Dakota Details

Upon reading your “Deal of the Week” (Dec. 19) recommending the “newly remodeled” Dakota Hotel in San Francisco ($40 a night), I called and booked two nights during the following week. Did we hate it? Let me count the ways:

1) No one to unlock the main front door until a maid happened along.

2) No one to check us in for an hour (car waiting illegally in street).

3) Bathroom a disaster, especially useless cold-water faucet. Manager removed entire sink then transferred us to another room.


5) TV up near ceiling, no remote control . . . but it didn’t matter because black-and-white TV had only snow and shadows anyway.

6) Reading impossible--40-watt bulb under black shade.

7) Broken down mattress and springs under new spread.

8) Nearest phone across the street.


Need I say we were disillusioned?




Peggy Y. Van Buren, Dakota manager, replies: We regret Ms. Morey’s unpleasant experience at the Dakota. We do have limited front desk hours (which) are made known to all guests when they telephone for reservations and upon their arrival. Unfortunately, Ms. Morey did not arrive at those appointed hours. Regarding the bathroom . . . our staff attended to the problem immediately and . . . the sink had to be removed. Ms. Morey was given another room and her luggage moved. All rooms are equipped with color televisions and we do not promise a remote control. . . . Regarding the lighting, the room has an overhead light that is more than adequate for reading and we do not use 40-watt bulbs in our lamps. . . . Finally, our rooms, like most small hotels in downtown San Francisco and many more expensive bed-and-breakfast inns, are not equipped with telephones. I can assure you that the majority of our customers are satisfied and most of our business is via referrals and repeat business.

I like rustic . . . the Dakota was not rustic or quaint, it was just not very nice. One of the rooms had an eviction notice tacked to the front door. The paint was spotty and the overall appearance was dingy and uninviting. In fact, it looked as if it had not been painted in several years. Some of the rooms did not even have phones. The Dakota is more of a residential hotel for those who are in transition. I recommend your readers look elsewhere when traveling to San Francisco.


San Diego