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Hotels and fun stuff in San Francisco
October 22, 2012 6:44 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I are visiting San Francisco in early December. Neither of us have ever been there. Please help us find a reasonably priced (less than $150/night preferably) hotel in the city.

Bonus question: Fun things (the weirder the better)to do and amazing vegan restaurant recommendations are a plus! Thanks!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (22 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Use airbnb.com. You'll stay somewhere much more home-y and have great hosts. I have had all but one great experience with it, and the bad experience was with medical travel, so it would have sucked no matter what. You'll never find a comparable value in a hotel -- and you will be hard pressed to a hotel to stay in an agreeable part San Francisco for that budget. You might just find somebody letting a private room in their awesome Nob Hill house, though; that's well within the usual airbnb rate.
posted by sweltering at 7:02 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kimpton has a lot of properties in SF and it's plausible you could get that kind of rate at one of them. Sign up for their loyalty program to get free wifi.
posted by yarrow at 7:05 AM on October 22, 2012


The Hayes Valley Inn is affordable, comfortable, and in a great location.
posted by liketitanic at 7:15 AM on October 22, 2012


Mid-week or weekend stay? You can sometimes get great deals for mid-week. That said, Hotels.com lists a fair number of places in your budget. You'll have to spend near your limit to get something above a 1.5-2 star, though unless there's a special deal on.

Are you seasoned city folks? There are a few boutique hotels in shady areas of the city that look like they might work. I see a couple of places listed as Japantown, which could be Western Addition in reality. Now, there's some awesome stuff to do in those neighborhoods, but WA can also get a little dicey at night, especially near the projects. Easier for you to come up with some specific blocks and ask for feedback--our crime-prone areas, like our weather, are in microclimates.
posted by smirkette at 7:16 AM on October 22, 2012


Travelodge at Market & Valencia in the Mission. The hotel is right next to FLAX, a really cool art supply store, and Valencia has a ton of restaurants including Herbivore, Ananda Fuara, Cha-Ya Vegetarian Japanese.
posted by shoesietart at 7:25 AM on October 22, 2012


I like the King George Hotel. It has a a great location at Union Square, and lots of style and character at very reasonable prices. (Though it's been quite a while since I was there.)
posted by philipy at 7:38 AM on October 22, 2012


Seconding airbnb.com, stayed in a great, famous old house near city centre for less than your budget, memail me if you want the exact listing.
posted by Cosine at 7:46 AM on October 22, 2012


Thirding airbnb, just got a gorgeous 1 bedroom apartment in the Mission for the weekend for that price.
posted by justjess at 8:03 AM on October 22, 2012


Joie de Vivre is a group of smaller boutique hotels that often has pretty good special pricing. My wife and I like the Phonix hotel for weekend getaways in SF. Not the nicest neighborhood, but it's right downtown with easy access to MUNI. jdvhotels.com

For vegan food, I love Gracias Madre in the Mission district. gracias-madre.com. You could spend a good amount of time walking around the mission before dinner there. Lots of interesting shops. Valencia street has gotten really hipster over the last few years, with cool stores and great coffee shops. Ritual is my fav, although everyone seems to rave about Four Barrell.
posted by mgr at 8:17 AM on October 22, 2012


I stayed for a week at Hotel Metropolis last June, and I would stay there again. Rack rate for that hotel seems to be in line with your budget. It was located right off Market Street near the streetcar and Powell line cable cars, a few blocks from Union Square. It was not too touristy because it's on the border of the Tenderloin District, but I was also comfortable walking back and forth to the hotel in the dark.
posted by aabbbiee at 8:33 AM on October 22, 2012


I stayed at the Andrews Hotel about six months ago and paid ~$100 a night. Rooms were small but the location is great and you're probably not going to be spending much time in your room in SF, anyway! I've also stayed at the Union Square Plaza Hotel which I liked even more, and it'll set you back $79 a night, according to their website.
posted by jabes at 8:38 AM on October 22, 2012


My two favorites are the Beresford Arms in Nob Hill, and the Marina Motel in the marina district (Lombard @ Devisadero). Both are located in interesting neighborhoods and within walking distance of cool stuff, within your price range, not fleabags.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:39 AM on October 22, 2012


Use airbnb to get the true SF experience.
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:45 AM on October 22, 2012


I recently stayed at the Mithila Hotel for a couple of nights, at $107/night via hotels.com. Nothing fancy, but the room was quiet and clean and the desk guy friendly.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:33 AM on October 22, 2012


airbnb is good if you like that sort of thing.

I'm a San Francisco native and my favorite place to lay my head when I return to visit is The Nob Hill Motor Inn, at Pacific and Van Ness. Go to Hotels.com to book, they're offering rooms at $130 per night.

It's decently close to public transportation and it's in a great neighborhood (Polk Street). Lots of little restaurants, bars, shops, etc.

The rooms are older, but large and spotlessly clean. You have a view of nothing, but who cares?

The breakfast is pretty silly, terrible coffee and pre-packaged pastries. Mr. Donut is across the street, though, and an excellent source of vitamin Fried Dough.

There's a coffee pot, fridge and microwave in the room, and neat organic groceries on Polk street, so you can do for yourself in the room.

If you're driving, the parking is free. Which is a HUGE deal.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:43 AM on October 22, 2012


For vegan food, I love Gracias Madre in the Mission district.

I'm not even a vegan, and I'll second Gracias Madre. It's really quite good.

As far as other vegan restaurants go, a negative recommendation: don't go to Millennium. Not worth it at all.
posted by asterix at 11:52 AM on October 22, 2012


I stayed at the Travelodge Presidio (2755 Lombard) last year & it was great for the price. I think it was $107 per night or something, but travelocity is telling me it's now $117.

It's on a quieter part of Lombard (west of Richardson Avenue, so no bridge traffic, and right next to the Presidio). It also had free parking. It's not exactly central, but we could still walk places - 30 minutes walk to The Fillmore.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:39 PM on October 22, 2012


Cha-Ya Vegetarian Japanese.

Seconding Cha-ya! It's the best. Also, go to Papalote where you can get vegan mole, and/or vegan soyrizo in your burrito/taco/etc...
posted by grapesaresour at 3:48 PM on October 22, 2012


We stayed at the Metro Hotel last summer for something like $75/night for a double room, and would definitely stay there again. Tiny room, but very clean and up to date and the building had a cute little garden out back. The neighborhood was pleasant to walk around in, plenty of restaurants and shops but quieter than downtown and the big tourist areas.
posted by songs about trains at 6:52 PM on October 22, 2012


Seconding the Metro Hotel. Staying near the Lower Haight also affords you an opportunity to stay in an area with more locals and less tourists. Make sure to hit up the Toronado if you happen to like craft beer.

The San Remo is also charming and a great value, assuming you're not averse to shared bathrooms (it's not icky or anything). Right in between North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf.
posted by dhammond at 9:43 PM on October 22, 2012


Thanks for all the great ideas! I never thought to use AirBnB. We found a bunch of amazing places on AirBnB and settled on a gorgeous looking place well within our price range.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:07 AM on October 25, 2012


I'm late to the party, but came in here to second the Hayes Valley Inn. We live a few blocks away and always suggest it to visitors. They're always pleased by it.
posted by kdar at 9:41 PM on October 30, 2012


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