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The Good Hotel at night

My partner and I are going to travel down to San Francisco this weekend.  Our plan is to stop by the Yoga Journal Conference, hang with our friends at lululemon, see a few good yoga peeps and get a little dose (hopefully) of California sunshine before we return back to Vancouver for the chaotic emergence of the 2010 Olympic Games.

Sounds easy enough in theory?  Yet travel is always a good yogic test, of staying calm amidst all the movement and stress, especially these days.  Also, a question that I usually find perplexing is where should we rest our heads?  What hotel, or b+b or vacation rental offers just the right mix of un-stuffiness, coolness yet not cold-ness, modern hipsterness without attitude and at least some sort of an eco sensibility i.e. does it recycle? – (common); use organic cotton bedding (quite uncommon); how integrated is it into a neighbourhood?  And how close is it to public transit?

This time, I used the well-edited list at Tablet Hotels and discovered the aptly named Good Hotel in San Fran’s SOMA district.  Why so apt?  As Tablet points out, “That’s “good” as a noun, not an adjective. San Francisco’s Good Hotel is less about being a good hotel—it certainly is that, in its unassuming way—and more about doing good.”

With a location that’s definitely off the beaten tourist track, yet close enough to bus and trams, rooms that look like super-eco, reclaimed / recycled versions of Dwell magazine’s FSC certified, modern pages; i-pod docking stations to broadcast your favourite playlists, eco-mod furniture, free wi-fi, and free parking for hybrid cars, the hotel; one of the local San Francisco based chain of Joie de Vivre Hotels, which has taken over various old, derelict properties and given them new life and style; seems like its crafted for hipster, urban nomads without large pocketbooks – rooms while being close enough to the city, do not cost an arm or a leg.

Add in the front desk’s “philantropy” concierge, who will help you find last minute volunteering opportunities in the Bay Area, free bicycles that get you around town using your eco-friendly pedal power and an emphasis on reuse, recyle and refashion, this hotel seems like it fits right in with Yogue’s sensibilities: style and eco-living without a sky-high price tag.

The Lobby

i love these "lobby clocks"

a typical double bed room

MAC heaven, the biz centre

By next week, we’ll let you know if our Good Hotel experience is truly Good.