I was at a meeting in San Francisco over the weekend. Staying downtown in a big city can be a pricey proposition even when the meeting negotiates "discount" rates. If you procrastinate about making your reservations, you might not find the less expensive options available.
Sometimes I take a chance on a local joint. This time I found the Hotel Des Arts near Chinatown in San Fran. This modestly priced hotel is in an older building with smaller rooms (some have a shared bath, I sprung for a private bath) and has a very European vibe to it. It's not uncommon to hear other languages in the lobby or at breakfast.
The cool thing about this hotel is that every room has been painted by a local artist. Your room comes with its very own mural and art. Here is the room I stayed in.
Outside your room, the hallways are art galleries. You can buy the art as well. One of the artists also works the front desk.
While maybe not for everybody, I enjoyed my stay there. Good price, good location, fun room. Hard to beat that combination.