The Carriage Inn is a good example of how an older and outdated hotel can be rejuvenated by being redesigned as a 'boutique' property. Previously a Best Western franchisee (see the photographs accompanying older reviews), the property has been brought to life with a subtle and inventive refurbishment.
This is not strictly a boutique hotel, in that there is no bar, restaurant or other facilities on site, although a sister property across the street has a restaurant, fitness centre, pool, etc. The bulk of the refurbishment has targeted the rooms, cleverly restyling a faceless corporate hotel as a quirky and individual property.
What's really clever is that whereas a corporate hotel might rip out older fittings (such as the rather dated bathroom fixtures), at the Carriage Inn they've been preserved and refurbished, and the hotel has been restyled to match their retro style. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and decorated in a cosy palette. The furniture is very stylish, suggesting a classic sixties vibe. We enjoyed a larger room with an old electric fireplace (although kudos to the proprietors for preserving the small plaque on the fireplace with instructions for guests on how to light a wood fire).
The sofa, armchair and (most importantly) the vast bed were supremely comfortable, and facing onto the side street we slept soundly. My only complaint was that the air conditioning unit was relatively loud, and left us both very dehydrated come the morning.
Check-in and check-out was very quick and very courteous thanks to the efficient and friendly Mina. Location is excellent, with a combined BART and MUNI station at Civic Center / UN Plaza just three minutes walk away. BART trains run direct from here to/from SFO airport, and most suburban destinations. A few reviewers have commented on the surroundings; I suspect this may reflect more about guests' personal preferences than the hotel itself. Needless to say, this is San Francisco, so understand that you will encounter homeless people at some point during your stay in the city. This is a perfectly safe neighbourhood, and there are several large and busy hotels on the adjacent blocks, so don't be dissuaded by a few negative comments.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Carriage Inn features 48-rooms and offers a witty, warm, and sophisticated escape from the ordinary. Featuring guest rooms saluting San Francisco's notables eccentric notables and drawing inspiration from the "carriage" of a typewriter, the hotel provides a San Francisco experience well suited for vacationers, theater patrons, convention goers, couples and business travelers alike.Located in the vibrant South of Market (SoMA) district, the convenient location provides quick access to many of San Francisco's top attractions and destinations including Civic Center Plaza, Moscone Convention Center, Union Square, Westfield Shopping Centre, the Theater District, and Cable Cars that will take you to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Plus Carriage Hotel San Francisco
- Best Western Carriage Hotel
- Best Western San Francisco
- San Francisco Best Western