Skip to Content

20 Best Hotels In San Francisco: Where To Stay In 2023

20 Best Hotels In San Francisco: Where To Stay In 2023

Are you looking for the very best hotels in San Francisco? Perfect! We’re going to show you the top rated cheap, mid range and luxury hotels throughout the most popular SF neighborhoods for first time visitors, so you can make the most informed decision on exactly where to stay in San Francisco.

Instead of trawling through endless randomly listed hotel search engine results, use our research and data driven guide to find the best hotel in San Francisco for your visit based on location, value, previous guest ratings and our own experiences.

We have personally visited San Francisco twice and stayed in two different neighborhoods. One hotel was in Union Square and the other hotel was in Fisherman’s Wharf, so we had contrasting experiences but they are two of the best places for first time visitors to stay in San Francisco.

Here’s how we will break down the top San Francisco hotels to help you find the perfect place to stay:

  • 20 best hotels in the 4 most popular SF neighborhoods
  • Top things to do and who should stay in each area
  • 10 bonus SF hotels in other parts of the city
  • Best cheap, luxury and family hotels in San Francisco

Let’s find the perfect hotel for your trip to San Francisco, California!

*Please note this guide contains affiliate links. If you click on one, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the free content we provide! Read more in our disclosure policy.*

Table of Contents show

Where To Stay In San Francisco

Is this your first visit to San Francisco?

Well, the first thing you need to do is figure out the best place to stay in SF for your budget and travel goals.

You’ll be happy to know that the touristy areas of San Francisco are much smaller and closer together than you might have imagined.

Plus, SF is a pedestrian friendly city and it is easy to get around by foot, as long as you don’t mind hills!

Typical San Francisco street with tram lines running through buildings to the Oakland Bridge at night
Iconic view of Oakland Bridge down California Street

So Where Should You Start Looking?

Well, almost all first time visitors to San Francisco tend to book hotels in one of these 4 areas:

  1. Union Square – Best for shopping and foodies
  2. Fisherman’s Wharf – Best for families
  3. SoMa (South of Market) – Best for high end stays
  4. Financial District / Downtown SF – Best for Embarcadero

As long as you are located within one of these areas or somewhere in between, you can easily get to the others by foot, cable car or taxi.

Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf are the two areas most tourists book hotels in SF.

Hotel prices in both Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf are cheaper when compared to hotels in Downtown San Francisco and SoMa.

We would suggest starting your San Francisco hotel search in Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf, then expand your search to SoMa, Downtown SF and beyond.

What About Other Areas And Hotels In San Francisco?

What if you are a return visitor to SF or you want to avoid the main touristy areas during your visit?

Well, there are plenty of other cool neighborhoods and top rated hotels scattered around San Francisco.

We will walk you through 10 bonus top rated San Francisco hotels after the 4 main tourist areas.

The best part about staying in a non-touristy area of SF?

Yes, you guessed it, hotels are typically far more affordable throughout all four seasons of the year.

Stay tuned for these hotels later in the guide!

Pier 39 in San Francisco from the water docks filled with sea lions and crowds of tourists taking photos
Crowds watching the Sea Lions at Pier 39

San Francisco Neighborhoods Summary

Let’s take a closer look at each of the 4 popular SF neighborhoods for first time visitors to set up base.

Union Square

Union Square is the beating heart of tourism in San Francisco. This is where you will find shopping, transport, places to eat and drink, plus hotels spanning the budget range.

Think of Union Square in SF as being a bit like Times Square in NYC. It isn’t the classiest part of town but it has the highest concentration of hotels and most people choose to stay there.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is the family friendly area of SF where you find the most “tacky tourist trap” types of places. It is bay facing, which means you can see Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge from here.

Hotels around Fisherman’s Wharf are mostly set up for families and groups, plus it has easy access to the major tourist attractions. Hotel prices are reasonable considering the location.

SoMa

SoMa or South of Market Street is located not far to the southeast of Union Square. The trendy and cool area has a ton of bars, restaurants, museums and galleries to explore.

