Stayed here recently on a trip to San Francisco and can't recommend it highly enough (actually booked it because of reading about it in these tips!)
Beautiful room, fabulous host, AMAZING breakfast, good wifi, voip phone in the room, and excellent location in a great area and right near lots of public transport. I doubt there is a better place to stay in the city. I will definitely be going back.
For a potent San Francisco experience, the Phoenix delivers on all levels. Its motorlodge 1950s motel style, complete with kitsch central pool and vintage furnishings, make you feel like you're in a really good Quentin Tarantino film. Team this with its grungy Tenderloin location and the fact that tour buses regularly pull up on the drive to deliver touring rockstars as guests, and you've got yourself one hell of an American Dream.
If you're looking for somewhere classy to stay on the West Coast The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco brings old time nostalgia to the 21st century. Located in the very heart of Union Square it is in a prime location to explore all that this city has to offer.
However if all that sounds a little too strenuous then why not stay awhile and as the saying goes "meet me at the clock". The old style grandeur shines through in the lobby of this 5 star luxury hotel. Marble doric columns all exquisitely maintained and acres of polished wood make guests feel welcome as soon as you set foot in the door.The greeting is no less warm from the staff that work here, from the doorman to reception.
The rooms are very well appointed with all the modern amenities that a seasoned traveller could ask for. Especially the Heavenly Bed, you'll be fast asleep in no time. If you can, ask for room 1132 the views across Union Square are superb.
If you do decide to "meet at the clock" then be prepared to taste some fantastic cocktails and nibble finger foods from Michael Mina. Or why not stroll across the lobby and sample this Michelin starred chefs menu for yourself. Exquisite dinner and lunch at a price that might just surprise you!
Of course you may feel the need to work off some of that excess and there is a gym if you're so inclined, or why not head to The Spa and indulge in some rest and relaxation. Treatments to suit all tastes and budgets are catered for. Whether you would like a massage to relieve jet lag or just getting your nails done - its' all here.
If you are tempted to leave this luxury retreat then San Francisco has much to tempt you with. Take a cable car to Fishermans Wharf and experience the tacky side of 'cisco. Stalls selling fresh seafood, souvenir shops and the sea lions at Pier 39. Try Boudin bakeries sourdough bread with clam chowder - delicious! But make sure you leave room for the bread. Its the best bit!
No trip to San Fran would be complete without a visit to The Rock. Alcatraz has been closed for many years now but visitors still flock to its spooky corridors. The night visit is especially terrifying and not for the faint of heart.
The ferries also take you across to Sausalito a small slice of the Meditteranean in The Bay. Art galleries, boutiques and the best sandwiches ever at the delicatessen 'Venice'. On your return the Golden Gate Bridge spans the straits and there are some great photo opportunities.
Once you return to terra firma explore Chinatown, Little Italy and Nob Hill as all these areas are in easy walking distance. Don't forget Lombard Street the worlds windiest road. San Francisco may seem like a long way to go for a city break but its accessability is it's strong point. Everything seems to be in easy reach and a cab ride is taken at your own risk...remember Bullitt?
Couple your trip with a stay at The Westin and if you need to escape the hustle and bustle of San Francisco and need a quiet oasis to recharge and regroup then The St. Francis will leave you feeling refreshed - but I'm sure that at some point you'll want to return to the Streets of San Francisco!
San Francisco has passed through several cultural lifetimes since 1967. It still has its unique clarity of light and the Victorian houses clinging to hillsides, but today it offers a deep acceptance of lifestyle choices, a rich mix of world cultures, more excellent restaurants per capita than perhaps anywhere else in the world, and arguably the best aesthetic taste of any American city. It is also the only US city west of New York where one reasonably can ditch the car for public transportation.
Epitomizing these cultural strengths is The Parsonage Bed and Breakfast Inn, a 19th-Century Victorian freestanding city house that is easily the most elegant bed-and-breakfast inn in San Francisco. It is the home of Joan Hull and John Phillips, a worldly and welcoming couple committed to politics and the arts, patrons of the San Francisco Ballet, and connoisseurs of good food and wine; their portuguese water-dog, Pilar; and an ever-changing group of visitors and residents. They serve a restaurant-quality cooked breakfast to guests in their formal dining room, whose trompe l'oeil decoration was inspired by a one of their many trips to Italy. With their lovely antique furniture in the double parlor, sitting room, dining room, and two floors of guest rooms, the house itself is a sight worth seeing. They also have excellent beds.
