The Francisco Bay Inn (1501 Lombard St., 800/410-7007, www.franciscobayinn.com, $172–210) offers good motel lodgings at reasonable-for–San Francisco rates. The stellar location provides easy access to the Golden Gate Bridge, famously crooked Lombard Street, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Best of all, the Francisco Bay offers free parking—a City rarity worth upwards of $50 per day.
Pack the car and bring the kids to the Hotel del Sol (3100 Webster St., 415/921-5520, www.thehoteldelsol.com, $230–275). This unique hotel-motel embraces its origins as a 1950s motor lodge, decorating the guest rooms in bright bold colors with whimsical accents, maintaining the heated courtyard pool, and offering the ever-popular free parking with rooms. Family suites and larger rooms have kitchenettes. The Marina locale offers trendy cafés, restaurants, bars, and shopping within walking distance, as well as access to major tourist attractions.
A cute small inn only a short walk from the Presidio, the Laurel Inn (444 Presidio Ave., 800/552-8735, www.jdvhotels.com/laurel_inn, $230–265) provides the perfect place for people with pets, or for travelers who want to stay a bit longer in the City. Many of the rooms have kitchenettes, and all are comfortable and modern. The G Bar lounge next door offers a nice place to stop and have a cocktail, and the exclusive boutiques of Pacific Heights beckon visitors looking for a way to part with their cash.
The exterior and interior amenities of the Hotel Majestic (1500 Sutter St., 415/441-1100, www.thehotelmajestic.com, $185–295) evoke the grandeur of early 20th-century San Francisco. The Edwardian-styled 1902 building now boasts antique furnishings and decorative items from England and France. Cozy guest rooms, junior suites, and one-bedroom suites are available. If you’re in the City on business or just want to go shopping, take advantage of free car service to Union Square and the Financial District on weekday mornings. The Café Majestic serves breakfast and dinner, with a focus on local, healthful ingredients.
Another Pacific Heights jewel, the Jackson Court (2198 Jackson St., 415/929-7670, www.jacksoncourt.com, $210) presents a lovely brick facade out into the exclusive neighborhood. The 10-room inn offers comfortable, uniquely decorated queen-bed rooms and a luscious continental breakfast each morning.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition