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“Great Location, Low Price, But Too Old”
Review of SF Plaza Hotel

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SF Plaza Hotel
Ranked #194 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
Reviewed November 23, 2013

I would love to give a positive review for this hotel - wonderful location, low price, and very friendly staff. But for this 50+ year-old traveler, the bed was too hard, the street noise too distracting, the lack of central air conditioning or heating uncomfortable, and the lack of internet connectivity on my floor a difficult problem for a business trip.

THE GOOD:
The location, right next to the China Gate at the entrance to China Town, is awesome. The area is filled with great restaurants in all price ranges; the cable car to Fisherman's Wharf was three blocks away; and the convention center was less than a mile away. The hotel staff were friendly and accommodating; the rooms were very clean and vermin-free. And the price! There were no rooms in town less than $500 per night during my stay due to a huge IT convention...except the Astoria. It is true you get what you pay for....

THE BAD:
The hotel is old, old, old. An ancient elevator greets you with a sign that says "Caution: Only Three People At One Time," and the resulting ride is bumpy and jarring. The hallway to my room was lined with water pipes and junction boxes, complete with visible pressure gauges...more reminiscent of the queue for Disney World's "Tower of Terror" than a pleasant entry to a hotel room. The bathroom had 1940's tile design - cool if it was intentionally retro, not so much when it is simply cracked and old. The walls and carpets were clean, but the stains of decades of previous guests were visible. And the lack of in-room amenities such as a clock, or a bathmat made of material beside paper, was a bit disconcerting.

THE DEAL BREAKER
Would I return to this hotel, perhaps for a low-cost vacation trip where the hotel is only a room to sleep? Unfortunately no. Four issues keep me from returning: 1) the bed, which is the hardest bed I have ever slept on - according to a staff member, the uber-hard beds are popular with Pacific Rim guests. For this Arizonan, it was like camping without a ground mat. 2) The lack of wi-fi in-room...while there is a lounge on the second floor where free access is available, the inability to check email and reach the internet from my seventh floor room was troublesome. 3) While the room was equipped with a fan, it still became too hot for my comfort, despite a November visit with cool outside temperatures. I was on the top floor, and it seems heat truly rises to the top.4) Finally, the street noise was either very loud, or the windows too thin. I was awoken several times each night by car horns, late-night deliveries, sirens, or the slamming of car doors.

Room Tip: I was in room 704, 7th floor, which was hot at night even in cool weather. Perhaps lower floors were...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank Steve M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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103 - 109 of 460 reviews

Reviewed November 16, 2013

The Astoria is basic with no frills. The bed was a little hard but we slept well. Ear plugs a must due to town noise. Clean sheets and towels. Room a little tired but for the time we spent there it was fine. Location is excellent. Right at the dragon gate to Chinatown and an easy walk to union sq and buses, trams and cable cars. Staff were very friendly. Wifi on level 2. Value for money was amazing. For a great budget hotel in the heart of SF, look no further.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank sammie18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013

Son and I were in town 10/25/to10/28 to go to Oakland/Pittsburgh game. This was a great place for cost-$69 per night. location-right at gates to Chinatown and close to cable cars and shopping and it was clean. Sparse furnishings but it had a good bed and clean bathroom, all that two guys need. Other than sleeping we didn't spend a lot of time in room, note TV is not very good, few channels and no remote. I would stay there again even with limitations on décor. What we saved on room costs over some of the other places nearby, we spent on food at some really good places. Get the all inclusive 3day or 7 day muni pass and ride the cable cars and bus system to any place in SF.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Larry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Four nights here in SF in October 2013, it was just right for us.
Simple but accommodating and just a stones throw from the Union Square, cablecars, parking lots and so much more. Not too far uphill either. Simple budget hotel decor. Staff who are attentive and courteous, this simple package has all that we needed on a nice sunny stay in this fine city. No aircon would be more challenging if the outside temperature got into the high 80f's or 25C+ but we lived with it all comfortably. Clothes storage is 'simple' but its a cheap room.

This was the best value we had in the US on a two week trip, $270 for four nights.

Late opening small shop and liquor store just across the street too, a proper city stop-over place. Parking wasnt needed by us so no problem there, check yourself if you need parking.

