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Red Victorian LLC
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Reviews (144)
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52 - 57 of 144 reviews
Reviewed May 1, 2012

My husband and I love San Francisco and have stayed in the Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square and Chinatown areas. We always include a half day's visit to the Haight. This time we thought we would try staying there and give the area a thorough exploration. The Red Victorian is a once in a lifetime experience... the key word here is once! The staff was outrageously friendly. The employee designated as "host" (it's written on the back of her t-shirt) will sit right down at your breakfast table and begin to ask you deep inquiring questions! This is known at the Red Vic as "breakfast conversations" and it's fun on the first day. Day two through 4 it begins to get a bit annoying. Breakfast itself was simple but good enough.

The hotel is a true Victorian with loads of history and character. It was remodeled in the late seventies and there it stays, sort of like your Uncle Steve who still wears his polyester leisure suit. We stayed in the Redwood Forest room which is in a quiet corner of the building with a private bath. I don't believe the building is air conditioned so we spent the night with window open. Like true hippies living outdoors we were awakened by the sun each morning (sheer curtains). But like the 21st century couple we are...we wanted our coffee asap. Sorry, cafe and lobby don't open until 9:00 am. I would have been happy with an open lobby serving coffee at 7am and breakfast at 9:00. The free wireless was not working on our floor and it would have been nice to sit in the lobby where wireless was available checking our email and sipping coffee. But we were here to experience life as the hippies lived it in the Summer of Love 1967 so we went with the flow.

It's true that the furnishings are old..late 1970's vintage, but everything is clean. Our bathroom was clean and functional with just a bit of rust here and there. Hippies apparently did not watch television as there was not one in any of the rooms or in the lobby. We really enjoyed peeking into all the themed rooms when the maids were cleaning...what a trip! 100 dolls peek through a window, a fish tank atop the toilet and canopies everywhere. Sami Sunchild's art is colorful and cheery and all contain inspiring messages. The wall of our themed room was covered with a Redwood Forest mural. We learned from Sami (owner and creator of the Red Vic) that the mural was out of print when she told us she came into our room while we were out to move our guitar case and luggage away from the wall lest it mar the surface of this relic. Lol. That's ok..we can dig.

During my first night on the mattress, I had the worst back spasm of my life. I've never had back problems before but after carrying my luggage up three flights of winding stairs and sleeping several hours on a hard lumpy mattress my spine began to protest. I had to phone my doctor to see if he would call in an emergency prescription of anti inflammatories and muscle relaxers. Ok, I may be a bit older than the 16-25 age range of the real hippies, but MAN this hurt! My doctor came through with the drugs and so I spent the next day high as a kite. Yep, definitely living the life of a flower child.

The Haight Ashbury area delivered its funky freaky charm as always. We met interesting people and discovered fascinating shops. Plenty of vintage clothes and oddity shops. Restaurants were mostly dash in and eat types with a couple of sit down places. We ate civilized meals at The Citrus Club and Cha Cha Cha. We walked through Golden Gate Park to the de Young museum where we saw an AWESOME exhibit of Jean Paul Gaultier fashions. When night falls the Haight gets quieter and is occupied by new age hippies wearing dreadlocks and walking with very large dogs. We had no trouble with any of them although my husband did see a homeless man break a wine bottle on a car that was attempting to park in the space where he was sorting trash.

I'm glad I experienced this place, it was exactly what I expected (minus the backache and lack of wireless). I think I've come as close to being a hippie as I want to get though. Mark that off the bucket list!

Room Tip: Redwood Forest room is quiet and has a private shower bathroom.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Victoria_Rodon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2012

My girlfriend Ali and myself just stayed at the Red Vic from Wednesday-Sunday, as I had a conference on the other side of town. The place did not feel like a hotel, it was like staying in a loving relatives home. The staff were extremely friendly, informative, and welcoming. The vibes were amazing. The art is very inspirational and breathtaking. With all this being said, this is not the ideal destination for anyone who holds extremely high standards for hospitality. If you are picky and particular about extreme cleanliness and appearance, this may not be the right place for you. In short, the Red Vic was perfect for us, but I would not recommend to the usual regular at the Ritz or the W.

We had such an amazing time, we are actually planning a trip to return ASAP (and we have family and friends in the area whom we could stay with for free). The breakfast conversation with Sami and the wonderful staff members (along with several other guests) was beyond inspirational. We met some great people whom we expect to keep in touch with. The daily breakfast they serve, in itself, was the best I've had at a bed-and-breakfast (and I'm from Cape Cod!). I highly recommend the "bountiful bagel," and the coffee was great.

If you are thinking about staying at the Red Vic, but turned-off by the notion of sharing bathrooms (have to admit I had concerns), fear not. There are plenty of bathrooms for everyone, with showers and beautiful design. One even has an aquarium in it. The inn was full for the majority of our stay, however, we did not attempt to use the bathroom or shower once while it was occupied.

