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“Hidden Gem” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Buena Vista Motor Inn

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Buena Vista Motor Inn
2.0 of 5 Motel   |   1599 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #115 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
Meridianville, Alabama
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We stayed here for 8 nights during our visit to San Francisco. My first impression was old, but clean. This is doable. San Francisco is SO expensive. This place wasn't cheap but at least I had my own bathroom! This was my first visit to San Francisco.

Location: You are on the corner of Lombard and Gough. Prime location! 20 minute walk to Fisherman's Wharf. Restaurants are in the area and easy to get to. This is stop #15 for the Hop On Hop Off Tour. You're two or three blocks from the "crooked" section.

Clean: Wow did they clean! Yes, the building is old. But carpets and bedding were all fresh and clean. There was no dust or nastiness that my husband and I saw. He's more critical about clean than I am and he said it's clean. He was satisfied and so was I.

Service: These people are AWESOME! Our first night there the young lady ordered our airport shuttle for us to save us cab fare. Another gentleman used his own Uber account and ordered a ride for us (allowing us to pay him of course). The day we left the gentleman at the desk raised the gate and allowed us to eat breakfast early. They just really went above and beyond.

Amenities: Hair dryer, cable, free wi-fi, iron, ironing board, in room coffee pot, grooming items (shampoo, conditioner, etc), vending and drink machine, free parking, free breakfast. While we didn't use the parking we did realize quickly what a value it was. Parking fees are outrageous here. Breakfast consisted of coffee, oj, muffins, pastries, bananas, and apples. While this doesn't sound like much it's very nice! You save $20 easy by eating the food provided. My husband and I aren't big breakfast people so this was perfect for us. The coffee was good. I don't think things like a pool and gym are necessary here. Just go outside and walk up one of those massive hills for a great workout! After walking most of the day we would have been too tired to use a pool anyways.

In conclusion, don't overlook this place. I would go back here if I visit San Francisco again. We've already told some of our family to stay here if they visit. I can overlook outdated furniture and if you can you will be very satisfied.

Room Tip: They will ask if you want a front room on Lombard or a back room for quiet. Choose according to your...
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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523 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
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Vernon, Canada
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

3 couples shared the suite for 3 days - worked like a charm! Plenty of room for all of us - after all you don't spend much time in your room. Loved the separate breakfast area and you can sit outside on the patio on nice days. Good for an early riser who can leave the room and go sit somewhere in peace and read while having a coffee or there is a Starbucks nearby. A few restaurants are within a couple of blocks walking (uphill of course) but we all need the exercise.
15 minute easy walk to downtown Fisherman Wharf area and Big Bus Tours stops right at the motel - bonus! You can buy the tickets at the motel. Nearby convenience stores offer liquor - check the prices because they vary alot! Great value, clean, friendly helpful staff - would definitely stay here again. Only fault - very noisy with traffic - bring earplugs!

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room.
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This hotel is conveniently located in Lombard Street. Upon arriving we were asked if we wanted a quiet room or a room with a view, we went for quite as the road outside was rather busy, we was given a side room, which wasn't that quite. I doubt actually if any room would be quite, and I think investing in double glazing would be a benefit. The room fairly large, clean and tidy. A tad out dated with the decor but nothing really to worry about. Breakfast is located in the reception area, a very small space and if everyone decided to come down at the same time there would be no room, we struggled to sit and there was only 7 there at the time. Very unhappy about the choice of breakfast which was mainly fruit or cakes, not even any bread rolls. The 2nd day we didn't even bother going downstairs and preferred to pick something up in one of the local shops and bring back. Hotel staff helpful and advised best places to eat/drink. If you don't mind walking than this hotel is located not far from pier 39. We loved the roof terrace and views of the Golden Gate Bridge. I would certainly stay here again, but not bother with the breakfast.

Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I'll start with my only complaints if you want to call them that or downfalls. They do have free parking, most of which are for compact cars and are nearly impossible to get in or out of without much hassle. The rooms are dated, bedding and decor are old and the flooring has seen better days. We had a room facing the street and there was some road noise from the buses and cars but we left some music on low and didn't hear a thing.

Now why Id stay there again, the location is great, it wasn't too much to walk to a lot of things we wanted to do and see. There were some great eateries all around us and plenty of public transportation to take. The staff was great...very friendly, helpful and attentive. The rooftop patio was lovely and the views were perfect. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and a great overall value.

  • Stayed November 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Ljubljana, Slovenia
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We (with my son) stayed 3 nights, one of our stops during 3 weeks tour accross the western US. We did not expect too much - seeing the reviews and the prices of the (comparable) hotels in San Francisco. The price, free garage, free wifi and location on Lombard street have been the main reasons to select this hotel. And this is what we have got. Obviously, it is also the charm of San Francisco that adds to nice memories. We did not mind that much the poorest selection and delivery of the breakfast (compared to our several other stays on our tour) or worn out feel to the whole hotel (the latter somehow can be related to sentimental sense of SF ;) However, the strong odor (mentioned in other reviews) in the rooms, probably of the cleaning chemicals, has irritated our nostrils that much that we needed to leave the window open during the night - at a price of noise from the Lombard street. Also the thing on the floor feels dirty, and the toilet has been decorated with hair from previous visitors. SO - mainly things that could / should be improved. This has been the most expensive stay (per night) in 3 weeks - since the others manage to keep the mentioned things on higher standards, and because the staff in this hotel is already kind and helpfull - we believe they can improve.

Room Tip: away from the Lombard street
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Decent rooms, nice staff, very few amenities but close to California Pacific Hospital and to the Richmond district with its wide variety of excellent restaurants and coffee shops. Old school motel with an average bed, limited TV options, borderline heating and AC, very good covered parking which is free with the room, not inconsequential in San Fran. It is on a busy street but my room was reasonably quiet nonetheless. Only stay here if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive way to visit San Fran. Don' stay here if you want anything upscale, elegant or if you want your hotel to be one of the reasons for enjoying your visit. Breakfast is free but only worth eating if you are very hungry and cheap and are not concerned about healthy choices.

Room Tip: ask for a room away from the front and the busy street.
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We stayed here for 4 nights in September before flying back to the UK. Our room was clean and tidy and the front desk staff very friendly and helpful. It was only a short walk to Fisherman's Wharf (ten mins) or Union Street (5 mins) for shops and restaurants in either direction. We felt safe walking around in the area and a bonus that the Big Bus company stopped right outside the door for the hop on / hop off tour.

This is a good base for sightseeing in a safe area if you don't mind short walks right into the 'middle of things'. Would recommend as base if you're planning to be out and about most of the time.

Stayed September 2014, traveled with friends
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Andrew A, General Manager at Buena Vista Motor Inn, responded to this review, 3 weeks ago
Dear Guest,

That you for pointing our great location. The Marina District is an upscale neighborhood with great restaurants and shopping that visitors do not take advantage of enough. At the same time we are located in the best location to go any where in the city by public transportation or a short stroll to Fisherman's Wharf which is on everyone's must see lists.
Our breakfast service is very basic but we make sure you have the freshest baked pastries delivered every morning.

Thank you again.

Andrew Andow and Staff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buena Vista Motor Inn

Address: 1599 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #115 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Buena Vista Motor Inn 2*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Buena Vista Motor Inn is an exceptional value hotel, offering comfortable rooms, friendly service, a convenient Lombard Street location in San Francisco's Marina, and exciting Bay Area packages. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Buena Vista Motor Hotel San Francisco
Buena Vista Hotel
Buena Vista Motel

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