Cheap Hotels In San Francisco – The Good, The Bad & The Buggy

How do you define "cheap"? San Francisco's hotels are expensive by nature. Tons of demand plus the highest priced real estate in the country equals steep hotel prices. Not to worry, here we give you the best cheap hotels that clock in at less than $200 per night. Cheap, of course, is a relative term — Golden Gate Hotel is a veritable bargain at $150 per night compared to $18,000 per night for the penthouse suite at the Fairmount Hotel.

We've selected the best hotels that deliver at a low cost. But beware, frugal traveler, you will have to compromise to go below $150 per night. The most common complaints are thin walls, uncomfortable beds, and either hot or cold rooms. That being said, if your tolerance level for pain is high, you can certainly save money at one of these cheap hotels in San Francisco.

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Seaside Inn

Seaside Inn

See another side of San Francisco. The Marina is a lovely urban area filled with cute shops, great restaurants on Chestnut & Union Street, yet with of plenty of open spaces and waterfront vistas from Marina Green. Seaside Inn is right in the middle of things.

We like this bargain hotel for many reasons. Parking is free, the rooms are large and clean, the beds are comfortable and the showers are new (there was an extensive makeover a few years ago). Sure, a few grumblers complain about the breakfast, but to our way of thinking this cheap hotel in San Francisco is a real gem.

How Our Ratings Work

Superb Plus = 93%+ Travelers Rating
Superb = 88%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated Plus = 85%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated = 80%+ Travelers Rating

Rating = Highly Rated
• 1750 Lombard Street
• Neighborhood — Marina

Hayes Valley Inn

Hayes Valley Inn

Cozy guest rooms have in-room sinks and dressing tables. Yes, Virginia, at this price you have to share the bathroom. It's just down the hall.

Hayes Valley Inn guests rave about the bountiful breakfast, helpful staff, comfortable beds and afternoon tea & cookies. They also love the location, which is close to restaurants, cafes, boutiques, museums and transportation. There are a few complaints about strange odors and noise, but generally this is a highly-rated cheap hotel in San Francisco. Free WIFI + breakfast + afternoon tea & cookies. Starting at around $150.

Rating = Highly Rated
• 417 Gough Street
• Neighborhood — Civic Center

Union Hotel

Union Hotel

Pluses — great location, clean sheets, towels & soaps are provided.

But at this price there are going to be a few minuses — the rooms are small, the walls are thin, the neighborhood isn't great. Despite all the misgivings, reviewers rate this cheap hotel pretty high, based on the friendly, helpful staff. Union Hotel starts at around $100!

Rating = Good
• 2030 Mission Street
• Neighborhood — Mission

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San Remo Hotel

San Remo Hotel

Young and thrifty guests love this quaint hotel for its great location, and quirky details like the antique glass apothecary jar full of licorice for the taking.

Rooms are small, walls are thin, bathrooms are shared and sometimes the lineup is long. Yet despite all these complaints, there seems to be an undeniable charm at this bargain hotel. Guests rave about the Italian restaurant that's part of the hotel. And for your frugal splurge, book the penthouse, which has its own bathroom & terrace. Hotel San Remo starts at around $130.

Rating = Highly Rated
• 2237 Mason Street
• Neighborhood — North Beach

Casa Loma Hotel

Casa Loma Hotel

Sure it's noisy, the walls are thin & you share a bathroom, but guests overall rate the Casa Loma good value for money!

Other pluses are the location — you're a block away from Alamo Square's famous Painted Ladies Victorian houses — the WIFI is free, as is the good strong espresso and cappuccinos. If you're a frugal traveler, this might be your San Francisco hotel. The staff are uber-friendly and helpful with your questions about bus routes, bike rentals and restaurant recommendations. Casa Loma Hotel starts at around $120.

Rating = Good
• 610 Fillmore Street
• Neighborhood — Alamo Square

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Ram's Hotel

Ram's Hotel

If you had a particularly hard childhood, this might be the hotel for you. One guest arrived to their room to find the ashtray filled, a sprinkling of crack pipes, a syringe, and cigar butts. The sheets and towels were stained.

However, guests rave about the great customer service. The shared bathroom seems obvious in a one-star hotel but many guests have found it clean and functional. Except maybe for that one traveler who had an unfortunate bed bug incident that landed him in the emergency room at the local hospital.

Rating = Iffy
• 80 9th Street
• Neighborhood — South of Market

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