Its location in the lower Haight puts it within easy walking distance of the symphony, ballet, and major music venues of Civic Center, as well as in a public transportation hub. The Market Street streetcars, BART, and many buses are within a few blocks. There are dozens of high-quality restaurants in the neighborhood. The Hayes Valley shops closeby are some of the most interesting in town. The owners are long-time local residents, generous with advice to visitors.
With its physical beauty, location, and the professionalism and charm of its hosts, The Parsonage is really a find. I only hope this review doesn't make it too hard to get in there.
198 Haight Street, San Francisco 94102
just west of the Market/Van Ness Muni Metro station
Blackthorne Inn bed and breakfast is nestled in a wooded canyon near the charming village of Inverness, California, an hour from San Francisco and the Napa-Sonoma wine country. It provides intimate overnight accommodations in a beautiful rustic setting adjacent to the magnificent Point Reyes National Seashore wilderness park in northern California.
This unique structure resembles a giant elegant treehouse. Crafted from redwood, cedar and a 180-foot Douglas fir cut and milled on the site, the Inn rises through fragrant bay trees to sunny decks on four levels.
A generous buffet style breakfast is provided each morning. Guests may dine privately or together on the 3,500 square foot deck which surrounds the main level, or inside in the glass solarium.
Hot and cold tubs are sunk into an upper deck and one bedroom (The Crow's Nest) is in a tower reached by a spiral staircase. A firehouse pole connects the main deck to the ground.
The Red Vic is everything you'd hope for from a B&B located right in the heart of San Fran's vibrant Haight-Ashbury district.
A gorgeous deep red building from the outside, the Red Vic has a host of differently-themed rooms. My girlfriend and I stayed in the Sunshine Room, which was decorated in red, yellow and orange shades.
The Red Vic does a pretty convincing job of retaining the spirit of the Beatnik generation, and it plays host to an active local and travelling arts community in the restaurant and small shop downstairs. You'll almost certainly meet the hotel's spiritual and artistic centre Sami Sunchild as well, who helps make your stay even more memorable.
Downside? As ever in San Fran, you're at the mercy of the limited parking, and keep an eye on the changing parking conditions signposted on the streets nearby or you'll pick up a less than chilled out fine!
1665 Haight Street
This is a funky little boutique hotel in the downtown area where each room has been decorated in eclectic style by a different artist and there are frequent exhibitions in the lobby. Facilties are basic and breakfast is pretty limited - a bagel or a muffin and some juice mainly. But it stands out for it's youthful vibe, fantastic value and brilliant location. Trams, buses and Metro are all a short walk away.
If you're goping in the warmer months I'd recommend requesting a room overlooking the back as the garbage truck and air con can get noisy.
447 Bush Street, San Francisco, California 94108
20 metres from Chinatown Gate and round the corner from Union Square area.
When I visited San Francisco a couple of years ago I stayed at a colourful victorian guest house, moments from the bars and shops of Castro and Market streets. With five tastefully themed rooms it had a friendly, laid back atmosphere and was a great starting point for exploring the city.
It's a quirky B&B in the heart of Castro - the gay and lesbian district in San Francisco. Everybody is welcome and the breakfasts are divine. Rooms are clean with beautiful views. Each decorated with a kind of funky 70s style.
The Red Victoria is a lovely hotel in the Haight (pronounced Hate) district of San Francisco - think Camden with more hippies and less pirates.
It is run by a septegenarian artist called Sami Sunchild who designed each room separately and occasionally joins guests for breakfast and discussion in the Peace Cafe. You can choose from Peacock, Butterfly, Sunshine and even Japanese tea garden rooms, but I found waking up in the Skylight room particularly relaxing.
Local curios include the Red Vic movie house where I squeezed in with the other punters on to old sofas and benches whilst eating popcorn 'n' yeast and watching The Big Lebowski.
Golden Gate Park is two blocks away, and the Castro district is a steep 20 minute walk (via Twin Peaks), or a 5 minute bus ride which connects with trams into the centre of town.
I was assured by a man whose eyes seemed to work independently that the burrito shop on the corner was the best in the area, and after only being there for a couple of days I met a gay man and a lesbian who had fallen in love. Only in San Francisco...
It's a bright red building on Haight and Ashbury, if you're on the street it's hard to miss.
Red Victorian Bed, Breakfast & Art
1665 Haight Street San Francisco,
Phone: (415) 864-1978
Fax: (415) 863-3293
I was supposed to meet my sister in San Francisco one year but the hotel I had booked was horrendous so I had to find a place to stay for a few nights before she arrived. The White Swan Inn saved my bacon. My room had a little fireplace in it and was the definition of cosy, which is weird considering it is quite near Union Square. So the bed part was great. Breakfast was served in a lush little parlour and was really good - scrambled eggs, bagels, muffins - I felt really fat! I felt really at home and was happy killing time with a book in the parlour. I haven't stayed in many places in San Francisco so I don't know if this kind of character in a place is normal but I had a super stay and would be happy recommending it - although if you expect it to be like and English B&B in price (i.e. £25 a head) you'll be disappointed. Even with a strong exchange rate it wasn't cheap.