I am sitting home right now and feeling homesick because I miss the Red Vic!

Sincerely,
Jimmy Handrinos

Room Tip: Make sure the bed is large enough. My only complaint is that I did not sleep well since two of us were in a double-sized bed. However, the Butterfly room was the only one available when we booked the room several weeks in advance. We really wanted to stay here and booked the room anyways (and had a great time anyway!). So my advice is to book in advance to extend your choice of room, which we will do next time (there are many rooms with larger beds). Some of the rooms we really want to stay in (after they were nice enough to show us around after checkout) are: Peacock, Rainbow, Rose garden, and Sami's poster room.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Jimmy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2012

Well, first of all, I love San Francisco, and, my favorite haunt is the Haight-Ashbury area.

I have stayed at the Red Vic multiple times, which means I obviously like it enough, I just feel like they could maybe do a little updating. Most of the rooms share several bathrooms located on the various floors. This is somewhat awkward, but never too much of a hassle.

Sami, the owner, and "Peaceful world foundation" creator, seems to have kept everything exactly the same for at least 40 years.

The themes are cute, albeit dated, and most things are down right worn out. The location is excellent, close to Golden Gate park and the Haight. The free breakfast a great plus, (a breakfast sandwhich or muffin and coffee or tea, this changed a bit the last time I was there, and there are more limited choices).

The fellow patrons are interesting, to make conversation with, and Sami can be found in the cafe many mornings talking to hotel guests.
All in all, this place is pretty cool, but the beds are so hard!

Coming home late at night, you are welcomed by a group of homeless, dreadlocked loiterers who always seem to be hanging outside the door at night.
But, the place is locked, with multiple keys and multiple doors, so I never felt unsafe.

I will likely come back, because i really like this overall vibe of this place, but i just feel that for the price of at least $110/night, an upgrade to the mattresses and pillows should be feasible, keep the old bedspreads and curtains if you must, but PLEASE, give us a better night's sleep. I have stayed in three rooms so far, and each time I go home needing my neck adjusted from the Chiropractor.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank atltoca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

My boyfriend and I chose the Red Vic in the Haight & Ashbury neighborhood when we came up to San Francisco because we wanted a very warm, welcoming environment and that is exactly what we got! It is very quirky; all the rooms have different themes and were decorated by the Inn's owner, Sami. Sami also painted most of the art hanging in the Inn. You can look at all of the rooms online which is really helpful. It is more expensive than a basic hotel, but hotels are impersonal and not what we were shooting for anyway! Before you stay, you have to keep in mind that it is an old victorian building, which comes with its own quirks. Most of the rooms don't have their own bathroom, but we never had a problem with that. In the morning, you can go downstairs to the peace-themed cafe for a complimentary breakfast and good conversation. We met a couple from northern california who were in town playing with their band (and I immediately went home and followed her vintage Etsy store), and an englishman in town for work, all introduced to us by Sami, who is always around for meals. On Sundays, she hosts a breakfast peace talk, which we absolutely loved. There were about five different couples besides us and Sami broke us all up into two separate groups to talk about the topic of the day. We would definitely go back just for that; it was wonderful. You can buy Sami's art in the cafe and take home some of the Red Vic with you. I know that we would go back in a heartbeat if we had the chance!

Room Tip: Check out the rooms on the website so you can book exactly what you're looking for!
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank austenkate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2012

We wanted a real old time SF experience and we got it at the Red Vic and really felt we were part of the Haight for 3 days.

Certainly not glamorous or the cutest B&B we have been to in our lives but the people working there were great, it was very interesting breakfast conversations led by Danielle who did a great job incorporating our 15 year old girls, the breakfast which was included was good and fresh and healthy and of course, an interesting tie to the past w/ Sami presiding over the cafe.

Checked in late so keys were left in the lock box and we had no problem getting in. Stayed in the Peacock Suite which was plenty big for parents and two 15 year old girls, used the showers in the hallway (always hot water and never had to wait) for all three days and it was fine, Very funky and fun decor and it was good for 3 days but happy to move on as well.

Was directly in the middle of the Haight and we lacked for nothing for things to do. Golden Gate Park is only 2 blocks away and we rented bikes nearby on Stanyan at the corner of the park, vistited the conservatory which is only a 10 minute walk, discovered the little village of Cole Valley which is only 5 blocks away, this is where the N train is located which is the primary, fast metro to downtown, a fresh crepe place, a late night Italian meal that was terrific, a little french bakery, a few coffee shops and a bit more upscale than Haight Asbury.

Buses in front of the Red Vic for a couple of trips @ and no shortage of shopping or restaurants. a very nice intro to SF and we then moved downstown which was positive as well. Kudos to the staff for making us feel like part of the family.

Room Tip: Check out the aquarium bathroom as does it really flush out of the fish bowl?
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank MysticKid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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