A Very San Francisco Affair: Most Memorable Hotels

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Don’t tell anyone but I have the seven-year-itch. I don’t want a divorce, but I do have the urge to sleep in another bed and suitors are wooing me like foghorns embracing the City by the Bay. There is plenty of temptation in San Francisco with a hotel in the forest, a historic hotel newly remodeled, and a hotel in the clouds. I don’t want to leave the fabulous apartment I found seven years ago with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge that’s rent-controlled, but I admit, sometimes I cheat with all of these memorable San Francisco hotels.

Presidio Lodge in San Francisco

First I had a dalliance with the new kid in town, the Presidio Lodge. Located in the former Army Base, it’s like staying at Green Acres next door to downtown. How could I resist? It offers 24 miles of hiking trails that lead to the beach with stops along the way for restaurants and the Disney museum.

San Francisco hotels

The Lodge at the Presidio. Photo by Kentyn Reynolds courtesy The Lodge at the Presidio

Some guests bike across the Golden Gate Bridge since it’s the closest hotel to this iconic landmark, but this shopper grabbed the free shuttle to Union Square and made credit card history at the boutiques on Maiden Lane. If you stay on a Sunday, join picnickers enjoying live music and international food from Off-the-Grid trucks.

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Galleria Park Hotel

It was all memorable, but still, I was scratching. Time to revisit some old haunts and I figured if Mark Twain liked Galleria Park Hotel it was good enough for this writer. This landmark building has recently been re-imagined—as they call hotel remodels these days. The rooms’ modern décor blends with the building’s original architecture, iron handrails, a white fireplace in the lobby almost large enough to be a studio rental in San Francisco, and marble floors lining extra-wide hallways to accommodate hoop skirts.

San Francisco hotels

Galleria Park Hotel Lobby. Photo courtesy Joie de Vivre Hotels

Enjoy a cocktail on the mezzanine for great people watching and visit the Urban Garden at night for Instagram worthy city views.

The Parc 55 Hotel in San Francisco's Union Square

Maybe some inspiring art will help me get over this mid-life crisis…that was my excuse for slipping out yet again with The Parc 55 Hotel. They have rotating exhibits of local artists called Art in the Parc.

While I was at The Parc 55, I heard about a view more stunning than anything an artist could create and it was right across the street. Readers, don’t judge me, but I was weak and cheated on my one night stand. At the tippy top of the Hilton Union Square, Cityscape Lounge has a panoramic view of the city and all my dalliances; hotels spread across San Francisco’s 49 miles.

San Francisco hotels

View from Cityscape Lounge at dusk. Photo courtesy Hilton Hotels

Take a California Road Trip

It was shameful; surely I was done fooling around now…until I heard about the Hilton road trip specials. Hiltons along the California Coast have discounts you unlock with collectible key cards designed by watercolor artist Kelsey Quitschau.

Driving down highway one, I would just be gone a few more nights, a week max, visiting hotels from Santa Cruz to San Diego. It doesn’t mean anything…I only love my home. You don’t think my apartment is capable of changing the locks, do you?

Check out more great articles about visiting California—and those amazing San Francisco hotels—on Wander.

Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodations, meals and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

Written by Ruth Wertzberger Carlson

Ruth Wertzberger Carlson has been writing international luxury travel articles for two decades and still has not found a better place to live than San Francisco. A native of Iowa, she has nine siblings, and loves taking visitors to explore San Francisco. Her articles have appeared in American Way, Bon Appetit, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and several anthologies.

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