Bush Street in the Nob Hill area
A beautiful Edwardian building in the Nob Hill area of town The Golden Gate Hotel ticks all the boxes. The hotel is wonderfully original with an amazing old fashioned lift to take you to the upper floors. Homely doesn't even begin to describe this small family run hotel, from the morning croissants and juice, to the complimentary tea and home baked cookies every afternoon, not to mention Pip the curious ginger cat and Cookie the aging Golden Retriever who lend their images to the hotel's logo. The Golden Gate Hotel is what all B and B's should aspire to be and John and Renate are kind and informative hosts. They were even nice enough to post me my dressing gown back to the UK after I left it behind post check out! Located right next to Chinatown and the main shopping districts of San Francisco and on the beautiful cable car line one could not wish for a better location.
775 Bush Street, San Francisco
Powell Street Station
An historic Inn 15 mins from downtown San Francisco across the Golden Gate bridge with stunning views of the city and the Bay. Just a five minute walk to the ferry crossing through streets of funky boutiques, museums, eateries and scented gardens. Finely furnished historic Inn with wonderful touches of detail.
Haight Street - legendary. The Red Victorian - legendary. So where else to stay in San Francsico? Great, quirky B&B, think peace and love people! The decor is weird to eclectic but I think it gives you that 'authentic, hippie feel' if that's not a contradiction in terms.
In the mornings you eat brekkie and have 'conversations' with other guests on a wide range of topics, you can drink coffee in the peace cafde or just chill out. Best thing is it's slap bang in the middle of Haight St (ignore the gap on the corner of Haight and Asbury - what a travesty.) Head to Amoeba Records for discount CD's or to trade yours for new albums. Seriously, it's the best store in the world.
Lovely B&B near Point Reyes which is a little way out of San Francsico (oh ok, about an hour's drive) but worth it for the absolutely stunning views.
The Inn looks like a giant treehouse and set in a forest it feels like one. Big open fire, huge windows and fantastic breakfasts. I stayed in the Lupine room which was beautiful - slanted ceilings, peaceful and the sort of place you felt the impulse to write a best-selling novel in!
No, not cheap - if you want that stay in a crusty motel. But a real experience.
It is a rental apartment in San Francisco which easily rivals the best 5* hotel or B & B in town. Our host Ed was fantastic, nothing was too much trouble, he arranged restaurant reservations, sightseeing tickets etc. This apartment has two bedrooms and is within an easy stroll downhill to the transit stop to get into downtown.
Visit www.vrbo.com/23933 to see details.
Unique setting and ambiance. Unlike any other B&B you have ever tried. Convenient to the Pt. Reyes national seashore, and described as a "treetop fantasy" in a write up in the travel section of Time Magazine.
A great scenic drive. I recommend heading south on the ocean side. Allow LOTS OF TIME. We took a week from San Francisco to LA and we could have taken a year. There are lots of very good and cheap motels along the way so no need to bother about booking ahead.
Just make EARLY STARTS and make the stopovers by mid afternoon for the best choices. We never spent as much as $100 per double per night including breakfast and inclusive of all taxes for often quite luxurious accommodation. Driving in USA can be a pleasure rather than a chore and on Hwy 1 very few people are in a hurry.
Check www.broadjam.com/delton and listen to "Looking For America - Land Of The Free" for the full story.
The Inn is situated overlooking Washington Square Park, which is halfway between touristy, tacky Fisherman's Wharf and Downtown. We managed both with a 15 minute stroll in either direction. The park is frequented early morning and late afternoon by large groups of Chinese men and women doing tai chi, which was very restful to watch. The Inn is in a residential area with good restaurants, bars and independent shops nearby. It is also a short, but exceedingly steep walk from the hotel to the Coit Tower, which offers great views of the city and bay area. Breakfast was great, especially the fresh muffins. Highly recommended.
A real relic of the golden 60s. The Red Vic is an old Victorian Hotel and is run (or was a couple of years ago) by Sami Sunchild.
All rooms are individually themed (we stayed in the Children's Playground) and breakfast is a communal affair where guests are encouraged to talk to each other - a novel concept.
Set right in the heart of the Haight with all its history behind it and a promising future. The Haight is a great place to stay with some great bars and a fantastic Mexican eatery knocking out some of the fattest burritos I've conquered.
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com