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July 5, 2004
As tony as the Union Square area is, it’s still possible to find a distinctive hotel at a very affordable price. The recently renovated Hotel des Arts (formerly the Alisa Hotel) is in transition to a European-style boutique budget hotel with a modern-art flair. Situated just across the street from the Chinatown Gate a mere three blocks from Union Square and looking deceptively small; it actually houses 51 rooms.
The lobby, located on the second floor up a steep narrow spiral staircase or reached by elevator, gives a taste of where this hotel is headed. It’s graced by several colorful modern paintings which give it both a polished and a spirited air. While the rooms have bare walls right now, as the remodel is completed each room will be outfitted with artwork. Rooms are already outfitted in boutique-hotel style, with gold and cream walls, new mattresses, and sleek, plump white bedding. While the furniture is modern-spartan, once the artwork is in, these will be quite inviting and hip rooms. Rooms in the front of the hotel have views of the Chinatown Gate.
If economy is paramount in your priorities, Hotel des Arts offers some rooms with shared bath down the hall for a positively paltry rate. While this is an unusual option in America, in Europe such hotels are quite common. It’s not much to give up if you want to stay in a somewhat upscale hotel but your budget won’t stretch that far. If you prefer to pay for your privacy, rooms with private bath will run you an additional $30 or so.
Complimentary tea, coffee, and continental breakfast is provided, and Le Central, a French brasserie, is located on the first floor. As might be expected of such a small hotel, the only other amenities are what you’ll find in your room. However, with Union Square and Chinatown close at hand, whatever you need is sure to be close at hand.
Depending on season and availability, double rooms are $49-$69 with shared bath, $79-$99 with private bath, and rooms with two double beds are $99-$119. Parking will set you back $20 per day in a nearby garage.
Note: This is a no-smoking hotel.
From journal San Francisco: Union Square Hotel Guide
July 19, 2005
The location was also great: The hotel is located just off Union Square, right outside the Chinatown Gate and steps from the Financial District and cable cars. The front desk was helpful in suggesting dining and nightlife. Amenities included wireless Internet and a free continental breakfast.
From journal Great Lodging in My Favorite City
May 8, 2005
From journal A San Francisco Dream
September 28, 2004
This is a cute Victorian with some funky charm that has been remodeled with a modern gallery twist. They had a great display of local artists. This isn't the stuff you see on the wall at a Hilton or Holiday Inn.
The front desk staff was great - they hooked me up with where to go.
From journal San Francisco Weekend
Astoria, New York
January 14, 2010