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Questioning my hotel choice

Austin, Texas
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Questioning my hotel choice

My husband and I are coming to San Francisco at the end of May for our third visit. The first two visits we stayed at the Argonaut and loved it (even with the cheesiness of the Wharf), but decided we wanted to stay in another part of town for this visit so we booked at the Hotel Monaco. I love Kimpton hotels and stay with them often, but as the date of our trip approaches I'm starting to question my hotel choice based on the location. Some of the reviews talk about the neighborhood being less than desirable due to the proximity to the Tenderloin. I understand that it's on the edge of the Tenderloin and two blocks from Union Square, but we didn't spend much time around Union Square on prior visits, so I'm not very familar with the area beyond what I've read here. Are those other reviewers overreacting?

The other hotel I was considering was the Hotel Vitale. I'm tempted to move just to get a water view, but we chose to stay in the Union Square area to be more centrally located with easier access to transportation.

Bloomington, Indiana
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1. Re: Questioning my hotel choice

In my opinion the other reviewers are overreacting, not saying there aren't aspects of street people, "Tenderloin," etc. nearby, but I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to stay at the Monaco (at least not based on it's location).

Now, does that mean that I would wander to further to the west late at night? No, but I wouldn't worry at all about it during the day or into the early part of the night. The main thing I would do would be to approach from the east/north late at night. This isn't any kind of imposition because there isn't much of anything you'd want to do to the west/south and pretty much any transit return is going to drop you to the east of the hotel's location.

Bottom Line: If walking around, probably no special instructions since you aren't to to end up to the west/southwest of the hotel (i.e. wanting to return to it from those directions). Just make sure that if you're returning via MUNI and using the Powell Station to go up (north) on Powell and then over (west) via Geary. Alternatively you could go west on anything north of Geary (Post, Sutter, etc.) and then south on Taylor. I'd probably also be willing to use O'Farrell (west) and Taylor (north), but that's me; I might even use Ellis. For anyone who is at all worried I'd say stick with going west on Geary or something further north.

That's my $.02,

hlo

Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: Questioning my hotel choice

I'll second huntlawoffice's comment, and will add that we've walked past the Monaco at least a half dozen times in recent weeks on our way to and from Shalimar (on Jones between O'Farrell and Geary) without any problems. A lot more homeless/panhandlers, but nothing truly dangerous or even scary. I've stayed at both the Monaco and Serrano in years past without any problems. So you shouldn't worry too much within a couple of blocks in any direction.

Santa Cruz...
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3. Re: Questioning my hotel choice

The area is fine. To be in the Tenderloin you would have to walk in a direction you would not usually choose. The Monaco is a fine hotel. The theaters are in the next block in the Union Square direction. The Monaco is within a few doors of the Warwick, the Clift, the Adagio, the Serrano, the Hilton Union Square and the Nikko. Surely the owners of those fine hotels would not plunk them down in the Tenderloin.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Questioning my hotel choice

Look any Major US city has it share of homeless people. If folks live or come from pristine suburbs or small towns where there are hardly any 'vagrants", then the realities of a large city may hit them. Are they over reacting ? Well they may say no but for people who live in large cities and are used to homeless and parts of town that are not gleaming and shiny, this is part of city life.

As both previous posters have said, that area is fine and you can go east to the Tenderloin further West during the day or early evening or go East any time and you will be ok.

Edited: 2:50 pm, April 17, 2013
Austin, Texas
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5. Re: Questioning my hotel choice

Thank you all for helping to ease my reservations about the location. We almost always take a cab back to our hotel at night, wherever we are staying, unless we are just a few blocks away, but I will keep the directional advice in mind.

We lived in Washington, DC, for many years, and spent a considerable amount of time in cities up and down the East Coast, so we are familiar with the realities of city life. I just start reading these reviews sometimes and think "Am I really missing something here?" Thanks again.

Edited: 3:02 pm, April 17, 2013
Roermond, The...
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6. Re: Questioning my hotel choice

Just wanted to say this thread has been helpful for me too :) I had the same worries, we're staying at the HI Downtown hostel, which is at Mason Street, very close to Geary Street. After reading some more about Tenderloin I got worried about the location, but I guess I don't need to. I'm travelling with my boyfriend, we travel quite a lot, and we don't plan to be out in the middle of the night. Even if we were out in the evening, or after dark, it would be safe to use public transport to get to Powell Street, and walk back to the hostel from there, taking into account the suggestions made by huntlawoffice?

Santa Cruz...
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7. Re: Questioning my hotel choice

The HI Hostel you are staying in is fine. It is cater-corner from the Hilton, across the street from the Nikko and two blocks from Union Square. No worries about being out at night.

Bloomington, Indiana
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8. Re: Questioning my hotel choice

Pebble,

What Puter said. You'll see street people in the area and as you walk to the west/south things will get gritty fairly quick (not that there is really much reason you'd want to go that way). This is actually *very* close to where I stayed my last trip, I walked by "your" hostel a couple of times a day to get to my seminars (which were at the Nikko).

Late at night I'd say approach from due east and/or north. During the day I wouldn't worry about approaching by going west from Powell Street Station and then north, but some might; if so, just follow the "night time" route.

hlo

Roermond, The...
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9. Re: Questioning my hotel choice

Thank you both! My mind is at ease again :)

Santa Cruz...
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10. Re: Questioning my hotel choice

I am following your plans with interest. I hope you will give us a report on your whole trip after it is over.