Hotel Emblem is located in the Union Square district of Downtown San Francisco, a very popular area for shopping and dining. The building it is in was built in 1907 shortly after the historic San Francisco fires and has been a hotel ever since. Despite its small frame nature, the boutique hotel has done all it can make it accessible for all. Getting to the hotel will be the biggest challenge for most people using a manual wheelchair. Though there are hills they are not as steep as they can get in San Francisco so a power wheelchair would do just fine. Public transportation is close by, including BART a few blocks away.
Two entrances exist into the hotel but are right next to each other. The one that enters into the library bar is step-free. The library bar is filled with books guests can check out and creates a sophisticated ambiance. Food is also available for order here which can be enjoyed at one of the nearby tables. On Monday nights San Francisco “themed” (used loosely) movies are projected into one the walls, Tuesdays is vinyl night where guests take turns playing DJ. and on Fridays guests and visitors enjoy live Jazz. Guests of the hotel can savor a complimentary glass of wine at the library bar every evening from 5-6pm. Adjacent to bar is the parlor room where breakfast is served every day from 7:30am to 11:30am.
The front desk did not have a lowered section for wheelchair access but the staff was courteous and assisted where needed. The elevator is directly around the corner from the front desk. It is an old-fashioned elevator, probably at one point used for freight, so it is tiny but gets the job done. A power wheelchair could even fit, though tight and without room for anyone or anything else. In a historic building such as this, I found this perfectly suitable. The hallways, like most hotels, are carpeted to absorb noise but room #311 was not too far down the hall. `
The door was widened with a lowered peep hole and opened with a card. Inside the room the furniture hugged the walls to maximize space which left just enough room to maneuver. This room has a king bed and is accessible on one side and at the foot. A flat screen, mini-bar closet and desk are available for guests with no special adaptations. The bathroom door is directly on the right side when entering the room. Overall the space is fully utilized to create an open and wheelchair friendly layout. The roll-up sink faces the door and in one corner is the toilet with grab bars but no back and the other is the roll-in shower with a flip-down wooden bench and held-held shower nozzle. Room #311 is the only room with a roll-in shower, however rooms 306, 406, 506 and 606 are handicapped accessible with a bathtub.