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“Disgusting Is Too Kind”

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Holiday Inn San Francisco - Intl Airport
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed May 4, 2007

We have just returned from a short visit to San Francisco. Because of the short time there ( 2 nights), we decided to stay close to the airport.
On arrival, we were astonished to find that the lobby area was packed with literally hundreds of people attending a wedding in one of the hotels function rooms. Clearly the room was too small to hold them all as the hotel had even set up a makeshift bar in the main lobby. Considerate to the wedding guests, but as it effectively blocked access to the elevator for guest room access, a little short sighted and candidly dangerous.
The hotel manager clearly thought it would be clever to overbook the function room with no thought for the comfort or convenience of guests staying at the hotel.The noise from the bar and function room went on until almost 3.00 AM and was clearly audible in our room. It was only the eventual intervention of the San Francisco police that brought an end to the shouting, screaming, singing and generally drunken antics of the party revellers that the hotel had encouraged to drink to excess ( no doubt the additional revenue was too tempting).
On our second , and thankfully final night, we found that the hotel had deliberately cancelled our key cards, thus denying us access to the elevator or room. After a long wait, we finally managed to persuade a very grumpy member of staff to allow us to get into our room. Joy of all joys, the room had not been made up but our possessions had been tampered with and many personal possessions moved.
When I asked the front desk to explain what was happening, I was told that my prepaid accomodation voucher was valid only for one night. I disagreed and told the duty manager it was for 2 nights and if he cared to look at it this would resolve the situation and I and my very distraught fiance could go to bed and make upfor the previous night's lost sleep.
Sadly life is not that easy when you deal with Holiday Inn. The voucher which I had surrendered on check in was now locked in a safe and only the operations manager had a key. I suggested that someone call him . Shock, Horror. The Operations Manager is far too important to be bothered by a mere guest wanting to get into the room he had booked and already paid for.
After several hours more wrangling , we were given a new room and told we would have to pay for it in the morning.
The following morning , when the voucher was finally revealed, guess what, it was for 2 nights.
A grudging, half hearted and wholly insincere apology was offered and a refund on one nights accomodation.
What about the famous Holiday Inn Hospitality Promise ' If you are not satisfied with any part of your stay you will not have to pay for it'.
I am still waiting for the Operations Manager to give me a response.
Take my advice - Promises are made to be broken Especially when they are made by Holiday Inn.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MIKEANDMARTINE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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602 - 608 of 689 reviews

Reviewed April 15, 2007

We stayed in a king room with microwave and bar fridge. My wife and I found the room very clean, quiet and the bed was comfortable. Extra pillows were promptly provided when requested. The first night we ate in Houlihans the hotel restaurant and enjoyed the meal. The hotel is extremely easy to find and the highway access is right across the street so travelling to SF or south to San Jose/ Monterey was quick and no hassle. Part of the time we were without a rental car but the included shuttle service got us to the Bart station at SFO in a matter of minutes. The $5 fare to the Embarcadero/Union Sq. was a bargain considering the high cost of parking in those areas and took less time than driving. Staff were cordial and helpful in providing travel tips/directions. When we asked for restaurant locations at the front desk they printed out Yahoo maps for our convenience :)Our room was spotless on our return each day.
Check in and out were quick. The location is a bit remote in that other than other hotels and the nearby IHOP there is nothing within walking distance. We have no complaints about our stay here and would definitely recommend this hotel for the value we believed we received

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank djmcm101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2007

I read some pretty bad reviews on this hotel, so was a bit worried when Priceline booked me in here. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised - for the money I spent this was a perfectly fine hotel.

My room was clean and comfortable - nothing spectacular, but certainly adequate. I think I would have been upset if I'd paid full price (I paid $40, the travel websites were listing around $110), but it's a great choice for the discount price.

I only stayed one night, but this hotel was everything I required. I've stayed in many Holiday Inns over the past couple years, and come to expect a clean & safe place to stay from them (and not much more). This hotel was exactly that.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled on business
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2  Thank neandrtl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2007

Booked this via Hotwire for one night prior to an early morning SF departure. $50 is a bargain but I'd spend $10 more for the Doubletree or other property also available through Hotwire. The carpets/room were dirty, broadband connection in room didn't work. All the money seems to be in the lobby so things look good. Staff were minimally helpful and bordering on rude. Morning departure and airport shuttle worked fine.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled with family
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Thank gosaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2007

OK. It was our fault. We were walk-ins and had done no research. But we needed a place to sleep for one night, near the airport, as we were in transit from New Zealand. We are fine with no-frills accommodation. But not with dirt! The place is grimy and carpets, bedding, drapes are grimy with years of over-use and marginal hygiene.

We knew we were in trouble when we were in the elevator ascending to our room with 2 business guests who had already spent one miserable night here. The beds were so uncomfortable that they had purchased air matresses to cope with 4 more nights on beds that had certainly seen better days.

