Blogs Jul 6, 2010 at 11:23 am


Metro Hotel on Divisadero.
The Mosser Hotel (

It's newly renovated, clean, fairly inexpensive. In addition to roomier rooms with private baths you can also get a very small room with a shared bath.

It's where I stay when I visit. And it's centrally located.
It's the bedbug thing. That'll be the kicker.

I used to stay at the Nob Motor in, on Polk and Pacific. New owners since then, so who knows...

Nob Hill Motor Inn
1630 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 775-8160
Screw hotels. Check
I stayed at the very no-frills Hotel des Arts a couple years back and I loved it:
Metro Hotel on Divisadero @ Page (one block off of Haight Street) is inexpensive, decent, and really central. It's 5 blocks from the Castro, one block from a major bus intersection (Haight/Divis) and surrounded by tons of decent restaurants. It's a great neighborhood. I used to always put up the DJs I few in at the Metro. (
Any of the Kimpton hotels (Monaco, Sir Francisc Drake, Palomar, Prescott, Serrano, Triton).
I second Paul's Hotel des Arts suggestion. Nothing like waking up inside somebody's painting.
the hotel triton is probably up your alley. it's right across from the gates to chinatown and it's a clean hipster-ish place. they have a happy hour every night with free wine, all the guests come down and hang out together.
I work for Marriott... If you are willing to say I am your "friend" Dan I can get you my friends and family rate.
We went there about 18 months ago and were really strapped for cash. We stayed at the Powell Hotel, and I still can't figure out how we got such a good deal. It's a very nice, comfortable hotel with a unique vibe. And it's front door opens up to the trolley turn-around station. Best location I could think of.
So many choices here - I second the Triton.
The Good Hotel....
Triton is is Hotel Rex...very close to Union Square.
I stayed at hotel Triton (owned by people who own the downtown Alexis). Kind of kitch but not a bad price right next ti chinatown entrance and really friendly staff.
The Grant Hotel on Bush Street is pretty nice. Got a great price over Pride Weekend, it was clean and had a nice bathroom. Centrally located near downtown/Union Square area. Best of luck and enjoy your stay in the bay area!
Last time I was there I stayed at The Comfort Inn on Van Ness & Lombard. Very nice and a decent price. Near Fisherman's Wharf.
When I need to stay in SF I use Priceline. $90 is usually enough for a "name your own price" room in a 4-star hotel in one of the downtown areas.
The Diva on Geary between Mason and Taylor is outfitted in modernist steel and glass - no bedbugs there.
The Rex is decent and near Union Square.
Check out the Willows Inn:

Real near the Castro. The concierge is the nicest trannie you'd ever want to meet.
I HIGHLY reccomend the Griffon - cool hotel, great location and prices - have stayed there many many times:
Triton or Diva
Dude, I'm yer functional-but-nice-hotel-in-San Francisco hook up guy. None of these places will knock your socks off but every time I've been there they've been clean and really cheap considering their location.

The Stratford Hotel is very reasonable and right off of Union Square on Powell St.:

Just a little off Powell on Ellis St. is the Hotel Fusion:

I've never stayed there but my friends did and when I went in the rooms seemed really nice.

A little farther away from the hustle and bustle is the Adante Hotel on Geary:

Each room is done with a specific paint job and murals and some of them are a little hooky but it's very quaint and there's definitely an old school vibe to the place. Don't confuse it with the Adagio Hotel which is far more swanky.

A few more tips. If you do end up staying in this area then you need to go to Dottie's True Blue Cafe for breakfast.…

There will be a line (especially on weekends) but in my opinion it's totally worth it. If they still have the buckwheat blueberry pancakes then get 'em! They're awesome!

You also NEED to go to Johnny Foley's Irish House on O'Farrell at Powell and see Nicole McRory the transgender rocker.…

Julliard graduate who sings and plays guitar and tells jokes, she has a song book of a couple hundred songs that you can request and she's a total sweetheart. She plays on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Btw, Foley's also has outstanding Irish pub food although it is a little pricey.
Hotel Triton or if you're wanting to be near the Embarcadero, Harbor Court Hotel. Kimpton rooms in SF are really small, but the amenities are great and the service couldn't be friendlier.
Hotel San Remo in North Beach.
Hotwire does exceptionally well in SF - anything 3.5 stars or over, and they do a great job by neighborhood
Ha! It's a trick question!
I like to sleep under that freeway they have ... oh, wait, it collapsed.

Never mind.

