Hotel Rex—with its adjoining Library Bar (a kitschy, funky place frequented by locals), Friday night jazz concerts and complimentary glass of wine at time of check-in—is a boutique hotel just off Union Square that resembles a visit to that proverbial ‘cool’ uncle’s rundown estate. He’s a little eccentric and perhaps even in need of a wife, but nonetheless a clean, decent man of refined taste. A perfectly serviceable, inexpensive hotel positioned at the hub of San Francisco’s downtown, the Rex’s decor is inspired by the city’s art salons of the 1920s and 30s.
Quirky touches make Hotel Rex companionable—like a bicycles-for-two package that includes a literary map of San Francisco and a house-made sourdough baguette to throw in your bicycle basket before dropping by the Ferry Building to purchase brie, tomatoes and wine for a picnic in the fog. Its Library Bar serves-up bourbon (and other) drinks with a bookish theme, as well as a surprising menu items like deep-fried truffle mac-‘n’-cheese and Croque Monsieur with fried egg.