Travel Blogs from San Francisco
Right guys, so unfortunately our access to any computer has been extremely limited during our month on the West Coast. However, San Diego has proven to be our saviour !! Given that we are now 4 weeks behind, this is going to be an action packed installment from our time landing in LA all the way to Yosemite National Park.
Going all the way back to Friday 11th of July we left our North East adventure behind us and flew out of Washington Dulles airport (not ...
... also on the tour, we went to a lovely Indonesian restaurant near the hostel for dinner. It was another long and tiring tourist day.
On Saturday I checked out of my hostel, flagged down my first taxi in the USA and went to the hotel where I start my intrepid tour. After having a little rest I decided to walk around San Francisco to see the hills trams and beautiful houses. I walked 29 blocks to Crookedest Street which is where the road ...
... this unit and headed out. Ok, now you think we would be ready to call it a day. After all, we had been traveling since 5:45 am and had already accomplished a lot. Nope! There was so much more to see and experience! Next stop...Lombard Street (the crooked, topsy-turvy street). After somehow maneuvering our car down the road we stopped for some photos. It's definitely one of those things you have to see in person! By this time, ...
Well, today we made it as far west as we plan to go. We dropped the RV off at Camping World in Vacaville, CA to get the oil changed after 4,000 miles across country. We had reserved a rental car from the local Enterprise, and after a loooong wait to get the car, we drove the final 58 miles into San Francisco.
This was our ...
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How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Monarch Hotel San Francisco
DIDNT LIKE IT
was disapointed with this hotel not happy with its location right opposite a sex shop and our room overlooked private dwellings where a few of the tenants thought it appropriate to leave there windows open and stroll round semi naked. but the hotel itself was clean nice smelling fresh bedding we were wary about going out in the dark but it did not spoil our holiday would I stay there again. No I would want to be nearer Union Square where I would have felt more comfortable.
A bit grotty
It's okay but nothing to write home about. Yes, it is noisy but ear plugs will help - the windows don't really fit their frames so offer little protection from noise on the street. The rooms are clean and basic but there was a funny smell throughout. The staff are amazingly rude and you'll be lucky if they can bring themselves to look you in the eye. The area is pefectly safe and there should be no reason to feel intimidated getting home at night. If you are on a budget, it is a fair no frills option although I wouldn't have paid full price for the room - hold out for special offers. Having said all that, San Francisco is a fantastic place to visit and it was one of the best holidays I've had.
One final piece of advice: Do not drink the free coffee.
Four great nights at the Monarch
I'm a small town, farm boy from central Indiana, but have done a lot of traveling in the U.S., Europe,and Asia. When I heard that the airlines were offering discounts to San Francisco this fall, my wife and I, who had never been there, called another couple and arranged a trip together in late October. We don't like to spend a fortune on places to stay and thought we would give the Monarch a try. We found it to be a real gem of a hotel. The staff was most helpful in arranging tours for us. The rooms were clean and tidy. The location was close to public transportation. There were many places to eat within walking distance.
(Mel's Diner, a 50's style hamburger shop was less than a block away on Van Ness.) And, the staff member on duty when we arrived even suggested a cheaper way to keep our rental car overnight on the last night of our stay. I would not hesitate to recommend the Monarch to anyone who is budget conscious, but desires a good place to spend the night.
Nice hotel .... good price
When I first arrived at the hotel, I wasn't too sure what to expect after reading some of the reviews, and some advice from various travel booksabout the area. It however turned out to be an extremely good choice for a traveller on a budget. The staff were polite, if a little detached, but also helpful if you asked questions - i.e. where was the pay phone? Yes, you can hear the traffic from outside, but then again it's not that different from New York (or London) for that matter. Earplugs will help if you are easily disturbed during the night.The room and bathroom were spotlessly clean, although the safe in the room is chargable at 50cents per day.As for the area, I felt totally safe - I was walking back to the hotel from the Powell Street cable car terminus most nights without any problems. Yes there are a few panhandlers around, but they never bothered me. My tip - just walk with confidence and purpose.If you want breakfast, try "Mel's 50's Diner" on the coner of Van Ness - one block from the Hotel. It's fantastic food, excellent value.Oh and if you stay on halloween, don't be too suprised of you get woken by an improptu performance by an american brass band playing outside the Farrell Bothers Theatre - but only on halloween ;-)Would I stay there again? Yes I would.