"Kimpton rooms in SF"

I guess we have different concepts of breaking the bank. :o) I used to work in room service at the Sir Francis Drake and I PROMISE that you don't want to go the Starlight Lounge on the top floor unless it's for the view.
Come on. Becks Motor lodge all the way!
Not sure how up to date this is, but I always check:…

Triton looks good to go right now!
The Hotel Nikko is a very nice Joie de Vivre hotel near Union Square. The rooms were clean and pleasant, if a bit on the small side.
39 royalty like you dan doesn't know where to crash in SF? anywho, priceline has been very good to me with my last couple visits to the city.
shouldn't this be posted in Questionland?
I have stayed here for business many times and think it is great:
Club Quarters‎
424 Clay Street
San Francisco, CA 94111-3207
(415) 392-7400‎

I will be returning to here next week which is across the street from the Black Horse a very nice little bar:

Pacific Heights Inn‎
1555 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 776-3310‎
Not cheap, but wonderful: the Hotel Triton, which is owned by Kimpton Hotels, the most LGBT-friendly firm around.
It's cute and quirky and gives you the NY Times instead of USA today.
The lobby abuts a French-style newsstand--very cool.
The Mayflower Hotel is in the Nob Hill area and has surprisingly large rooms and a very reasonalbe price. We just stayed there for Gay Pride.
I love the Majestic! It's a boutique, 1906-built building with historic furnishings and a FREE COCKTAIL HOUR. And it must be affordable, because that's where my nonprofit housed us for our board meetings for years, and it was not a flush nonprofit.
You want the Sir Francis Drake, Dan. Not only does it feature the Harry Denton Starlight Room, but rooms start at around $135 a night, which is actually cheaper than most of the fleabag hotels in SF. It's where I go for weekend vacations when I don't want/can't afford to leave the City. And it's right on Union Square.
Another recommendation for The Mosser.
Why San Francisco? Do you have a speaking gig? If so, I'll be there...
Hotel des Arts
Stratford. I paid $60 for my single last year. They even serve free coffee/tea and muffins in the a.m.

Plus, you can take BART from the airport, get off and Union Square and the Stratford is just two blocks away.

It is snug up against a LUSH shop so the hallways will smell like bath bombs, if that bothers you. I found it a bonus.
We stayed at the very bland but solid Galleria Park a few months ago. Got some kind of cheapo internet rate. It was great -- perfect location, not too close to the scrum of Union Square, more like the business district. No hipsters at all; yuppies drinking free wine in the evening. Sutter and Kearny, close to BART and buses on Market Street, convenient to all points downtown and Chinatown/North Beach if you don't mind hiking uphill. Some nice medium-spendy restaurants up Claude Lane across the street, too -- Gitane is a lovely place to sit outside (pulsating horrorshow inside, though).
Another enthousiastic vote for Hotel des Arts. Cheap, awesome location and the best looking rooms in SF. Browse the website and give them your preferred artist-designed room.
Will you be making a public apearance in my home town? I hope so. But if you have to pay for your own room, maybe not :(
Don't be a snob. Stay at the Best Western on Market St. 5 minute walk to Castro St.
Second @50's Galleria Park recommendation. Cheap, clean, free wine for happy hour, and close to public transit.
The Orchard Garden Hotel is fantastic, brand new green hotel (not just new hotel, but the whole building was just built) with rooms that are small but respectfully so (unlike the Mosser, which has rooms that they should be embarrassed to call rooms, and it's also real old). Sometimes expensive, but I've gotten $100/night rates, especially on weekend days, so worth checking out. Near Kearny on Bush, so near Chinatown entrance and Union Square. Good luck!!!
agree with sfreader @21...Priceline is a good way to go in SF.

Last summer, bidding on 4-star hotels, i snagged the Hyatt Embarcadero for $95...great place, fantastic location. Check out betterbidding & biddingfortravel to see current local wins.
@34: That's Interstate 880 you're thinking of. And it was in Oakland, not SF.

Also, you're an asshole.
Fond of the Beresford.
Just stayed in the Chancellor Hotel, on Powell just off Union Square. lovely, not expensive. Ask for a room on the top floor.
My brother stayed at Club Quarters for $66 in the financial district.
That said, if you stay there, you need to join me for a beer at Elephant Pub & Castle.
All these Triton recommendations - I know they've had bedbugs there, I'd steer clear.
My bf and I stayed at the "Good Hotel" on 7th & mission. We stayed for a wee and it was perfect. And it was cheap too!…
i liked the Mosser quite a bit and it is right by Powell BART.
Check out - vacation rentals by owner. They have places listed in downtown - studio apartments for ~$150/night. My husband & I got a place in Sausalito for a week, and loved it. Down side was lack of transportation back to the place in the wee hours, except by cab.
Hotel Vertigo - (in the remodeled building where vertigo was filmed) was quite awesome in April. Just a few blocks from anywhere, there's a WONDERFUL Pakistani restaurant 3 blocks down, 2 blocks over there are 2 very good middle eastern restaurants. There's an AWESOME sushi place down the road towards market. We really walked everywhere, since out hotel was soo close to everything and just a few blocks to the train system - we took the Bart in from the Airport and the Bart out. We had been walking all day so once we were lazy and took the bart from civic center to the castro. The hotel was very clean and stylish, with really nice toiletries that I now have for my gym bag. The waitstaff was both reliable and attentive getting us a taxi when we needed to go to our sex party or to drop off our new fwb sex-blogger. The only negative thing I could say was that the TV wasn't working - which was fine for us since we were never really in the room and we even got 10$ rebate on the room for it! GOOD DEAL.
The Phoenix Hotel, stayed there over Pride, great old rock and roll hotel filled with shaggy haired young rockers using the pool. BUT they have a quiet policy that is strictly enforced after 12am. So you can sleep in peace.
This isn't downtown, but there's a nice motel by the zoo.

