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“I always stay here in SF”

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The Opal San Francisco
Ranked #99 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
Portland, Oregon
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
“I always stay here in SF”
Reviewed 23 June 2013

The Opal is not a fancy or high end hotel, but it's a good one and a great bargain. Room rates are very low for SF, about $140/night. Has its own secure parking at $27/night. Clean rooms, comfortable beds, good and helpful service. Spacious lobby with extremely comfortable furniture. There are typically some seedy characters hanging about on the nearby sidewalks but they are harmless, and it is centrally located, convenient to Civic Center, Opera and Symphony, Union Square, and other locations of interest. Shares its building with Mel's, a '50s-'60s style diner with good food, old-style juke boxes, and an ambience that takes me back to my youth. In a word, I like this place.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that does not face on Van Ness, which is a very busy street.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BobConklin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DIerk D, General Manager at The Opal San Francisco, responded to this review, 15 July 2013
Great to have you!

You are clearly a San Francisco pro with comments and advice like that! You sold the hotel like I wish I could and even hit at some very insightful aspects regarding the cast of characters that are in the area at night. We always like to caution people that this is a big city and it is always important to be aware of your surroundings; but the vast majority of the homeless in the city are just people who are not getting the medical or psychological attention they need and have to struggle to get by on the street. It is sad to see them in such a state, but as you mentioned, most of them are absolutely harmless.

We will no doubt see you again soon, thank you for giving us a review!

Best Regards,

Dierk Demers
General Manager
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (128)
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Wesley Chapel
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2013

I had never been to San Francisco, so picking a hotel was a tough choice, due to the fact I did not know which area was good or bad to stay in. So I had to do some homework on which hotel would suite my needs best. The Opal ended up being a good choice. I love older hotels, that have character and keep some of the vintage character yet also keep up with the things that need to be kept up with. I must say that this hotel did pass that test with flying colors! It has been well kept and our room was very clean. Everyday we came back to our room, the beds were made, the bathroom had been wiped down and new towels replaced. From check in to check out, the customer service was great! I did not get all the names of the people that helped, but one name does stick out and that is Brad! He was there the day we came and the day we left (we stayed 6 days). He remembered us and always asked how our trip was doing and if we enjoyed our stay and the city. The front desk people always were helpful and had great advice for things to do while visiting. The only downfall to our stay.....is not one that can really be controlled by the hotel staff/management due to the building being older. The noise factor was sometimes an issue. Not really coming from outside, but coming from the hallway. We could hear people talking when they were walking by....but that really is the only complaint I have. The free breakfast in the morning is nice and helps save some money too. All in all, I was happy with my choice to stay here....it is only 9 blocks from the heart of the city (Union Square) which was fantastic. It is pretty easy to get around the area and being right next to Mel's Diner....was fun too. Also, the price I paid for staying here is very competitive compared to others just a couple of blocks away.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Kristy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DIerk D, General Manager at The Opal San Francisco, responded to this review, 15 July 2013
Thank you!

Brad is an all-star and it probably won't be too long before people come to the hotel just to see him! If anyone coming to stay with us has a few minutes, ask him to tell you some stories about his San Francisco experiences, he has a million and they are all great (just please make sure he isn't TOO busy when you ask)!

We are glad you enjoyed the property and took advantage of our proximity to all the sights around the city. In regards to the noise, it is definitely a challenge that we have to compete with and it is something we are keeping in mind when we do future renovations.

Best Regards,

Dierk Demers
General Manager
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Mannheim
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2013

We stayed in the hotel during the week for three nights. First of, I think I would stay there again, because it was a good price/value ratio, at least in comparison to the other hotels. Here are some of the pros/cons:

+ Seems and feels clean (with some exceptions, see below)
+ Good location (some homeless, but they are everywhere in SF)
+ Cinema in the same building (after lots of sightseeing, watch a movie for $12)
+ Free and fast (!) wifi
+ Good continental breakfast: bagels, toast, philadelphia, butter, jam, yoghurt, fruit (!), juice, coffee

- Cleaning staff is not very talented:
- OTHER PEOPLE's towels were in our bathroom when we got there
- Only made the bed, left empty cups and other stuff just lying around
- It smelled a little funny in the beginning, but that went away

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Philipp H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DIerk D, General Manager at The Opal San Francisco, responded to this review, 15 July 2013
Hello!

I am so glad that you wrote on Trip Advisor! I actually have your comment card in my office, but it did not have any contact information so that I could get a hold of you! All things considered, thank you so much for the great review.

In regards to your room upon check-in, not only do we have our housekeepers clean the room, but we have an inspector (typically our Executive Housekeeper) inspect every room before a new guest checks in. Your room was, fairly obviously, not inspected. I tried to have my Executive Housekeeper investigate, but not having your information made that a little tricky for us to nail down just where the breakdown occurred.

Please contact me at ddemers@theopalsf.com so that I can look into the issue for you. It makes us better as a hotel to find these problems and fix them in a way that ensures they will not happen again.

Best Regards,

Dierk Demers
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Staten Island, New York
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2013 via mobile

Great hotel,clean,and helpful desk staff especially
Bradley who main some great recommendations for sight seeing.Cable cars and shopping at Union Square are within walking distance.The complimentary breakfast was more than adequate and a nice convenience.
This hotel is a bargain in light of the more costly San Francisco hotels. AAA discounts are available. When we return to S.F.this is our hotel it is that simple.if you want fountains and marble go somewhere else you will pay double.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Firstcallrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DIerk D, General Manager at The Opal San Francisco, responded to this review, 15 July 2013
Thank you for the review!

