we all feel. You'll be glad to know that after raising over 3.6 million dollars in support of the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Coalition over the past 21 years, we are steadfast as ever in our resolve to clean up the streets and continue working to build a healthier community. We would appreciate your help in reaching out to the Mayor's office by sharing your concerns at http://www.sfmayor.org/index.aspx?page=7. Meanwhile, our staff is on hand 24 hours to ensure a secure environment for our guests and assist with safe walking routes to all nearby destinations.
I hope some day to be able to welcome you back to a new and improved property as well as neighborhood.
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Additional Information about Phoenix Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel

Address: 601 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#25 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#27 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#58 Business Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Phoenix Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Funky, irreverent, and young-at-heart, The Phoenix Hotel caters to touring bands and travelers with a creative spirit. A 44 room mid-century motor lodge with a lush courtyard and heated outdoor pool. It's an oasis in the heart of San Francisco on the edge of the gritty Tenderloin and three blocks from City Hall. Guests get complimentary onsite parking and a poolside coffee, tea and muffins to start the day. Art from local artists decorates the rooms and the courtyard gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Phoenix Hotel, a Joie De Vivre Hotel Hotel San Francisco
Phoenix Hotel San Francisco
Phoenix San Francisco

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