Talk:San Francisco/Nob Hill-Russian Hill
Rudy Colombini and the Encore Express Hotel/Hostel
Rudy is the owner of the Encore Express Hotel/Hostel in San Francisco, formerly known as the James Court Hotel. The Encore Express is located at 1353 Bush Street, which is quite close to most of the area's attractions. Chinatown is only about a mile away, and Fisherman's Wharf is just over a mile and a half away. If you're looking to just relax outdoors for a bit, it's only about a half mile to Lafayette Park.
The neighborhood is pretty average for San Francisco, that is to say it's nothing fancy, but for a budget hotel you wouldn't expect that, anyway. The Encore is a Hotel/Hostel, which means it has a mix of shared and private rooms. The hostel situation is common for European travelers, but less so for Americans, so it's something to be aware of. The rooms are clean and a bargain at around $49/night for a shared room and about $79/night for a private room. The shared rooms have bunk beds (up to 8 people per room) and a shared bathroom on each floor, and they are booked "per person." The private rooms have either a queen or a double bed and, depending on the room, also include vanity sinks, TVs, and a work station. Some of the private rooms use the shared bathrooms, while some have private bathrooms. There is also free WiFi service in each room. Pictures of the rooms can be seen on the Encore's website here.
The Building and Music City
Rudy has been in the hotel business for 30 years now, acquiring the Encore building in 1982. Before 2008 the Encore Express was known as the James Court Hotel, one of four hotels previously owned by Rudy. The others were sold between 2008 and 2010. It is situated in a typical (renovated) San Francisco building that was constructed in 1907. As such, there are no elevators, and there is no official parking for the hotel. There is, however, paid parking next door, but most people simply walk to their destinations. The front desk is on the first floor, which is actually the second floor for most people who aren't used to old buildings.
Rudy is in the process of expanding the Encore's reach and creating Music City SF - intended to be an all-around hangout for the city's young music scene - with plans to eventually incorporate a bar, club, and restaurant. Currently, the hotel includes the Plug N Play Club (located in the Encore's basement), which is an area where local musicians can rent a fully equipped rehearsal room and play to their hearts' content.  Since the building is over 100 years old, there is a strict 11pm curfew for the club so all guests can enjoy a good night's sleep.
Considering the location, price, and amenities, the Encore certainly caters to the younger traveler/musician crowd, but anyone looking for a good bargain can appreciate it.