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“Fun and solid for the price with some drawbacks”
Review of Hotel des Arts

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Hotel des Arts
Ranked #145 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
Reviewed June 2, 2013

I'll start this by saying I would absolutely stay at Hotel des Arts again! It was very inexpensive (for SF), and couldn't be better located - Chinatown arch is literally across the street, close to Union Square and major BART and MUNI stops. The hotel was very cute, quite unlike anyplace I've ever stayed. Each room is an art installation, and it didn't disappoint. You have to be adventurous though - ours had quite a lot of clutter as part of the "art" and made it feel less than the sterile environment most people expect in a hotel. But we loved it! The bed was extremely comfortable - nice crisp linens. It was clearly an old building and felt like it, but this didn't bother me. I found the pull-grate-door elevator pretty cool. The staff was friendly, but our interactions were admittedly minimal. Finally, free wifi was appreciated.

The drawbacks:
- As others have complained on here, there was what sounded like heavy dumpsters being emptied and dropped in a back alley at night. 3:00 AM one night, and for about a half hour. Again the next night, but much briefer. There was no sleeping through it.
- No climate control. We had to sleep with the window open, which was perfect in the cool SF nights, but were forced to close it to shut out the noise. Temps were okay, but could be uncomfortable at another time of year.
- You will hear others showering and walking above you. It's an old building. None of this disturbed me - just be prepared. Having always lived in apartments, this is nothing new to me and none of the guests were wild or disrespectful when I was there.
- I ALWAYS see free breakfast as a plus because I really appreciate saving money on one meal each day of a vacation - it adds up! However, it is really bare-bones so just be prepared. Many will opt for eating out anyway (plenty of cafes and inexpensive Chinese bakeries close by), but still I appreciated having the free option.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Kevinandrew6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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139 - 145 of 606 reviews

Reviewed May 26, 2013

Hotel is in a good location, short walk to main shops in Union Square and a good base for exploring around San Fransisco. The rooms are quiet small but the make the most of the space, quite dark as our room faced inwards towards other rooms so we felt we needed to keep our blinds closed. Basic small bathroom - sink was in a closet in the main bedroom which was a bit odd, not sure if this was normal or just a once off in our room.
We opted for a crazly painted room and loved it as it will more than likely be the only time we stay in a hotel like this!
Beds were comfortable and the internet was really good and fast.
The evelator was sometimes a bit tricky to work so we generally took the 4 flights of stairs to our room which was good excersize but the stairwell is quite small.
We loved that the halls are filled with all kinds of different art which was changed out during our stay.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank LD85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2013

Hotel des Arts is a great deal if you don't need a lot of amenities. The rooms are fun - decorated by local artists. Some are perhaps a bit scary (the room with Mao & Nixon), but overall entertaining. The bathrooms are small and minimalist. The breakfast is only toast, fruit, juice (not fresh) and coffee. Use your savings on the room and splurge around the corner at Cafe de la Presse. The rooms overlooking the back alley are terribly noisy - trash pick up at 3 am, homeless guys fighting...
The staff are VERY nice and helpful

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
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3  Thank DBH-AK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2013

This place is awful. From the paper thin walls to the "art" and some of the worst staff I have ever encountered. Have you ever had hotel staff threaten to call the police because you had a couple of friends in your room? We were told that and treated like children. This is not a hotel it is a hostel and not a very good one.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank m_jen45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

Cons: The rooms are small, particularly the bathroom (there is very little space to move around or put your stuff). It's also right beside a bar so expect lots of noise at night.

Pros: The art decor is impressive. The location is convenient (near Chinatown, several cafes and restaurants, and only a few blocks from Union Square). The staff is friendly and accommodating.

Final thoughts: I would not return however it is worth the very affordable price.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank MichelleYEG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

Stayed here for 2 nights recently and would highly recommend it. The location is convenient (about 7 minutes walk to trains), hotel staff are very helpful and the decor is fun. The included breakfast (breads, pastries, juice etc) is a nice touch.

Stayed: April 2013
Thank hapitraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

Stayed here for nine nights with my boyfriend, mum and sister. Staff and cleaning staff were all very friendly and helpful. The location was absolutely perfect, right by the Chinatown gates. The French quarter in which the hotel is located is lovely too. I didn't really like our room on the first night, but the staff let us pick another one out of rooms available, which was good. It was a lovely place to come back to after a day exploring. Breakfast is a bit basic, but coffee was fine. Could have done with a kettle in the room but c'est la vie. Have to reiterate how amazingly polite and great the cleaning staff were. It was spotless! Miss it already. Even the old fashioned elevator :)

  • Stayed: April 2013
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2  Thank CatherineElizabeth80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel des Arts

Address: 447 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #145 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
Price Range: $149 - $242 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel des Arts 2*
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel des Arts is at the crossroads of Union Square, the Financial District and the Chinatown Gate; perfect for business or pleasure. The Hotel des Arts presents the contemporary work of local artists complemented by the neutral simplicity, modern lightings and clean lines of the hotel furnishings. The result is art as an interactive experience rather than just decoration. Enjoy our complementary continental breakfast or dine in Le Central, a French Brasserie right downstairs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Des Arts Hotel
Des Arts San Francisco

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