Detailed review by MarcoGee
South East England, United Kingdom
Whilst on a long business trip in Albuquerque, after a few days we had pretty much seen about as much desert as we could take. We'd 'done' all there is to do. With a spare weekend on our hands, we decided to take advantage of our Geographical positioning and take a trip to somewhere on the west coast. I've always wanted to see San Francisco, and after looking into flights, we found some bargains. We looked for reasonable hotels, and came across The Petite Auberge, it wasn't the cheapest we found, but it had an appealing charm that won us over, so we booked.
The Petite Auberge is part of the Joie De Vivre chain, I found this information on their website: "Joie de Vivre Hotels is California's largest boutique hotel company. Started in San Francisco in 1987 by Chip Conley, while in his mid-twenties, Joie de Vivre has built a reputation for creating one of the most unique collections of lifestyle businesses in the U.Sfresh, inventive, casual, and grass roots orientedJoie de Vivre Hotels is a grass roots organization that strives to have a positive impact on our community. Each of our hotels is dedicated to donating at a minimum $200 per guest room per year to organizations in their communities." Jolly good!
We read loads of reviews about other budget hotels in San Francisco and they all mentioned something about being in a dodgey area. Predominantly, those seemed to be in the south, so we tried to find one more in the north, where most of the "tourist hub" is. The Petite Auberge is found on Bush Street, in between Mason and Taylor street. It's right round the corner from Nob Hill and Union Square, which are some of the famous areas of the city. It's also only a few blocks away from the Powell Street Cable Car (realllllly cool), the Financial District, Chinatown, North Beach and the general city life.
Location rating: 10/10
Once you go up the steps and into the hotel, you immediately noticethe wallpaper. It's busier than the staff. That said, you do get used to it. There is a really nice boutique feel to the lobby area, there is a small reception desk, an antique looking sofa, and various wall displays including plates and French prints. It feels inviting and comfy. My first impressions are very good, even though I am questioning the taste of the person who chose the wallpaper!
Lobby rating: 9/10
Again, my first thought upon entering the room waswallpaper! There was a very quaint 'french country inn' feel to the room. The furniture felt antique and the whole look was rather pleasing. We had a large bed with a teddy bear, cutely but not free, it was there for us to buy (um, no thanks). We also had a fully functional fireplace, plus armchair. Nice. In the wardrobe was hanging space, bath robes and the TV (which I rather liked having as hidden). For a city hotel, our view was actually really good, we looked onto the gardens and very nice they were too. I understand that all the rooms in the hotel face this way, and there are 26 rooms, so imagine that each room has a decent view, again which is rare in the city. We also had a coffee maker, but didn't have time to sample any, shame. (I also noticed this on their website: Honeymooners might want to select the "Petite Suite" with its private deck, hand painted king bed, tub, champagne and chocolates.) oo la la.
Room rating: 10/10
Amenities in the room rating: 10/10
Again, the bathroom had that antique feel, with a splash of Parisian quality. The sink had a beautiful porcelain and brass finish, which sat under a large ornate mirror. The shower on the other hand was somewhat ferocious, it felt like you were showering in needles, and there was nothing we could do about it, no matter how many times you turned the fitting. It didn't bother me, as it gave me an excuse to have a bath, which felt somewhat luxurious, I must say.
Bathroom rating: 9/10
One flight down from reception is the breakfast and lounge area. The food we had was of good quality. There were sausages and a potato quiche (not sure what the correct term is off the top of my head), as well as fresh fruit (apples, bananas, assorted melon). There was also cereals, muffins, cakes, pastries, jams, pancakes, plenty to keep you satisfied. There was fresh coffee, teas and juices also available. All the dining room itself was small, there was the option to take your food through to the lounge and eat on the sofa by the fireplace, enhancing your sense of being at a county inn.
Food rating: 9/10
In the lounge area are games to play (cluedo, monopoly etc) and a book exchange, which I thought was a lovely idea. This meant that the bookshelf had books from all over the world, they were all English, but an eclectic mix. In the afternoon, around 5pm, they also put on a complimentary 'cheese and wine' snack (if you can call it a 'snack'), we didn't have time to do this, but I'm told it's excellent. Unfortunately, as we were only there for one night, we didn't get the chance to take advantage of the full facilities available, such as free cookies (that are available all day), as well as Laundry/valet services, Phone with voicemail/dataport, Valet parking, Concierge services and staff-authored guides to the hidden sites and sounds of San Franciscowhatever that means .
Other Amenities rating (including staff): 9/10
We paid $159 (including tax) for a medium sized room. Which works out around 90GBP for the room. We didn't think this was too bad. There are cheaper rooms, but none were available when we tried to book. For what we get, we were happy with the price.
Price rating: 9/10
GRAND TOTAL FOR THE PETITE AUBERGE: 9.3/10
(75/80 to be exact)
Would I stay there again?:
100% YES! This boutique hotel is adorable and has a great location in town. I can't really flaw it. There are other hotels in the Joie De Vivre company within San Francisco too, so they may also be worth looking into to, but of the few we browsed over, none seemed so 'individual' and cute as this one. Like I said, they have cheaper options, and that makes me even happier that we can come back (making sure we book more in advance) and pay less!
The company's website can be found at: http://www.jdvhotels.com/ hotels/petite_auberge
And the hotel can be found here:
863 Bush Street,
San Francisco CA 94108;
Thanks for reading :)