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Looking for hotels you loved in San Francisco

My fellow travel friends...

I am looking to book a hotel for next spring in San Francisco for about a week. Can you recommend any places that you have stayed (hotels, not Airbnb) that you have liked in the past?

We're not overly picky on the neighborhood, although walking distance to public transportation is a major plus since we do not want to rent a car for this expedition. We've stayed in the Financial District and Nob Hill in the past, but we're totally open to something new. Just looking for suggestions.

Thank you!!! :-)

Posted by
5884 posts

I was going to recommend the Stanford Court Hotel on Nob Hill, great location for visitors with amazing views, but sounds like you might want a different neighborhood this time...

Posted by
5022 posts

It's been a quite a few years but we stayed at the Triton Hotel, a smaller boutique hotel near Union Square and Chinatown. We found it quite comfortable, convenient for public transportation, and reasonably priced. But, like I said, it's been a few years so it may have changed since we stayed there but still gets good reviews on booking.com and TA.

Posted by
713 posts

Thanks for the suggestions! We don't mind staying in the same general areas. Just looking for suggestions that fellow travelers here have tried and enjoyed.

Thanks again!! :-)

Posted by
5022 posts

It might help also if you give a rough idea of your budget - are you looking for posh or basic?

Posted by
713 posts

It might help also if you give a rough idea of your budget - are you looking for posh or basic?

I don't want to pay $600/night.

But I'm easily willing to pay in the $400-ish a night for a good place to stay. San Francisco is not cheap. Don't get me wrong. I'd be very happy to pay way less than that. But I know that the city is pricey.

Posted by
293 posts

If you want to try something different in the Union Square area, I would suggest you look at Hotel Zetta. It is centrally located and they have a fun atmosphere: giant Jenga, shuffleboard...Here is the link: https://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/en/zetta. It is near Bart, Muni for public transportation.

Also near Union Square is the Sir Francis Drake. It is an historic hotel with smaller, but well appointed rooms. Here is the link: https://www.sirfrancisdrake.com. It is near Bart, Muni as well.

On the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building is Hotel Vitale. This is a great location with views of the Bay, walking distance to great restaurants, close to the ballpark and public transport. https://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/california/san-francisco/hotel-vitals.

Posted by
1267 posts

You can spend way less than $600 and stay at the Cow Hollow Motor Inn on Lombard. I like the location because it's just around the corner from Chestnut Street and a block away from Union Street. You can walk along the Marina, Crissy Field, the Presidio, the Golden Gate Bridge - or walk the other way to Hyde Street Pier and Fisherman's Wharf. You can catch any of the buses along Lombard or Chestnut. We have also stayed at its sister property, the Chelsea Motor Inn, which is across the street from the Cow Hollow.

I've stayed at the Ritz Carlton, the St. Francis, Galleria Park, Hotel Majestic, a couple of Holiday Inns, the Handlery, the Drisco - but I would just as soon stay at the Cow Hollow for the location.

Posted by
2547 posts

With your budget you can stay virtually anywhere you like, so why stay in the standard old touristy areas? Why not a boutique hotel in the Castro or the Mission? Or even SOMA to be right in the center of the action?

Posted by
488 posts

I stayed at the Hyatt Regency and loved the location. It was about 5 years ago, and the AAA rate had breakfast included.

Posted by
2887 posts

We go to SF frequently. There are a few hotels we rotate and I look forward to our stays at each one!
I agree with the previous poster about the Hotel Triton...it's a quirky little place right at the entrance to Chinatown. Great little French restaurant nextdoor. Get a room on an upper floor or towards the back. If you're there on a weekend it can be a little loud if you are on a lower floor in the front. Hopefully they'll have the rubber duckies in the small pond at the front!
We also love the Palace Hotel...it was built right after the SF earthquake and is spectacular! Stained glass ceiling over the dining room, Maxfield Parrish mural over the bar, rooftop pool, and, since it's in the Westin family, many rooms have their trademark heavenly bed!
Been staying at the Hyatt Embarcadero since I was a kid! Architectural masterpiece that is worth taking a look at from the inside even if you're not staying there.

Posted by
1889 posts

Some friends always stay at the Stanyan Park Hotel on the edge of Golden Gate Park. If you’re looking for something in a different SF neighborhood it’s a Victorian B&B in Haight Ashbury.

