Best Places to Stay in San Francisco: the Golden Gate City

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Curated By

Melanie Schwartz

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  • City Travel

  • Luxury Travel

  • San Francisco

  • Bucket List

  • Architecture

  • Insta-Worthy

Best Places to Stay in San Francisco: the Golden Gate City
Curator’s statement

I couldn't agree Tony Bennett sang, "I left my heart in San Francisco." There is so much to love and do in the City by the Bay. But where to stay? I can help you choose among the best places to stay in San Francisco. While hotel options are many, knowing what interests you most to explore in San Francisco will help narrow down.

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Where to stay

Hotel Emblem San Francisco

Playful, literary-themed boutique stay just off busy Union Square.

Fora Perks
  • Upgrade whenever possible

  • Welcome amenity

Beacon Grand

Historic property in a building from the 1920s with opulent rooms and suites.

Fora Perks
  • $25 food / beverage credit.

  • Welcome treat in room on arrival.

  • Upgrade & guaranteed late check-out.

Hotel Fairmont San Francisco

Stately hotel in San Francisco offering views of the city and the bay with refined rooms and a fine dining restaurant.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • $90 Breakfast credit

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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When considering best places to stay in San Francisco, if you want to be in the heart of shopping Mecca, then a hotel in/near Union Square is for you. Check out the newer Emblem San Francisco, an Urban Retreat by Viceroy. Inspired by the Beat Generation, the hotel beckons your free spirit, check out the Obscenity Bar and Lounge and the Writers Alcove. Or for an ode to the historical past dating back to the 1920's, check out the Beacon Grand, that was once the renowned Sir Francis Drake hotel. Or stay in the posh Nob Hill neighborhood, just blocks from Union Square, the Fairmont San Francisco exudes elegance. For those wanting a bit more proximity to art, food and culture, there are many options in the SOMA area. I love the St Regis for its impeccable service and 5-star luxury. For those who prefer staying farther away from the hustle and bustle of town, and views of the Golden Gate Bridge, there are sister hotels The Lodge and Inn at the Presidio. Stay in the historical barracks of this former US Army post in the Presidio for great access to the outdoors.

View of the city
A blue colored restaurant

Need to Know

While the city is only 7 x 7 miles in size, there is so much to see and do. There are many best places to stay in San Francisco, but for first timers, Union Square/Nob Hill is your best bet.

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to San Francisco. In need of further inspiration? Check out Maggie Danielli Pecorino’s trip report, Best Places to Stay in San Diego: Boutique to Budget.

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Travel Advisor

Melanie Schwartz

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