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I was looking for hotels to stay in (just me) in SF between the 11th and 20th of September and the prices are HIGH! The lowest decent hotel's for $200 a night. Most of my meetings are in Santa Clara / Bay area, is there a well connected & safe area further away I could find a hotel at? I'm looking at a range of a $60 to $100 a night with public transport not too expensive..

I have friends there but too old to couch-surf..

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    Have you tried: hotels.com? hotels.com/… and Google maps to determine the accessibility? – Karlson Aug 26 '15 at 16:13
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    What's wrong with motels? Is there some specific service or amenity you want? In other words, what's your definition of "decent hotel"? – Nate Eldredge Aug 26 '15 at 16:35
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    You are visiting one of the most expensive areas in the United States; $200/night for a business class hotel hardly seems unreasonable to me. I don't know what you are basing your expectations on; it's still cheaper than Manhattan. – choster Aug 26 '15 at 16:36
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    My experience is that motels can also be quite safe. As for Vegas, note that places like the Bellagio often subsidize the hotel side of the business with income from the casino side, to get more people in the door. The hotel room is in some sense a loss leader, so you can get unrealistically low prices. – Nate Eldredge Aug 26 '15 at 17:04
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    @kouton It is simply not reasonable to compare Las Vegas to any other major US city. It is a resort destination full of vast and competing hotels whose rates are massively subsidized by casinos. On weekdays for msot of the year, most of those hotels are practically empty, too, a reverse of the situation with most large cities. – choster Aug 26 '15 at 17:04
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If most of your meetings are in Santa Clara, why would you stay 50 miles away in San Francisco? There are plenty of cheaper options in the South Bay, where Santa Clara is. Why not stay in Santa Clara? Although there is an NFL game there on Sep 14 (Monday night). I'd actually recommend San Jose. There's an airport there. There are plenty of hotels there. Downtown SJ has plenty of good restaurants and some nightlife. There's a Caltrain station that will take you to San Francisco should you need to go. You can take light rail to Santa Clara. Plus, San Jose is safer than San Francisco, has far fewer crazy people, and doesn't smell like urine. The choice is pretty simple to me.

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I hate to tell you this, but when I ran your dates on Hotels.com, the places for $200/night in San Francisco proper double as homeless shelters and bottom-end hot-sheet motels. The cheapest I would book—I live in the area—was $350, and even it isn't very nice. You will have to check many sites looking for one with a special deal, and check the reviews carefully. There were vacancies in your price range in the distant eastern burbs (Concord) although they may me near the BART subway, which would put them about 40 minutes from downtown SF.

I'm sure the situation in the San Jose area is similar, but I don't know the neighborhoods so well.

Air B&B?

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Motel 6 in Santa Clara is about $100/night. Public transportation would only make sense if your destinations are reachable by public transport. If not you may need a rental car or take an Uber.

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