Hotels in SoMa are luxurious and never too far away from main transport links and boutique shops but they benefit from being out of the noisy Union Square area. Expect to pay more per night in SoMa.

Downtown SF / Financial District

Downtown SF or Financial District is a small pocket close to Embarcadero. This area is popular for business travelers or those looking for a quieter and classier place to stay in SF.

Known as “FiDi” and “Wall Street of the West”, the business hub of SF is located just steps from the Ferry Building. The area hosts an array of high end eateries and after work happy hours.

Mark from Best Hotels Anywhere on a sunset cruise in San Francisco Bay with Alcatraz Island in distance
Mark enjoying a sunset cruise in San Francisco Bay

Your San Francisco Travel Itinerary

Exactly what you plan to do will also heavily influence where you should book a hotel in San Francisco.

Hotel costs aren’t always the number one priority, sometimes location based on a specific activity is more important.

Think carefully about what you plan to do in SF. Which areas will you be visiting the most?

Choosing the right hotel for your vacation starts with putting yourself in the best possible location for what you want to achieve.

Do you know exactly what you will do in San Francisco?

If you’re not 100% sure yet, read our popular guide to the 40 best things to do in San Francisco on our travel site Where Are Those Morgans.

Cable Car on tram line next to a tree good idea to stay near a line at San Francisco hotels
Cable Car in San Francisco

Where To Stay In San Francisco Without A Car

Will you have your own car in SF or do you plan to hire a car at San Francisco airport?

If you do have a car it is easy enough to drive around the city. There are loads of one way systems to be aware of so you’ll need a GPS or sat nav app but otherwise it’s not as bad as LA or NYC.

The issue with having a car is astronomical daily fees for parking your car at hotels in San Francisco.

If you absolutely must have a car, we would recommend finding a public garage near to the hotel you are staying to save money.

If you won’t have access to a vehicle you will save a huge amount of money at hotels.

But if you don’t want to be walking up down steep hills every day, you should plan to stay somewhere with easy access to public transport.

SF Public Transport

  • Cable Cars – The iconic SF Cable Cars are a great way to beat the relentless hills between popular touristy areas such as Fisherman’s Wharf – Union Square.
  • Muni Metro Map – The Muni Metro takes tourists further afield, giving you access to places like SF Zoo and the museums in Golden Gate Park.

The best places to stay for easy access to Muni Metro are Embarcadero, Financial District, SoMa and the south side of Union Square.

Note: The only way to reach Golden Gate Bridge without a car are by walking a very long way, cycling, taking the Golden Gate Transit Bus or ride share.

If you are a first time visitor to SF and you just want to do the most famous attractions like Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge and Coit Tower, we would recommend booking a hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf.

Do you plan to see the top SF attractions?

Read our helpful San Francisco passes comparison to see which city attractions pass is the perfect fit for your plans.

Underneath the Golden Gate Bridge from a cruise on the Bay
Golden Gate Bridge from below

Are There Any Cheap Hotels In San Francisco?

Cheap is a relative term depending on location. Hotels in San Francisco relatively speaking are expensive, even for California.

Both times we have visited SF our bank balance has taken a beefy hit.

The thing about hotels in San Francisco is that there’s a surprisingly finite volume of hotel options, but the options that are available are very highly rated.

Compare that to the best hotels in Los Angeles for instance, where there are over 1,000 hotels to choose between, but there are far fewer hotels with top ratings.

Therefore SF tourists’ bank accounts suffer as a consequence of low supply for high demand, coupled with the overall higher quality of hotels in town.

At least you know you’ll be getting a hotel with high guest ratings!

Typical Prices For Hotels In San Francisco

But roughly how much you are going to spend on hotels in San Francisco?

Well, we’ve taken the 20 best hotels in San Francisco from our 4 major tourist areas and created an infographic to help you get an idea about hotel costs.

We picked 3 future dates; one week ahead, 4 months ahead and 8 months ahead.

All selected dates are on Tuesday’s for consistency, plus this shows what you can expect last minute, around Easter and in the Summer holidays.

