Hotels here are more than hotels: they are a part of the cityscape, some as old as the city itself, beloved by visitors and locals alike. Like its neighborhoods, San Francisco's accommodations are diverse, from cozy inns and kitschy motels, to chic boutiques and true grande dames. The deluge of renovations in the wake of the 2012–2013 America’s Cup has skyrocketed the prices of even the
most dependable low-cost options. But never fear, some Fodor’s faves still offer fine accommodations without the steep prices to match those steep hills.
Not only have many city stalwarts been spruced up recently (including the Ritz Carlton, Monaco, Mandarin Oriental, Argonaut, and the Palace), but also San Francisco has received two notable new properties: Hotel Zetta and The Inn at the Presidio. The upside to the staggering hotel costs is that nearly every accommodation listed here features fresh bedding, carpets, TVs, or paint.
Also exciting is that new and established properties are trending toward the eco-friendly—San Francisco hotels are "going green" in a big way. Although the Orchard Garden boasts San Francisco's first all-new green construction, many other local properties are installing ecological upgrades. Most of the city's hotels are nonsmoking.
Wherever you stay, be sure to ask what's included in your room rate. And when you settle into your perfect room, remember this advice: when in doubt, ask the concierge. This holds true for almost any request, whether you have special needs or burning desires (if anyone can get you tickets to a sold-out show or a table at the hard-to-come-by State Bird Provisions, it's the concierge). You'll likely be impressed by the lengths hoteliers are willing to go to please their guests.
Finally, consider timing: if you're flexible on dates, ask the reservationist if there's a cheaper time to stay in your preferred travel window.
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