"Ocean Park Motel", it appears to be.

Cute, cheap, and with the mass transit running all hours of the day and night, its close enough to downtown for me. There is a light rail(?) line to downtown during the day and evening, and at night, OWL serves the area.

So if you aren't stuck on downtown, check it out.
You'd be a fool to not at least consider the Marijuana Bed & Breakfast.

No seriously. Dennis Peron is a fascinating guy, the rooms are comfy, the other guests tend to be hot young gay tourists, and, well, there's rather a lot of weed there.

(Otherwise, your best bet is really just to tell priceline to find you a 3+ star hotel in your neighborhood of choice and hope for the best.)
I was going to recommend the Mosser but I see someone already did in the 2nd comment. Rooms are small (if you're bringing husband and kid I wouldn't recommend it) but comfy enough, price is good, location is great, 4th and Market right near a BART/Muni station. Drawbacks: many of the rooms don't have bathrooms so it's a bit noisy in the morning when lots of people are going in and out of their rooms to the bathrooms down the hall (if you're an early riser that's not a problem, of course). Super easy to get to if you're on public transportation, kind of a nightmare to get there if you're driving a car and don't know SF streets very well (I speak from experience here).

Stay away from the Element Hotel on Mission Street. It's in a deceptively newish cleanish looking building, but a couple friends of mine and I got scabies there last year.
I stayed at the Grant Hotel in March. Saw nary a bug and it's just past the Chinatown gate... yay for boba tea every morning. The rooms are quite economical, to put it politely, and you may well hear student groups stomping around outside, but it's cheap and convenient. I was pretty happy, being a broke student.

Also, do NOT forget your laptop. They do charge by the minute for internet access at the lobby computers, and the TV only gets a few channels, mostly in unsubtitled Chinese.
No recommendations for hotels, but I'm in the Oakland Hills if you're stuck, and you can stay for free! 25 minutes away by BART. Mi casa es su casa.
Cutest old-school hotel ever. Smallish rooms, but RIGHT on the beach. Walking distance to yummy café. It's not in city center though. I don't generally stay downtown, as I like to have a little shopping money left over. Get an upstairs room if you can, I stayed in one that you could see the beach from.

Although, just re-read your post & it asks for downtown. OK, bedtime for me.
Also: great Thai food across from the chocolate shop on Castro by Market, and, Savor has the most delectable crepes ever.…
Stay at any of the Joie de Vivre hotels when anywhere in California. And check out Om Shan Tea at 233 14th between Mission and S. Van Ness for the coolest teahouse (actual tea, not sex -- although it's just a block from the home of
Another vote for Metro Hotel on Divisadere ( - cheap, clean, nice staff, quiet yet central.
For Dan Savage, we'll comp you a room for a night at the Hotel des Arts ( Just call 800-956-4322.

For anyone else reading this, if you request the Savage special and call the hotel directly, (800)956-4322, we'll give you 10% off the regular rate - of course there needs to be a room available on that night you want.
I stayed at the Hotel Des Arts based upon a NYTimes review and it was great. All the rooms are decorated by artists, some have shared bathrooms, or you can get a private bath. The location was good, next to the china town gate and right downtown. Really reasonable too.
I just moved to San Francisco, but before I did I used It's a website where people rent out their extra rooms or apartments. Its usually a lot cheaper and nicer than a hotel. Are you doing an event here? I would love to come to it!
priceline is the way to go. got holiday inn for very cheap, near AMC 1000.
I've stayed at the Mosser and the Willows and loved them both. I tricked at the Metro, and it seemed quite nice. I stayed once at the Hotel Diva and didn't really like it: My room was on the street, and I was kept awake all night by the drunks and by the crew tearing down some show at the theater across the street.

Go Mosser, if you can get a room. It's great.
Dan darling, Noblesse Oblige.

The Fairmont, Saint Francis or The Mark Hopkins. Nothing else will do. Well, maybe the Sir Francis Drake. The doormen are so cute.
Another vote for the Powell Hotel: inexpensive, clean, right on top of the Powell St BART station. Two caveats: they don't seem to have central air, and try to get an interior room--lots of street noise otherwise.
Hotel Boheme in North Beach. If the street noise doesn't bother you at night, the Ginsberg room is great. Amazing Italian restaurants and nightclubs within walking distance.
Late to post, but:

Blue Bottle Coffee block-and-half away!
Hey Dan, I just got back from San Fran...stayed at the Grant hotel on Bush st... It was ok...clean, central and 86/night. no bedbugs. Great little restaurant for breakfast around the corner as well... cable car cafe

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