I booked through Hotwire and then read the reviews on this site and tried unsuccessfully to get out of my reservation because of the bait and switch mentioned below. Additionally, though it's on Hotwire as a 3-star, it's on Expedia as a 2.5 star and La Quinta, which is what it was, is usually a 2-star, so I had serious doubts going in.
These doubts were increased when I called the Opal to make sure I could get a double/double room. Before I called, I looked the hotel up on Expedia and on their website to see if a room with double beds was available for our midweek stay. Both sites said that there was availability. However, when I called to request one of these double rooms I spoke with Bradley, who told me that he couldn't put me in a double room because it was a convention week and they were full and the only thing he had available was the single King bed room that I "had reserved". Well, I had reserved a room with enough beds for one adult and one child, but in common hotel parlance that doesn't usually mean one bed, it means two. I pointed out that I was travelling with my son, and that I needed two beds, and that Expedia showed that the hotel had them available. There was silence on the other end of the line, then Bradley said "OK, I've got you in a double room after moving some people around." Then he hung up.
I fully expected to have to fight with someone when I got there after all this. However, I checked in with Carlo, who was perfectly reasonable and friendly. The room was small, and had a brick-wall view, but it was clean and had two beds. No bathtub, just a shower. No bath products to speak of, just a bar of soap and a ketchup-packet sized shampoo and conditioner (for two people for a 4 night stay- better bring your own!)
The great thing about this hotel is that it is located at Geary and Van Ness. It's 2 blocks to Kintetsu Mall in Japantown, surrounded by good restaurants, 5 blocks to the end of the California street cable car line or the civic center. It is secure in an area that often isn't- the lobby doors can only be opened by someone with a room key or the desk staff. Our room was pretty quiet. The continental breakfast consisted of juice, coffee, toast or cereal and on at least one day the doors were closed before the advertised time of 9:30. Our in-room internet service didn't work (through a cat 5 cable) but I did see people using the wireless in the lobby.
I had no problems with the hotel after the reservation weirdness and it seemed to be filled with world travellers- I heard more German and Arabic and French spoken in the lobby than English, which was wonderful, and one of the reasons I visit San Fran. I would recommend it, but I wouldn't use Hotwire to stay there again. Their normal rates are cheap enough not to have to, and the benefits of cleanliness and a great location truly outweigh the aggravation.
- 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 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 limited onsite gated parking (for $41/tax per night), on-site ATM, ice machine, vending machines, and dry cleaning/laundry services. A shuttle from the hotel to the airport is provided for a surcharge (available on request). ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Opal San Francisco Hotel San Francisco
- Opal Hotel San Francisco
- Opal San Francisco