If you want to sleep on matress springs, avoid getting bare flesh anywhere near chairs, linen, floors, carpets, be overcharged and listen to aircrafts - then this is the place for you. If not - it might be better to spend the night sleeping at the airport

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank df1606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2007

We booked the Holiday Inn SSF through priceline and since we were unfamiliar with the hotel, we were hoping it would live up to priceline's standards. Most times we had stayed in 4 star hotels but since this was the New Year's weekend, it was not possible to get a 4 star within our price range. Overall the lobby and rooms seemed to be renovated somewhat and upon entering our room, it appeared to be "clean" and comfortable. We spent one night in what we thought was relative comfort until the next morning. I went to take a shower in the early morning. My 8 year old daughter entered the bathroom to brush her teeth. I was still in the shower when I heard her scream, "Mommy, there's a ROACH on the wall!" I hurried up and finished my shower and yelled to my husband to try to kill it. By the time he got up, the insect in question had already fled up to the light fixture. I reassured my daughter that it may have been a beetle or something else, surely NOT a roach even though she insisted that she had watched enough National Geographic channel to know the difference between a beetle and a roach. Anyway, since neither my husband nor I had seen the insect in question, we went about our usual routine. I got dressed and as I was about to plug in my hair straightener, there it was, clear as day...a roach IN THE OUTLET! Needless to say we were disgusted and quickly packed up our things and promptly went to the front desk to complain. We took several pictures from our digital camera for evidence, and I would post them if it weren't for the GROSS factor. Since we went through priceline, we had to contact them regarding our experience and luckily, Holiday Inn was very cooperative and agreed to a full refund. It was a hassle, but the staff was very apologetic. Unfortunately, it did nothing to quell my daughter's paranoia about roaches being in our things. When we informed the front desk, they immediately sent custodial staff to investigate but did nothing to ask us where we had seen the roach. We all know how prolific roaches can be and there clearly must be a problem in more than this one room. While the hotel SEEMS fairly clean, this is a warning, book your room somewhere that you are comfortable with. I know I will never settle for anything less than a 4 or 5 star hotel. We rebooked at a neighboring 4 star hotel and had a great weekend, despite our adventure with Holiday Inn.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank LinFullerton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2007

I stayed with a friend for five nights from Dec 2006 to Jan 2007. Our stay met most of our expectations, but we were disappointed that there was no refrigerator or microwave in our double-bed room, as we noticed in the pictures posted by a reviewer from Washington, perhaps only king-bed room has these amenities.

Hotwire gave me a room at this Holiday Inn, and I was alarmed by the negative reviews on TripAdvisor. But give it a try, it's not that bad. We did not use the shuttle service (to SFO), the gym, the pool, or the restaurant. The complimentary in-room/LAN internet service was too slow to download podcast, but good enough to check e-mails and find directions via Google Maps.

We sought out South San Francisco because it seemed to have cheaper hotels with free parking than in San Francisco. We drove from this hotel to a parking garage in Chinatown via US 101, some days we took I-380/I-280/US 1 which becomes 19th avenue in the Sunset area to visit Golden Gate Park and eat dim sum in Daly City. It's inconvenient if you don't have a car, you are limited to taking SamTrans or the shuttle to SFO then BART into the city; it's wee bit far to walk to Caltrain.

This hotel does not provide complimentary breakfast, and there's an IHOP across the street. Within a short drive, there are more dinning options in downtown South San Francisco: American diner, burrito takeout (in the back of a grocery store), Chinese, Peruvian, and Thai restaurants.

The bathroom was clean and the bedroom was quiet, though we could hear footsteps from room above, and sometimes we could hear planes taking off from SFO, some nights the planes were louder than the others; some of these could have been the late night departures of trans-Pacific 747s.

Customer service over the phone was rather rude, but in-person was fine. In-room check out didn't work, but checking out at the counter was swift.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with friends
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1  Thank writeyou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn San Francisco - Intl Airport

Address: 275 S Airport Blvd, South San Francisco, CA 94080-6703
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > South San Francisco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Green Hotel in South San Francisco
Price Range: $140 - $351 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn San Francisco - Intl Airport 3*
Number of rooms: 224
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Holiday Inn San Francisco International Airport North is located in the birthplace of Biotech and ideally situated for travelers. It is adjacent to the South San Francisco Conference Center, just 1.5 Miles from the San Francisco International Airport, a short distance to DowntownSan Francisco, Less than 30 minutes from Silicon Valley, right off Highway 101, with easy access to Interstate 280 and 380. The hotel features 224 spacious rooms, a brand new lobby with marble floors, fireplace, and all accommodations are thoughtfully appointed with modern amenities such as Overnight Parking at $10.95 including tax, Free High Speed Internet Access,Free Airport Shuttle Service, and 24 Hour Fitness Room. Along with the South San Francisco Conference Center s 16,500 square feet of premium state-of-art Conference Facilities, we offer 6 additional rooms totaling 23,000 sq. Ft. Of Meeting Space. A friendly welcome awaits families and tourists at our hotel. We are located near many tourist attractions such as Fisherman s Wharf, Chinatown, Golden Gate Bridge, Harding Park Golf Course, SBC Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, Monster Park...Go 49ers!, Great America Amusement Park, and the Cow Palace. For business travelers, we are near Genentech, Amgen, Cell Genesys, and United Airlines Western Hub offices. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn San Francisco - Intl Airport Hotel South San Francisco
Holiday Inn San Francisco Airport
South San Francisco Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn South San Francisco

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