The La Quinta San Francisco North Hotel – AVOID!

The title of this posts says is all, but the La Quinta San Francisco North is one hotel that you would do yourself a favor by avoiding at all costs.

We had a one night layover in SFO before our recent Dublin trip and also had a free hotel night stay worth $100 to use before the end of January. When looking at the hotels, the La Quinta was $109 a night so paying $9 for a hotel room seemed like a no-brainer.

We made a big mistake.

Let this serve as a warning so you don’t fall fate to the same mistake.

La Quinta North SFO Railroad Tracks

La Quinta North SFO

We were looking at staying at a large name brand hotel like a Marriott, Hyatt, or Westin, but they were all upwards of $299 a night and higher. In the interest in saving money, we thought this would be a good option. It was close to the airport, had a shuttle, and the beds looked comfortable.

When we arrived at the terminal, I called and was told the shuttle was on it’s way. 15 minutes later I called back and they said the shuttle was on it’s way. 5 minutes later I called again and asked if they could contact the driver and find out where he was. Turns out the GPS wasn’t working on the shuttle, but was informed that… you guessed it… the driver was on his way. We had to wait a total of 40 minutes for the shuttle driver, and then when he dropped us off at the hotel, had the audacity to ask for a tip. No sir, no tip for you.

No Soup for You!

We stopped off first at the Comfort Inn to drop off another guest, and I couldn’t help but think we should have got off with her.

Checking In

As we rolled up to the La Quinta lobby a guy who looked homeless followed us in and went up to the other person at the desk and started to try and get a room with a visa gift card. The front desk attendant stated that she couldn’t give him a room unless he had a credit card in his name. They continued their conversation while our wonderful agent checked us in. Here’s where the story gets even stranger.

He brings out a hotel map and says “just walk through the lobby and out the doors and turn left. Then, cross over the railroad tracks and into the second building, take the stairs up and your room, 241, is on the second floor.

La Quinta Map SFO North

La Quinta Map

I’m sorry, what? Did you just say cross the RAILROAD TRACKS?

Yup, sure enough, after walking through the hotel we had to leave the hotel again and drag our bags across active railroad tracks.

La Quinta North SFO Railroad Tracks

There’s those tracks!

About halfway to our room we saw the homeless dude walking quickly towards us. I got my key ready to enter the building and we entered quickly, making sure that the door quickly closed and locked behind us. He tried to run in after us, but it locked in time. I’m not about to open the door for you dude… go get your own room key.

La Quinta Door


The Room

Once we opened the room, the smell of bleach hit us, which I actually welcomed. At least, in my mind, that meant that it was cleaned and disinfected. The beds were perfectly fine…

La Quinta North SFO Railroad Tracks

There was a small dresser and flatscreen TV…

La Quinta North SFO Railroad Tracks

And the bathroom was basic enough with tile everywhere. It seemed clean which was a huge bonus for us.

La Quinta North SFO Railroad Tracks

It’s safe to say that we will never return to this hotel again. Crossing over the railroad tracks at 11pm, being followed by people trying to check in with prepaid visa gift cards is not my idea of a good stay or a place that I would want any of you to stay as well. Either use your points to stay at a nicer hotel or find a place that doesn’t involve dodging an Amtrak flying towards you.

What’s your worst hotel experience? Share with us below!

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. I’ve stayed at Westin SFO many times. Nice and cheap. You should keep that in mind.

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    • Thanks, we’ll keep that in mind! We’ll start checking for railway tracks going through the properties from now on too…

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  2. Dude, you’re in San Francisco with a hotel that is priced at $109 a night, what did you expect?

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  3. Seems like the lodging itself was fine. And the door looks plenty secure. So, the visit was affected by one non-hotel guy who was following you. Could happen anywhere. For that price, it looked a lot better than some of the others in that area, like the Travelodge (a really bad hotel).

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  4. Are you kidding me? I stayed at a ’boutique’ hotel in the Tenderloin that cost twice that amount DISCOUNTED. And there were homeless people taking a dump in front of the hotel entrance!
    You got a deal for SF!

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    • Oh joy… I hope the hotel staff would have taken care of that, no?

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  5. Hey,

    This isn’t San Francisco. This is south San Francisco and the hotel is wedged between 101 and Caltrain. Sorry it sucked but a simple google map search would have given you some info. And the dude with the card is homeless trying to maximise his buying power. But the area itself is not shady, just industrial.

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    • You made me laugh with the “maximize his buying power.” 🙂 Also, when you pull up the hotel on google maps, it doesn’t show the second building as part of the hotel. You’ll see that there is the train track I mentioned, but the other building isn’t shaded the same color, as if it were a totally different business.

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  6. LaQuinta in Tucson. I was working for 11 days straight and needed a quiet place to stay. The numerous DOGS were so annoying with their yipping and it made me wonder how clean my room was. I like dogs but not at a hotel!

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    • I’m with ya… makes me wonder sometimes too, ya know?

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  7. Would you happen to have any airbnb horror stories to share? I recently had the chance to use one in San Diego and it was terrible.

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    • Air BNB I’ve only used once, and that was about 4 years ago. Apart from the roaches it wasn’t too bad 🙂

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  8. My wife and I stayed at this same La Quinta hotel several years ago. She remembers that there was a shuttle between the two buildings.

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    • Then they must have cancelled that service, because even the airport shuttle was shared between 3 hotels

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  9. Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback on your stay. We are happy to announce that our property is now undergoing a complete renovation. Hopefully you’ll visit us again when all our new offerings are ready. It would be such a pleasure to welcome you back to our new and improved hotel!

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    • Thanks for replying. We’d love to hear back when the hotel goes through its reno, and if you’d let us know, perhaps we could write a new review and experience the positive changes ourselves.

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  10. its sfo downdown is even worse….the homeless have taken over and no one cares(mayor,police???)

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