I really love hotels. I’ve had many chances to stay at different ones throughout California.
So I guess I’m writing this partly to remember all the nights of bleached white sheets, room keys, and hotel bathroom toiletries, and partly to serve as a guide should anyone reading this ever need recommendations.
1. Hotel Astoria- at the edge of Chinatown in San Francisco. Literally next to the Chinatown gates. Street music played throughout the night. The interior of the hotel is old but charming. Creaky stairs, and small showers. ~$70.
2. Hotel Nash- on University Ave in Berkeley. William Hung supposedly, as a Cal undergrad, lived here instead of an apartment. The hallways have this strong odor that is a bit unpleasant. I would highly recommend getting your own private bathroom, not communal. And also, horror story. We woke up the next morning on one of our stays here, to find bedbug bites. :’( ~$80.
3. Hotel Tomo- A modern Japanese themed hotel in Japantown in San Francisco. It came with amazing wall murals, a beanbag chair, and a Domo doll on the bed, and the lobby has a vending machine with cute little souvenirs! Definitely one of the coolest hotels on the list. ~$150
4. Sunset Inn at Monterey Bay- more like a cabin, it is very quiet and mature. There is this massive whirlpool jacuzzi tub in the bathroom, and a big screen TV. Also, expensive. :P ~$190?
5. King George Hotel- Near Union Square in SF, the lobby is super nice! and there’s a doorman. :P The room is quite small, but the placement of things and use of space lets you forget that. A plus is that there is a diner just downstairs that is open for 24 hours if you get the munchies past midnight. :) ~$70.
6. Mark Twain Hotel- Between Union Square and the Tenderloin/Civic Center SF districts. It has an old Southern US theme, think steamboats and such. But the bathroom gets to be really cold because of the huge window near the tub. :( Otherwise, really great and the staff was friendly and did a great job of housekeeping. ~$90-100.
7. Hotel Bijou- Once again, near Union Square (We find that these hotels in this area are cheap compared to elsewhere?) They have movie nights here, where guests can go to see a certain movie in a room next to the lobby at night. They have complementary hot chocolate, coffee, and popcorn near the lobby too! It is next to this sports bar, so it gets a bit crazy at night. The bathroom is quite big, and the room is very mellow yellow. :) ~$70
8. Hotel Whitcomb- Across from the Civic Center in SF, right next to the Orpheum where Wicked has its productions. It has a Starbucks right next to it. What was amazing to me about this place is its grand lobby. Like wow. Really wow, with its mezzanine and old classic design. The room was alright looking, but the bathroom was huge! ~$110.
9. Vibe Hotel and Hostel- In Hollywood area, about 10 minutes drive from Griffith’s Park. Robert and I were not aware that it was a hotel/hostel type of building. But it has this Old California two story structure, and the room has its own separate small kitchen! Very trendy, as most of the people we encountered there were traveling youths who went to clubs at night via the party van that the hotel provided. $60.
10. Bear Creek Cabin?- In Big Bear. You get your own cabin + parking spot separate from other cabins. It is obviously wooden, and there is a fireplace! In addition, a heater is right next to the bathroom, so when it gets too cold after a shower, you can run there to warm up. Oh, and there is also an oddly incorporated tree trunk at the entrance to your room. :P
11. The Hyatt near Disneyland- Was under renovation when we were there, but its proximity to Disneyland is desirable. The rooms have these huuuuge windows that look out to Disneyland, and if you were facing the right direction, you can see the fireworks at night! Also, this hotel is so huge, it could take you a cool 10 minutes just to find your room.$??
12. Glenmore Plaza Hotel- In Catalina Island. It has a very sunny California feel to it, with its wooden bed, small cute windows, and ceiling fans. The view from the window is of the Catalina hills, so very nice during sunset. It was just a block from the beach, and steps from shops. ~$130?
13. Hotel Shattuck- probably my favorite of the bunch. It is right on Shattuck Ave in Berkeley, close to the BART, the restaurants, and movie theaters. Apparently, it has >4 star ratings, and it definitely shows. The bathroom door is a bit see-through, which is fun. Big screen TV, and all these modern tech ammenities. Near the lobby is a bar that can be quite busy, (a pro if you were >21?). Overall very very aesthetically pleasing. And if you get a good deal, a bang for the bucks! ~$120
14. Carlton Motel and Motel 6- Both in Long Beach. Really cheap and accomodating if you have a late night arrival. Both comfortable, and clean. Bring your own shampoos and conditioners though! ~$70 each.
15. Cova Hotel- In San Francisco, near Great American Music Hall of the Tenderloin/Civic center district. Take advantage of the great Vietnamese restaurants in the area (particularly Saigon Sandwiches and Turtle Tower). The hotel itself provides a complimentary van which leaves every hour to Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. $95 per night.
Well, that was very enjoyable. I’ll keep this list updated after future stays at new hotels! :D
The Art of Travel is one of those movies, as the title suggests, that can give you a good case of Wanderlust. The film takes us through the Darien Gap in Central/South America, to Macchu Pichu and its breathtaking altitude, while interlacing the theme of finding romance and oneself with and in foreign lands.