New Family Friendly Hotels in San Francisco:

The Palace Hotel: San Francisco, California

Camping?  No thanks we’ll go to the city

Every summer my husband takes my son on what I refer to as their “crazy horseback riding/fishing/camping trip” in the middle of nowhere, California.  That is when my daughter and I take off for a girls’ weekend in San Francisco.

Our favorite place to stay is The Palace Hotel.   There is an incredible amount of history in this hotel that was originally built in 1875.  The hotel was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake but was rebuilt and remains a historic landmark of San Francisco, as well as a perfect place to enjoy the city for a weekend.  500 plus beautiful rooms with period detail, fitness center, indoor swimming pool and three on-site restaurants.

Location and details

The Palace is located in the Financial District of San Francisco.  It is a 25-minute ride from SFO or about a $40-60 cab ride.  You can also take the 45 minute BART ride from the airport and get off at the Montgomery Street station.  Hotel is within walking distance to shopping, restaurants and all of the SF sights.

The rooms can sleep up to 4 (maybe 6 if you put kids on floor in sleeping bag or request a fold away.)  The rooms are not large, but they have small refrigerators, and all the amenities you will need.  Our friends were lucky enough to be upgraded to a suite when they stayed and had an adjoining room for the kids.

Highlights of staying here

The indoor swimming pool is so fun for the kids! Location is perfect for shopping in Union Square or heading down to the Ferry Building.  Hotel will arrange trips to Alcatraz, Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman’s Wharf or Pier 39.  The cable cars and old streetcars run regularly in front of the hotel.

Take the historic hotel tour to learn all about this Beaux Arts gem.  Pied Piper Bar & Grill claims to have the original Mad Men martini and is considered one of the “World’s Seven Greatest Bars”.  Enjoy Sunday brunch or afternoon tea in the Garden Court — a spectacular room that was originally the carriage entrance to the hotel.

Good to Know

Rooms can be expensive at times but the hotel runs great deals on the weekends and during the holidays.  Concierge will help with hard to get tickets for shows and reservations to restaurants.  Fitness center looks out over the swimming pool so you can workout while you supervise the kids swimming.

 

Read our full list of family friendly San Francisco hotels here.

Written by Mari Chazen

Ritz-Carlton: San Francisco, California

Property
A very family-friendly, large, elegant hotel situated on upmarket Nob Hill. Indoor swimming pool, Sunday brunch, reasonably large rooms and great location to explore the city.

Location
The Ritz-Carlton is central to much of San Francisco. Walking distance to Union Square shops and restaurants, adjacent to historic China Town and easy access to the famous San Francisco cable cars. Perfectly situated to experience the city’s steep hills, architecture and views.

Sleeps
Adjoining rooms available, which sleep 4.  Roll-away beds also available.

Highlights
We love walking through the city day and night, and this hotel is ideally situated for just that. The swimming pool is very welcoming to children and provided much fun at the end of some very busy days. We paid extra to stay at the Club level and therefore had access to a great and convenient all-day bar and buffet, all inclusive.

Good to know
This is a luxury option but deals are available from the hotel itself AND on other websites. You won’t be let down by the wonderful staff but room service is extortionate for average food. Luckily, being slap bang in the middle of the city, there are plenty of other options.

Contact
http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/SanFrancisco/Default.htm

Written by Jane Rytina

W San Francisco: San Francisco, California


Property
A (maybe THE) very trendy high-rise hotel in the heart of San Francisco, with beautiful city views from most rooms. Fabulous service from the minute you pull up in the car. There is a restaurant and cafe on site. Decor in the rooms is delightful, with window seats your kids will make their own.

Location
Waking distance to cable cars, Union Square, China Town and great shopping. Easy access to all San Francisco attractions via walking, public transport or car. Opposite the Moscone Center and one block from the Metreon entertainment complex.

Sleeps
The best value for a family of four with two small children is a “Spectacular Room” with 2 double beds. These rooms are high up (no traffic noise, great views). Larger suites are available, and may be more suitable for families with older kids. Call with your needs because the service is wonderful and they will do their best to help you.

Highlights
The staff could not have been more welcoming. We had a fabulous weekend and the friendliness and charm of the hotel contributed to that greatly. We all enjoyed the free PacMan games machine in the lobby. My kids were fascinated with the holographic tree in the elevators. The location was perfect. The room, though small, had wonderful window spaces my kids turned into camps.

