Okay I've stayed in SF numerous times, so when I was looking for a deal, the Cova was the winner.and it was no suprise for me about the neighborhood. The Cova site listed the hotel $18 more than Bookit.com, when I asked if they would match the price, they did. Here's what's good for this sometime budget traveller: 1) Room rate and room decor, 2) valet parking $25-cheap by SF stds, 3) Breakfast included-adequate if really going on the cheap-I opted out but it does have nice city views on the 8th floor. There is a large outdoor space there as well with tables that you later go up and relax or picnic up there.
Here's a couple things I didn't care for: 1)Needed earplugs as my room was right over where the cars are dropped off for valet parking and the people arriving late at night could easily be heard in the hallway. 2)Wanted to rent in room movies and when I didn't see it on the menu, I asked 2 of the hotel staff it they were available and they were unable to answer whether the hotel had it-apparently no.
This is the Tenderloin and what does that mean to people who aren't familiar with SF? It means this is the area where homeless, drug addicts and the disinfranchise inhabit. Glide Memorial Church is several blocks down the street with their overnight shelter and soup kitchen where the aforementioned people line up. For a visual, view Will Smith's "Pursuit of Happyness" based a true story of a man who was homeless for a year. Mixed in with this population are people with families who you see shopping, out with their children, living life in the Tenderloin.
I didn't stay out late but had no problems. I was asked several times for money but had no problems when I declined. (I have had far more rude responses around Union Square from the pan handlers there than the people asking for money on my sojourn thru the streets of the Tenderloin.)
For those who love Asian food, turn left as you leave the hotel and go down 1 block to "Little Sagion" on Larkin St. Numerous restaurants for the budget conscience. Lee's Sandwiches make delicious Vietnamese sandwiches and other deli items that can be eaten there or be taken out for picnics elsewhere e.g. the Cova Rooftop! The Asian Art Museum is also on Larkin St. There is a movie theater at Larkin and Polk St. Didn't see Starbucks close but lotsa different coffee shops up on Polk St
Here's the bottom line, lots of inexpensive restaurants of different ethnicity in the area.
SF has many homeless who seem to congregate in this area, but did not threaten this traveler. I do agee with a prior review that recommends going down Geary St and turning on Hyde St to access hotel instead of travelling down Ellis St.or O'farrell St. Also, I have done quite a bit of walking and dress down so I don't look touristy and helps with not being asked for money..
If you are a first time visitor to SF, I would not reccomend this hotel due to the neighborhood ,not necessarily because of safety issues, but because I think especially for a first time visit,it is more fun staying closer to the action of Union Square, Chinatown, Cable Cars etc.
If you are a repeat visitor and get a deal, it might be interesting to experience a different part of the city. When I first started coming to SF, I stayed in the Wharf area or Union Sqaure, but is has been fun to explore other areas of the city that aren't so touristy.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC