Looking for super-cheap hotel in San Francisco
August 4, 2009 10:42 PM   Subscribe

A friend is visiting San Francisco from Toronto just before Christmas, and looking for recommendations for somewhere super-cheap to stay.

She is 55, well-travelled, assertive and not easily fazed. And, she's pretty broke. She's travelling alone and will be in SF for about a week, doing tourist stuff.

The ideal accommodation would be 1) less than $50 a night, 2) as close as possible to City Hall, 3) not insanely unsafe, and 4) reasonably clean. A sketchy neighborhood is okay, but a creepy hotel or creepy staff would not be. Threadbare and shopworn is fine. Privacy and a reasonable level of quiet is good; loud drunk neighbors would be bad.

She obviously can't afford a conventional hotel or B-and-B, and I think a hostel would drive her crazy, as would couch-surfing -- she's pretty introverted. So I'm a bit stuck. Does anyone know a school, or religious group, or condo association, that rents out rooms for cheap?
posted by Susan PG to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
if your friend is willing to consider a hostel, she should check out Hostelling International's location on Ellis (not the one by the Wharf). i stayed there in June and there were a few families staying there, along with older travellers. there were young people/students, of course, but the place was never rowdy or chaotic.

it's less than $50 a night, a 5 minute walk from BART (Civic Center), and very clean. i can't recommend this place enough. breakfast and towels are included, and there are lockers in the rooms. it's awesome. the neighbourhood is a little sketchy, but i didn't feel unsafe, even arriving back at the hostel late at night on my own.

just thought i'd throw it out there in case it's hard to find a condo or school.
posted by gursky at 10:57 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

She might try looking for sublets or temporary shares on Craigslist. She might also try posting a house swap sort of ad and see - I know friends who have had some luck with that.
posted by judith at 12:18 AM on August 5, 2009

Deals sometimes exist when you book the flight and hotel together on expedia or something similar. Getting below $50 a night is pretty unlikely, but worth a shot.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:10 AM on August 5, 2009

I stayed in Hotel Metro a couple of summers back. It was tiny tiny tiny but cheap, non-sketchy and clean. I paid around $75 a night. They have a room available for 79 a night the week before Christmas. http://www.metrohotelsf.com/
(No I don't work for them.)
posted by 8dot3 at 12:14 PM on August 5, 2009

Oh and according to their website, it's about 12 blocks from City Hall.
posted by 8dot3 at 12:15 PM on August 5, 2009

She could stay further out than the Tenderloin -- the 24th Street Mission BART station is only four stops away from Civic Center (the City Hall station) and takes about ten minutes.

Also, look for cat-sitting posts on Craigslist -- they sometimes want the person to stay over with the critter. (Her age and description make her sound like a good, reliable housesitter.)
posted by vickyverky at 12:27 PM on August 5, 2009

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