The Phoenix Hotel is a boutique motel with a rock n’ roll past and artistic spaces. The pool, restaurant, and relaxing rooms all seek to create a party atmosphere near some of San Francisco’s best music venues.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Alex Temblador Contributing writer
Picture Phoenix Hotel as San Francisco motel, Caravan Motor Lodge, in 1956. Neil Young is lounging around his room, hanging out with his bush babies, and recording Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s album, Déjà Vu.
Young wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience the trendy style of the rooms found at today’s Phoenix Hotel – the blue headboards and yellow curtains that pop against the white bed and red dial-up phones, all of which are complemented by framed rock band posters on the walls. Young definitely wouldn’t have experienced the free in-room Wi-Fi, the Illy espresso machines in the Deluxe King rooms or the Suites, or the 42″ flat-screen TVs with Direct TV and HBO.
the motel has risen from the ashes and is flying high and rocking out.
Following Young’s stay, the hotel fell out of favor in the 70s and 80s, until in 1987, it was bought and redone into a boutique hotel. The large parking lot – of which guests today can park one car per room for free – attracted bands on tour. It was the perfect location for these rock bands, as the hotel sits at the intersection of the Tenderloin, Civic Center, and Little Saigon Districts. It’s just a six-minute walk to the Great American Music Hall and nine minutes on foot from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, popular live music venues.
The property flourished and brought with it parties, rock and rollers, and celebrities, and from it, plenty of stories stand out like how Debby Harry and JFK Jr. were accidentally checked into the same room. Today, the Phoenix Hotel is looking to capture the past’s rock n’ roll energy and they’ve got plenty to draw travelers there. The art-filled pool is always heated to 85 degrees, and the courtyard is just begging music lovers to turn up the tunes, grab a drink, and hang out.
When you get hungry, there’s always Chambers, the on-site restaurant serving dinner, weekend brunch, and cocktails. The restaurant’s interior has some great elements like a light bulb sign behind the bar that reads, “Be Amazing,” and the shelves full of old school records.
The 1950s motor hotel may have fallen out of popularity and many of their wild stories may have disappeared with them, but with properties like The Phoenix Hotel, the motel has risen from the ashes and is flying high and rocking out.
When you’re hungry or thirsty head down to Chambers for a meal and cocktail. They’ve got vinyl spinning, so get ready to rock!
Roll down to the hotel lobby and grab their Phoenix Hotel pin. It’s too rad, not to throw on a jacket or pack
Stay up to date on hotel events, like pool parties and more
Complimentary WiFi and parking for hotel guests