Every so often, a reviewer writes something and I want to stand up and yell, "Exactly!" This is one of them. San Francisco is a very expensive city and so hotel rates can be outrageous. We try to keep ourselves relatively affordable, no matter what is going on in the city. We still have our expensive dates, but we can typically be found at half the price of some of the big brand names.

We want to provide a clean room, a friendly and comfortable experience and a good starting location to explore the city. We do, however, understand our limitations with an aging building and slightly colorful neighborhood. While both of those are soon to change (Hospital project going in next door and a renovation set in the next year), we want to remain true to who we are as a hotel.

Thank you for the review and we hope to see you again soon.

Best Regards,

Dierk Demers
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 June 2013

The Opal is a pretty cool boutique hotel with a creepy haunted vibe. The room was comfortable and clean, only complaint being the shower's water pressure (or lack thereof). The lobby made for a nice lounging area and the staff were helpful and polite.

The price of the hotel was great (avg $160/night in June), especially considering that most hotels in San Fran were priced in excess of $300. However, the location left much to be desired. It was only a short drive from most of the neighborhoods we wanted to see (fisherman's wharf, union square, castro, haight-ashbury), but the area around the hotel was NOT somewhere we felt comfortable being at night. The hotel is surrounded by a bunch of dark alleys filled with homeless people, gutter punks, and crackheads -- it felt like NYC in the 80s. Lot of cool dive bars, but way to scary to be out and around, trust me. If you're coming to San Francisco as a tourist, you might be better off spending more money for something near Fisherman's Wharf. This isn't an area you'd want to bring your kids. On the plus, the lobby is only accessible by room key after dark (take that as a hint).

The hotel's on-site parking is around $28/day....but the lot was filled when we got there. They directed us to a nice garage next door for $20/day. Free breakfast, basic stuff.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank scorseseeyebrows
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DIerk D, General Manager at The Opal San Francisco, responded to this review, 15 July 2013
Thank you for the review!

I completely understand your concern regarding the area and I have some great news to report. The city has approved a large hospital and medical office building project going across the street and diagonally across the intersection from our hotel. It is set to start in the next few months and we are very happy with the proposal for how it is going to drastically improve the area. It is going to add extra street lighting, retail space across the street (as opposed to the vacant buildings currently) and extra security and foot traffic.

A trend on our reviews is how difficult our neighborhood is and I am very excited to see some positive changes in that regard in the very near future.

Best Regards,

Dierk Demers
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
97 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2013

The Opal is optimally situated near some of the great San Francisco sites ... a modest walk to Fisherman's Wharf, the Marina, Lafayette Park, Cathedral Hill, the Opera, and the great car dealerships on Van Ness, along with some funky coffee shops, and more.

The Opal is a classic, old hotel with great bones and interesting architectural features. The rooms are compact, as are the bathrooms, but are plenty big for 1 or 2 persons. The bathrooms appear to have been recently renovated and are very clean. The staff are very friendly and helpful with sight-seeing, storing luggage, and general survival tips. Parking is convenient if not the cheapest in town. And the rooms and hotel generally were surprisingly quiet given the central location and small rooms.

You'll not like the carpets so much ... throughout the halls and in the rooms, I'm not sure I've seen such dated, faded, tattered carpet. But keep your shoes and socks on at all times, and you'll not be the worse for the experience.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vince V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DIerk D, General Manager at The Opal San Francisco, responded to this review, 18 June 2013
Thank you for the response and for everything you had to say about the hotel. Specifically, thank you so much for making the distinction between the age of our carpets and the cleanliness of our hotel. Our carpets are old, and we desperately want to change them. However, with our pending renovations, we would rather do everything at once rather than change the carpets twice in the same number of years. We are definitely aware of the problem, it is just difficult timing for us.

We are glad you enjoyed your stay and thank you for pointing out one of the big challenges in our hotel so perceptively.

Best Regards,

Dierk Demers
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandy, Utah
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2013

Pros: Clean room, comfortable bed (maybe a little firm, but not bad), good light in our corner room, pretty quiet, pretty centrally located and right on several bus lines, good breakfast (hard boiled eggs, yogurt, fruit, bagels, toast, juice, coffee), and a very friendly and helpful front desk staff. Cons: only one chair in our room for two, and NO shelf by the sink (and only a tiny one behind the toilet across the room). Made it hard to shave, do hair or makeup, etc. Didn't use the fitness center, but apparently there was one.

Room Tip: We had 429, a corner room on the fourth floor near the back. Pretty quiet, windows on two sides, ni...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DorothyB13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DIerk D, General Manager at The Opal San Francisco, responded to this review, 18 June 2013
Thank you for the response!

I am glad you enjoyed the hotel and our team. We try to provide a friendly face when you arrive and some homey comfort while you are visiting a great city. I am also glad you enjoyed the breakfast, we try to provide a few items for the traveler who wants to grab a quick bite; whereas, someone looking for a full meal can step next door to Mel's!

Our rooms can definitely be cozy. Especially the bathrooms. Having been built in 1908, our hotel is very unique and every room is different. Some of our bathrooms are very small and so we try to keep those concerns in mind by having as much shelving as possible. It is sometimes difficult trying to bring a turn of the century property up to the modern era.

Thank you again and best regards,

Dierk Demers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
Region: United States > California > San Francisco
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #99 of 229 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 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 
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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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