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“Warm homey deco, but chilly welcome”
Review of San Remo Hotel

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San Remo Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Sceaux, France
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Warm homey deco, but chilly welcome”
Reviewed October 5, 2006

We stayed at the San Remo for 5 days in september 2006.

For the positive points, we enjoyed being up in North Beach, with quick acces to Fishermans wharf. The F trolley line, over on Beach street ( a few minutes away), got us around downtown. Cable car station is also a block or so away.

Many beautiful Italian restaurants nearby . Theres also a Safeway up the street, and Trader Joes.

The hotel was beautiful and it was a treat to roam around and browse in. We shared the toilets and showers, and found them to be cean.

Our room was also clean, and was visted daily for housekeeping.

On the negative side, We most regretted the welcome. We saw at least 4 or 5 different employees at the front desk. They were professional, but without much warmth or even
a friendly word..Even a " Hello" or " Good Night " from us in passing gave little or no reponse. For a first visit to San Francisco, it would have been nice to see a smile .

Then the basic room w/o a sink is tiny.There's a small window, that opened only halfway for air; we had to keep the ceiling fan going. It was tricky to store some of our gear, in the small quarters.

I also note that the walls are thin. Noise comes throughtoo easily.

To sum it up, beautiful place, wonderful location. But, the welcome wagon needs to be worked on!

Stayed September 2006
4 Thank babakool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, UK
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2006

I was intrigued by the San Remo Hotel reviews on this site and have to say that I was not disappointed with my choice.
The twin room was tiny, and with little room for our suitcases, but it was clean and well equipped with heather and cealing fan.
The communal showers and toilets were impeccably clean at any time of the day or night, and they are also victorian style as the rest of the building. Very well kept.
We had an external room with a sink, which is alway handy, but I don't think I would have liked one of the internal rooms, as they only have a window onto the landing, and being the rooms so small the air can get very stuffy.
The hotel has an internet station which charges a min of $5 but gives you 30mins use for that sum, which is very good value compared with the other stations I used during our holiday.
There are plenty or restaurants and brekfast places around, the cable car is just around the corner (with a new starbucks which is about to open right next to it) and Fisherman's warf is four blocks down the road.
The hotel has steep stairs and no lift so it is not suitable for disabled or elderly guests.

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank carlottaghigi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2006

The San Remo hotel is a great pick for budget travelers who appreciate the upsides of charming/old-world accomodations (antique furniture/general 19-th century San Francisco vintage ambience) and don't mind the downsides (shared bathrooms, tiny rooms, no TVs). I loved the place and would recommend it highly if you're OK with the aforementioned downsides. I suspect most people will know intuitively if this is the type of hotel they'd like.

The San Remo is in a great location, right on the edge of North Beach. North Beach is San Fran's traditional Italian neighborhood, so you're within easy walking distance of dozens of great Italian restaurants and coffee shops. It's also the former nerve center of the Beat movement, and Beat landmarks like City Lights Bookstore and the bar Vesuvio are just blocks away. Just beyond North Beach is San Francisco's famous Chinatown, while FIsherman's Wharf is a few blocks in the other direction from the hotel. Thus, the San Remo puts you within walking distance of many of the things that should go on your itinerary for a visit to San Francisco.

The hotel itself is clean and well-maintained. The staff are friendly and helpful. The rooms and hallways are decorated in charming vintage/antique furniture; you feel like you're staying in an old boardinghouse from the 1890s (I think the hotel actually was a boardinghouse for dockworkers way back in the day). Of course, it's also an unbelievable bargain. I doubt you will find anything else in this price range without taking on some degree of seediness factor or an inconvenient location.

Again, with the old-world charm comes a lack of certain creature comforts. The bathrooms are shared (though I think there are a handful of rooms with private bathrooms that rent at a higher rate), the rooms are small, and there are no TVs in the rooms. At the same time, it is worth noting that I found the shared bathrooms to be quite clean and not at all off-putting.

BOTTOM LINE: If 1) you're on a budget 2) you're into the idea of staying somewhere far more interesting than a chain hotel 3) you want to be in a great location; and 4) don't mind sharing a bathroom, you will love this place.

5 Thank DC_budget_traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2006

Just returned from my third stay at the San Remo, and once again, it was the best! The antique-filled hotel was spotless. It has never bothered me to go down the hall to the bathrooms because it is just another opportunity to look at the cozy plant-filled Victorian halls, antique furniture, and memorabilia. 1960's rock concert posters from the Fillmore, photos and clippings about past owners, bookcases; they usually leave all the doors open to the vacant rooms so it seems a lot more open and ambient to see the brass beds, quilts and antiques. Each room is decorated in its own charming way. The owners have spent a lot in restoration over the years; I have noticed the difference each time I have visited. The rooms are a bit overstuffed with furniture and it doesn't leave a lot of room to maneuver, but we kept all our stuff put away and it was fine.

