San Francisco is one of the most popular cities in the US. Situated in Northern California, it’s well-known for its hilly terrain and thick fog, but is home to some must-see sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
You can also explore than San Francisco Bay area which spans across the Napa Valleys and Sonoma, so you’re never short of things to do in this vibrant destination.
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Whether you’re looking for a family holiday destination or you’re a solo traveller passing through, San Fran is a diverse city with lots going on for every type of traveller.
But what are the best hotels in San Francisco and where should you stay?
Where to stay in San Francisco
Since you’ll can travel around the city either in cable car or by tram, where you stay doesn’t make too much of a difference to getting around, but if you want to be close to the sights, then check out our list of the best hotels in San Francisco.
If you want luxury, then The Clift oozes sophistication and decadence, while Staypinapple at The Elise is perfect for those wanting to enjoy the quirkiness of this hip city. We’ve also picked out the best hotel for those looking to party in San Fran, so check out the Kimpton Sir Francis Drake if you want to get in on that scene.
From funky boutiques to swish and swanky hotels, you can choose from style, budget, or even think with your stomach and pick the hotel with the best restaurant.
The 9 best hotels in San Francisco
The Kimpton Sir Francis Drake hotel has a worldly charm and quirkiness that you won’t find anywhere else in San Fran. With its deep red wallpaper and sky-high ceilings, this hotel certainly has character and style, but what really draws people to this hotel is its renowned Starlight Room – voted on TripAdvisor’s list of the best nightlife in San Francisco.
That’s right, at this hotel you don’t even have to leave the premises to find one of the hottest party spots in town. Bar Drake is the perfect place to start your evening, and then if you do fancy venturing out, you’re right in the heart of the action, near to Union Square!
And while the hotel’s nightclub is currently under renovation and due to re-open in Autumn, you’ll still have plenty to keep you entertained if you’re looking to party – more specifically, their ever-popular Drag Brunch! Enjoy a buffet brunch and mimosas accompanied by a hilarious drag show every Sunday – the perfect hangover cure.
This hip hotel is all about the free love, offering up cupcakes and coffee every day to tired travellers who need a rest. Which you certainly will do if you decide to explore the city on one of their complimentary bikes!
The Alise is situated very centrally to lots of bars and restaurants so you’ll be spoiled for choice, but feel free to ask the friendly staff for recommendations as they have been said to be more than happy to help. This hotel stands out due to its ever-so slight pineapple obsession.
Throughout the building and in each of the rooms you’ll find gold pineapples dotted about, and we reckon you’d get a mean cocktail in the Pineapple Bistro & Bar of an evening. All rooms are kitted out with USB outlets, iPod docks, mini fridges and air conditioning- making it a very cool place to stay.
The Argonaut Hotel has plenty to offer all kinds of traveller, from couples and families to solo travellers and foodies. Located in Fisherman’s Wharf, the rooms have a maritime theme and offer in-room spa services and free yoga equipment for a truly relaxing stay.
If you like your seafood then you’re in luck. There are plenty of restaurants nearby serving fresh, local catches of the day, and the hotel’s Blue Mermaid restaurant serves up a menu prepared with sustainable seafood only. Not only can you relax with great food and wine, you’ll also be able to take in the incredible views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge from your room. Getting around is easy as you’re already only a short walk from North Beach and Pier 39, with trams and cable cars also nearby to help you get around.
Baseball fans will love this hotel, which has stunning 360-degree views across the San Francisco skyline, and also spanning AT&T Park. The rooftop bar is the perfect place to chill after a busy day of sightseeing, and makes for a romantic place to enjoy dinner and drinks, too.
The restaurant serves up small plates and tapas-style dishes that change with the seasons, and there is a breakfast cafe which serves up all the classics such as pancakes, bacon and maple syrup.
The hotel is modern, with light and airy rooms, equipped with TV screens and free toiletries, making for a truly comfortable night’s stay.
The uniqueness of Hotel Triton gives it a boutique-y feel, and being in the heart of the Gallery District, it’s no surprise that the decor is pretty funky. The colours pop and the chalk boards in every bedroom make for a nice personal touch.
This isn’t the fanciest place to stay but it’s young, cool and friendly, making it ideal for solo travellers or those who want something a bit quirkier. You’ll be opposite China Town and only have a five minute walk to Union Square, so getting around the city is easy from Hotel Triton.
Staff have been praised for being extremely helpful and friendly; they know the area and will be able to recommend the best things to do and see during your stay.
Solo travellers, backpackers, or anyone who is looking for somewhere a little more low-key will love The Good Hotel. It’s simple, yet quirky and fun, not to mention eco-friendly. All of the furniture is made from recycled materials, they offer free bicycles to explore the city, and they encourage travellers to donate their old books so that others can pick them up.
This hotel is also fully equipped, just as any other, with iPod docking, a TV screen and tea and coffee facilities. If you’re looking for a place to lay your head and meet other travellers, this is the place for you.
Located in the Financial District, The Clift is the ideal place for those visiting the city for both business and pleasure. The decadent decor gives this hotel a very luxurious feel, with high ceilings, unusual artwork and dimmed interiors.
Despite this, rooms are light and airy, with just the same amount of grandeur as the lobby. Enjoy dinner and drinks in the Velvet room and the Redwood room; both as spectacular as they sound, where you can also explore the digital artwork features and relax on the array of unique furniture.
The Ritz Carlton has everything you could possibly need for your family holiday stay. Families will feel at home here with a kids club for the children and the Club Level for adults to relax in with food and drink served all day.
The rooms are spacious and plush, complete with marble bathtubs, bath robes and slippers so you can really relax. The restaurants offer classic and contemporary American food, and the fully stocked bar is the ideal place for a nightcap after a day out with the kids.
You can also make full use of the fitness and wellness centre if you fancy a pamper day after lots of exploring.
Holidays are all about eating and relaxing, and that’s something you’ll do plenty of at the Taj. It boasts a Michelin Star restaurant, serving up a Mediterranean menu, complimented by an impressive wine list. The hotel very much operates in holiday mode, with a late-night bistro serving food into the evening and a cocktail bar for those late night drinks.
If you fancy a workout, the hotel has a rooftop gym which is open 24 hours, and we’d say it’s worth a visit just for the views across the city. Rooms are warm and cosy, with deluxe bedding and large, marble baths you won’t be able to resist sinking into.
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