Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Room without a view.

Welcome to the Handlery Hotel, home for my most recent trip to San Francisco. This is a comfy hotel, in a great location just off Union Square, and it feels quintessentially San Franciscan. It is not without its quirks. Exhibit A: the view from our room. It consists of a concrete wall a couple of yards outside the window. And if you look out the window in just about any direction (you can actually throw the windows wide open), you find a similar view. (See inset photos.)

At first, this view was unnerving. But after a while it began to grow on me. For starters, this is one quiet room. If you want a great night’s sleep in the middle of San Francisco, I highly recommend room 317 at the Handlery.

And the view seems to fit the quirks and cubbyholes of the rest of the hotel, which is a mishmash of maze-like hallways, secret staircases, and mysterious dead ends. If I were a kid, I could spend hours exploring this unusual place. Hell, I’m not a kid and I still went looking for the weirdness.

This is an old hotel that has been lovingly cared for. It offers modern amenities, yet the owners have not modernized so much that the building has lost its strange charm. Combine that with a friendly staff that is never over bearing, a decent onsite breakfast, and reasonable rates, and this is a hotel at which I’ll likely stay again.


  1. Gotta love that brick wall. It just captures the imagination!

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