Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends
Location: 444 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone: (415) 433-9111
Pluses: North Beach location, stylish decor
Minuses: Noise, no air conditioning
Prices: Moderate; most rooms $125
Amenities: 16 Nonsmoking rooms
Visa, MasterCard, American Express cards accepted.
24 hours cancellation policy
Self parking available at garage 1 1/2 block away, $20/day with unlimited access
No restaurants, room service or wheelchair accessibility.
The Hotel Boheme seems just right for a hotel that's in the heart of North Beach. First, it feels Italian. Maybe it's the terra cotta and green walls, or the green, red, and deep blue-striped carpet, or the stylish art on the walls. Maybe it's the small but elegant room, with black cast iron bedstead and large antique armoire. Maybe it's the staff, who look like they'd feel right at home in a pensione in Florence. Whatever it is, it works.
Just to get the negatives out of the way: you are in the heart of the city, so noise can be a problem (street noise in the front rooms, chatter from a restaurant courtyard in those that face the back). The bathrooms are tiny, with no tubs, though they do have hair dryers and toiletries. There's no desk, though the phone does have a modem jack. Dropping off your luggage is slightly inconvenient, as there's no official loading zone and the hotel reception desk is on the second floor.
Now, the good stuff: The hotel itself is very comfortable. The decor in the room is a cut above typical hotel decor, with such interesting touches as a lovely Oriental parasol as the overhead light shade and international and stamps decorating the shades of the bedside lamps. And best of all, you're in the middle of North Beach, with wonderful cafes, restaurants, delicatessens, and bakeries just a few steps away. You're within easy walking distance of all the major tourist attractions, like the cable cars, Coit Tower, Chinatown and the Wharf. If you can't afford a trip to Italy, a stay at the Hotel Boheme could be the next best thing.