Posted by
3570 posts

Note that prices swing wildly for SF hotels based on events taking place. While never exactly cheap, prices go stratospheric occasionally (typically due to some business event in town). If you're finding really insane prices, consider shifting your trip a few days if you can, you might find quite different prices.

Posted by
9883 posts

I was going to mention the Stanyan Park, but then realized it's been over 30 years since I stayed there! Good to know that it's still nice, and the neighborhood is definitely away from the standard tourist itinerary.

Posted by
5884 posts

The hotel at the Presidio is absolutely wonderful and in a beautiful location.

Edit: free parking included.

Posted by
1927 posts

I regularly stay at the Hotel Donatello, at Post and Mason, just a block from Union Square. Medium size hotel, large comfortable rooms, intimate feel, near many restaurants, shopping, theaters, public transit. Very popular and can be fully booked. Parking right there in the hotel, just drive in and give your keys to the attendant. Of course, parking is not cheap in SF, and trying to find street parking can drive you crazy.

Posted by
713 posts

Y'all are always so generous with your suggestions. Thank you so much for all of them! Still looking at hotels, but starting to narrow down a few ideas from what's been suggested here.

Thank you again!! :-)

Posted by
9991 posts

We do not stay in hotels in San Francisco any more, as our son and his family live there and have a nice guest room.

But before that, we discovered the Galleria Park in the Financial District and we love both the hotel and the location.

https://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/california/san-francisco/galleria-park-hotel

The rooms are lovely and have nice amenities ( Nespresso coffee machine). They have a wine hour in the lobby each day at 5 ( free pours). I mentioned to the hostess that this was our second stay there, this time to meet our new grandchild, and a nice little baby gift showed up in our room the next day. The desk staff is very helpful with dining recommendations. On their suggestion we went to Belden Place a couple of blocks away. It has several nice casual restaurants; we chose a Catalan one.

We much prefer this location to the Union Square area. The Ferry Building and the Farmers' Market there are a major draw, as are the walk along the Embarcadero, and the step climbs up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower. We saw the famous parrots on that visit. Either the Filbert or Greenwich steps will take you past homes and gardens; just try to imagine living there with all those steps!

The problem with Union Square is the seediness of the Tenderloin seems to have spread, so be especially careful of anything west of Union Square. The Powell Street BART station has an especially bad reputation as a druggie hangout ( look it up on TripAdvisor.). As in many other cities, including or own Seattle, the homeless population has exploded in the last couple of years and seems to have no solution.

I love San Francisco and go often by myself to visit the grandchildren. I happily move around the city by Muni, BART, and (mostly) walking. But I avoid walking through the area between Union Square and the Civic Center.

Posted by
5884 posts

Lola is absolutely right about the area between Union Square and the Civic Center. Do not go there day or night.
I also agree with Lola about Union Square. I go there often but it’s very crowded, hectic and many homeless people.

Posted by
178 posts

I will second the Cow Hollow Inn - especially if you ask for a quiet room at the back. I've stayed at many hotels around Union Square over the years (and tried a Russian Hill VRBO suite once - never again), but the area is too noisy and busy for our tastes now. We were just there earlier this month and there is still annoying BART construction going on around Macy's/Union Square. For all the reasons the previous poster mentioned, our choice is to return to the Cow Hollow Inn on our next visit.

Posted by
26 posts

We stayed at the Marina Hotel 10 or so years ago. We were able to catch the bus or cable car nearby. It is located on Lombard St.

Posted by
5884 posts

There is no cable car remotely close to Lombard St in the Marina area.
Bus / taxi is your only option.

Posted by
713 posts

There are SO MANY good suggestions in this thread. I made a reservation at the Stanyan Park due to the price and the free breakfast, but I'm also still researching the others in case something jumps out at me as wow, go there instead!

Thank you all again. :-)

Posted by
5884 posts

That’s great aquamarinesteph!
I hope you have a fun time in SF... : )

Posted by
2829 posts

We enjoyed staying at the Omni, a great deal we found on Groupon.

Posted by
29261 posts

It's been many years since I've stayed in San Francisco, but on my last visit I believe I stayed at the very comfortable Fairmont San Francisco. That would be a splurge though.

Posted by
713 posts

Thanks, Suki!

Ken - I've stayed at the Fairmont there. It's a lovely hotel, but I was looking for something different this time. Thanks!

Posted by
711 posts

I agree with Lola about Galleria Park. That was where I always chose to stay when I visited our home office, while my snooty colleague stayed at the Palace. :)