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Historical Traveler Reviews Layne Hotel San Francisco
While on business in San Francisco this past weekend, I needed a place to stay - not a 'palace' to stay. I was looking for a reasonably priced lodging that was near to the Fort Mason Center. I stayed at the Layne and was very pleasantly surprised with what I found there.
The Layne is a very old building, as evidenced by the old, accordion door elevator ("be sure to hold down the button for two seconds", we were told. "It's important that you hold down the button for two seconds").
Perhaps the most important things were what we did not find. In many hotels - especially older ones such as this - one finds a distinct odor in the halls and rooms that, while not immediately identifiable, is not pleasant.
At the Layne, lovingly owned and operated by an old-world family, everything from the entry and halls to the rooms themselves was spotless and scentless. There were none of the 'shoddy' edges and corners one might expect. To the contrary, the hotel showed many years of careful attention to detail and upkeep.
The staff, all family members, were remarkable helpful, friendly and interactive. The prices were reasonable and the stay was very pleasant. I will stay there again on future trips.
Rev. D. R. Ward
Clean but noisey
We booked at the Layne Hotel in S.F. through HotWire we paid for 2 nights for 3 ppl. There are 3 steps up to the front doors which are locked. You have to press a buzzer on the right hand side of the doors to gain entry.
I had called the same day I booked to get 2 beds. (Hotwire only guarantees 1 bed), the hotel said ok. When I made it to the front desk, the desk clerk said the reservations were for 1 bed. I said we had called ahead for 2 beds, but that was ok because 1 of our party is not coming. When I got to the room, we had 2 beds. Go figure.
The desk clerk gave me a key to a 3rd floor room and gave me intensive instructions on the use of the elevator. The elevator's doors don't open or close by themselves. The floor button has to be pressed for several seconds for the solenoid to engage and the elevator stops abruptly. The next morning we found the elevator not working. I had a knee brace on and couldn't walk down the stairs. We were told the previous day if anyone doesn't close the doors all the way the elevator gets stuck at that floor. My honey took the stairs and checked all the floors for an open elevator door. He finally made it down 1st floor. The desk clerk said that they turn the elevator off at night to make the hotel quieter. (They don't bother to tell you this when you check in.)
The beds were clean and well made, there was a refrigerator, microwave, TV, ironing board, iron and wireless internet was a fast clean connection for $5.95 for 24 hours. Oh yes we had a bathroom. Upon looking around the next day we saw separate bathrooms and a shower down the hall. So some of the rooms may not have a bathroom and/or shower we don't know.
Our room was drafty. The neighborhood was noisy and lively with all sorts of people. There is a very small restaurant across the street the "Dottie's True Blue Café" (40,000 hits on goggle!!). We had a good breakfast there. Their waiters are friendly and the cook is very efficient. Lots of good ethnic restaurants near by. Hotel staff makes the individual cups of coffee or tea and gives out a sealed sweet in the morning at the front desk.
Desk clerk gave good instructions for out of town bus connections. Staff is cheerful and helpful.
When I booked the Layne through Hotwire (really good deal), I felt good about my deal until I looked up the address. Frankly, I was afraid. I called the hotel ahead and the person at the desk instructed me how to walk from the BART. As it turned out,, the hotel is still in a safe district. Farther down Jones is dangerous but the hotel is just barely off Geary so just fine, and fancy hotels are just around the corner. Yes, there were homeless people on down the street, but now they are all over SF!
When I got to the hotel I still wasn't certain. The lobby is tiny- one couch. The elevator was curious.
But when I got to the room I decided to stay! It was squeeky clean. There was an updated bathroom and it was very clean. My room even had a microwave and refrigerator! Bed was comfortable! It was great! I stayed for 4 nights and walked back and forth to Moscone every day and did not feel fearful at all.
The staff were friendly and very helpful. For instance they gave excellent directions to anywhere I wanted to go; told me of great places to eat (around the corner is a WONDERFUL Chinese vegetarian restaurant!)
Good enough for the price
After booking the Layne name unseen through Hotwire, it turned out to be fine. Not great, not bad. The location is a little dodgy, though anyone who's stayed in the TenderNob area of San Francisco knows you don't have to be afraid. You do need to be aware. The staff was friendly and basically helpful, the room was pretty nice; not big, but well decorated with a king size bed and generous sized bathroom. We had a room towards the back so it was quiet. And I thought the old fashioned cage elevator was pretty cool. The only question marks were the towels - they were thin, small and as scratchy as sand paper - and the slightly stingy attitude about their continental breakfast. They were amazed (or aghast) that my husband wanted more than one coffee at a time, and they seemed shocked when I came back to ask for a second danish. All in all, for just over $60 in San Francisco, it was a pretty good deal. I would stay there again if I needed to, but I wouldn't actively seek it out.
Layne Hotel - Authentic San Francisco
Stayed at the Layne Hotel in San Francisco as a business traveler in late '05 to attend a conference. I avoided the big chain hotel where the conference was being held in favor of the Layne just a block away. Not only did I save nearly $100 per night, I got to enjoy a much more authentic taste of San Francisco.
The Layne's décor can best be described as chic in a rustic, bohemian sort of style. The elevator is a quaint old fashion model with a hand-operated door and inner gate, harkening back to an earlier era in this fine city's history.
