What We Love
- Free morning newspaper delivery and free WiFi keep you in the loop
- Located in the trendy SoMa neighborhood, the home of some of San Francisco’s best dining, shopping and nightlife
- Themed rooms reflect the personalities of famous — or infamous — San Francisco personalities (Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Carlos Santana…)
What To Know
- Driving into the city? Overnight parking costs $35
- The Carriage Inn bolsters its boutique amenities by partnering with neighbors. Breakfast is at the Custom Burger Bar, and the pool, fitness center, spa and roof of the Best Western Plus Americania Hotel are open to guests
- No on-site restaurant means you’ll get to explore SoMa hot spots like Boulevard, where James Beard Award–winning chef Nancy Oakes cooks up New American fare
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Before it was a high-priced tech hub, San Francisco was a haven for artists, activists and free spirits of all stripes. That rebellious spirit lives on in this boutique hotel located in the trendy SoMa (South of Market) neighborhood. Each of the 48 guestrooms is styled after a different famous — or infamous — personality with ties to the city. Pencil portraits of these celebs (including Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and Carlos Santana) adorn the wall behind the lime-green reception desk, while brown walls and white accents set the eclectic retro tone. The rooms maintain the ’70s feel with white, red and orange bedspreads, lime-green and brown headboards, and brown and white carpets. Nods to your room’s namesake come in the form of portraits and photographs on the walls, while white ceramic lamps with Chinese designs (San Francisco has the largest Chinese population of any city outside Asia) and a light blue tessellated wall complete the groovy feel. And you won’t have to forgo any luxuries staying in this hip spot; all rooms come with plush bathrobes, and some have fireplaces.
In the Area
Once an industrial enclave, SoMa became a hip spot to live and play in during the first dotcom boom. Start your day at SightGlass Coffee, where brothers Jerad and Justin Morrison obsess over every detail of their brew. The environmentally friendly coffee is procured from Rwanda, Ethiopia and Peru, and each batch of beans is analyzed to determine the perfect roast. After you’ve had your fix, head to the San Francisco Flower Market and pick locally a grown bouquet (tulips, orchids, roses and dozens of exotic blooms are on offer) from any of the hundreds of gardeners — it will be cheaper and longer-lasting than the grocery store variety. Then have a waterfront dinner at Boulevard, where James Beard Award-winning chef Nancy Oakes cooks up New American fare, like pan-seared ora king salmon, gigante beans with chorizo, and gulf rock shrimp salsa verde. 111 Minna is the spot to start or end your evening: By day it’s an art gallery showcasing local and international artists; by night it’s a dance club skewing toward techno, dub and hip-hop. Or you can spend a quieter evening at Bar Agricole, where bartenders serve artisan cocktails like the Whiz Bang (scotch, vermouth, grenadine, absinthe and bitters). Making it a late night? The Stud closes at 4 a.m. on weekends (most bars close at 2). The 50-year-old bar is an institution; it was mentioned in Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City and hosts some of the city’s most famous drag shows.
How to Get There
This hotel relies on its location to get any sort of a half decent score and even its location won’t work for everyone. For us we could walk to places we wanted to visit, or it was a quick Uber or drive. However there are a lot of drug users and homeless around. It’s actually really sad to see such poverty in this super expensive city. As we walked to the shops our daughters saw a man injecting, although to his credit he apologized to the girls having seen it happen! The pool opposite which you can use is small but the kids enjoyed it anyway. The room itself was a good size for a family of 5 so that was great but it had no facilities, we asked for a mini fridge which they did provide. Air con is really loud but we didn’t get the street noise that others have complained about. Parking really annoyed me as it’s $45 + $6 tax which was ridiculous. Staff in front desk were not super friendly but ok. All in all would not recommend.
I was initially cautious after reading the reviews for this hotel, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful and the rooms were (as the title says) clean and comfortable. I felt the room I stayed in was well presented and came with all the amenities I expect at a hotel in this price range in San Francisco, including Wifi. Rooms were also remade each day with coffee and soaps etc. replenished each day. We also had relatively low noise levels from the outside which feels like a luxury in a city. You can tell they pay attention to reviews because we had tea and coffee facilities in our room which seems to have been a common complaint in the past.
The area the hotel is in has a lot of homeless people as described in other reviews although this is not the fault of the hotel neither is it as bad as it has been described in other reviews. The only reason I mention this is because I recommend taking either a taxi or ride share service back at night (probably unnecessary but just for peace of mind). If like me you decide to walk around the different sightseeing points and neighborhoods (which I absolutely recommend), you will be glad of the rest by that point anyways. Other times of the day I felt perfectly comfortable walking away and to the hotel. I also feel like it needs to be mentioned that I felt extremely secure in the hotel as this has not been emphasized in other reviews.
Overall I would absolutely stay at the Carriage Inn again. It was great value and I enjoyed my time there. Many of the reviews I have read have been unfair on the hotel as I felt it to be well presented and the homeless people in the area to be less of an issue than described. San Francisco is a beautiful city and this hotel makes a great base.
If you are appearing in front of the Ninth Circuit the location can't be beat. It is as an easy half block walk. Late check out (12:30) provides a chance to change clothes after before traveling.
The rooms are VERY clean though small. Shower water pressure might be an issue fior some. Front staff on arrival was efficient though not particularly friendly. Easy in and out by car. Parking will cost $45 per night unless you have a handicap placard or plate.