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Hotel recommendation for a family in San Francisco

Hotel recommendation for a family in San Francisco

Jun 26th, 2007, 11:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 206
Hotel recommendation for a family in San Francisco


I will be visiting San Francisco this weekend with my family and need a recommendation for a nice hotel in a nice area.

I have thought about living in the city but am not sure if it is suitable for a family. A friend of mine recently visited San Francisco with his family and chose a hotel in the city. However, he didnt feel safe at all. The street/area around the hotel seemed filled with prostitutes, sex shops and such. Moreover, the hotel didnt provide any parking.

However, other friends tell me that staying in Financial District or Marina would be a safe bet.

My other choice is staying somewhere in Marin county, just outside the city, in Mill Valley or Suasalito.

Please advise!
qzseattle is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 01:02 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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I'll be travelling to SF (first time!) in August and from my research I've found that Fisherman's Wharf in SF is a prime tourist area. You will probably find many families staying in hotels in this area. However, from what I've heard, parking is a nightmare anywhere in SF. Does your friend remember where he stayed so you can avoid that area?
Hope you have a fab holiday!

SandyBlandy is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 05:08 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 572
I have stayed quite a few times in the city with my family (Union square, Nob Hill, & financial district) and never felt unsafe. How nice of a place to do you want? There are tons to recommend? We need more information.
laurenzo is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 07:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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The other consideration is--do you really need a car? IF you're only going to be there for the weekend, you could shuttle from the airport to your hotel, use public transportation (that's where staying in Union Square/Fin Dist or Embarcadero is best) to sightsee. Staying at the Wharf will benefit the family from a tourist standpoint. Agree--need more info.
TrvlMaven is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 11:07 AM
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As an adult, I prefer Union Square or thereabouts, but there is quite a lot of tourist stuff for kids to gape at in Fisherman's Wharf. I got a very, very good rate at the Sheraton on Priceline this spring, though the rooms are small. There is a newish Trader Joe's specialty supermarket and another supermarket (maybe Albertsons or Safeway) near the Sheraton, so it is easy to get stuff for picnics, breakfast, etc if money is an issue. It is near a cable car terminus, and streetcars run past the front door.
Ackislander is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 11:22 AM
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I stayed at the Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf last time I went. It was nice.
rizzo0904 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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Let me guess: you friend stayed in a Civic Center area hotel, am I correct?

Yes, there are more and less desirable areas, if you have time, post the hotels' names so we can advise.

As for Marin County... will you have a car? you'll spend plenty on parking! will you travel without a car? Buses/ferries to SF will take time and money. And may be even not safer, depends on the areas of the county.
FainaAgain is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 12:37 PM
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What is your budget, and will you have a car? If you, there are properties on Lombard Street that have free parking: http://www.cowhollowmotorinn.com/
Click also on sister properties. I've stayed at the Coventry Inn and it was fine, although they are on a very busy street (ask for a room that faces away from the street. If you won't have a car, I'd stay in Union Square or the embarcadero area.
trippinkpj is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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I agree with trippinkpj. I have stayed at the Chelsea Inn (sister property of Cow Hollow Motor Inn). It is in the Marina District (on Lombard). It is in a safe neighborhood; walking distance to restaurants, shops, etc. It was just me and my 80 year old mom. At no time did we feel unsafe.

Pick the right neighborhood and you will have a great time.
BarbAnn is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 08:49 PM
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ttt for gzseatle.
trippinkpj is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 09:00 PM
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I recently stayed at the Coventry Inn for at a very reasonable rate for a good-sized, clean and comfortable room, and had free parking on site. The location was convenient, and ataff was very friendly. I felt totally safe!
Jeannie is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 09:53 PM
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Three months ago we stayed at Columbus Motor Inn, found it very comfortable, reasonable price, has free parking, is about five minutes walk from Fisherman's Wharf, similar walk to North Beach, we loved it and felt very safe. Check out Trip Advisor for reviews.
nelsonian is online now  
Jun 28th, 2007, 11:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 206

Thank you everyone for your opinions!