Good to know
Although the food was delicious, the in-house dining and room service were very expensive. The portions were huge, so if you do indulge, a plate of burger and fries served both my children and myself. Same for breakfast. Luckily there are many restaurant options steps from the hotel, including a California Pizza Kitchen one block away.

Contact
http://www.starwoodhotels.com

Written by Jane Rytina

Hotel Del Sol: San Francisco, California


Property
A 50′s-style motor lodge converted into a funky, colorful boutique hotel.  The rooms are arranged around a central courtyard complete with free covered parking, a postage stamp pool, palm trees, and hammocks (in season).  There are ten 1-bedroom suites (three with tiny kitchenettes, two with fireplaces).  Our kids’ room had twin trundle beds, toys, and gift bags stuffed with visors, beach balls, and sunglasses.  They seriously almost  burst from excitement, even though it was 45 degrees outside and raining straight sideways.

Location
In San Francisco’s Cow Hollow neighorhood (between the Marina and Pacific Heights), chock-a-block with restaurants, cafes, and boutiques.  A block away from the lively “Triangle” area.  Not that you’ll be going with your kids—it’s ground zero for yuppie nightlife.

Sleeps
2-5.

Highlights
Cookies twice a day.  Free breakfast.  Weekly Friday BBQs in summer.  Hammocks in the courtyard.  A great location with good public transportation connections.  Kids VIP closet stocked with DVDs and board games.  Affordable prices.

Good to know
Although there are signs everywhere urging guests to be quiet, you will hear your fellow guests.  Hopefully they’ll be staid, quiet folk, but you might get unlucky.  If uneven floors and weathered window shades bother you, this isn’t your place.  It’s cozy and cute, but not fancy.

Contact
http://www.jdvhotels.com/del_sol/


Hotel Del Sol from TravelSavvyMom on Vimeo.

Written by Jamie Pearson

Hotel Tomo: San Francisco, California


Property
The Best Western Hotel Tomo in Japantown is one of a kind. If your family is feeling a little been-there-done-that, the whimsical Japanese pop culture-inspired decor here will perk you right up. The Tomo Queen rooms are good for families (two Queen beds, anime-style wall paintings, a beanbag, a fridge, plus a small nook with table and chairs). Ask for a corner room, they are awesome.  High rollers can impress the kids by reserving the Players Suite (two Queen beds, beanbag chairs, 6-foot LCD projection screen, Nintendo, and Wii).

Location

Japantown–not a real touristy area, but we could not love it more.  The Japan Center (an adjacent indoor shopping mall) is truly unique.  Try purikura (kooky Japanese photo booths) at Pika Pika.  Shop for fascinating souvenirs at affordable Ichiban Kan.  If you’ve got a Sanrio or Pokemon fan in the family, you’ll have to pry them out of here with a crowbar.  Japantown is just a mile from Union Square, and is well-connected by public transportation.

Sleeps
2-4 (for fire safety reasons, rollaway beds can only be put in King rooms so larger families will have to reserve connecting rooms).

Highlights
Browsing Fillmore Street’s shops (don’t miss the amazing French pastries at Boulangerie at Pine and Fillmore). Hiking to Alta Plaza Park to take in the city views and put the children’s playground through its paces.

Good to know

The onsite restaurant Mum’s does shabu shabu (thinly sliced rib-eye steak served with fresh vegetables and noodles, cooked at your table in an iron-hot pot). It’s fine for culinary adventurers, but many kids–mine included–don’t fit this description. Not to worry, there are western choices on the menu (hamburgers, BLTs, and apple pie) as well as lots of dining options nearby.  Your room has a fridge, so stock up on snacks at Molly Stone’s (Fillmore and California).

Contact
http://jdvhotels32-px.trvlclick.com/hotels/sanfrancisco/tomo


Hotel Tomo from TravelSavvyMom on Vimeo.

Written by Jamie Pearson

Westin St. Francis: San Francisco, California


Property
A big, glamorous, historic hotel in San Francisco’s Union Square. Rooms here are spacious enough for a rollaway bed or two, and recently renovated. The hotel tries to be family-friendly, but is probably best for older kids. That said, it’s a great place for families on a holiday shopping trip, going to the theater, or in town for the Chinese New Year’s parade. We got an amazing deal ($220 for a room with a full view of Union Square on a Saturday night) through Travelzoo’s Weekly Top 20, and couldn’t resist.