The bathrooms "down the hall" are spotless antique white tile with beautiful dark original wood doors, woodwork and leaded glass windows and skylights. Marble counters, floral painted sinks, towel-warming bars. The potty & showers are clustered together in several locations, but they are very private. There was someone else there once over the 4 days I was there; I heard the water running but never saw them.

There is a bit of a noise issue, but I find it to be a part of San Francisco lifestyle and actually feel that this neighborhood is much quieter than a lot of other desirable locations that would cost much more. I have walked to Fisherman's Wharf, North Beach restaurant & nightlife area, Chinatown, Coit Tower, Russian Hill from this hotel. Cable car & bus stops are a block or two (we used both). The car rental office through the hotel is a block away. The parking they offer is not expensive by San Francisco standards. We rented a car for 2 days and dropped it off at the airport for no extra charge, which actually saved us $30 in airport shuttle fee. With the car, we drove to Sausalito over the Golden Gate Bridge for breakfast and went to the new de Young museum in Golden Gate Park.

There is an old-style Italian restaurant downstairs on the first floor of the hotel where we ate twice. They only serve breakfast on the weekends. It was good, but with dozens of fabulous Italian restaurants a few blocks away, we usually ventured out.

The staff there are great. They heard us struggling up the stairs with our luggage when we arrived so they ran out to help us bring it up. Some of them are more helpful than others, and can tell you all the best places and directions.

For value, location & ambiance (if you like old stuff) we rate this hotel excellent. The only thing I don't like is the complete absence of coffee or coffeemakers, but that too is only a block away.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank want2go2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2006

What can I say? Or rather, what can I add to the reviews already on this page? Not much!

This hotel was the most comfortable and 'homely' one we stayed in during our week long trip all over California. The shared bathrooms were really not an issue and were never busy. The staff were friendly, helpful, polite - but also quirky and fun. You don't get quirky and fun at the Holiday Inn! The lack of tv and telephone in the bedrooms was not an issue either - and was more than made up for by the extensive bookcases dotted around the hotel and the excellent massage chair (great at the end of a tiring day of touristy things). And it was really nice to not fall asleep in front of the tv in YET another generic motel room.

Basically, for the price, the location and the comfort, it was a much better decision for us to stay in a place like this than any of the generic chain hotels located in Fisherman's Wharf. You still got everything you'd get in a generic hotel chain i.e. cleanliness and comfort. But I liked the hostel feel of the place - the launderette on site, the shared tv room and that general friendliness from other guests that you'd get in a hostel but you wouldn't get anywhere else. I don't know if we got all this because we stayed at a relatively off-peak time of year though.

Would stay here again and would certainly recommend it to others.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 Thank maui50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2006

I stayed at the San Remo Hotel upon recommendation from a friend who had stayed there on prior visits. I insisted on a room with a sink and a window and I was certainly happy with that choice for the extra few dollars.

Firstly, the staff is incredibly nice. I had requested a room on the 2nd floor because there are more toilets up there and I was a bit freaked out at the idea of having to go 'down the hall' to the bathrooms! But, upon check-in, after lugging my heavy suitcase up a steep flight of stairs just to the check-in desk, I decided I could not possibly drag my suitcase up yet another flight of stairs. They found me a room on the 1st floor (which is a flight UP!)...I went to check it out..it was nice, had 2 twins in it (I had requested that because a friend was joining me)...but when I went to take a pillow from one bed to put onto the other bed, I discovered someone's pajamas under the pillow...although the sheets looked newly changed and clean. It still grossed me out, so I went down to discuss this. They didn't have another room available on the 1st floor even though I was ok with a double bed at this point since my friend could no longer join me....so eventually they put me in room #801 (I think) which is actually the room that the staff sleeps in as one person always sleeps on the premises. (They have another place to sleep if this room gets booked.) My room was facing the front of the hotel - street-side - and was right behind the manager's office. The good: I had 2 windows as it was a corner room and I personally like looking out the window to see what's going on! It is a very quiet street...so not much action! The bad: If you are a light sleeper, I wouldn't recommend a room in this location as the manager's door opened and closed quite frequently (of course it should as they are working!)...and evidently while I was there - there was a noisy accident at 2 a.m. on the street with ambulance, etc. Funny thing...I didn't hear a thing and my friend with a room down the hall was up for a few hours listening to the sirens and watching the scene! I'm a heavy sleeper so I didn't hear any noise at all!