My friend doesnt remember the name of the hotel or the area. It could very well be Tenderloin. His primary complain was lack of parking.

In any case, I have decided not to stay in downtown area because of parking issue.

Could you please recommend a safe, nice area outside the city where I can find a decent hotel? Marin country looks nice but I dont see many hotels there.

We will have a car so transportation is not an issue. My price range is $100 - $150, though this is flexible somewhat depending on how nice the hotel/area is.

We are leaving on Saturday and don't have a hotel yet, and I am now in panic mode!
qzseattle is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 11:29 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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I would also like to add that I would prefer to stay with a well-known brand name such as Hilton, Marriot, Westin etc
qzseattle is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 12:52 AM
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You have probably already left for SF, but I just saw your question now. I hope you have already found a hotel or motel!!! I live in Marin County and I thought I should remind you that when you cross the Golden Gate Bridge from Marin into the city, you will have to pay the $5 toll--not too much unless you'd like to make the crossing into the city more than once a day. Also, the traffic can be heavy during commuter times (which probably will not affect you) and on nice summer weekend days when people pass through Marin to get to Marin or Sonoma beaches, Point Reyes, Bodega Bay, Tomales Bay, or the wine country. Plus, this weekend is the Marin County Fair!!!
Of course, because I live in Marin I never stay in the hotels here, however, I would say that the better hotels and inns in southern Marin, such as those in Mill Valley, Sausalito and Tiburon (which are closer to San Francisco) tend to be more expensive than the better hotels in central or northern Marin (Corte Madera, San Rafael, Novato). But these would be a little far if you plan on doing most of your sightseeing in the city. If you have only the weekend to spend in the city, I would echo the sentiments of others and stay at Fisherman's Wharf--it's busy, but generally quite safe (providing you exercise the usual caution one reserves for being in all large U.S. cities). Staying at Fisherman's Wharf would be something like staying near Pike Place Market--busy but generally safe. FW is definitely much safer that the Tenderloin, which I would characterize as sometimes "seedy."
Fisherman's Wharf, on the other hand, is close to Coit Tower, Ghirardelli Square, Aquatic Park and the cable cars, Chinatown (a short bus ride away). It you stay on the bus that takes you to Chinatown (actually Stockton Street, which is parallel to Grant Avenue) from FW, you can ride all the way to the downtown shopping area centered around Union Square.
There is also a street car that will take you from Fisherman's Wharf to the ferry building, which is a nice place to walk around--you can even hop on a ferry (to Tiburon, Sausalito or Larkspur), which is wonderful thing to do on a sunny day.
While you can take busses from Fisherman's Wharf all the way to Golden Gate Park, it might be a bit of an ordeal if you don't know the city. It would be better to drive to Golden Gate Park, visit the new de Young Museum (an art museum) first thing in the morning (make sure to go up to its Tower to view its 360 degree view--wow!) and then you can drive through the park all the way to the ocean, eventually making your way to the Legion of Honor (another art museum--the collection is not so interesting for kids but the coastal setting/location is spectacular). Or once you reach the ocean you can head in the opposite direction toward the zoo.
The Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate park would normally be a wonderful place for kids, however, it is currently under renovation (its aquarium has moved to a smaller temporary space downtown).
I also agree with others that the Marina might also be a good choice for you. The neighborhood is very close to the Golden Gate Bridge/Marin, the Presidio, Lincoln Park, the Palace of Fine Arts/Exploratorium (a science museum for kids). Many of the motels in the Marina are on Lombard St., though, which being a busy thoroughfare, can be noisy--however, I would assume rooms would be sound proofed. Plus, the bus that goes from FW to Chinatown and Union Square starts its run in the Marina. And I would definitely catch the bus or a cab if I were going to Chinatown as the traffic is horrendous, the street parking situation bleak (for Chinatown, we usually go into one of public garages like the one under Portsmouth Square or the one on Vallejo Street next to the police station). Plus, the bus is interesting--you might be amazed by many people speaking languages from all around the globe.
Diamantina is offline  

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