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“Not perfect but I'd go back again”

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Cow Hollow Inn and Suites
Ranked #37 of 228 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Victoria, BC
Level Contributor
270 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 378 helpful votes
“Not perfect but I'd go back again”
Reviewed July 26, 2013

A couple of things were less than ideal, but overall this was a good stay in a lively part of the city. Heeding Tripadvisor warnings about traffic noise if your room faces busy Lombard Street, we asked for one at the back of the hotel. We were initially very pleased with our room, 215, because it overlooked the sides or backs of other buildings rather than overlooking a street and was absolutely silent when we checked in. But by early evening, it became like party central. It turned out that the awning over the courtyard below our window covers the heated patio of Isa Restaurant on Steiner Street. Because it’s not a solid structure, sound leaks out – loud conversation and shrieks of laughter till around midnight. I realize the hotel can’t control the noise from other businesses, but upgrading the windows from single to double glazing would surely make affected rooms quieter. (The hotel’s floor plan indicates that rooms 212, 213 and 216 also have this problem.)

The other issue we had was a noisy toilet. Every five minutes or so during our first night the toilet would refill, though it hadn’t been used or flushed. We asked the front desk the next morning to have it checked, but when we returned in the evening, the toilet was still gurgling away. However, as mysteriously as it started, the noise stopped a couple of hours later, and we had an undisturbed sleep.

That’s it for the negatives. Among the things we appreciated were the location of the hotel. You can walk to the Palace of Arts, then along Crissy Field shoreline park to Fort Point, which puts you right underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Alamo Square, location of the iconic Victorian houses known as the Painted Ladies or Postcard Row, is a ten-minute drive from the hotel. (We actually found many of the other houses on the square more interesting.) The Haas-Lilienthal house, a Victorian mansion preserved as a museum and open for tours, is five or six minutes away by car.

San Francisco isn’t the easiest city to find parking, so it was great to know we were assured a space in the hotel’s underground lot (one per room guaranteed, included in the room rate). The room was big, with lots of space for all our stuff. (The hotel recommends not leaving valuables in your car.) The bed was very comfortable, we always had hot water and a good wifi connection, and the front desk staff were pleasant and helpful.

You’ll find lots of restaurants in the area. For breakfast we really liked Mel’s Diner across the street on Lombard; Bay Watch, pretty well next door to the hotel, also did a good job. And Amici’s, opposite the hotel on Steiner Street, serves excellent gluten-free pizza. There are lots of restaurants, bars, cinemas and shops on Chestnut Street, which runs parallel to Lombard.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tripsterchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,068 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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new jersey
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

We have stayed at the Cow Hollow many times over the past 5 years, We used to stay in Union Square but the hotels there are pricey, hectic and the parking price per day is crazy. While the Cow Hollow doesn't have a lobby per se, and the rooms are not fancy, they are large and clean and quiet. Also, the parking is free. The neighborhood is great - everything you need is in walking distance. may restaurants, some small grocery stores, Gap, Apple, and Pottery Barn. While there is no restaurant attached to the Inn, there is a small restaurant attached to it, that serves breakfast and lunch during the work week, Mel's Diner is right across the street and if you want a really special breakfast, brunch, Judy's is just a few blocks down on Chestnut Street, Everything you could want is on Chestnut Street. Lombard fronts the Inn, and if you don't have a car, there are cabs and trolleys there.
You can also walk up the hill a few blocks to Union Street that also has good restaurants and nice shops.
We have also stayed in the Cow Hollow Suites for our son's wedding. We stayed in a 2 bed/2 bath, and again, while dated very large apartment and convenient. The kitchen has everything you might need, including a dishwasher.
The Presideo is also just down the street on Lombard as is the Marina

Room Tip: Some of the rooms are around an air shaft, and while quiet, you have no idea what the weather is lik...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank koshershrimp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ann arbor michigan
Level Contributor
145 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 498 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2013

I was going to give Cow Hollow Motor Inn 4 stars. The hotel was very nice, the room very clean and the staff extraordinarily friendly and helpfull. But, the hotel lacked some of the extras many people expect: the lobby was small, no breakfast etc. But it was clean and reasonably priced with free parking and the neighborhood is pleasant and safe with many restaurants and shops. All in all, a very nice stay and I would certainly come back again. Then, when we got on the city bus at Ghiradelli Square, with all of its chaos and noise, and realized the hotel was only a 10 minute bus ride from the hubbub of touristy San Francisco, I decided to give it one more star for convenience and location. We were a bit doubtful about our plans to stay here but we were so pleasantly surprised. I would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank robd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Cow Hollow is NOT a super fancy, 4/5 star hotel. What it is - reasonably priced, GREAT location, very nice service and clean. Yes, its dated, but we were able too overlook this fact. We did not rent a car for the time we spent in San Francisco, but we didn't mind the walk to the Warf or the Financial District. Filmore Street has some very nice dining spots, bars, coffee houses and boutiques. Location is literally right out the side door of the hotel.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nancy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
84 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2013

Upon all the reports via TripAdvisor and the price, we opted to stay here for four nights. The motel itself is on busy Lombard Street but within 50 meters of the brilliant Chestnut Street shops, restaurants and bars.

The rooms are very 70's and the appliances likewise. It was like visiting my elderly Aunt. The room itself was tidy but it's age and wear are obvious.

We were on a third floor section and with two kids aged 6 and 8 were quite perplexed as to why there was no barrier or screen on the windows...only an easy slip and a thirty foot fall.

The bathroom was rather tired and we had to have maintenance fix the bath which would not fill.

Due to the window issue, we had the aircon on constantly which was both noisy and tiresome. The TV is from the eighties and the reception similar.

But, we were only there to sleep and for the price you cant go wrong.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank NudeFoodDude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013 via mobile

The Golden Gate Bridge visible from our room sparkled in the rare sunny day. The next cooler day - welcome relief from Brentwood heat - found us exploring shops and restaurants within walking distance. The big bonus included free parking under the hotel. Our suite boasted a kitchen, fireplace, antiques, and a four poster bed.
All in all a terrific value and a fun place to stay.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Nancy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2013

This is another place that I've been staying at for over 20 years. If you're looking for an ultra modern boutique type hotel then this is not the choice for you. But if you're looking for great value in a great location then you won't go wrong here. The hotel has been around for a while. I had been referred to this hotel by a friend a couple decades ago, before there was Tripadvisor. I have recommended this place to many people. The rates for a very nice room can't be beat. The rooms are large and comfortable. The hotel is perfectly maintained. There is ample free parking. The neighborhood in the Marina District is safe and charming and great for walking around. You're close to public transportation, but I usually take a cab to go places. At night you can hear the fog horn in the distance. This is San Francisco!

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cow Hollow Inn and Suites

Property: Cow Hollow Inn and Suites
Address: 2190 Lombard St, Between Steiner and Fillmore Streets, San Francisco, CA 94123-2713
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Marina District
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
#7 Best Value Hotel in San Francisco
#31 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#32 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#75 Business Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Cow Hollow Inn and Suites 3*
Number of rooms: 130
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Also Known As:
Cow Hollow Motor Hotel San Francisco
Cow Hollow Motor Inn
Cow Hollow San Francisco
Cow Hollow Hotel San Francisco

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