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“The good, the bad, and the ugly...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Opal San Francisco

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The Opal San Francisco
Ranked #100 of 227 Hotels in San Francisco
Palmdale, California, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“The good, the bad, and the ugly...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2011

GOOD: Rooms were nice and spacious, beds extremely comfy! Mel's Diner is connected right to the lobby so you dont have to know your way around San Francisco in order to get good food. Also Tommy's Joynt across the street is DELICIOUS! I felt safe enough, especially being from out of town. Bus stop right next to the hotel made it easier for my group to commute down to the Warf.

BAD: Parking was horrible! Already paying steep prices for the rooms, now I have to add $25+ for parking A DAY! Some of the staff at the front desk were not helpful, but some were. Fortunately I was able to find my way around on my own.

UGLY: Polk street (street located right behind hotel) is not a safe place to be at night. It has some of the BEST hole-in-the-wall eaterys I have been to but in order to get to those places, you have to pass people sleeping on the walkways and guys asking for change at almost every intersection (this is only at night).

But if you're just looking for a place to lay your head after a weary day of sight-seeing, I would defiently recommed The Opal. It's about a 3 minute drive from the Warf and is right on Van Ness which is the life line (so it seems) of San Francisco. It fits perfectly in a "3 out of 5" rating.

Room Tip: Rooms towards the back of the hotel tend to be quieter and are also the closest to the parking garag...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Heather P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,082 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (122)
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English first
Chico, CA
Level Contributor
152 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2011

We have stayed in this hotel a number of times. With that said, yes we keep coming back and yes, there is the good and the bad! Our first stay was in Winter and our room was huge. Our next stay was during the spring and our room was on the back side over looking the street and was very very small. I honestly think this was the smallest room I have ever had at a hotel. It was okay for our short stay but had we of been more than two and staying longer than a night it would have been horrible.
The staff here is always very friendly and accommodating. The parking is secure and provided by the hotel. So when taking our car this is the place we aim for!
The hotel itself is older and could be called quaint. It reminds you of the old days with its piano in the entrance and you expect Bogey to come waltzing up in a white suit.
My guess is that many people who are seeking a modern sleek hotel might steer away from the Opal, but it's very reasonably priced so it's great for those quick trips to the city.

Room Tip: Make certain you enquire about the actual size of your room, if it's important to you. Also str...
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ccinchico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2011

Some people complain about this location. but you don't need to go into the Tenderloin. Just stay on Van Ness--one direction toward Fisherman's Wharf. The other takes you toward the city and the arts venues. Van Ness is Hwy 101 so I felt very safe as a woman alone walking/catching the bus even after dark. Opal rooms have air conditioning, bathroom fans, breakfast (I just grab coffee and yogurt and don't mark a hotel down because of their breakfast)--it you don't like it, step inside Mel's Diner which is part of the hotel. Very reasonable, clean, safe (you have to use your room key to open the door from the street.) This will be my location everytime I come to SF

Room Tip: I requested a room that would be quiet and I didn't care what the room "looked out upon&quo...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank miscue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2011

What a beautiful place. We picked this hotel with no knowledge of how it was going to be, and we were happily surprised! Great location for walking and seeing the city..really nice clean rooms with wonderful staff. The continental breakfast was really good and we could park in a secure area provided by the hotel! Great experience! We will visit here again and again!!!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank oniebay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2011

Good location ... Helpful staff ... Great place to eat across the street .... Interesting early morning stroll

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Yendon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2011

The best feature of this hotel is the location, on Van Ness and Geary, which is on a couple of major buslines and a few blocks away from the California St cable car to reach almost anywhere in the city, and if you drive, fairly easy to navigate once you become familiar with the grid based streets surrounding the hotel. The hotel provides off street "secure" parking (really just behind some rather flimsy gates, no attendant) for $30 a day, $25 for AAA members. Finding street parking for in-city destinations can be a challenge but we did some driving around the city and eventually found parking within a few streets of wherever we wanted to go.

