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San Fransisco Hotels - finally our big California adventure!

(18 Posts)
Fancyashandy Wed 22-Jan-14 10:00:26

So we've finally booked the flights after thinking about it for the last 3 years. 26 days to plan and flying into SF with husband and 2 kids (12 and 9yrs) so looking for somewhere to stay for probably 3 nights. Was looking at Fishermans Wharf area as it might be good for the kids. Any thoughts and advice is most welcome, thanks!

AliceMum09 Wed 22-Jan-14 13:40:10

We had a fab holiday in San Francisco 9 years ago (was it really that long?!). This was just before I got pregnant with our first child, but I remember thinking it would be a good place to go with kids.
Anyway, we stayed in the Holiday Inn at Fishermans Wharf. It was really nice, and a good location - you could get a cable car close by to go into the shopping bit of the city, or a tram to go along the waterfront and into the city that way. There were nice restaurants close by, it felt safe at night, and of course you can do the trip to Alcatraz from one of the piers close by.
The cable cars are the trams with open sides that you typically associate with San Francisco - they are pulled by cables under the ground. Confused me a bit when I was reading the brochures before we went, I read 'cable car' and was thinking of the type that take you in the air up the side of a mountain! We had a week skiing at Lake Tahoe at the beginning of our San Francisco trip, so that's another reason I had visions of mountain cable cars in my head!
Anyway, very jealous of your trip! Have a lovely time.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 22-Jan-14 13:53:15

If its for only three nights the Fairmont Heritage Place is worth a look as is the Suites at Fishermans Wharf.

The Tripadvisor website is also worth looking at as that has recent reviews and photos.

whoneedstosleep Wed 22-Jan-14 15:05:44

Westin St Francis is a lovely hotel and right on Union Square.
We loved SF!

Fancyashandy Wed 22-Jan-14 15:40:27

Looked at the Westin Market Street just a block off Union Square which looked good. Just not sure if city centre or Fishermans Wharf or Marina area is better for kids if you want to wander at night for a meal etc. Also looking to spend no more than £550 (hopefully less) for a family room for 3 nights.

specialsubject Wed 22-Jan-14 16:21:57

Fisherman's wharf is a bit of a dump and reeks of sealions. Good to visit though!

try round Union Square but get a map and mark off the 'wrong turns', which apply even in daytime.

SF is wonderful but you will also come across the less fortunate people of America.

usuallydormant Wed 22-Jan-14 16:44:54

We stayed at Hotel del Sol on Webster St near Marina. Great family rooms, a little pool and in a lovely area. We got bus passes and it was very easy to get around. A fantastic city, would love to go back!

bluesky Wed 22-Jan-14 18:14:48

Definitely recommend The Argonaut, a Kimpton hotel, right at the end of Fishermans Wharf, fantastic location. Next to cable car/tram stop. Next door the other side is the bike hire, perfect for cycling over Golden Gate Bridge, which is 1 mile away. Near to useful shop for bits and pieces. Also walk in the other direction into FW, and you reach the Pier for the boat trip to Alcatraz.

My two were 16 and 12 and it was their favourite hotel of our entire trip. Comfy beds, great tv. Restaurant attached was really good. Staff fantastic at recommending places to go to.

We didn't pay the extra to get water/gate view, infact didn't really have a view at all, but used the money to put towards meals etc.

Fancyashandy Wed 22-Jan-14 18:33:55

Think the argonaut was a bit expensive. Looking to spend no more than about £550 for a family room for 3 nts.

Like the idea of cycling over the GG bridge, have a 12 and 9 yr old - is it worth it and an easy rider.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 22-Jan-14 18:40:16

What time of year are you going to travel there?. This will also have a bearing on the overall cost per night.

MillyMollyMama Wed 22-Jan-14 18:47:41

Would also say Fisherman's Wharf is not a particularly good place to stay. The cable car queues to get anywhere else can be huge and you will want to see so much more than a kiss me quick wharf. It is a bit down market and touristy. It is better to stay nearer Union Square or the Nob Hill area. We stayed near the cable car museum but forget the name of the hotel. SF is a great city and going over the bridge is great. We took a bus to Saucilito. Not sure when you are going but the Bridge area is notoriously foggy in the summer so you may want to be elsewhere. The clouds literally roll in and engulf it!

MillyMollyMama Wed 22-Jan-14 19:09:26

Do you actually need a family room, by the way. This requirement will cut out a lot of really nice hotels in the better areas. We stayed at The Orchard Hotel but if I was going again I would look at Chancellor Hotel.

Fancyashandy Wed 22-Jan-14 19:21:54

By family room I mean a room with 2 double beds. Also looked at a site where you can rent out folks apts. it's more the area I'm having trouble with. Starting to veer towards union square or Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill area. This is just the start of our trip to. Have 26 days to organise.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Wed 22-Jan-14 19:30:14

I was going to suggest the Argonaut too. Don't forget to visit Lombard Street (the squiggly one).

Electryone Wed 22-Jan-14 23:15:05

We stayed in the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, big rooms and lots of restaraunts in the area.

specialsubject Fri 24-Jan-14 18:01:39

that rings a bell, although it was a long time ago! Good spot for the cable cars too. Stay OUT of the Tenderloin, the Rough Guide will tell you the no-go zones.

Frozenatchristmas Sat 25-Jan-14 08:27:11

I agree about the Kimpton. Brilliant place to stay. Shame it is coming out pricey though.

Fancyashandy Fri 31-Jan-14 19:09:41

Thanks everyone. Finally booked a small boutique type hotel (great reviews on TripAdvisor) near Union Square and near a cable car stop. The prices for hotels are going up crazily as they are being booked out. One hotel had gone up 300 quid in a matter of days. Better get booking the rest of the holiday!

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