The Layne is the kind of hotel where the owner/proprieter notices the small cut on your finger at check-in and offers you a band-aid. The Layne is the kind of hotel where the owner's mom (who works the front desk in the morning) greets you with a smile and offers you a fresh brewed cup of coffee, rather than pointing you at the Starbuck's kiosk across the lobby. The Layne is the kind of hotel where the owner's sisters who cleans the room catches you in the lobby at check-out time to make sure you hadn't forgotten that bottle of shampoo you left in the shower.
Don't expect a posh decor or a huge suite - just a clean place with a very friendly staff. In short, the Layne is a fine hotel for anyone looking to save some money and escape the cookie-cutter feel of the mega-chain hotels in favor of a more authentic San Francisco experience.
My one piece of advice if staying here - ask for a room on the back side of the hotel if you are a light sleeper. San Francisco is a busy town, and can get pretty noisy at night.
Nearly Assaulted by Staff
I checked into the Layne Hotel in the early evening, and in the late evening, I came back to the hotel with a friend. A staff member of the hotel insisted that my friend leave an ID with the front desk, which my friend did not feel comfortable doing. In turn, I was insistent that there was no reason for them to require an ID. At that point, a different member of the hotel staff came to the front desk and started yelling at me, and then actually attempted to assault me. The assault did not occur only because the first of the staff at the hotel held back the other. The belligerent hotel staff member appeared to be highly intoxicated. At this point, I no longer felt safe staying at the hotel, and promptly took my belongings from the room and left. It was an unimaginably inhospitable experience, and I actually felt unsafe from the hotel staff.
My boyfriend and I wanted to stay somewhere under $100 and in a "cool" place in SF. This place was horrible. Yeah, it's under $100 (just barely), but our pillows had to be 500 years old, lumpy and flat, and the sheets were dirty with hair on them. The pillow cases also had holes in them.
On top of all this... it was not safe. It was in a very dangerous area. There were crack deals on our street and about 20 homeless people pestering us on the street. The windows did not lock, and had a fire escape that joined the builing next door.
I could not sleep b/c I was afraid... p.s. I live in NYC, so if I thought this was scary, then it was.
I would have thought I was at a bad hostel... but instead we got ripped off for $90!!!
I'd stay here again
It's definitely an economy hotel, but with character. It was very clean and had extras like a refrigerator, microwave, iron, hair dryer, etc. The desk staff was very nice. Our room was on the street side and was noisy because of that, but I had no trouble sleeping because although the beds were not plush, they were very comfortable. The continental breakfast consisted of only a packaged sweet roll and a cup of tea or coffee. Parking is $20 at a garage a few doors down.
I have stayed at the Layne Hotel twice. I enjoyed my stays very much. The front desk staff gave me lots of insider information on restaurants, shops, and sightseeing. The rooms where comfortable and had the amenities that matter the most, like an iron and board, hairdryer, microwave/frig combo, big t.v., AND a lamp. I stayed in room 140 and it was better than some of the franchise motels I have stayed in on my trip. The neighborhood borders an area called the 'tenderloin'. In my opinion, there are homeless people all around the city. The Hilton is just around the corner, and just as many hobos there, but I would rather spend less and get more personal attention by staying at the Layne Hotel. By the way, I left my ring on the window sill and they found it and mailed it to me!
Not even a good last resort
The hotel is terrible. The room (154) on the fifth floor is a cubicle with no air-conditioning, no lamps, no pictures. When I tried to raise the window, it came out of the casing and I was left standing there with it. The bedspreads were spotted and the Hilton cast-off bath mat was also stained.
The internet pictures are quite misleading. There is nothing charming about this place. In all fairness, the front desk attendant, upon arrival, was extremely friendly and honest.
I had to step over three homeless people to get to the front door to be "buzzed" in. I was told explicitly by the desk clerk not to venture off in a certain direction.
TripAdvisor Reviews Layne Hotel San Francisco
Travel Blogs from San Francisco
... Canal, pretty amazing.
Anyway we were on the ferry sailing out to the Alcatraz Island with a great view of the Bay bridge on our right and that iconic Golden Gate bridge on the left, shame about the weather it kept raining. It did not dampen our spirits though as we spent 5 hours walking around the prison, what an amazing place you could feel the presence of history that had gone before, especially as we had running commentary and sound effects coming through ...
... golden gate and back to Nancy's neighborhood and all we used was like a quarter tank of gas, it cost us 8 dollars in gas, that's it, absolutely brilliant.
Other than that, I've finally full-filled my dream of riding along the California Coast with good tunes and a good friend. The coastline was really cool, very brown, very rocky, very pretty. Santa Cruz was everything you expect from an American tourist attraction, overly priced rides and loads of fried ...
... for lunch and on to the ferry for a ride back to San Francisco. Huge numbers of bikes on the ferry. Apart from locals, you can hire a bike near Fishermen's wharf, ride it over the Golden Gate Bridge, and get the ferry back. Will have a simple meal tonight, hopefully, and early to ...
... of a woman's voice I named 'Natasha'.
One time we were trying to get Google Maps to keep working, the last thing we heard Natasha say before the GPS crashed was 'stay on the dam road!' We had a nice giggle over that!
San Francisco was still very busy on a Saturday. We decided to take the Golden Gate Bridge on our way out of town because there is no toll when you're leaving the city. (Just like NYC). Fortunately, the ...
... from our hotel so we used the car. Since it didn't open until 10AM, Mum worked out a route to take us around some of the other inner city tourist destinations including Lombard Street (the most crooked street in the world), The Painted Ladies (the beautiful painted houses that have featured in many movies including Mrs Doubtfire), the UN Place, and The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.
Later, we battled the crowds at the stores near Union Square ...