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“Funky and Affordable-But Not for the Discerning Traveler” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Carl Hotel

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Carl Hotel
198 Carl St, San Francisco, CA 94117   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #166 of 236 Hotels in San Francisco
Honolulu, Hawaii
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Funky and Affordable-But Not for the Discerning Traveler”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

Pros: This place has a great location, particularly if you have an medical appointment at UCSF. There are tons of restaurants and a couple laundromats nearby. It is clean. Great water pressure in the shower. A stay here provides a unique and memorable experience. If you are low budget and easy going, it would be fine.
Cons: The train which runs alongside the hotel is extremely noisy and can create a major problem when you are trying to fall or stay asleep. I was surprised that our room was about 6 feet wide and 20 feet long. With her arms extended my roommate could almost touch the parallel walls! The television was the type you'd find in a kitchen - about 8 inches by 8 inches. There was no clock in the room. 50% of the light bulbs in the overhead chandelier were missing. 50% of the front desk staff was not warm and friendly.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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42 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    14
    4
    5
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9
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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 (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Riverbank, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014 via mobile

My boyfriend was in the ICU at UCSF and this hotel was on the list of recommended hotels by UCSF. The first night I was supposed to stay at the hotel but my boyfriend ended up being placed in the ICU and I needed to stay. I called the hotel to cancel and of course I was charges anyways for the night which I understood because it was late in the evening. The next night I stayed, asked if I could recoup some of the money from the night before because I was staying again and was told no. The following morning I was told that my boyfriend would be in the ICU for another night so I asked them to hold a room for me. About two o'clock in the afternoon, I learned that my boyfriend was going to b transferred from the ICU to a room and called to cancel. I was told that I had to cancel before 11 am and was charged the full amount again. This hotel is recommended by UCSF but they are not understanding or considerate about the needs of these types of clients! I was charged $180 and didn't even stay in the room.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Bellingham, Washington
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

I stayed here Feb. 14, 2014 and I'd already read other reviews so knew what to expect. It's an older place, but located in an excellent neighborhood (Cole neighborhood) and close to absolutely everything. The front desk person was amazing, friendly and very helpful. Just loved him. The room was clean and the bed super comfortable. My only thoughts were that if it were my place I'd do the small repairs necessary to make it really nice......and the repairs would cost literally pennies. The lamp near the bed needed to be replaced. The bulb was out when I got there and the whole fixture was super rickity. The toilet seat was super loose, the toilet paper holder about to fall off the wall. The sink faucet needed replacing. Tiny, tiny things that were more annoying than anything. Other than that it was just great.

Room Tip: I stayed on the ground floor because of a medical situation, but the trains run literally feet from...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Colfax, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
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.
Columbia, Maryland, United States
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 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
4 helpful votes 4 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 3
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 #166 of 236 Hotels in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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