Overview: The Hotel G soft-opened in San Francisco last May, but the adjoining restaurants and fitness center didn’t open until fall. The 13-story building was originally constructed in 1908 as the Fielding Hotel, which faded long ago. After a two-year renovation, the old property is now fully open and operating as a 153-room boutique hotel.
The Location: The G is located two blocks from Union Square in the heart of the theater district. Two or three blocks in various directions are the Tenderloin, Market Street and Nob Hill.
Room: Greatest king, room No. 1004, 10th floor corner. This is the hotel’s largest room category, which is equivalent to a junior suite. The decor is minimal yet cozy, with a clean Urban-Outfitters-meets-mid-century-modern vibe. A charming nook is outfitted with retro furniture, while the other side of the L-shaped room holds a desk and a large comfortable bed with wonderful linens and pillows. Cement floors are topped with a simple woven area rug. The room does not have central air or heat but rather a noisy window unit that doesn’t have a thermostat. It works well enough, but it’s impossible to set a specific temperature, so expect a bit of trial and error to get it to the desired setting. The bathroom is comically tiny, with a toilet that is crammed against the wall with millimeters to spare. Anyone with a waist size larger than, say, 28, won’t be able to center themselves on the seat. The towels are plush, though, as are the bathrobes and slippers.
Food/drink: The hotel has two restaurants located on either side of the entrance. On one side is the all-day cafe that serves the basics, from omelettes to burgers. On the other end is Three 9 Eight, a dinner-only American chophouse where the kitchen makes its own charcuterie and serves terrific dry-aged steaks, which is fitting since this busy corner was occupied for so many decades by Bob’s Steakhouse.
WiFi: Free and moderately fast.
Public spaces: This isn’t a place to see and be seen. The lobby consists of nothing more than a two-person check-in desk and a couple of vintage benches and chairs that accommodate no more than six people total. A second-floor fitness center is very well appointed. Colorful artwork throughout the hotel is curated by a nonprofit arts center for developmentally disabled adults.
Service: The front-desk staff is young, friendly and eager to please, although perhaps understaffed at peak hours.
Cost: $349. I’ve noticed smaller rooms starting at as low as $165. It’s important to note that rates in San Francisco, no matter the hotel, vary dramatically from week to week, tripling or even quadrupling based on citywide occupancy.
Bottom line: Another great option in the mid-to-lower price range for San Francisco’s crowded boutique hotel scene. The minuscule bathroom in 1004 is uncomfortably small, bordering on unacceptable considering this was the hotel’s largest room category. Fortunately, floor-plans vary and larger bathrooms do exist, so make sure you specify when making a reservation.
386 Geary St., San Francisco
This article originally appeared in the Orange County Register. To view more of my work for the Register, check out the archives. For more dining and travel inspiration, I invite you to follow me and join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.