Hayes Valley Inn is a nice hotel and I`m sure there countless nice hotels in San Fransisco - What makes this place is the people who work there. From the manager to the maids they were all genuinely friendly and treated us with respect and courtesy throughout our stay.
The hotel itself is not a new building but has been beautifully decorated and is as nice a place as any for comfort your likely to find at this price. Its about 20 mins by bus to the main areas of Downtown, Fishermans Walf or the Beach areas but if your feeling fit and want to see a little SF by foot its not actually much longer as the traffic in SF is always choked.
Street noise at night can be an issue in this hotel but then I honestly think all but the tallest suffer the same thing. SF is a vibrant place and when the partying stops the services start so there is usually some noise. The hotel perhaps could fit secondary glazing which would really transform the sleeping experience but as I say this hotel is no worse than whats typical in a city.
The rooms are no en-suite that might put some off but we had no issue with it as the bathroom and toilets are seperate so there was never a time we had to queue.
The breakfast was the best we had in all the hotels we staid in with a wide range of buffet style foods. In the evening they offer complimentary cookies and hot drinks whiich is a really nice addition but didnt do my wasteline much good :)
Within easy walking distance from the hotel are places to eat to suit all budgets (we liked Flipper Dippers) a burger place but dont confuse these genuine freshly prepared burgers with the rubbery rubbish you get from the place with the big M.