Though not actually on Fremont Street, Main Street Station is just 2 short blocks away, barely a 3-minute walk. Considering how terrific it is, this is hardly an inconvenience. Having taken over an abandoned hotel space, Main Street Station, in our opinion, remains one of the nicest hotels in Downtown and one of the best bargains in the city.
The overall look here, typical of Downtown, is early-20th-century San Francisco. However, unlike everywhere else, the details here are outstanding, resulting in a beautiful hotel by any measure. Outside, gas lamps flicker on wrought-iron railings and stained-glass windows. Inside, you’ll find hammered-tin ceilings, ornate antique-style chandeliers, and lazy ceiling fans. The small lobby is filled with wood panels, long wooden benches, and a front desk straight out of the Old West, with an old-time key cabinet with beveled-glass windows. Check out the painting of a Victorian gambling scene to the left of the front desk. Even the cashier cages look like antique brass bank tellers’ cages. They are proud of their special antiques, such as stained glass from the Lillian Russell mansion and doors from the Pullman mansion. It’s all very appealing and just plain pretty. An enclosed bridge connects the hotel with the California Hotel across the street, where you will find shopping and a kids’ arcade.
The long and narrow rooms are possibly the largest in Downtown, though the ornate decorating downstairs does not extend up here, but the rooms are plenty nice enough. The bathrooms are small but well appointed. Rooms on the north side overlook the freeway, and the railroad track is nearby. The soundproofing seems quite strong — we couldn’t hear anything when inside, but then again, we’re from L.A. A few people have complained about noise in these rooms, but the majority of guests haven’t had any problems. If you’re concerned, request a room on the south side.
The stylish Triple 7 Brew Pub is listed under ‘Nightlife.’ The excellent buffet, Main Street Station Garden Court, is listed under ‘Restaurants.’ And the casino, thanks to some high ceilings, is one of the most smoke-free around.