Help me find a Union Square hotel in SF for Memorial Day weekend
April 26, 2007 8:21 PM   Subscribe

Hotels near Union Square in San Francisco that won't cost an arm and a leg?

There is a big academic conference the weekend of Memorial Day. The rate at the hotel is $200/night! Us poor grad students are looking for something close to the Hilton (333 O'Farrell Street), but that won't break the bank. We're also trying to squeeze 4 people in a room. Any suggestions? Is our best bet?
posted by k8t to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you're looking for something really cheap, then try the Amsterdam Hostel. Think of it as a less-than-average hotel, but a very outstanding hostel...
posted by suedehead at 8:37 PM on April 26, 2007

That seems relatively within walking distance of the Argent, which is, in my experience, the cheapest nice hotel in the area. Though, when I was last there, they were renovating, so it might be more expensive, now.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:42 PM on April 26, 2007

Try I got a room at the St. Francis for about $125 a night. Granted, you don't know the name of the hotel until you've paid, but you can lock down the area.
posted by FlamingBore at 8:52 PM on April 26, 2007

Hotel Diva
hip, modern design....usually they have internet specials and the cost is around $130
posted by hazel at 8:57 PM on April 26, 2007

The Westin and most other hotels in that area are going to have tinier rooms, if you're going to try to fit 4 people in one. Cheaper means closer to SFO, which really is just a short BART ride away, but that's $$$ to nickel and dime you back to the other, closer rooms.
posted by kcm at 9:00 PM on April 26, 2007

Oh, and I've stayed here before - cheap as hell and nothing but the basics, but it was safe and generally populated by normal people that just wanted a cheap place to sleep (rather than the usual types of people that tend to prefer the bottom end of hotels).

I wouldn't worry too much about staying right there - if you can find somewhere cheaper in the city itself, it's just as well to avoid Union Square. All the tourists are there and the real fun is elsewhere, unless you consider the Apple store, terrible Irish bars, and that one opera singer in the alley to be destination destinations.
posted by kcm at 9:06 PM on April 26, 2007

My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Metropolis a couple years ago, which is right at Union Square. Cost us $70 per night, though that was in November. Clean and safe, though the room was pretty tiny. I've just had a quick look at their rates, and they seem to have rooms with 2 double beds available for Memorial Day weekend at $120 per night...
posted by web-goddess at 9:43 PM on April 26, 2007

The Argent is now a Westin.
posted by occhiblu at 9:48 PM on April 26, 2007

As I'm in the process of moving to SF I've been spending more than a few nights in hotels.

I found the Argent/Westin more than acceptable. Last week I was in the Handlery. It's a step down, but a good enough place to sleep. I could hear the television blaring in the next room, but it didn't bother me all that much (my neighbors didn't stay up too late).
posted by aladfar at 10:23 PM on April 26, 2007

Consider staying in a hostel? You may be able to get a private room there at a much better rate.
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:33 PM on April 26, 2007

Hostelling International has 3 hostels in San Francisco, including one downtown near union square. Dorms run about 23-29 a night, and private rooms are available. There's a good chance your group could get a room to yourselves, but I'd call to be certain.

One minor caveat, if you're not a member there's a surcharge of 3 dollars or so a day.
posted by timelord at 11:27 PM on April 26, 2007

My wife and I stayed at the Golden Gate Hotel (it's actually a B&B with GREAT croissants in the morning) a couple of years ago. It may or may not be in your price range, but we had a great time there.
posted by birdsquared at 11:48 PM on April 26, 2007

I'm headed to SF this weekend and booked a room at The Mosser, which is right near Union Square. I think I paid around $80 Cdn per night; I got a good rate on Expedia.
posted by sanitycheck at 2:29 AM on April 27, 2007

The Halcyon is worth checking out, I stayed there for a while in 2001 and it was fine. I also stayed at The Mosser a few months ago and I was happy with it.
posted by teleskiving at 2:38 AM on April 27, 2007

I stayed at the Adelaide Hostel in 2004. It was fine, has lots of recommendations, and is very cheap. It's two blocks over from Union Square. You should be able to block book a four bed dorm with your friends and save loads, although they do offer more Hotel-like private rooms too.
posted by caek at 3:21 AM on April 27, 2007

