I do not like staying in conference hotels. Especially in the US where they tend to be soulless Hiltons and Marriots attached to the conference facility. Worse still, if the conference is in San Jose, which is a car city, because even if you leave the huge conference center, Hilton/Marriot conglomerate, you are confronted by a six lane boulevard and a feeling of hopelessness.
I search for a cheap motel on El Camino and find one, The Valley Inn, perfectly attuned to what I wish from a San Ho hotel experience. Here are some Yelp reviews:
“Worst hotel I’ve ever stayed inn. Very crusty old and not maintained.”
“This place by far was the worst place iv stayed.. Over priced no chair tv doesn’t work.”
“Simply the worst hotel I’ve ever booked. Customer service was beyond non existent & the “Owner”/”Manager”/”Everything” as he called himself on the phone was an idiot at best.”
“I have to say that if there were laws about truth in advertising these people would be in jail.”
It was very scary. All night people were trying to open my door. The doors do not close…
I love old style motels and the Valley Inn is perfect for me, it is cheap, has personality, has louche people hanging around, women who,after dark, say “What you got for me honey?”
I am at the AAAS meeting, which is immense fun. I catch up with old friends and colleagues, listen to mind-blowing talks and spread the OIST gospel.
I also go to the Exploratorium in SF to talk about the future.
The best restaurant in SF is in the Exploratorium. There are amazing views out over the bay. Just settle in, eat excellent food and watch the boats go by, like er sitting on a dock on the bay.