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“A trip back in time!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Carl Hotel

Carl Hotel
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Carl Hotel
198 Carl St, San Francisco, CA 94117   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #176 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
Colfax, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A trip back in time!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Tiny rooms? Yep. Old and Dated? Yep. Noisy Muni train out front? Yep.
But......if your looking for an inexpensive, quaint, very clean hotel in a great, safe neighborhood, here you go!
We were in The City for Hardly Strictly and a Niners game. Since rooms that weekend are hard to come by, I expanded my criteria quite a bit. I haven't stayed in a room like this in 30 years! The first night we had a room with 2 twins and the second, a twin and a full. Hint.. a queen will not fit in the room! We both slept well as the double paned windows do a decent job of keeping the noise down. If you're a very light sleeper have an extra nightcap as it can get a bit noisy!
I parked the car Friday evening a half block away and we didn't get back in it till we left Sunday afternoon. Of course public transit is literally out the front door to take you anywhere and there is a Walgreens and a few small markets a block away.

We walked a couple of blocks to grab coffee in the morning and have dinner at a couple of the nearby restaurants (Kezar Bar and Restaurant and Zazie), both excellant. Haight Ashbury and Golden Gate Park are a short walk away too! We always felt safe walking in the area at night.

We had a great time "living the city life" for a few days. Usually we'll stay at a large chain hotel and drive back and forth to whatever event we're in The City for. This way we discovered a very cool neighborhood! If the Marriot is your lower standard, don't go here. But if you want to venture "back in time" check it out!

Room Tip: Not sure if there are rooms not fronting Carl St. If so, I'm sure they'd be quieter.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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46 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    15
    6
    6
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Columbia, Maryland, United States
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

We stayed in San Fran without any transportation and the Carl Hotel is right on the muni bus line which was in credibly convenient. It's also conveniently located near the golden gate bridge park as well as the Haight district - both within walking distance. Sure, being on the bus line it can get a little loud, but that didn't bother us, we even slpet with the window open for a nice breeze at night =)

About the hotel: it's an older building so don't expect anything to be up to date. The rooms are small, ours had a full bed and the sink int he room with a tiny room bathroom, a mini fridge and an old (tiny) tv, but had cable. The desk staff is friendly and helpful and you are within blocks of several amazing breakfasts places (crepes and french inspired). All in all we recommend the Carl Hotel, just so long as you have an open mind, don't like shelling out loads of money and don't mind the convenience of being on the bus line =)

Room Tip: Higher the floor the lower the noise.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, VA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Hotel is very dated; room is extremely small; sink is in the bedroom, separated from bathroom. Our room is on the second floor, facing the street. With all the traffic and muni train outside, it is extremely noisy.

Location, location, location. It is very close to UCSF - probably the only advantage for staying here when you visit someone at the hospital.

Service is courteous. I was able to cancel one night stay with 24 hour notice without fee.

Room Tip: Request a room at the back of the building if you wish to have some sleep.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CT
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

I think this is not worth 3 whole stars, but it is in a great location and it was clean, but very dated and noisy. Almost worse than the outside traffic is the noise from the bathroom vent! The vent went on automatically with the bathroom light, and the light switch was on a wall 3 feet away from the bathroom door. It's fine if you are by yourself or if you don't have to use the bathroom at night!
Probably the three best things about the Carl are the price, the location and free wi-fi! We walked a lot: to all the attractions in the Golden Gate Park, the Haight-Ashbury area, and "restaurant row" on 9th St.
There was adequate drawer space for a short stay, but hanging clothes went on a rack on the wall. The bed was comfortable.
Not sure if we'd go back. Oh, no internet from the office; could not communicate with them beforehand except by phone, so no written confirmation. Also unable to print out boarding passes before leaving for the airport.

Room Tip: I believe all rooms face the street. I would not like to be in the room directly at the top of the f...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hanford, ca
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

I thought I would be able to tolerate the noise since I once lived off the same street years ago. Wrong. The Muni was noisier than I recall. I highly recommend ear plugs (or something stronger).

Mostly clean. Dated. Seems safe. Serves the purpose.

It was $110 here or $350+ at the Courtyard Marriott. Hmm. Extra change in the wallet means more fun money in SF. Not a hard decision to make.

If your visit involves UCSF or you would rather have spare cash in your pocket and spend little time in your room, grab some ear plugs and make a reservation.

The location is good. Walking distance to Golden Gate Park. Walking distance to coffee shops and dining in Cole Valley. Walking distance to the Haight...if that is your thing. Jump on the N-Judah and head downtown for $2 (although I think there is a rate hike in the near future).

Not a dream hotel, but it works.

Room Tip: Room 218 would be my choice.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, oh
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

It is located 20 feet from the train tracks, and the Muni train will keep you awake at night as it comes roaring. The rooms are incredibly outdated, even the nonsmoking rooms smell of smoke. It is very cheap and thus is a good value in SF, especially if you want to be close to UCSF.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RENO,NV
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

It's a great stay for my son and I when we went to UCSF Medical Center Parnasus, SFO for his medical appointment. CARL HOTEL is accessible for both the Muni train and bus, there's Wallgreen and small restaurants around the area. THE HOTEL STAFFare nice and accomodating.. We occupied a room with 2 full beds, with TV and a very good WIFI. I think this hotel offers the lowest price within the vicinity of the hospital.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Carl Hotel

Address: 198 Carl St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Kitchenette Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #176 of 235 Hotels in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 28
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