We stayed a couple of times a few days apart and got very different rooms. Our impression is that this hotel has numerous room configurations. The first time we got a room facing the back alley with just a shower/no tub, and the second time a room that was in the "crevice" so only had a small window and no street view, but did have a larger bathroom with tub in this one. This room was so dark we slept until 11 am one night. So if certain features are important to you, ask for them! It's an older hotel so don't expect the shiny new Marriott feel. The rooms are small but comfortable enough for 2 if you're not spending large amounts of time in your room, and the double hung windows keep out an amazing amount of street noise. For a large city hotel it was very quiet. Beds were not super comfortable but we had no trouble getting a good night's sleep here.

The staff was friendly and helpful. Downsides are no refrigerator in the rooms, so no place to keep your leftovers from the many fine restaurants in the city!, and the "breakfast" is the typical bread/hard boiled eggs, cereal and yogurt that many hotels are calling "continental" these days. We found many better breakfast places within an easy walk in the surrounding neighborhood (Brenda's, Toast, or even right next door, Mel's)

The neighborhood can be a bit disconcerting if you're not used to homeless people asking for change but for the most part they are not overly aggressive about it. Give some change or politely refuse and most often either way they will say thank you and have a blessed day. We never felt unsafe walking around during the day.

A couple of other comments on other things people have mentioned. There is no Wi-Fi i.e. wireless in the rooms but there is a wired connection with a cord provided.. just plug into laptop and you are good to go.. not blazingly fast but good enough to check email and surf the web. Also bedbugs were a concern due to previous reviews we had seen but we had no issues with this in either of the rooms we stayed in. Mattresses/baseboards had no indication of any bedbug activity and we had no problems at all on that front.

Overall a decent place for the $$, and we would return. It appears that room rates can vary wildly so look for the occasional deals if price is high on your list.

Room Tip: Try to stay away from elevator locations as the hotel is very busy. As mentioned, if light is impor...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MJ11_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
111 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2011

My family and I stayed at the Opal for 4 nights. The rates fluctuated wildly in that time, but on average we paid $150p/night (inc. taxes) for a double double room. In SF this is a very good price, we discovered.

The room was very small and had a strange design. For example, the TV faced the room door and the bedside lamp kept hitting us in the head because it was so ridiculously big. The carpet was new, though, and the room was clean. Unfortunately, the beds were not comfortable and the room furnishings are very worn.

We had requested a quiet room in our reservation; instead, we got a room by the elevators and the ice machine! We were not happy to be woken up throughout the night by those facilities. There is laundry on site, in the basement, with one washer and one dryer only.

WIFI is only in the lobby, which was very frustrating, but we knew that when we booked so it wasn't a surprise. Breakfast is very basic - toast, yogurt, and tea/coffee. Not even milk or cereal. That was disappointing.

The hotel is incredibly well located. It has a major transit route on Van Ness and you are 10mins. away from downtown, 20mins. from Fisherman's Wharf, 30 mins. from Golden Gate Bridge by bus. This is the wonderful feature of this hotel.

The nieighbourhood is a shock at first, even from those of us who are from big cities. But SF is a gritty city in many respects. However, the area is so busy that we walked around during the day and night.

The hotel is older and worn, but well maintained. We were told that they are renovating in December, so if you book during that time, you will want to speak with hotel staff first.

Room Tip: Ice machines are on the 3rd and 5th floors!
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MaraInTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Opal San Francisco

Property: The Opal San Francisco
Address: 1050 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109-6934
Location: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #100 of 227 Hotels in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Opal San Francisco 2.5*
Number of rooms: 167
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Opal San Francisco is in the heart of San Francisco, walking distance to Union Square, Chinatown, Civic Center, and more! This family-friendly hotel is close to Union Square and Lombard Street. Make yourself at home in one of the 167 air-conditioned rooms featuring iPod docking stations and LED televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with bathtubs or showers feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include desks and irons/ironing boards, as well as phones with free local calls. Take advantage of recreation opportunities such as a fitness center, or other amenities including complimentary wireless Internet access and concierge services. This hotel also features tour/ticket assistance and assistance with planning your day. Satisfy your appetite at the Mel's Diner, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or grab a snack at the many nearby restaurants. Featured amenities include a computer station, complimentary newspapers in the lobby, and dry cleaning/laundry services. A shuttle from the hotel to the airport is provided for a surcharge (available on request), and self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Opal San Francisco Hotel San Francisco
Opal Hotel San Francisco
Opal San Francisco

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