Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
When you say “King’s ransom,” do you mean over $100 a night? If so, you’re going to have a very hard time, even if you make reservations 2-3 months in advance. San Francisco hotels jack up their rates for two events: Gay Pride Week and Macworld. Take it from someone who knows. You can find places for under $100 a night during those times, but forget about a phone in your room and be ready to put on your game face on the street.
My favorite, the Herbert Hotel, and several other moderately priced hotels near it have been snapped up by a chain, who proceeded to jack up the rates. I paid $345 for 8 nights the last time I was here in 99; this time they wanted $89 a night for a single with a bath. Still no phones in the rooms. An over 200% rate hike in 3 years? They must have put in gold-plated bidets.
The Herbert is ideally located near Powell and O’Farrell, a 10 minute walk from Moscone, and a drugstore two doors down. The cable car turnaround is a block away. Its sister hotel, Foley’s Inn (formerly the Barclay), is around the corner on O’Farrell. It charges the same per night for a single bath as the Herbert, but unlike the Herbert, it has phones in the rooms. Both offer weekly rates only for singles without baths, and you can’t reserve them; it’s first come, first served. Just a little too much uncertainty for me. I opted for another hotel this time around.
There are many hotels in the Tenderloin, bounded by Van Ness, Geary and Market, that cater mainly to European tourists (read: bathrooms down the hall). If you can put up with the rather raucous street scene at night, you can save some major bucks over the pillow-mint hotels further up the hill on Powell and down Market toward the Financial District.
Here’s a short list of moderately-priced hotels your readers might try in and around the Tenderloin:
- Garland Hotel, 505 O’Farrell St, 415-771-0525
- Shawmut Hotel, 516 O’Farrell St, 415-474-5330
- Post Hotel
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