Looking for more bang for your buck? These San Francisco hotels are completely unique, but share one thing in common. Each one of them nicely answers the question, “why pay more?” by providing outstanding value in locations across the entire city from the edge of the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay.
Featured Photo: The Orchard Hotel
A $10 million makeover in 2018 continues to show well in this historic building on the Embarcadero. A spacious lobby lounge has sofas around a fireplace and private glass-walled meeting cubicles. An appealing blue, cream, and charcoal color palette carries on into contemporary guest rooms, on the small side, some with bay views. Fans of sushi and saké know Ozumo, adjacent to Harbor Court. There’s a pet-friendly policy and charitable partnership with a local senior dog rescue organization.
*Readers’ Choice Best Value Hotel in San Francisco
TIP: A day membership to the nearby Embarcadero YMCA with a 25-meter lap pool is available for a fee.
Some of the 57 guest rooms have waterfront views at the Hotel Griffon on the Embarcadero. Contemporary rooms are stylish in muted tones of chocolate and taupe. High walkability scores for the Ferry Building, Financial District, and offices of many tech giants. A dozen excellent restaurants are neighbors and the well-loved Perry’s is adjacent to the lobby, also with outdoor seating.
TIP: There’s a modest daily amenity fee for Wi-Fi, coffee and tea, late check-out and luggage storage.
Kimpton Alton Hotel: Fisherman's Wharf
Locals and visitors alike flock to this chic hotel’s sun-drenched lobby with 1970s-inspired lounge furniture for a cocktail with friends. Rooms, many with views of the bay, are designed for rest and rejuvenation after a day spent exploring the city’s many nearby attractions, with a relaxing color scheme, luxurious robes, Frette linens and soft lighting. Perks abound at the pet-friendly hotel, including in-room yoga mats and record players, complimentary bikes and kids’ scooters, a nightly “wine hour,” retro board games and even a local scavenger hunt highlighting the hotel’s favorite secret spots in San Francisco.
TIP: Don’t miss eating at award-winning Filipino-influenced Abacá during your stay.
LUMA Hotel San Francisco
This Mission Bay newcomer, which opened in 2022 and is the neighborhood’s first hotel, has quickly become a go-to for sports fans heading into San Francisco to catch a Giants or Warriors game. Its proximity to the city’s sports venues aside, however, LUMA Hotel’s many other perks add to the appeal, including 299 spotless rooms and suites; electric car-charging stations; sweeping bay and downtown views; and valet parking. The chic design features several large-scale art installations as well from notable local artists including Jim Campbell.
TIP: The hotel’s brand-new rooftop hotspot, Cavaña, celebrates the flavors of Central and South America with an expansive menu of cocktails plus sharable small plates and gorgeous views.
The Orchard Hotel
Three blocks from Chinatown’s gates, two blocks from Union Square, and on the doorstep of two cable car lines, The Orchard Hotel occupies prime downtown real estate with a price tag that doesn’t match. Eighty-six spacious guest rooms, plush robes, complimentary Wi-FI, in-room coffee makers, and the first hotel in California to be LEED certified, make this a popular choice for eco-conscious travelers on a budget that don’t want to compromise on location.
TIP: Be sure to check out the sunny Rooftop Terrace and Daffodil Restaurant which serves breakfast and evening drinks.
The 26-room sister B&B to English-inspired White Swann Inn has a Francophile flavor. Sited between the two properties, Del Popolo restaurant provides Italian influence. Cozy and quaint with old world touches continues as evidenced by wine and cheese in the evening that are set out for guests by the parlor fireplace. Guest rooms have writing desks, floral wallpaper, wooden shutters, and iron chandeliers reflecting cozy and ambiance throughout. A tiny European-style elevator services all five floors, Wi-Fi is free.
TIP: For an extra special stay, opt for the suite, which has a private terrace.
White Swan Inn
Management makes a big effort and it shows. They’re pleased to be known as uniquely quirky at White Swan Inn, tucked away in Lower Nob Hill, handy to everything. Twenty-six rooms, most with fireplaces, reflect whimsical touches with a distinctly English B&B edge. Backgammon and board games are set out in the cozy parlor where guests find a morning basket of breakfast goodies, coffee and tea, and an evening glass of wine with nibbles. Be tempted by the sweet courtyard. Complimentary Wi-Fi, bathrobes, hair dryer, flat screen TV.
TIP: Sister B&B is Petite Auberge next door.