by Lissa Poirot
This boutique hotel is a throwback to the 1930s. Hosting a variety of in-house art and literary events, the Gallery Row hotel is a tourist attraction in and of itself, with a magic show and cabaret, as well as a Library Bar, and a decor that looks like bohemian Paris. Rooms include queen, king, two doubles and one-bedroom suites with a king bed and sofa bed in a separate sitting area. Guests enjoy live music, an extensive library, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions, and a decor of original art by local artisans. Complimentary coffee and tea are offered in the morning, while complimentary wine is offered from 5 to 6 p.m. Guests can bring pets, at no additional fee.
Our Editor Loves
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
This hotel experience was definitely more of a 3-3.5 for me. The front desk staff were very nice and friendly, the bathrooms were nice and modern, but there were a few major things that downgraded my experience that the staff just aren't able to fix.
First and foremost was the street noise - and we weren't even facing the street. When we first arrived to our room we could perfectly hear conversations from people on the streets walking outside to the point where I asked my fiancé if the window was open. The windows of the hotel are so thin that it is almost like there is no glass at all - all the noise comes through that loudly. We were on the top floor and were woken up at least 3 times times between 12-5:30am each of our 3 nights by the mentally ill homeless folk that hang outside on the street and scream/yell profanities. Neither of us got much sleep and were pretty exhausted by the time we got home. We didn't alert the hotel staff because as we were already top floor and not street-facing, not sure what they could really do about it.
Secondly, the area isn't that great and I wouldn't advise walking around without other people with you. The hotel is basically a block away from union square and that area is a huge hotspot for the homeless/mentally ill. The streets are dirty, often smell of urine and have a few angry mentally ill folk about. We got mcdonalds (literally a few shops down from the hotel) one morning and a large man made a scene hitting and knocking things over yelling/ranting before he stormed out. Nicer and much more safer looking neighborhoods we saw were in Pacific Heights and in the Marina District closer to the Palace of the Arts.
Third, while the hotel has a cool look to it, the floors are almost comically uneven. We both felt like we had vertigo walking around the room and made jokes about "rolling down" to the bathroom. This is a minor issue but nevertheless, I would rather stay in a place with more solid floors if given a choice.
Fourth, there is only one elevator, and it's an old-school small elevator that can only hold about 4 people max. There were periods of waiting 10 minutes for the elevator to finally arrive with a spot open for us to get in.
My takeaway from our stay was that the noise and general unsafe vibe of the area mean that I'll probably look elsewhere for my next stay to San Francisco.
The hotel was lovely, with a lot of additional touches that made it quite unique. The rooms were spacious, clean, and modern. The only slight concern was that the bed seemed old and warn (single coil).