Great spot, walking distance to everything. Had a room facing Columbus, nice to see the bustling street below. Yes, a little loud especially on a Saturday night, but you are in San Francisco. If you want silence, go to the country.
Experience North Beach live at the Hotel Boheme. Location is everything. Great coffee shops, cafes, restaurants. The night life of Broadway 2 block away. Chinatown only 3 blocks. About 20 minutes and we were at the top of Coit Tower. Cable car stop a few block away up the hill. 2 parking lots within 2 blocks on same block at the police station. ($28 a day.) It's a 1950's hotel, so be prepared to carry your bags up 2 flights of stairs. The rooms are small and in the 50's style with wrought iron bed stands and high ceilings. Mattresses are comfortable but not plush. Small TV on night stand. Our room had a little sitting area looking out on Columbus Avenue. Be prepared for the sounds of the city with buses, garbage trucks, fire engines going by. Night life was fantastic with great cafes and people watching. You get old fashioned metal keys to both the front door and your room.
If you want the standard brand hotel, do not go there. No elevator, no breakfast, But you are downtown San Francisco with beautifully decorated rooms, beautifl pictures. a nice bathroom. Of course not much view and not cheap. But a grea place.
In a fantastic location, this hotel is a beauty. We asked for a quiet room and got just that. The hotel is located on a busy road so make sure, if you have issues with road noise, that you request a room away from the street. There is no view with one of these rooms but who needs one when there is so much to explore from right outside the front door. The room was extremely clean and the staff were wonderfully friendly and helpful.
My fiance and I stayed at the Hotel Boheme in October 2011 for the Columbus Day weekend. The hotel is in an excellent location. We were walking distance to Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, the Alcatraz tour, and we even walked to the Golden Gate Bridge. Chinatown was a 10 minute walk,Fisherman's Wharf was about 15-20 minutes, the Alcatraz tour was about 30 minutes and the Golden Gate Bridge was about an hour long walk from Boheme. In addition, there are dozens of very good restaurants, pizza places, cafes, and pastry shops within blocks of the hotel. The location was unbeatable. The rooms were small but we didn't spend too much time in the room. There is no elevator and the staircase is small so pack light if you can't carry your suitcse up and down a flight of stairs.
Now for the bad part. If you have a room facing Columbus Avenue, it will sound like a parade is going down the street at night. No joke. You will hear screaming, music, fireworks, animals, you name it. But when you look outside it will look like a busy but normal street. For some reason, the noise filters through the windows and is magnified by 100x in your room. Request a room on the opposite side of Columbus if you are a light sleeper. Other than the noise, I had no complaints.
Tip: Book a shuttle to (not from because they don't offer it) the SFO airport. It is only $8 through the hotel.
This place is a nice change of pace from large chain hotels, and is a good price for San Francisco. The location is awesome. You can walk to cafes and City Lights, or bars if you're into that. I would have hated staying in Union Square, ugh. The staff was nice and had good suggestions for food and neighborhoods to explore.
We had a room on the second floor which was no problem for us, but if you don't like climbing stairs and you plan to go back to your room a lot, then maybe you wouldn't like it. We didn't spend a lot of time in our room, but did enjoy the view looking out onto Columbus Ave. You can see cafes in North Beach, but also the larger city behind that. If you get an interior room you'll have no view at all, but it may be more quiet.
As noted in other reviews, there's no onsite parking, no AC, no lobby, elevator, restaurant onsite, etc. There are only 15 rooms, and while I can tell they were updated in the 90s, it seems like it's time to polish them up a bit. There was peeling paint in various places and what looked like a few spots of mildew on the wall above the shower. The overall room felt clean though, and the bathroom was fairly nice, but they should really add some more outlets. We had to unplug the alarm clock and TV to charge our phones. Also, note that you shouldn't put much on the glass shelf above the bathroom sink. It slides off when you take a shower and create steam.
What's nice about this place is its literary history and location and feeling as if you're staying in a B&B without the second B. They've done a good job decorating too, but you may not sleep here as well as other places. I felt totally safe, but the first night I couldn't sleep well because it felt hot and a bit musty. The small fan they give you didn't help much. A ceiling fan would be nice. I could tell no difference between the windows being open or closed as far as noise goes. They aren't soundproof at all. The other two nights I slept better since the temp outside dropped about 20 degrees!
The bed was OK, the shower had the strongest water pressure in the world, almost too strong. The eating area by the window was nice. We bought some focaccia from Liguria Bakery (go early) and some meat, etc from Molinari Deli and wine from Francis Ford Coppola's place and ate by the window one night, then went to the bakery downstairs, Stella, for dessert! It was wonderful because you can walk easily to all of these places from the hotel. If you want to stay in North Beach, I can't think of another suggestion just from my walks around the neighborhood.
I don't regret staying here, and it was nice to have the free WiFi. However, I'm not convinced I'd stay again unless they add some ceiling fans and electrical outlets and paint. We didn't rent a car in part because of the parking situation, but the only time I missed not having one was the long bus ride to the Golden Gate bridge. SF isn't a good place to drive.
If you're not super picky and don't mind having a smaller room, then by all means give this place a try. At the very least, you'll save some cash and get to stroll about the best neighborhood in San Francisco!