To be fair to The Inn at The Opera, I had just come from the best hotel I'd ever stayed in immediately prior to arriving in SF from Sydney, Australia, but first impressions of the area and the hotel itself were a massive let down. Especially as there was little disparity in price.
The walk along Grove from the BART station on the Sunday morning that I arrived was an eye-opener to say the least! Down-and-outs everywhere, several appearing very disturbed, some with Tourettes... Anyway, let's say I didn't feel safe.
I got to the hotel to be told that check-in is 3pm and could I come back later. This is fair enough, but after a 14hr flight over the international date-line without sleep, it wasn't the best thing. I left my bag and went for food at The Grove on Hayes (recommended) and then walked up to Alamo Square, where I sat for a bit. On returning at 3, I was given a keycard to my room. Thankfully, my bags had been put in my room ready for me.
When I got to my room, I was immediately disappointed but incredibly tired. The "compact" size of the room - it was just big enough for the bed and my suitcase, the tiredness of the decor and the lack of a view through the small window were only really apparent once I'd woken up. It was at this point I wasn't sure whether to stay the full 4 nights or to check out there-and-then and go for one of my second choice hotels. As I'd already paid up-front via an online travel company, I decided it would be more trouble to leave and decided to make the most of it.
I suspect, reading other reviews and looking at pictures on here, that some rooms are better than others, and I was unlucky to be given a particularly small room and one that hadn't been updated in some time.
The complimentary breakfast (with gratuity slip and pen provided - Welcome to America) wasn't up to much if you don't like having massive amounts of sugar and weak coffee in the morning. I only bothered the once, given that there are several cafés and coffee shops nearby.
To give them their due, the staff were friendly, but seemed a little disinterested in guests.
The area felt less intimidating with people going about their daily business on weekdays, although as a solo traveller, I would have felt much safer in the Fisherman's Wharf area. It was well situated for bus and tram routes to nicer places, though. The 3 day visitor MUNI pass was my saviour!
It ended up that I spent most of my time out of the room sightseeing, only using it as somewhere to crash. It didn't put a massive dampener on my first visit to SF but I will stay elsewhere as and when I return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Inn at the Opera is located in the heart of San Francisco features a prime location and a luxurious, French-style ambiance where performing arts lovers and artists converge. Relax in elegantly appointed suites that are tastefully decorated with antique European furnishings, high speed Internet access, lovely plush robes in all rooms and daily continental breakfast. Located just steps away from the city's Civic Center, the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, the California Supreme Court, and Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, the Inn at the Opera is your gateway to all the finest cultural activities San Francisco has to offer. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Inn At The Opera Hotel San Francisco
- Hotel At The Opera
- At The Opera Hotel