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Cornell Hotel de France 3.0

Nob Hill, San Francisco, California

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Review Summary

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  • No air-conditioning
  • Some rooms are small

Bottom Line

If cookie-cutter chain rooms aren't your thing, this mid-range family-owned boutique hotel is a good pick for francophiles and art lovers. The lobby and restaurant take the French theme to an extreme with displays of swords, shields, tapestries, and statues, but the 50 individually decorated guest rooms are serene and full of light. Travelers will likely appreciate the lobby stocked with tourist brochures, free coffee, and an honor system cookie jar. Jeanne D'Arc, the cozy medieval restaurant in the basement, offers a reasonably priced four-course dinner with both ambiance and good food. The location is close to Union Station and the cable car to Fisherman's Wharf. The hotel is not air-conditioned; those who prefer a modern vibe and air-conditioning, try Hotel G.

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Eclectic, artsy, and homey

From the accent of the manager to the décor and music, the hotel is French-themed. Every floor has an artistic theme related to France. Each hallway features fine prints of a single artist: Modigliani, Matisse, Chagall, Gauguin, and Toulouse Lautrec. The public spaces are filled from floor to ceiling with chandeliers, painted walls, statues, tapestries, ornate furniture, drapery, flowers, mirrors, stained glass windows, and flags, all reminiscent of 17th and 18th century French society. The hotel has a very personal feel. As you enter, there is a reception room filled with brochures and artwork, and at the end of the hall the manager's office. The view from the top floor looks out over the rooftops. The surrounding area, Bush Street in particular, can be loud, and it is near the cable car line, but, considering the location, the noise is not terrible.


A touch of France in central San Francisco, near Nob Hill and Union Square

The location is extremely convenient, at the foot of Nob Hill, a few blocks from Union Square and public transportation, and a 10-minute walk to Chinatown. It's well placed for both tourists and business travelers. Across the street, is the highly touted farm-to-table restaurant, Sons and Daughters, as well as a psychic, a coffee shop, a garage, and a pizza place. To either side are apartment buildings, a gay strip club, a sushi place, a laundromat, and more hotels. Around the corner is the historic Mark Hopkins Hotel (now part of the Intercontinental chain). It's worth visiting The Mark, the 19th-floor sky bar with nearly 360-degree views, overlooking Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge.


Light-filled, serene rooms with restful color palette

There are three room categories; Cozy (read "tiny"), Premiere, and Junior Suite, all with queen-size beds. While each room is individually decorated, they share soothing tones of pastel blue, cream, taupe, and white. Details such as hand-painted bouquets on walls and ceilings, painted white furniture, and decorative headboards complete the farmhouse chic look. If you can, spend a few extra dollars to get one of the larger rooms. The Deluxe Queen is a pretty average-size room and has a nice bathroom with clawfoot tub (acrylic, not cast iron, but still quite pleasant) while the Cozy Queen has only a shower. Amenities include flat-screen TVs with cable, coffeemakers, telephones with private voicemail, hairdryers, portable luggage racks, and writing desks.


Intimate feel in the heart of a busy city

Weary travelers will likely appreciate the early check-in time and free coffee and tea in the lobby. The room rate includes a cooked-to-order breakfast and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. On-site parking is offered for a surcharge. There is an adorable Golden Retriever on the premises to greet guests (most guests will be charmed, though allergy sufferers may be less pleased).

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715 Bush Street, San Francisco, California 94108-3402, United States

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