San Francisco Hotel?

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by ImarriedGrumpy, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. ImarriedGrumpy

    ImarriedGrumpy AKA Miss lady who isn't my mommy

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    My parents are coming out to visit us for a couple weeks, and we've decided that rather than commuting in to San Francisco from the South Bay for a few days of sightseeing with them, we'll stay in a hotel for a couple nights to save on travel time. No point in battling traffic for hours every day if we can avoid it!

    But since I live near SF, I've never stayed overnight there - we just drive up and go to wherever we're headed, then drive home again. Anyone have a favorite hotel, or recommendation? I know Fisherman's Wharf is the big tourist district area, and Union Square is good for picking up transit options, but are there other spots I should be looking? We'll have a car, but we're hoping to avoid having to drive and find parking all the time. So far it sounds like they haven't narrowed down their must-see list, and the last time I talked to them, they had more on their list than we could accomplish in 3 days. They had Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, the Exploratorium, and Cal Academy on the list, but it kept growing!

    Thanks!
     
  2. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    What's the budget? Hotels in San Francisco tend to be on the expensive side, and many charge a lot for parking. Last time my cousin visited her family stayed at the Grand Hyatt, which is quite nice.
     
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  4. ImarriedGrumpy

    ImarriedGrumpy AKA Miss lady who isn't my mommy

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    They said to not worry about the budget at this point. They've stayed in downtown Chicago and paid for parking, so they're aware of what it can cost in a city center. Obviously, we prefer cheaper, but the right hotel is more important, according to them. Since they're paying, I'll go with it!
     
  5. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Well then, Grand Hyatt is pretty nice. Maybe the Marriott. There are a lot of decent hotels around Union Square and SoMa. Of course the one thing is that you can go a couple of blocks from those 4/5 star hotels and you're suddenly in the Tenderloin. But if they've stayed in Chicago then I'm thinking they know what they're getting into staying in a city center.

    I haven't really spent much time at the Fisherman's Wharf hotels, but of course they're kind of low buildings because they obviously aren't zoned for tall buildings there.

    A really good location would be the Hyatt Regency at Embarcadero Center. It's a really short walk to the Ferry Building. When I was kid we used to just take one of the elevators to the top floor revolving restaurant, but I think that's closed. It's an ideal location near BART, MUNI Metro, the F-line streetcar, and even Amtrak.

    https://sanfrancisco.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

    If you don't need a car, have you thought about maybe taking Caltrain up to meet them?

    I've only stayed in downtown Chicago once. Stayed at the Hotel Allegro for $50/night about 20 years ago, but we had "connections" to get that special rate.
     
  6. ImarriedGrumpy

    ImarriedGrumpy AKA Miss lady who isn't my mommy

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    Thanks! I look into those!

    They're staying with us for most of the trip, so we'll all drive up to SF together. When we were first talking about them coming out to visit, I had suggested taking Caltrain up and then doing Lyft/Uber to get to specific places, and doing that for a couple days of sightseeing. They've decided it will be easier to get a hotel, and since they wanted to pay for it, we said sure! lol

    My dad grew up on the southside of Chicago, and my step-mom is from a near suburb of Chicago, so they're both plenty comfortable with the grittier sides of big cities. We live in downtown San Jose, and while it's not quite Tenderloin, we're used to seeing a range of people around.
     
  7. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Well then, I think the Hyatt Regency would be ideal since it's really close to the Ferry Building. I'd suggest taking Golden Gate Ferry to Sausalito. It might also make sense to get them Clipper, especially if they're considered seniors. There might not be as many fare discounts for seniors, but it could save a lot of time waiting to buy tickets.

    You could take public transportation everywhere. When my cousin visited, they didn't have a car and found that MUNI took them everywhere. I'd prefer a car to visit Golden Gate Park, but you could do it with bus and light rail.

    Their list of things to do I think can be done in two days.
     
  8. ImarriedGrumpy

    ImarriedGrumpy AKA Miss lady who isn't my mommy

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    Great! I am going to get them the senior Clipper cards as soon as they arrive. I use Clipper constantly and it makes my life so much easier. I'm really looking forward to January when VTA lowers the cost of the youth fare and also starts doing transfers using Clipper. I won't be loading the kids' Clipper cards nearly as often once that starts up!