The Hotel Des Artes is supposed to be cool. I'm currently planning a trip to SF and wanted to stay there but they were booked for my times.
posted by miss tea at 4:36 AM on April 27, 2007

I was just in Union Square for a conference, and I and a few of my colleagues got great deals through Priceline... During the conference, we stayed in the Crowne Plaza for around $80/night, and after the conference, I stayed in the Monarch hotel through the weekend. I'd recommend against the Monarch Hotel, though--it kind of gave me an uneasy feeling and the fact that was blocked on the hotel wifi wasn't reassuring. Friends stayed in the budget-oriented Taylor Hotel, which was very no-frills, but were it in a developing country, I would consider it more than decent.
posted by zachxman at 6:02 AM on April 27, 2007

Joie De Vivre has a number of smaller properties downtown. We've directed folks coming in for work meeting to them, and never had any complaints.
posted by hwickline at 6:07 AM on April 27, 2007

I stayed at Hotel Des Artes for a week for $300, I imagine their daily rates are pretty cheap if you just need to stay a weekend. It was pretty good for the price - it's basically a hostel, but you get a private room and they're painted by street artists.
posted by bradbane at 6:43 AM on April 27, 2007

Seconding the Joie de Vivre recommendation. They have several boutique hotels in that area. I've stayed at their Hotel Rex, but for four people the room might be kind of tight.

If the Hilton is the conference hotel, call them and ask if they have corporate rates and don't mention you're with the convention. (If they ask which, just pick any very large corporation and take a shot in the dark.) Many hotels have corporate rates that are below even their convention rates and won't ask for any proof that you're with said corporation when you check in.
posted by bedhead at 7:18 AM on April 27, 2007

You want the Pickwick. It's not fancy - but it's clean and not that far away. I live in SF but have stayed there with a group of girls after a drunken girls night out. They didn't seem to mind at all that we crammed 7 people into one smallish room. I just checked and it looks like they have some rooms for 99/night.
When my husband was in a job that regularly had people in from out of town - he used hotwire a lot to get really good deals. Could be worth a shot. Note that the Hilton is on the boarder of the tenderloin which is kind of rough. Don't stay any further from Union Square than that Hilton. Look at places the other direction.
posted by Wolfie at 9:21 AM on April 27, 2007

the Adelaide is only 1.2 miles from the Hilton - that's walkable, or a quick cab ride.

I'm staying there for a couple of days in about three weeks - glad to see mefi recommendations.
posted by yggdrasil at 11:34 AM on April 27, 2007

I've had good luck using to find a decently priced hotel room in the Union Square area. You might want to use this to see what's available then cross-reference with recommendations from the thread.
posted by Gortuk at 1:47 PM on April 27, 2007

I'll 3rd the Mosser. The rooms are clean, cool looking, and use the space really well. You can also get a room without a restroom in it for a lower price (There are communal bathrooms/showers to use). Plus, a portion of the profits go to the environment (how much, I don't know). The hotel is a block away from the convention center, near a bus stop that goes to the Caltrain station, and close to the light rail.
posted by idiotfactory at 4:13 PM on April 27, 2007

finding cheap hotels in San Francisco is a bit difficult, but my brother found a great deal at the Ramada Limited. it's on Lombard Street, so it's not in Union Square, but public transit in SF is great. there's a 24-hour front desk at this hotel, too, so you can always ask about the best route to get to your conference.

the hotel is not especially nice to look at, but it's clean, very safe, and it's more than reasonable (i'm sure we paid less than $100 USD per night). as well, the lobby/front desk is like a storefront, and you go upstairs to your room from outside, so i'm sure sneaking 4 people in wouldn't a problem.

i'm hoping my brother comes along and can offer more information if he remembers anything i forgot!
posted by gursky at 10:20 PM on April 27, 2007

I've stayed in all of the hotels listed here (!) except the Ramada on Lombard, and the Mosser seems like the best combination of not-gross and fairly cheap. Use QuikBook if you don't want to deal with the uncertainty of Priceline, and any one of these suggestions is easily in walking distance of the Hilton.
posted by anildash at 11:42 AM on April 28, 2007

Thanks all.
posted by k8t at 10:28 AM on May 1, 2007

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