Hotel des Arts website
Parking: $20 per day in nearby garage
BART: Montgomery station (four blocks)
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.