The room: Furnished like your grandma's house...old antique-type furniture. My room had a double bed, 2 nightstands and a small wooden chair in the corner. I could barely fit through to walk past the foot of the bed to the other side of the room. My room had a sink, some small shelves above the sink, hooks on the back of the door, an antique free-standing wooden closet (not large but adequate) and fresh towels.

Prior to arriving, I was totally freaked out about the showers and bathrooms down the hall. First of all, they were clean, did not smell at all, and were really fine. The toilets are not “dorm-style’ – each toilet is in an individual little room – you go in and lock your door. Very private. Only one time was someone in "MY" bathroom and I just went to another one! The showers were fine as long as you are not claustrophobic. It is a little room – again, you go in and lock the door. It is a booth and it's small. I was perfectly fine but just a warning...you are locked into a very small, square, booth-type room and it's kinda strange. There is a place to hang your towel or robe behind a clear shower curtain and the stuff stayed dry so that was good. They have shampoo, conditioner and soap in dispensers on the wall so you don't even have to bring shampoo with you. I showered at night because I figured mornings would be busier and I was correct.

They also have a pay-per-minute internet station in the hotel which was nice. It was $5 for 30 minutes.

The other guests were mostly European from what I could see...British seemed to dominate the reservations. Everyone seemed very respectful on 'holiday' and enjoying San Francisco. There was only one creepy woman in the hotel - she was a 'local' and had too much to drink and kind of creeped me out but I just ignored her - she seemed harmless just creepy. The hotel was aware of her and they were very nice when I mentioned something…they were keeping a close-eye on her.

The BEST part: You can walk to everything! Fisherman's Wharf, Little Italy, Chinatown...all an easy and FLAT walk! Pat's Cafe, around the corner, is a delightful breakfast place.

Would I stay there again? Considering the price - I paid $69/night - I would have to say YES. I'm sure other nearby hotels were more than $100 more.

In closing, the staff was wonderful and very helpful in every way possible. I got great suggestions of non-touristy places to eat and good directions each time I requested help. They booked us a shuttle to return to the airport which came exactly on time.

I would recommend the San Remo Hotel if you are on a budget. You can't beat the price and location and it was a decent enough hotel to enjoy S.F. and spend my money on delicious dinners instead!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7 Thank Varda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2006

My wife and I just spent 6 nights at San Remo Hotel and enjoyed it completely. It is perfect for the traveler on a budget or not. I have paid far more for far less. Our room was clean, comfortable & unique. We had no need for telephones or televisions on vacation and basically only slept at the hotel. Otherwise, we were out and about the city. The shared bath/shower/toilet was not even an issue. Neither my wife or I ever had any problems with access to either. The bath/shower/toilet area was very well conceived and clean. No problem with hot water either. My only slight complaint was a bit of noise in the evenings. We had and east facing sunrise room. There was a bit of street noise. The hotel management was kind enough to move us to room 402, which was very nice and off of the street. very quite with a sink and window, I think the nicest room in the hotel. The location of the hotel is perfect. Walking distance to both the Wharf and North Beach areas. Also, one block to the Mason street cable cars. Pat's cafe' was perfect for breakfast and just a short block away. Now for the skinny. Even at the most expensive room, $75 night for 6 nights plus tax, we paid just over $500 for the entire weeks stay. We enjoyed the savings and spent them on extra-nice meals out in the evenings. My wife and I would definately stay at the San Remo again!!!!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11 Thank m-linn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Remo Hotel

Property: San Remo Hotel
Address: 2237 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94133-1899
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > North Beach / Telegraph Hill
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 50 Specialty Lodging in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — San Remo Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 64
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a family-owned historic boutique pension-style hotel located in North Beach, one of San Francisco's oldest and most popular tourist destinations, and only a few blocks from Fisherman's Wharf. Built in 1906, our hotel maintains an atmosphere of Old-World charm and ambiance with specially selected antique furnishings - no two rooms are alike. The walls of the hotel are filled with a collection of memorabilia and history. Our style is simplicity and sanctuary - there are no room telephones, no televisions, and on the order of European pensions, shared baths which are meticulously cleaned daily, and are private when in use, but for all guests to use. Our rooms are cozy and small, our prices are proportional. Our staff is available while our Front Desk is open to help you find anything your heart desires. A truly unique, non-standardized hotel experience. ... more   less 
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