Prices including taxes are correct on Booking.com as of 7 December, 2022.

San Francisco hotel prices for 20 hotels throughout the popular neighborhoods in December 2022 April 2023 and August 2023 infographic by Best Hotels Anywhere

What Do The Numbers Show Us?

What are your immediate reactions to the numbers above?

Our immediate reaction every time we look at hotels in San Francisco is “Wow, SF is an expensive place to stay“!

Remember, the numbers above include tax (see tax types below).

But what else do the numbers show us?

Well, it shows us that there are a handful of top rated and high quality San Francisco hotels spread throughout the city that are affordable.

Here are three take home messages:

  1. San Francisco hotels are cheaper in off season
  2. Hotel prices aren’t much different in April and August
  3. Booking hotels in San Francisco way in advance can save you a small fortune
Sunset over Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
Sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge

How Much Is San Francisco Hotel Tax

So what exactly are you paying in taxes when you visit SF?

Hotel fees in San Francisco include three separate percentage based taxes:

  1. 14% – Bed Tax (Transient Occupancy Tax)
  2. 0.195% – California Tourism
  3. 1.5 – 2.25% – Tourism Improvement District (assessment based on the location of a hotel)

Most hotels in central areas of San Francisco are going to max out the 2.25% tourism improvement tax for a total of 16.445% tax on top of the base hotel room rate.

Sixteen and a half percent is quite a hefty number to add on to an already pricey hotel room.

But there’s more to come, and we don’t mean parking which is also going to add on eye watering numbers to your bottom line.

Urban Amenity Fee

Certain hotels in San Francisco have decided it would be beneficial to start charging anywhere between $20-50 per night for “Urban Amenity Fees”.

What are Urban Amenity Fees?

Well, it’s just another way of saying Resort Fee.

Hotels offering full service, swimming pools with towel service for instance, began to implement resort fees. Then more hotels followed suit, with questionable reasoning.

And not just in SF.

Unfortunately for us, the consumer, it is happening in most major cities in the US.

We just wanted to make you aware that many hotels will require you to pay this amenity fee upon arrival to avoid the shock.

20 Best Hotels In San Francisco California

OK, let’s dive into the 20 best hotels in San Francisco spread throughout the 4 most popular neighborhoods.

To help you choose the best area to book a hotel, we are listing the top rated hotels within each popular neighborhood, one at a time.

Let’s begin in Union Square, the most popular place to stay in SF for first time visitors.

Union Square San Francisco at night with yellow light illuminating buildings photo taken from the top of Macy's shopping center looking down on ice rink in winter
Union Square lit up at night

Union Square

Pros:

  • Close to shops, bars, restaurants and clubs.
  • Good access to Muni Metro and Cable Cars.
  • Union Square has the cheapest hotels of all popular SF neighborhoods.

Cons:

  • Loud, busy and touristy.
  • Gritty in places like Tenderloin to the southwest side.
  • Not a huge amount to do with no top attractions.

Union Square is the most popular place to stay in San Francisco.

It has the highest concentration of hotels in each budget category and it is filled with shops, restaurants and bars, plus it is centrally located.

Things To Do In Union Square

  • Eat and drink at a wide range of cool places
  • Shop at independent, chain and high end stores
  • Go to a theater performance
  • Drink in bars and cocktail lounges

Who Should Stay In Union Square?

  • Foodies
  • Big groups
  • Anyone looking to party
  • Those who want to be in the liveliest part of town
  • Couples on a lower budget

Best San Francisco Hotels In Union Square

Here are the top rated cheap, mid range and luxury hotels in Union Square.

Remember, each budget range is relative, so “mid range” here may be the same as “cheap” in another part of the city.

You will find previous guest ratings as per Booking.com and Google, estimated price, amenities, parking fees and a brief description for each hotel.

1. CitizenM San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.0 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Inside a hotel lobby with tables chairs and colorful artwork CitizenM one of the top hotels in San Francisco
Photo courtesy of CitizenM
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, small fitness center, 24 hour front desk, breakfast available
  • Parking: No parking – use offsite garage

CitizenM is a modern, clean, unique and quirky hotel with some of the best guest ratings of all hotels in San Francisco. The south side of Union Square location is perfect for transport links and the convention center for business travelers.

