Review – Hotel Mirabelle

by RhodesTer on March 12, 2010

in NOT Humor/Satire, Righteous Reviews, San Francisco

(A review of our first temporary home upon arriving in San Francisco.)

An extended stay at Hotel Mirabelle proved to be just what we needed as my wife and I arrived in San Francisco to seek permanent digs. Sharon runs the place with grace, dignity and charm, plus a good sense of artistic value. The rooms and two sitting areas along with the hallways are adorned with some nice works for one to stop and admire, while the themed rooms match the displayed art beautifully.

Sun Room at Hotel Mirabelle

We were fortunate to enjoy the “Sun Room,” which is prominently featured on their website. This is one of four front-facing rooms with traditional San Francisco style bay windows, offering a nice view of the action on Mission Street down below. Other rooms vary in size from smaller to really smaller, but for the price they can’t be beat.

Hotel Mirabelle bay window viewThe street-facing rooms can be a bit noisy as sirens wail and buses whoosh up and down every ten minutes, but that’s the cacophony of the symphony called the city. Opt for a room towards the rear of the building if you cherish blessed quiet with nothing to watch. Noise from the inside is minimal and you’ll only hear the occasional hallway conversation and shuffling of guests to and from the shared baths at the end of the hall which, by the way, are kept meticulously clean and tidy.

A word on these shared baths – I’ve honestly never stayed in a hotel without a private bath so I was a bit reticent at first, wondering if the showers were just stalls or as open as a locker room. Nope – my worries were for naught, as it turns out that the shower rooms offer complete privacy once you step in and lock the door. Dance to Bowie under a stream of luscious warm water to cleanse away the cares of the day, and nobody will see, hear or care.

Troublemakers and nefarious characters don’t seem to easily get in here and, although we encountered a few during our extended stay, they were out rather quickly once their actions came to light. My impression is that it’s safe, clean and cozy, with amiable management and a friendly houseman who greets you with a smile every time he sees you. Take him out for a cerveza to show your appreciation and you’ll get some interesting stories if your Spanish is good enough.

The neighborhood isn’t the best in the city but it’s by far not the worst. I’d give it about a 6.5 – 7 rating on a scale of one to ten, with a ten being somewhere you’d pay ten times as much (Nob Hill) and a one being a hotel where you’d trip over the meth addicts on the way to your room (Tenderloin).

Scurry up thataway to Valencia (about two blocks) and go pub-hopping with the hipsters, or jump on a BART train at the 16th Street station one block away and whoosh off to anywhere in the city or across the bay in minutes. Another transportation option would be the two Muni lines that stop in front going North and South. The #14 serves the length of Mission Street from The Embarcadero all the way south to Daly City. The #49 serves San Francisco City College in the south, but then cuts over on Van Ness after you jump aboard in front of the hotel and plows its way through the middle of the city all the way to North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf.

If you stay local you’ll have your choice of taco joints, coffeehouses and mini-markets galore, along with a few nice bars, particularly on nearby Valencia Street.

sitting room at hotel mirabelle by swampzoid on flickrOn weekends Sharon serves up a nice continental breakfast in the upper salon, consisting of a variety of fruit, bagels, pastries, coffee and teas. Sit up there when it rains or take it out on the back deck down below to schmooze with other guests who are doing the same. Despite what you’ve heard, there are more than a few sunny days in San Francisco during spring and summer, and that’s when the decorative back deck area is most inviting.

Parking, not surprisingly, is an issue. You’ll be leaving your car in a local paid lot for a fee or parking on the street for free after 6:00pm.. prior to that it’s metered and you’ll go through your change rather quickly. It’s best to leave the car at home, fly-in and shuttle from the airport, then avail yourself of the Muni and Bart, which will get you anywhere you want to go 24-hours a day (note – Bart does not run after midnight but the Muni buses run all night long.)

In summation, I’ll miss the Hotel Mirabelle, and I don’t miss what I haven’t liked. Who wouldn’t dig charm, class and amicable service offered up for a bargain price?

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You can book Hotel Mirabelle by calling 415.701.0931
or emailing them or visiting the website.

RhodesTer on Twitter/Facebook/Subscribe to this mess

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