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Tilden Hotel 3.5

San Francisco, California, United States

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • A short walk from both Union Square and a BART station
  • Stylish black and white rooms with homey touches
  • 42-inch flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and Keurig coffeemakers
  • Charming restaurant serving craft cocktails, plus room service
  • Small, local-feel coffeeshop offering baked goods
  • Chic lobby lounge and serene mini outdoor garden
  • Tiny gym with cardio machines for guest use
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Dog friendly (extra fee)

Cons

  • Situated on the eastern edge of the gritty Tenderloin 
  • No AC in guest rooms and bathrooms run small
  • Parking (valet only) and breakfast cost extra fees
  • Gym is tiny with an odd layout

Bottom Line

The Tilden Hotel is an upper-middle-range boutique property with vintage touches situated on the edge of the gritty Tenderloin neighborhood, about a five-minute walk from Union Square and the BART train. Highlights include the charming but laid-back on-site restaurant and bar, The Douglas Room, which specializes in craft cocktails and offers room service, and a tiny, local-feel coffeeshop serving hot drinks and desserts. The 118 guest rooms have stylish black-and-white decor plus modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and Keurigs. The old building does have some drawbacks: ceiling fans in lieu of AC, small bathrooms, and thin walls. The hotel has a chic lobby, small garden area, and a gym, though it's tiny. Overall, the Tilden is a competitively priced option, but for sleeker rooms and AC, consider The Alise. 

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Scene

Boutique hotel with vintage touches and charming restaurant, in 1928 building

This nine-story building, now with a white-washed brick facade and black trim, has changed hands many times since it was originally constructed in 1928, most recently becoming the Tilden Hotel in late 2016 after a run as The Hotel Mark Twain. The freshly designed property offers a chic look inspired by mid-century modern decor. In the lobby, big archways, simple wood wainscoting, and terrazzo floors pair with an eclectic set of stylish furnishings that include a rich, velvety tufted sofa and beautiful wooden shell chairs. The lobby extends into The Douglas Room, a restaurant and bar that's charming enough to be a hangout spot in its own right. It's a competitively priced property for the area, and guests are often couples or business travelers who want to take advantage of the downtown location while avoiding chain hotels.

Location

Near Union Square, but set just within the gritty Tenderloin neighborhood

The Tilden Hotel is situated in downtown San Francisco within the boundaries of the Tenderloin District, an up-and-coming or gritty neighborhood, depending on your perspective. Walk west, in to the heart of the Tenderloin area, and things can start to feel seedy with rundown motels, massage parlors, and a considerable homeless population, but walk east and instantly the area bustles with shops, restaurants, and bars. Union Square, surrounded by high-end shops like Louis Vuitton and Saks Fifth Avenue, is just a six-minute walk. The Moscone Center is a 10-minute walk and Nob Hill can be reached in about 15 minutes on foot. 

Nearby Market Street is packed with public transit options, including the cable car and BART stations stops, with the Powell Street BART station just a five-minute walk away. Via public transit, guests can get to hotspots like Haight-Ashbury, Golden Gate Park, Fisherman's Wharf, and AT&T Park in about 20 to 25 minutes. The airport can be reached directly in about a half hour from the Powell Street BART stop. 

Rooms

Comfortable black and white rooms with flat-screen TVs and Keurigs -- but no AC

Guest rooms are nicely decorated in grayscale with dark gray wall-to-wall carpeting, white walls with black trim, and white furnishings with gray-washed tabletops. Botanical prints on the walls, plantation shutters, and vintage details -- ceiling fans, radiators -- add a certain homey character. Bathrooms follow the same color trend with black and white tiling. They can feel a bit small with pedestal sinks and just a small glass shelf or two for toiletries, but they do have combination showers and tubs. 

All rooms are outfitted with pillow-top mattresses, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, iHome docking stations, free Wi-Fi, and Keurig coffeemakers, plus safes, irons, and ironing boards. The mini-fridges are empty, but guests are offered trays of for-fee local products (the hotel sells this as a minibar), which run the gamut from wine to condoms. Bathrooms have hairdryers and a combination of individual toiletries and toiletry dispensers, all from Malin+Goetz. Upgraded rooms add space, while the suite can accommodate extra guests on a queen-sized sofa bed.

But there are some downsides: There's no AC, just that ceiling fan, and noise from outside or through the thin walls can be an issue for some. 

Features

Stylish restaurant serving craft cocktails and on-site bar, but gym is tiny

The hotel's most touted amenities include the small coffeeshop (which also serves baked goods) and The Douglas Room, a casual-cool restaurant and bar with rustic wood accents and a flair for craft cocktails. Both spots are opened to the public, and have the feel of neighborhood joints rather than hotel-brand add-ons. The Douglas Room also provides room service for the hotel from late morning into the evening. Breakfast isn't included in the room rate. 

Other on-site hangout spots include the chic lobby and a small but serene outdoor garden with a fountain. There's also a gym, though it's tiny and feels like an afterthought with just two pieces of cardio equipment and a rack of medicine balls tucked in odd corners in a windowless room. 

The hotel's front desk is open 24 hours and staff offer concierge and laundry services. Some helpful products are for sale in the lobby (ranging from razors to toothpaste to greeting cards), and the hotel offers a nice selection of meeting and event rooms. Wi-Fi is free throughout, but parking is by valet only and costs a pricey extra fee, though that's typical for the area. Dogs are allowed, too, for an extra per-stay fee.

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Things You Should Know About Tilden Hotel

Address

345 Taylor St, San Francisco, California 94102, United States

Also Known As

  • Hotel Mark Twain

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