Guest review scores are highest for staff, comfort and cleanliness. Rooms at CitizenM are small, but the place is immaculate and perhaps more importantly, it is affordable.

CitizenM is one of our top San Francisco hotel picks.

>> Book Hotel: CitizenM San Francisco

2. Chancellor Hotel San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Chancellor Hotel building exterior tall narrow building right off Union Square one of the best places to stay in San Francisco
Chancellor Hotel near Union Square in San Francisco
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, 24 hour front desk
  • Parking: $35 per day – offsite

Chancellor Hotel is one of the most popular boutique hotels in San Francisco thanks to its location right on Union Square, plus its low cost and high ratings.

Guest review scores are highest for location. Free cookies and popcorn are available for guests to snack on throughout the day, plus the small bar area is usually lively during the evening.

We have stayed at Chancellor Hotel and it is solid budget travel option in a top location.

>> Book Hotel: Chancellor Hotel San Francisco

3. The Orchard Hotel San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Guest room with large bed white duvet wooden frame carpet floor lights on tables and bright light through curtains
Photo courtesy of The Orchard Hotel
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, on site restaurant, small gym, 24 hour front desk
  • Parking: No parking – use off site garage

The Orchard Hotel is a popular and highly regarded boutique hotel in San Francisco, located 2 blocks north of Union Square close to Chinatown.

Guest review scores are highest for location, staff, comfort and cleanliness. Rooms are typically more spacious and quaint at The Orchard Hotel compared to others at similar price points in SF.

>> Book Hotel: The Orchard Hotel San Francisco

4. White Swan Inn San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Guest room with red and black carpet fireplace armchair and large bed with yellow throw plus quirky wallpaper
Photo courtesy of White Swan Inn
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, 24 hour front desk, breakfast
  • Parking: No parking – use offsite garage

White Swan Inn is a highly rated boutique bed and breakfast style hotel in San Francisco, sandwiched between Union Square and the much quieter Nob Hill.

Guest review scores are highest for location, staff, comfort and cleanliness. The quirky White Swan Inn has an English (Cotswolds countryside to be exact) theme and you can make full use of every room.

>> Book Hotel: White Swan Inn

5. Inn At Union Square San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.0 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Guest bedroom with large bed and lights reflecting in mirror small room
Photo courtesy of The Inn At Union Square
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, 24 hour front desk
  • Parking: Valet parking available or park in offsite garage

The Inn At Union Square is a charming boutique hotel in San Francisco. If you’re traveling on a mid range budget and want to be located right among the action of Union Square, this is a top contender.

Guest review scores are highest for location, comfort and cleanliness. Rooms are much larger than average and overall comments are very positive for The Inn At Union Square.

>> Book Hotel: The Inn At Union Square

6. Staypineapple San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.4 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Interior of Staypineapple Hotel in San Francisco with yellow furniture and decor tables chairs stairs in large open plan room
Photo courtesy of Staypineapple
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, 24 hour front desk, pet friendly
  • Parking: No parking – use offsite garage

Staypineapple San Francisco is a bit of a wildcard because it is located in the less desirable Tenderloin neighborhood southwest of Union Square. However, it is one of very few pet friendly hotels in the area.

Guest review scores are highest for staff, comfort and cleanliness. Comments are very positive about comfy beds and the quirky pineapple decor, but this hotel is not suitable for families.

>> Book Hotel: Staypineapple San Francisco

7. Hotel Nikko San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.6 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Two large beds in a narrow but long bedroom with blue and white carpet desk chair tv leading to window
Photo courtesy of Hotel Nikko
  • Price: Expensive $$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, restaurant with bar and terrace, 24 hour front desk, excellent fitness center, pet friendly, sauna, steam room, spa and indoor swimming pool
  • Parking: $65 plus tax / per 24 hours

Hotel Nikko is one of the most popular luxury hotels in San Francisco. The ultra modern and plush Japanese inspired boutique hotel is located on the south side of Union Square, close to SoMa.

