Migrants, cable cars, counterculture, big tech; a vibrant city that seems to constantly reinvent itself, there’s no place quite like San Francisco.

While it’s now perhaps best known as an economic powerhouse, San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area is steeped in history and loaded with sights to see. No matter whether a visitor’s interest lies in nature, sports, history or architecture, there’s something here for everyone.

Many people know they want to go to San Francisco, but where should they stay? Our list of San Francisco’s top hotels gives some insight.

Don’t see your accommodation listed? Get in touch at [email protected] and tell us why your property should be included.

What is the best area to stay in San Francisco?

Where in San Francisco should a visitor stay? A handful of stand-out areas include:

  • Union Square: The centre of the action, Union Square is San Francisco’s commercial hub, filled with restaurants, bars, boutiques and galleries.
  • Marina District: Tourists can gaze out across the water to Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz from scenic Marina District. This area is also home to the famously crooked Lombard Street.
  • Fisherman’s Wharf: A vibrant tourist area boasting enough clam chowder to feed a small country, here travelers can enjoy panoramic bay views and easy access to Alcatraz.

LITTLE HOTELIER TOP TIP : Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. This is especially important for hotels, as guests will often look for somewhere to stay while they’re on the move or looking for a last-minute deal. Choosing a mobile-optimized website provider (such as Little Hotelier’s website builder) makes it easy from the start.

What are the best luxury hotels?

Visitors for whom money is no object will be on the lookout for the most unique, luxurious and all-round stunning hotel experience possible… and this city’s hotels do not disappoint. There’s the towering Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero, which offers some of the Bay Area’s best views. Hotel Fairmont Heritage Place – Ghirardelli Square is a spa-focused hotel that places guests right on the water. And if a visitor wants a luxury stay in the beating heart of the city, they can’t do much better than The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco.

What are the best hotels on a budget?

While San Francisco property is famously expensive, it can be surprising how affordable a hotel room can be in the city. The Grant Hotel is not only cheap and super central, it also includes a free breakfast in the price. Greenwich Inn is a value-packed hotel found just off Lombard Street, halfway between Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf. And Hayes Valley Inn is a quality two-star establishment located in a super cool part of an already super cool city.

What are the best hotels for solo travelers?

Those flying solo for their San Fran adventure might be looking for accommodation that makes meeting and mingling easy. For travelers who aren’t against sharing a room, ITH Pacific Tradewinds Hostel is a super friendly spot that offers mixed eight-bed dorms at a terrific price. HI San Francisco Downtown Hostel brings the same sharehouse feel, but this time with an option for private quarters. Finally the uber cute Green Tortoise Hostel has both shared and private accommodation options, and offers three free group dinners every week, which makes it perfect for finding travel buddies!

LITTLE HOTELIER TOP TIP : Attract more families to your hotel by updating your website and marketing images to include activities and smiling faces, while ensuring key amenities are listed on your homepage.

What are the best hotels for a romantic getaway?

Romance is something that Frisco has always done well, as evidenced by the collection of cute and luxurious hotels designed for love. Mansion on Sutter grants the opportunity to stay in one of the Victorian/Edwardian houses the city is famous for. The esteemed Palace Hotel is the ideal place for romance, particularly for couples who enjoy fine dining. For tourists partial to a day spa, the couple’s massage offered by the opulent Fairmont San Francisco has to be felt to be believed.

What are the best hotels by the airport?

Those in town for a business meeting, a stopover, or a single night stay are in luck: San Francisco International is surrounded by hotel options, and there’s something for everyone. Grand Hyatt At SFO is a decidedly five-star affair that will have guests crossing their fingers that their flight is delayed a day or two. At the other end of the spectrum, what the two-star Hotel Aura might lack in luxury is made up in value for money – it does the basics super well. Somewhere in the middle there’s The Millwood, a modern, fresh and somewhat boutique airport hotel that offers a free shuttle service.

What are the best hotels with a view?

San Francisco is one of America’s most picturesque cities, and if visitors choose their accommodation wisely they can enjoy it in all its glory from the comfort of their hotel room. The St. Regis San Francisco is a five-star hotel with five-star views that stretch out to Treasure Island.Those who want to gaze at Golden Gate Bridge can’t do much better than Lodge at the Presidio, an upscale hotel right next to the Walt Disney Family Museum. But arguably the best vistas of all are found in the appropriately named Deluxe View rooms at the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco.

What are the best hotels by Levi’s Stadium?

The home of the San Francisco 49ers, the 68,000-seat Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara becomes the centre of the Bay Area universe whenever it hosts one of its 10 NFL games per year. Football fans are wise to aim for Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, Hilton Santa Clara or Santa Clara Marriott, hotels that are all punt or two from the arena.

LITTLE HOTELIER TOP TIP : When creating visual content for your property, do so on a sunny day! Everywhere looks better with a blue sky in the background – a picture really does speak a thousand words.

Best hotels by The Painted Ladies

Thanks in no small part to the TV show Full House, there’s no more famous view in San Francisco than that of the Painted Ladies – a row of historic Victorian and Edwardian houses that face beautiful Alamo Square. While this part of San Francisco is distinctly residential, there are a few hotel options close by. Chateau Tivoli Bed and Breakfast is itself a 19th century mansion, and is found just a three-minute walk from the Ladies. The Metro Hotel is a very cool and boutique four-star option nearby. But the closest of the lot is The Grove Inn, located just one block east of the landmarks.

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By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).