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“a delightful, unique San Francisco experience”

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Hotel Rex, a Joie de Vivre hotel
Ranked #55 of 227 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“a delightful, unique San Francisco experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2012

This was our third time to stay at the Rex, and we've enjoyed it each time. We purposefully seek out boutique-style hotels rather than the chains. Rex has so much character and is so charming! The building is old - which we enjoy - but well kept. We are always sure to stay over on a Friday night so that we can enjoy the weekly live jazz music in the lobby. Adding to the charm was Rex's mascot, Max the pug. We have our own pug at home, so we felt even more at home seeing Max sprawled out and snoring in the lobby. There is a daily free wine happy hour, which is very nice. Their daily breakfast buffet is excellent and expansive, as well as being fairly priced.

Make sure you end up with an air conditioner in your room, however, if you are sensitive to heat. On this particular stay of ours, we were given a room without one - we Texans just cannot deal without our AC. We called the front desk to ask about it, and someone was up at our room within 5 minutes to swap our key and escort us to another room with an AC. Excellent service!

We love the location of Rex within the city of SF, as it's just a couple of blocks away from Union Square. Other hotels with this type of proximity to Union Square charge double the rates. If you'd like to stay a bit closer to the wharf and a bit further from the action, we could also recommend Hotel Carlton which is owned by the same company as Rex.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Melissa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,560 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (225)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2012

A really comfortable place to base your weekend in SF. A bit artsy and oozes character - subtly. The rooms at the back are really quiet day or night. But you're still two short blocks from Union Square. Reasonably small hotel; the staff are courteous and helpful. We had dinner Friday night in the hotel bar - The Library. There was live jazz on Friday night and we discovered that about 2/3 the people in the bar were locals - who are quite friendly. Even the singer came and said hi to us after she'd finished.

Powell St streetcar is half a block from the hotel, though we walked to the Pier 1 area in about 15 minutes (great farmers' market on Saturday morning).

The hotel is about 5 minutes' walk from the Powell St BART station. For a cheapskate like me, that's a great airport connection. Plus, taking BART rather than a taxi saves 10lb of carbon emissions per journey. Plus it saves $20, plus it saves 30 minutes during rush hour, ...

Food options abound. Lots of Thai restaurants around the corner

Room Tip: Ask for a room at the back, away from the street. We didn't hear a sound in that room all weeke...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BobLTex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
74 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2012

Booked through Jetsetter so value was great. Had a suite. Very spacious and comfortable. Almost like going back in time. Great location for Union Square. Only reason for less than perfect is because of some loud clanging noise through out the night.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rita T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
46 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2012

We stayed at this hotel in December for a wedding and it was my favorite place I've stayed in San Francisco in probably 10 years. The building (and the hotel) is older; as can be heard by the neighbors flushing their toilets or turning on their sinks. There is so much charm at this hotel from the rooms to the elevator, the lobby and the staff. The hotel staff were so amazing, helpful, and so friendly. The location is great! Highly recommend this place to anyone staying in San Francisco. You can stay at a larger hotel or a bigger more well-known chain, but you will miss out on the charm of San Francisco.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malibu, California
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2011

I have stayed several times at the Rex this year, and it has become my hotel of choice in San Francisco. It is a wonderful boutique well-located in the heart of San Francisco. The interiors are lovely, tastefully designed in the theme of literary San Francisco. There chic but comfortable chairs in the Library Bar/lobby with wonderful coffee table books for perusal, as well volumes for bedtime reading. On the landing of each floor is a quote by a celebrated local authors. The elevator has very cleverly been papered in pages from the Social Register. The Library Bar is a great place to have a drink, lunch, dinner, or an ample buffet breakfast! Terrific food, nice wines by the glass. The rooms are chic, impeccably clean, have nice linens, toiletries, etc. Rooms, halls, common areas are all well-maintained and look brand new. All of the staff are friendly and helpful. Unlike a lot of hotels, they seem to stay as well. So you're always greeted by a familiar face. Including Max the pug, the hotel mascot (and occasional valet). I look forward to my next trip to SF!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Coast California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2011

Hotel Rex is one of those great finds--a charming, comfortable hotel in downtown San Francisco. Rhenna at the Front Desk had an amazing memory regarding the guests. And she never seemed to tire of answering their questions. She's a great asset to the hotel.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Denise09_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, NM
Level Contributor
95 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 24, 2011

The Rex is well located in San Francisco, a couple of blocks from Union Square and near plenty of shopping and restaurants. But the delightful front desk staff notwithstanding, its location is the best part of the Rex experience. Free wine at the end of the day and a long list of amenities including free wi-fi do not diminish the monastic, claustrophobic experience of the dark hallways and the tiny rooms, rooms without views or sunlight to announce the dawn. For me a hotel can make or break a vacation or a business trip; the Rex broke mine. Having had an outstanding experience at the Vitale, another San Francisco Joie de Vivre property, I expected a similar visit to the Rex. Unfortunately, the two hotels are night and day, with the Vitale being the day, and the Rex the night...even during the day. If you care little about your room's size and cheerfulness, if you are simply looking for a place to drop your bags and fall asleep at night, the Rex might work for you. But if you are looking for a hotel in which to relax, to which you look forward to returning at the end of a busy day, look beyond the Rex.

Room Tip: I was told at the front desk that for a slight increase in room rate larger rooms are available but...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SantaFeB
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

Property: Hotel Rex, a Joie de Vivre hotel
Address: 562 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94102-1102
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
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:
#10 Spa Hotel in San Francisco
#26 Business Hotel in San Francisco
#47 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#56 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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