Room Tip: Street facing room is no problem with noise if you are a city dweller, nice view of a living city
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank CPHLN2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2013 via mobile

Astoria was recommended by a co-worker as a cheap, centrally located place to stay in San Francisco.

We stayed here three nights, in September 2013. The price was an unbeatable $90 per night. This was better than a hostel stay for two people!

The front desk staff always said 'hello' when we walked through the lobby. Check in and check out was a simple process.

The rooms were clean, but old. No complaints really, but of course we live in a house built in the early 1900s. Creaky doors, old bathrooms and single pane windows are my norm:) This is not a luxury stay, more for thrifty travelers.

We would stay here again as the price matched the accommodations AND the location was perfect.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank HartzTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2013 via mobile

Great price. Great location. Just don't expect great service. It's exactly what you pay for. No complaints though. Room wasn't exactly gorgeous and a couple of floors has a bit of a funky smell but clean towels everyday and free wifi in the lounge (or if u were lucky enough to be above it, in ur room too). Located right next to china town, 2 blocks from union square, easy walking distance to everything. Felt safe there at night too. If your just looking for a bed to sleep in then this is fine.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank samjones83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

I’m actually quite surprised at how this hotel turned out. I am a very open-minded person when it comes to lodging. I have stayed in (and actually quite enjoyed) many hostels over the last few years. So I would say my standards are a bit lower than most people’s in that I’m perfectly fine with basic amenities. As long as it’s clean, quiet, & comfortable for a place to shower and sleep, I’m ok.
I booked the hotel for two nights at $130 total. Very, very cheap for a hotel in San Francisco. Based on the reviews that said “basic, but functional”, I felt pretty good about the reservation. And I rarely am disappointed with hotels.

I will say – this place is clean. It’s old, but it’s not dirty. At least not the lobby or the room I stayed in. The linens were clean (albeit, rough) and the carpet seemed clean (albeit, old).
My biggest reason for giving this place a low rating is because of the bed. Upon entering the room (#701), my boyfriend and I sat down on the bed and basically made a THUD noise. I swear, it was a box spring. I’m not even kidding. If that was a mattress, I simply cannot believe it. I have slept on floors softer than that. Not only that, but the comforter was very thin and the pillows very flat. Only two were provided for the queen size bed.
We did happen to have a room with a flat-screen tv, but we didn’t watch it anyway. The bathroom was small and the counter space even smaller. But again, it was clean.
The location is the best part of the hotel. Right next to the Chinatown gate and very easily walkable to the shops of Union Square and tons of restaurants.
We arrived in San Francisco very late in the evening so we didn’t have much choice but to stay there for the night. We each only got about an hour or two of light dozing sleep; the bed was just too unbelievably hard. Also, the window had no curtains. Just some broken blinds that only shut part-way. It was very bright in the room, to boot.
The plus side was that we were wide awake around 4:30am and decided to start our day. We showered, headed to the Starbucks across the street, loaded up on caffeine, and were able to catch an empty cable car and see empty Fisherman’s Wharf in the early morning mist before having to fight all the tourists.
We’d booked and paid for two nights, but we ended up checking out later that day and booking a different hotel so we could get some good sleep. Paid an un-planned $250 for it, but we both considered it worth it. To stay in that bed another night would have killed us.
All in all, this hotel is not the worst possible place you could stay by any means. But I certainly would look elsewhere. Here, the adage is true: You get what you pay for.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank lmpaddock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about SF Plaza Hotel

Address: 510 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94108-3697 (Formerly Astoria Hotel)
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Union Square
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #194 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
Price Range: $99 - $185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — SF Plaza Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 64
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SF Plaza Hotel is at the heart of San Francisco with many famous attractions nearby. It is the perfect walking distance to popular destinations, such as Chinatown, the Financial District and San Francisco's renowned Union Square. Our hotel is surrounded by amazing shopping, as well as an excellent variety of restaurants, museums and attractions. If you are looking to explore beyond the beautiful downtown area, we are just minutes away from public transportation including MUNI, the subway and the iconic San Francisco Cable Cars. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, we welcome guests from around the world looking for an affordable and comfortable place to stay in the wonderful city by the bay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Astoria Hotel San Francisco
Astoria San Francisco

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