Guest review scores are highest for comfort and cleanliness. Comments are very positive about staff and luxurious facilities. Hotel Nikko isn’t quite a 5 star hotel but it is affordable luxury in SF.

>> Book Hotel: Hotel Nikko San Francisco

Other Hotels To Consider In Union Square

If you’re really shopping around for best price during your trip to SF, here are more hotels to consider around the Union Square area.

Check the prices on each of these San Francisco hotels:

Fisherman's Wharf sign ship wheel lit up at dusk
Fisherman’ Wharf sign at dusk

Fisherman’s Wharf

Pros:

  • Close to Alcatraz Ferry, Pier 39 and Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Great for families.
  • Competitive hotel prices.

Cons:

  • A touch on the tacky and gimmicky side.
  • Isolated neighborhood.
  • Very touristy.

Fisherman’s Wharf is the best place for families to stay in San Francisco.

It has plenty of places to eat and there’s loads for the kids to do around the area. The downside is that you are quite a long way from the action in town.

Things To Do In Fisherman’s Wharf

Who Should Stay In Fisherman’s Wharf?

  • Families
  • Groups with multiple families
  • Short stays with Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge itinerary priorities
  • Couples on a mid range budget
  • Those who want to be close to SF Bay

Best San Francisco Hotels In Fisherman’s Wharf

Here are the top rated cheap, mid range and luxury hotels in Fisherman’s Wharf.

You will find previous guest ratings as per Booking.com and Google, estimated price, amenities, parking fees and a brief description for each hotel.

8. Riu Plaza San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.1 / 10
  • Google – 3.9 / 5
Outdoor swimming pool with chairs and L shaped building Riu Plaza Hotel in San Francisco on a bright day
Photo courtesy of Riu Plaza
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, 24 hour front desk, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, on site restaurant and bar, breakfast included
  • Parking: $50 or $60 per day (varies by source)

Riu Plaza San Francisco is among the most booked hotels in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. It is affordable, has breakfast included and has an outdoor pool for the kids to use during warmer months.

Guest review scores are highest for location, comfort and cleanliness. Riu is a great option for families taking a longer trip to SF looking to keep costs down as much as possible.

>> Book Hotel: Riu Plaza San Francisco

9. Holiday Inn Express Fisherman’s Wharf

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.4 / 10
  • Google – 4.2 / 5
Two queen beds in a room with laminate wood flooring and tv with desk
Photo courtesy of IHG
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, breakfast included, 24 hour front desk, fitness center, pet friendly
  • Parking: $61 plus tax per day

Holiday Inn Express is a solid low to mid range budget San Francisco hotel located in Fisherman’s Wharf. It offers basic breakfast and a good gym at an affordable price point for the area.

Guest review scores are highest for location, staff, comfort and cleanliness. You know exactly what you’re going to get at a Holiday Inn Express and it does have good ratings.

>> Book Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Fisherman’s Wharf

10. Hotel Zephyr San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.6 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Tram tracks and low rise wooden shop buildings of Fisherman's Wharf at sunset Zephyr Hotel in San Francisco
Hotel Zephyr and shops in Fisherman’s Wharf at sunset
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, 24 hour front desk, fitness center, games room
  • Parking: $58 plus tax per day

Hotel Zephyr is an exceptionally popular nautical themed hotel located perfectly within Fisherman’s Wharf overlooking San Francisco Bay. This is a classic mid range hotel for SF.

Guest review scores are highest for location, staff, comfort and free WiFi (which has a 10/10 after 2,500+ reviews!). Hotel Zephyr has a superb location for families.

>> Book Hotel: Hotel Zephyr San Francisco

11. Argonaut Hotel San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.7 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Argonaut Hotel in San Francisco brick building facade 4 story tall and wide structure with entrance and cars
Photo courtesy of Argonaut Hotel
  • Price: Expensive $$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, on site restaurant and bar, 24 hour front desk, fitness center, in room spa services
  • Parking: $65 plus tax per day

Argonaut Hotel is another nautical themed hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf, but this one is in a quieter area near Hyde Street Pier. You get the best of both worlds, quiet when you need it, action close by.

