Hotel Rex Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Union Square, San Francisco, California

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

  • Rooms facing the courtyard are dark.
  • No on-site gym; daily fee to use one across the street

Bottom Line

This 94-room Union Square boutique, themed after 1920s and '30s literary salons, is a bit quirky, with fairly hands-off service and few amenities. But the tiny quarters are nicely furnished with up-to-date amenities, there's a daily wine hour in the reading-room-style lobby bar, and an on-site bistro offers up well-priced Californian fare.

Oyster Awards

We investigate in person.
Like your mother-in-law.

Categories

, , ,

Oyster Hotel Photos

View All 6 Albums

Customers Who Viewed Hotel Rex Also Viewed

The Huntington Hotel
17% viewed
The Huntington Hotel
Nob Hill, San Francisco
Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf
17% viewed
Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
The Fairmont San Francisco
8% viewed
The Fairmont San Francisco
Nob Hill, San Francisco

Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A 94-room boutique with minimal amenities and service, this property from the Joie de Vivre group of hotels has unique literary-themed decor and surpisingly up-to-date, if small, rooms.

Literary themed lobby features retro reading tables
Literary themed lobby features retro reading tables

Themed after literary and artistic salons of the 1920s and '30s, Hotel Rex feels in many ways like a bookstore/hotel mash-up. Its lobby is lined with shelves of antique books, retro reading desks, and armchairs fit for an afternoon of poring over the classics; hallways are inscribed with California- and travel-related literary quotes; and the small business center has antique typewriters. In every way true to the affordable and quirky Joie de Vivre boutique brand, it has mostly hands-off, though friendly, service and not much in the way of extras.

If all the historic literary references seem a bit much, not to worry: Rooms are surprisingly modern. Wall-mounted, 36-inch flat-panel TVs and iPod dock alarm clock/radios are impressively up-to-date, and pillow-top beds are plush and comfortable. It's too bad the rooms are small, and those that face the tiny courtyard are dark and feel even more cramped.

Luckily, there's a great lobby bar and restaurant downstairs with a free nightly wine hour. The reasonably priced Library Bar serves Californian fare for breakfast and dinner in a tiny, charming dining room. With the look of a reading room, the bar feels like it's in a different era, and appropriately enough offers a signature menu of "Writers Vice" cocktails.

Though the price and location make the Hotel Rex a decent value, if it's less of a themey scene and larger rooms that you want, the nearby boutique Donatello offers a similar location and amenities, with larger suite-style rooms at better prices.

 Location

Two blocks from the commercial hub of Union Square

Hotel Rex sits two blocks northwest of Union Square, which is famous for its couture shops but not much else. Home to enormous outposts of Niketown, Saks, Tiffany, Macy's, Louis Vuitton, and Neiman Marcus, among others, Union Square is to San Francisco what 5th Avenue is to New York and Rodeo Drive is to L.A. Locals don't hang out here, but the square is great for people-watching, nonetheless, and it occasionally plays host to small festivals and demonstrations. Still, if conspicuous consumption isn't a priority, you might prefer a neighborhood closer to the city's biggest attractions, like Nob Hill or Fisherman's Wharf.

  • Five blocks from the two Powell cable-car lines, which can take you to Lombard Street and Ghirardelli Square or to Fisherman's Wharf near Pier 39
  • Far from the Presidio, the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, and Haight-Ashbury
  • Discount day-of theater seats available at the Union Square ticket kiosk
  • Plenty of dining nearby, though the area isn't really known for its epicurean flare (Cheesecake Factory is the most visible restaurant around)
  • Il Cafe Rulli, on the other side of the square, charges ridiculous amounts for its coffee and snacks, but you can't beat the setting on a sunny day.
  • 30-minute taxi from San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

 Bottom Line

This 94-room Union Square boutique, themed after 1920s and '30s literary salons, is a bit quirky, with fairly hands-off service and few amenities. But the tiny quarters are nicely furnished with up-to-date amenities, there's a daily wine hour in the reading-room-style lobby bar, and an on-site bistro offers up well-priced Californian fare.

Things You Should Know About Hotel Rex

Address

  • 562 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Hotel Rex San Francisco
  • Rex Hotel San Francisco
  • Rex San Francisco

Room Types

  • Deluxe Room
  • Executive Room
  • One Bedroom Suite

Find the Lowest Price - Enter Dates

Check-in
Check-out
Guests
  Compare rates on dozens of sites
 AVG/NIGHT 
Hotels.com  
Expedia.com  
Tingo.com  
Booking.com  
Travelocity  
Otel.com  
Priceline.com  
CheapTickets.com  

All About Oyster

You Can't Return a Bad Vacation.

Our special investigators visit, photograph, review and rate each hotel. We uncover the truth, before it's "uh-oh" time.

Go undercover with an Oyster Investigator The Today Show
Go Undercover with an Oyster Investigator
See 70 Videos of Oyster on TV

Nearby Hotels to Consider

Sir Francis Drake
Kensington Park Hotel
The Inn at Union Square
Donatello Hotel
  • Donatello Hotel
  • Union Square, San Francisco
  • Rating: 30 Pearls
  • Distance: 0.1 mi

Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 94
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
View All

Hotel Information

Location: Union Square, San Francisco
Address: 562 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94102
(See Map)
Loading Live Rates
Loading...