You could spend more money and probably find a nicer hotel in the same neighborhood, but there is no need. The Holiday Inn Express had everything we needed for our week-long stay in SF. It is perfectly located, within walking distance to Pier 39, Ghiardelli Square, two cable-car rides and all the seafood places. We chose this hotel because it offered a buffet breakfast every day. It's the standard HIE breakfast; not too fancy or anything, but it sure beats shelling out extra bucks in the morning for the same type of food somewhere else. The room was good, but perhaps not the cleanest, especially when we checked in. We had a microwave and a fridge, a big plus. We did not use the microwave since it still had someone else's food splattered on the inside. It was never cleaned while we were there.
The beds were comfortable, we didn't notice any undue noise, and the staff was friendly. We used the exercise room almost every day: 3 treadmills, a bike and a couple other machines. It wasn't too crowded at 5:30 am.
The beds and the room, overall, were comfortable. The free wi-fi is available only in the lobby, which was a little annoying. There are two computers available and they worked well, too.
Overall, there is some room for improvement, but I'd book again.