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The Opal San Francisco 2.5

Tenderloin, San Francisco, California

Review Summary

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Pros

  • Old-fashioned hotel with some charming details and basic amenities
  • A 20-minute walk to Union Square; near main attractions
  • Free continental breakfast
  • Connected to popular eatery Mel’s Drive-In
  • Small on-site gym
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Parts of property could use refurbishment
  • Immediate area is a bit seedy

Bottom Line

This old-fashioned, five-floor hotel on a busy Tenderloin street was built in 1908 and has some charming historical details, as well as basic amenities and lots of helpful information for tourists. It’s near many attractions and offers a standard continental breakfast. While it’s a budget hotel and a little run-down in places, the rates are generally tough to beat. If there's room in the budget, though, the pricier Hotel Diva has a better location and a lot more to offer.

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Scene

Classic, old-fashioned decor in a lobby with a baby grand piano

Built in the early 20th century, the Opal has some charming, historic touches, including stained-glass windows and old-fashioned, ornate light fixtures. The lobby has a baby grand piano and cushy leather sofas and armchairs. The red and blue patterned carpeting puts the common area more in the dated category, but some travelers may appreciate the classic vibe.

Location

On busy Van Ness, the western border of the Tenderloin, with easy access to touristy areas

Map of The Opal San Francisco

Found on Van Ness Avenue, one of the busiest streets in San Francisco, the Opal is next door to a movie theater and a boarded-up building. The hotel is also connected to the diner Mel's Drive-In and is across the street from Tommy's Joynt, another popular bar and restaurant. The location is central to both the more touristy and neighborhood-y parts of the city as Van Ness divides the area’s commercial/financial district from residential properties. From the hotel, it is about a 20-minute walk to Union Square and a 25-minute bus ride to Fisherman's Wharf. Cable cars are only four blocks away.

Rooms

Basic and old-fashioned, but comfortable

The Opal's 164 rooms have basic hotel decor, with thick comforters and plain, old-fashioned furniture and subtly patterned wallpaper. With standard amenities like hairdryers and irons, the most modern thing about the rooms are the TVs, though even those are of the old tube variety. Bathrooms are similarly simple and classic, with curtained shower/tub combos and, in certain spaces, pedestal sinks.

Features

Free continental breakfast and a small gym; lots of info. provided for sightseeing

The hotel serves a continental breakfast with bread, bagels, fruit salad, yogurt, muffins, and various spreads. There’s also a small on-site gym with a few machines and free weights, a laundry room, and an open-air garage. (A substantial daily fee is charged for parking.) The hotel is set up for tourists, providing information and recommendations for sightseeing in and out of the city.

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Address

1050 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, California 94109, United States

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