Quite nice really...shame about the constant noise
How lovely to finally find our hotel and discover the sign reads the NARCH HOTEL!, thankfully it didnt live up to its accidently given name!
The reception staff were polite, if a little unapproachable, we had to discover all the facilities of the hotel by roaming around....only after 5 daysof braving the homeless people to use the phone in the street, did we discover the payphone and vending machines. They could really use a map of the hotel, or at least show you the facillities on arrival. Our room was comfy and clean, the bed was a brilliant size and so nice to crawl into after scaling the hills all day!! The maid service was excellent. The down sides were apparent straight away, our room was facing the corner of a busy junction, on the 6th floor....the constant traffic woke us up frequently as did the fire trucks which used their sirens freely and at least twice in the night, every night!!!!! The area is dodgy looking but actually not as bad as we anticipated, true there are homeless people everywhere and the street cleaners dont seem to venture that far, but we never had any trouble ( in fact i encountered more scary situations in the lift with non english speaking leery men who find it 'funny' to wedge you into a corner...) most homeless people were friendly or kept to themselves.
Take a right as you come out the hotel, and you'll find a fantastic sandwhich shop QUIZNOS, right again and a cinema,diner and cocktail bar which are all really nice yet not mentioned in our guide. Lovely trip overall!!!
Not Bad, After All!
When my husband and I first drove up to the Monarch, I was skeptical at best. The surrounding area was far removed from the cleanliness of downtown Orlando. There were homeless people aimlessly pushing around carts and there's an adult video store directly across the street.
However, once we stepped into the hotel, things started taking a turn for the better. The staff was polite and helpful, the decor was clean and elegantly understated. They have a quaint old fashioned elevator with which you must pull open the door to get in. Our single bed room was small and modest but oh so clean---especially the bathroom (THANK GOODNESS!!!). By the end of our 5 day stay I had definitely grown fond of the 'Narch as well as the surrounding area (yes it is gritty but it is in a good central location and it's all part of the big city experience). I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone on a budget.
OK for the location and the price , but too noisy : it was not possible to spent a good night... when we asked to change of room, the hostess told us that it is worse on the other side of the building!! horrible!
Monarch Hotel an outstanding value
Rated this hotel as above average because although the room itself was not particularly noteworthy, the value was exceptional. The room was clean and bright, tended daily with clean linens and towels, the staff were polite and helpful and the location was excellent as far as getting around to all the tourist sites. *Note to travellers - Bargain hotels are generally found in bargain neighborhoods. You can't pay for the "Y" and expect to stay at the "Ritz". San Francisco, like major urban centre in North America - including Vancouver - has a large homeless population. You can expect to encounter panhandlers, junkies, prostitutes and "street people" here, not unlike the ones in your hometown. Whether you give them money or not, (I never did, I am, after all, a budget traveller for a reason) if you treat them as human beings you will most likely be treated by them as human as well. Go to San Francisco. If you're on a tight budget, stay at the Monarch. Prices of comparable hotels start at about 30% more than what you'll pay there.
Free coffee, dodgy location
Although only a few blocks from union square, we were dismayed to find that we felt very unsafe around our hotel after 7pm at night, meaning that if we wanted to venture out, we had to get a taxi.
The room was ok, but avoid getting put at the back of the building on the first floor (ie room 105) as it is right on a back street where people tend to have 'disagreements' in the middle of the night, and you are woken up (like clockwork) at 5am by some loud van.
Apart from that, the staff were friendly enough (coming to fix our smoke alarm as it beeped through the night) and calming us down at the false fire alarm that confused us greatly one dark night as we were fast asleep.
Nice stay at the Monarch Hotel
Since I'm terribly fond of San francisco, I go back there almost every year in the spring ! I've been 3 times to the Monarch hotel (previously referred to as the Lombard Hotel) during the last 6 years and each time i appreciated my stay, good staff, good location in SF and well, I'm about to plan my next trip come may and certainly I'll go back there !
Françoise Marchand, a French "aficionado" of San Francisco!