Just off Union Square, Tilden Hotel lures Millennials with high tech appeal at a reasonable price tag. Adjacent to the no frills lobby is the lively Douglas Room restaurant and bar. A hidden hummingbird garden allows guests access to the outdoors without having to face the San Francisco streets. Small rooms offer unique traits like massive closets and a complimentary minibar for the taking.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Guests must pay a nightly $19 "amenity fee"; so take advantage of that "free" munchie at the restaurant, "free" minibar treats, museum discounts, garment press and shoe shine, and bike use.
The compact sleeping area retains the bones of this brick Depression era building's structure. A work desk, docking stations, and large flat screen TV cater to travelers' technological needs. Dig into the minibar offerings, as your first go of snacks, wine and water is included in the "amenity fee." Strangely, the closet is larger than the bathroom, so feel free to bring plenty of baggage.
Black and white tiled floors lead to the small mosaic-tiled shower. The black and white color scheme extends to the toilet as well.
The handsome lobby pulls off a mid-century modern aesthetic. The worker crowd lounges on wing-back chairs and loveseats, plugging in and sipping free coffee while they surf the web. The attached cafe, restaurant, and bar scene spills into the lobby, especially when the live DJ performs at the Douglas Room on Thursday nights.
Quite possibly San Francisco's smallest exercise room, there's a cardio machine and some free weights for the taking. Don't hit your head on the awkwardly shaped ceiling.
The adjacent Tilden Hotel Cafe serves coffee, tea and pastries throughout the day. Across the entrance-way, the Douglas Room lures the after-work crowd, especially restaurant workers, since they serve food until 1am. Sit under the Prince portrait sipping a Paisley Park cocktail, while the live DJ spins tracks off Purple Rain. Grub on their homage to a Philly cheese steak sandwich, the Whiz Wit.
The Douglas Room is the playful little brother of popular Benjamin Cooper up the street. A smattering of tables face the bar, where devotees lounge on plush bar stools sipping wine. Cocktails like the Death Star (a glorified Manhattan) pair well with their tater tots bathed in a fancy sauce. Happy Hour specials like duck confit wings, bubbly, select beers and well drinks last from 4pm-7pm Monday-Friday.
The hotel does rent space at a parking lot (and charge a ton for you to park your car). However, most use public transportation to get around the city. Hop on Muni and BART trains at Powell Street Station (5-minute walk) to access the outer reaches of the city. Walkers will find the hilly neighborhoods exhilarating.
The Tenderloin's hippest ramen bar Mensho Tokyo (5-minute walk) slings traditional bowls of noodles topped with pork belly and pickled veggies galore. Score a table at Liholiho Yacht Club (7-minute walk) for island favorites made from Bay Area ingredients.
Rye (5-minute walk) pleases upscale drinkers with candlelit wooden tables, and craft cocktails like a gin rye mule. Get the password to enter San Francisco's premiere speakeasy Bourbon and Branch (2-minute walk). Settle into the cozy nooks and indulge in classic and new world cocktails.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Save your cash for San Francisco's restaurants at this modest, but handsome, hotel that boasts a winning bar/restaurant and fun perks like complimentary minibar treats.