    And now that Google Maps has transit directions, I can usually figure out how to get anywhere in the Bay Area using transit without too much difficulty.

    It's kind of funny to be planning this trip! I've done all of this before, but it's usually a "hey, let's head up to the Exploratorium for the day!" and we go, and then I don't think about heading into SF for a few months until someone else gets an idea to go up there for some reason. Feels a little odd to be planning an overnight vacation to a city so close to home!
     
  9. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Yeah - I live in the East Bay and had a membership at the California Academy of Sciences. Occasionally we'd just take BART in and then MUNI from there. The MUNI 44 bus stops right in front of the Academy of Sciences, although it's a little bit tougher to tour the rest of Golden Gate Park without a car.

    I like Clipper for the ferries, especially if there are long lines at the ticket Golden Gate Ferry ticket machines. I don't think there's any senior/youth Clipper discounts though. However, the adult fare is much cheaper - especially the Sausalito ferry which primarily serves tourists. It's $12, but $6.50 with Clipper. The Larkspur ferry is more for commuters, and is $11.50 but $7.50 with Clipper.

    http://goldengateferry.org/fareprograms/

    I remember one time I was trying to take Caltrain and the train just arrived in the station, but I had left my Clipper card at home. I was trying to rush to buy a ticket while the guy in front of me was kind of slow, but managed to get his ticket just in time to board. This was later at night when I had to wait another hour. If I had my card it would have two seconds and board the train.
     
  10. DaretoDis

    DaretoDis Mouseketeer

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    Our hotels of choice are the Omni in the financial district, and the Marine Memorial Club and Hotel a block or so from Union Square. The MM comes with free breakfast buffet every morning and 2 hour complimentary happy hour nightly.

    The Omni is close to the number 1 Van Ness bus line, and right on California for the cable car. We'll be staying at the Omni next week.

    Be sure to check ID requirements for Senior Clipper...I remember having to a take birth certificate (copy?) to get the card.
     
  11. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    It doesn’t need to be a birth certificate. If they’re flying in then whatever they use for ID at the airport should work. They could order it ahead of time by mail.

    https://clippercard.com/ClipperWeb/discounts/senior.do

    I got my kid a youth Clipper card at VTA headquarters since I worked nearby at the time. I used a California ID as proof of age. There should be a list of locations that can accept a senior application, but I can’t seem to find it since I’m using a mobile device. The card is also different looking. The youth card is just attached to a normal card. I think it’s because it essentially converts to a regular one once the holder is too old for a youth discount. My kid’s is a special Bay Bridge card, but that was what they had on hand.
     
  12. ncc1701

    ncc1701 Scotty I need Warp 10 to WDW

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    OP we have stayed at the Hyatt in Fisherman's Wharf area. It was a good location . For breakfast we walked down to Boudin's every morning. Hotel is close to the ferry to Sausalito, the F-line and the cable car. The Powell -Mason line was right around the corner . It's wait wasn't as long as the Powell -Hyde . The was also a Marriott also in the area.
    We did one of those hop on / off buses to explore in addition to public transit.
     
  13. AdamEfimoff

    AdamEfimoff DIS Veteran

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  14. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    There's no ferry service to Sausalito from Fisherman's Wharf; that's only from the Ferry Building. I think Blue & Gold still operates a ferry to Tiburon from Pier 41 outside of commute hours (where Golden Gate Ferry took over the service). San Francisco Bay Ferry operates from Pier 41 to Alameda/Oakland and Vallejo.
     
  15. AlohaNow

    AlohaNow Just keep swimming...

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    We were in SF last month and we stayed at the Omni. Great location! Walk around the corner and you are in Chinatown for a wonderful breakfast, lunch, or dinner. About five blocks to the Ferry Building……lots more food options there as well. Super for picking up all the transit as well, as we purposely did not have a car. We also looked at all the hotels around Union Square as there were many good options there. It was our first time visiting and I truly left my heart in San Francisco! :cloud9: Have fun planning your sort-of-stay-cation!
     
  16. ncc1701

    ncc1701 Scotty I need Warp 10 to WDW

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    Thanks that too bad. The one we took stopped at both Tiburon & Sausalito. Guess next trip we will have to see if Sausalito is still part of a Hop On/Off tour or explore Tiburon
     

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