San Francisco is a beautiful city and I highly recommend a visit to anyone who’s interested in exploring the United States’ finest urban environments. That being said it’s important to do your research before you book the first cheap hotel you happen to stumble across on the internet. Here are 5 important things to keep an eye out for when you’re booking your hotel.

Booking a Hotel in San Francisco


Parking in a major city will catch anyone from a smaller or more sprawled environment completely by surprise. Parking your car at your hotel all day can cost you nearly 50 dollars a day, so if you’re driving you’ll want to avoid the most expensive areas at all costs. The easiest way to solve this problem is to fly into San Francisco and then use public transportation which is much cheaper.  Considering the cost of gasoline nowadays it’s usually cheaper to fly rather than drive anyway.


San Francisco has beautiful neighborhoods and less beautiful ones. Even some of the more upscale hotels are located in relatively shady areas and you should always make sure that you’re comfortable setting foot outside the door of the place that you’re staying, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking or waiting at the nearby bus stop. To find out what kind of vibe your hotel’s neighborhood has you should find a website with extensive customer review sections like this, a San Francisco hotel site and check out what other people experienced.

Proximity to your Goal

Lots of hotel websites divide hotels up by their proximity to a specific part of town. Know what you’d like to see well beforehand so that you can plan for where you want to stay. While walking is great for you in general it can be tiresome and dangerous if you have to go walking for miles in the wrong part of town. If you already know that you don’t want to lodge near your intended visitation areas because of high prices you should make sure to work out plans for transportation before your arrival or you might find yourself stuck with incredibly overpriced taxis.

Hidden Fees

If the reviews mention random hidden fees but don’t specify what they are you should call the hotel. Be as nosy as possible. Find out exactly what they offer and ask specifically if each item costs extra. The last thing you want is to show up at your hotel ready to work on your big presentation for tomorrow only to find that getting wifi access costs something like 30 dollars a night, not unlike buying your own modem and router for a month.

Shady Hotels

The Hotel staff aren’t always what make a hotel shady, though of course they can. Always wary of hotels that get reviews about people who’s reservations get “lost” and are forced to buy another room. Also I like to place truly low quality and unsanitary lodgings in this category. Watch out for reviews about bed

bugs, smoke, loud noises, and hostile staff. Little motels at the outskirts of town tend to be the worst offenders, so make sure you do your research.

Wesley McDonald has lived in San Francisco for almost 20 years. He is passionate about life in the city, travel and the hospitality industry. He’s an online producer for San Francisco Hote  experts