There is usually only one major reason someone checks in at an over-priced airport hotel: reliable (and secure) access to the airport.
Though the San Mateo SFO Airport Hotel is is physically near the airport, it is not in a convenient location. Many other hotels in the area are within walking distance to restaurants, closer to BART or Caltrain, or a much shorter taxi ride from the airport.
Most likely, when you are selecting an airport hotel, you want guaranteed, timely access and you want to feel that your belongings are secure that last night before your flight, but this is where the San Mateo SFO Airport Hotel was most deficient.
On the positive side, the hotel was reasonably quiet, the beds were OK, the breakfast was a little more extensive than others but mediocre, and the room quality was about what you would expect for a super budget hotel. Given that room conditions can be much better for only $15 to $20 more, it might be worth paying extra to avoid a non functioning heater, extremely low shower pressure, worn interior, etc unless you are on an extremely tight budget. Someone partially opened the adjoining door from next door room while we were inside, which was slightly blocked by a chest of drawers that had been pushed in front of the door. Apparently the door was left unlocked when we checked into the room. Paying slightly more for security might be worth the while, though I’ve done better with hotels closer to the airport at an actually lower cost.
With the exception of one older woman at the counter who provided adequate, and slightly friendly service, other employees were surly, curt and went out of their way to avoid the slightest amount of eye contact. The front desk often had multiple people waiting in a lengthly line for a single hotel employee and the front desk didn't answer phone calls from the room.
The airport shuttle is the least dependable part of our stay. We were told that the shuttle was scheduled to arrive at the hotel every half hour, but the shuttle is actually shared with the Holiday Inn and will only stop at the Airport Hotel if space is reserved in advance. Unfortunately, the shuttle is often full and we ended up using a taxi the first time we needed to get to the airport. Trying to reserve a shuttle is a greater challenge: there can be a long wait at the front desk and the front desk doesn't appear to answer phone calls from the rooms. If you manage to get a shuttle, your experience could be much worse. A surly driver arrived on time, but before our eyes roughly, needlessly and systematically “threw” each of our 5 bags (one of which carried fragile items) into the back of the van. When we arrived at the airport the driver shut the door on me while I was trying to exit the van and then shut the door on me when I was trying to retrieve my bag from the back, and then shut the door on me again while I was trying to retrieve an additional bag. From my impression, I was wondering if the driver was actually trying to appear hostile to the hotel guests. From the large portion of unsuspecting international travelers bound for their home countries, he probably felt like he could get away with it. An older couple politely thanked the driver upon exiting, but I’m not sure they were even acknowledged.
With so many options in the area, I can almost guarantee a better experience at one of the many hotels surrounding the area. In fact, you might consider staying at a much more enjoyable hotel in San Francisco at a lower cost and simply pay $40 for a much more reliable taxi.
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- Also Known As:
- Comfort Inn Airport South Hotel San Mateo
- Comfort Inn San Mateo
- San Mateo Comfort Inn