Location
Overlooking Union Square in San Francisco. Easy walking distance to lots of swanky shopping, SOMA, Nob Hill, and the Ferry Building Marketplace. Good and varied public transportation to all other SF attractions.

Sleeps
2-5.

Highlights
Gorgeous views over Union Square. Hearing cable car bells from your room. Complimentary kiddie gift bags with rubber duckies, nightlights, plug protectors, and first aid kits.

Good to know
San Francisco is the other city that never sleeps. Ask for a room as high up as possible because you will hear plenty of sirens and street performers in this busy downtown location—especially on the weekends. Parking is $55 a day, so leave your car at home. If this is not possible, check out the Sutter/Stockton garage 2 blocks away.

Contact
www.westinstfrancis.com


Westin St Francis, San Francisco from TravelSavvyMom on Vimeo.

Written by Jamie Pearson

Marriott Courtyard San Francisco Downtown: San Francisco, California


Property

The Marriott Courtyard San Francisco Downtown looks like a huge, weird jukebox on the skyline, but inside it’s wonderful. Families will be very comfortable in the spacious 1-bedroom suites here (King bed, sofa bed, separate living room). Be sure to ask for a suite with a closing door between the bedroom and living room; there are a handful on the 15th floor that don’t have them.

Location
On 2nd and Folsom in SoMa, easy walking distance to AT&T Park, the MOMA, Union Square, and the Metreon Entertainment Center. San Francisco’s other tourist attractions are a bit of a hike from here, but public transportation is good and cheap (and your kids actually like trains, streetcars, and buses).

Sleeps
2-5 in the suites (as long as one is a baby in a travel crib), otherwise 2-4.

Highlights
Indoor heated swimming pool and spa (especially nice in the winter). Room service. Free HBO. Starbucks on site for a quick, no-fuss breakfast.

Good to know
Parking is astronomically expensive. Luckily there are plenty of lots in the neighborhood, so shop around.

Contact
http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sfocd-courtyard-san-francisco-downtown/

Written by Jamie Pearson

Columbus Motor Inn: San Francisco, California

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Property

With two huge 2-bedroom suites big enough for a family of five, the Columbus Motor Inn is one of the last great deals in San Francisco. It’s basic, clean, and comfortable. Rooms have all the usual conveniences, plus a table and chairs. Some even have tiny balconies and views.

Location
Centrally located on Columbus Avenue, within easy walking distance of Fisherman’s Wharf, China Town, North Beach, cable cars, and the Ferry Building on Market Street.

Sleeps
2-5.

Highlights
Great location at a great price. Free covered parking.

Good to know
There is a minimum stay on some weekends and holidays. T here is no restaurant on site, but the nearby Pat’s Café (a block away at 2230 Taylor, open daily from 7:30 until 3) is great for breakfast and lunch. Also for $5 a day the hotel will rent you a mini-fridge, and there is a large Safeway 3 blocks away (350 Bay Street).

Contact
www.columbusmotorinn.com

Written by Jamie Pearson

Argonaut Hotel: San Francisco, California

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Property
The luxurious waterfront Argonaut Hotel (named after those who flocked here for the Gold Rush in 1848) is a delight for adults and children alike. The hotel occupies a former peach cannery (rebuilt in 1907 after the big earthquake), and shares its first floor and architectural style with the Maritime National Historic Park Visitor Center. Every detail is just right from its breathtaking views of Alcatraz to its vibrant nautical styling. Many rooms and suites feature unobstructed views of San Francisco Maritime Historic Park, Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Location
The Argonaut Hotel is located by famous Fisherman’s Wharf in downtown San Francisco. It is adjacent to the Cannery and within easy walking distance of Aquatic Park, the Hyde Street Cable Car turnaround, Ghirardelli Square, and hundreds of nearby shops and restaurants.

Sleeps
2-5.

Highlights
Younger guests are invited to choose from a treasure chest of toys upon check-in, and are pampered throughout their stay in myriad ways. Their grown-up companions will appreciate the nightly fireside wine receptions after long and happy days spent walking up and down (and up and down) the justifiably famous streets of San Francisco.

Good to Know
The Argonaut Hotel operates an automated upgrade system subject to availability—a great way to get into a sweet suite (with 2-person Jacuzzi tub overlooking the bay and separate lounge area) at a comparatively low price.

Contact
www.argonauthotel.com

Written by Jamie Pearson

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