Thursday, July 17, 2014

Is this the worst hotel in San Francisco?

During my perambulations about town, I often pass the Red Coach Motor Lodge on the corner of Eddy and Polk.  Perhaps betraying my own internalized prejudices, and because this place happens to be in the Tenderloin, I sometimes think "MAN I bet that place is sketchy as fuck."

The Red Coach, via Street View (I mean, obviously, there isn't "San Fra" painted down the middle of Polk Street)
WRONG!  Based on TripAdvisor reviews, the Red Coach Motor Lodge is actually "good, comfortable, clean and safe value with nice staff."  The rooms are "clean and comfortable and had everything you would need," and "when we left the hotel and realised we had left our passports in their safe gave our children lollipops to make up for the extra travelling we had had to do to go back for them!"  Holy crap, I want to stay there now!  All the reviews concede that the area is a little sketchy but everyone says the place is great and makes up for it.  (Well, not everyone, of course - Mr. "Zona Peligrosa, cuidado" said some mean things I think but they're in Spanish so I'm not 100% sure.)  Anyway, another example of Neighborhood Bias coming into play.

But that got me wondering.  What really is the Worst Hotel in San Francisco?

The Travelodge on Market - you know, behind the Flax Art Supply, across Valencia from Martuni's? - isn't going to win any Hotel of the Year Awards.  TripAdvisor review headlines include "Don't dismiss the bad reviews this place is an abomination," "Stay here at your own peril," and "DO NOT STAY HERE. EVER."  Hmmmm, maybe the "Traveler photos" will help?

OH JESUS FUCKING CHRIST MY EYES.  Something about "bed bugs."  Oh fuck now I'm worried because I walked within 100 yards of this place before.  Anyway, don't stay there.

But amazing as this may seem, the Travelodge on Market is NOT the lowest rated San Francisco hotel on TripAdvisor.  It's not even the Sonoma Inn on Bush & Van Ness, which appears to have been burnt out and is boarded up and has a mysterious drainage pipe emerging from the front (Traveler Tip - Room 231 has a water slide/emergency exit!).

The Sonoma Inn. Please enjoy our complimentary 
The lowest rated hotel I could find on TripAdvisor was the apparently incorrectly named Best Hotel, at Taylor and Eddy.

On the bright side, it is next to the Cool Super Discount Market.

On the downside, "TERRIBLE PLACE with mean homeless people doing drugs on doorstep that screamed at us to get lost.... Had to literally push door open past them to get in."  Although, tbh, "Candy L." from Akron, Ohio, you also said you were paying $40 a night and I'm not sure you could even get a room in Akron Ohio for $40 a night.  But then apparently the front desk people are "impolite unfriendly and not very motivated!" so they're not helping much either.

So there you have it.  The Best Hotel.  Quite possibly the Worst Hotel in San Francisco.


Rachel said...

I've always wondered about that Red Coach place. Whenever I take the shared ride vans from the airport, it is sad to see the tourists who booked the shitty hotels realize how bad they're going to be as the van gets deeper and deeper into the Tenderloin or other sketchvilles.

If you have to say your hotel is Best, it probably isn't...


TK said...

Oh man, can you imagine? The perils of making a reservation online without reading reviews first.

Tamagosan said...

I'm surprised some 6th Street gems didn't make the cut. Or maybe SROs don't get reviewed I guess. And there's one hotel above a porn store on Mission at about 16th/17th that I've always been afraid of just walking by. I usually tell tourists on a reasonable budget to go to Cova or Opal or Bijou.

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