So I’m flipping through ReadyMade magazine when I come across a full page ad that simply has a giant “友!” in a bright yellow font and a website address – hoteltomo.com. Well, that’s interesting, I think to myself. And from the main description of the website, interesting is definitely a way to describe it:
Welcome to the Best Western Hotel Tomo, newly renovated and inspired by Japanese pop-culture. From the wall of televisions in our lobby to anime murals and glow-in-the-dark desk blotters in each guest room, this is a San Francisco experience like no other.
That’s right folks, it’s like that canceled FOX television show Banzai!, but the hotel version, so says the marketing anyway. I have mixed feelings about this boutique hotel situated in San Francisco’s Japantown: “This is NOTHING like an Anime hotel,” I said upon first going to the website. “Shouldn’t everyone be dressed up as maids? Why do the rooms use unfinished wood furniture? Where is the tentacle porn?”
Once I realized I sounded like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons and realized it was just an J-Pop inspired hotel, I started to lighten up a little. I’m all for aesthetically pleasing hotels that don’t remind me of The Shining, and Hotel Tomo’s interiors sure look pretty, with murals done by Japanese artist PCP. And, what? There’s a gaming suite with a Wii, a PS3 and a six-foot LCD project screen? Don’t think they have PS3’s at the Francis Drake.
I wouldn’t half mind staying the night there, honestly, but as I’m only going off a website and Flickr photos, I might need to swing by and walk around provided that I don’t get mugged traveling through the Fillmore. (Note to anyone from the hotel reading this: If anyone wants to give us a comp night, we will be more than happy to give you a full-length, totally biased review.)
(Photo credit: YKita on Flickr)