Guest review scores are highest for staff, cleanliness, comfort and location. The 4 star Argonaut Hotel is more expensive but it is of a higher quality.

>> Book Hotel: Argonaut Hotel San Francisco

12. Fairmont Heritage Place San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.2 / 10
  • Google – 4.5 / 5
Apartment interior exposed brick open plan living and dining with plenty of light Fairmont Heritage Place Fisherman's Wharf hotel in San Francisco
Photo courtesy of Fairmont
  • Price: Expensive $$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, 24 hour front desk, fitness center, kitchen, washing machine, pet friendly
  • Parking: Free

Fairmont Heritage Place in Ghirardelli Square is one of the best hotels in San Francisco. Each luxurious apartment includes full kitchen and washing machine, pets are allowed and it has free parking.

Guest review scores are highest for staff, cleanliness, comfort, free WiFi, facilities and location. If you want to splurge by San Francisco Bay, book your stay at Fairmont Heritage Place.

>> Book Hotel: Fairmont Heritage Place San Francisco

Other Hotels To Consider In Fisherman’s Wharf

There aren’t a huge amount of top rated San Francisco hotels in the Fisherman’s Wharf area.

But here are a few more highly rated options for you to consider.

Woman stood in front of colorful hashtag shaped art installation in SF MoMA
Kristen with art installation in the Museum of Modern Art SoMa

SoMa

Pros:

  • Close to shops, bars, restaurants, museums and parks.
  • Easy access to Muni Metro.
  • Close enough to the touristy action but far enough out for an authentic stay.

Cons:

  • Hotels are more expensive.
  • Have to walk or take transport to reach any attractions.
  • Even further away from popular tourist spots like Alcatraz and Golden Gate Bridge.

SoMa is the best place to stay in San Francisco for a cool and hip neighborhood in the heart of the city next to Moscone Convention Center.

It has dozens of trendy bars and places to eat or drink the weekend away, plus it has excellent transport links for those who want to take a day trip to Golden Gate Park or the Zoo.

Things To Do In SoMa

  • Eat and drink at a wide range of cool places
  • Explore SF MoMA modern art museum
  • Walk around Yerba Buena Gardens
  • Take the kids to the Children’s Creativity Museum
  • Go Ice Skating and Bowling at Yerba Buena Center

Who Should Stay In SoMa?

  • Foodies
  • Couples on a mid range to high end budget
  • Families
  • Business travelers visiting the Moscone Convention Center
  • Baseball fans (Oracle Park isn’t far)
  • Museum lovers

Best San Francisco Hotels In SoMa

Here are the top rated cheap, mid range and luxury hotels in SoMa.

You will find previous guest ratings as per Booking.com and Google, estimated price, amenities, parking fees and a brief description for each hotel.

13. Hotel Zelos San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.6 / 10
  • Google – 4.2 / 5
Large corner building colored a light green with roads in foreground and a deep blue sky
Photo courtesy of Viceroy Hotel Group
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, on site restaurant and bar, breakfast available, 24 hour front desk, fitness center, in room spa services, free bike hire
  • Parking: $50 plus tax per day

Hotel Zelos is a popular hotel in San Francisco located between the museums of SoMa and Union Square. It is cheap for the area, but it is definitely a mid range budget San Francisco hotel.

Guest review scores are highest for staff, cleanliness, comfort and location. The convention center is a few minutes walk from Hotel Zelos, making this a great business travel hotel option.

>> Book Hotel: Hotel Zelos San Francisco

14. Hotel Zetta San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.5 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Outside of a building with entrance and name plus arch shaped window next to it at night with interior lights illuminating entrance
Photo courtesy of Viceroy Hotel Group
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, on site restaurant and bar, 24 hour front desk, fitness center, pet friendly, laundry, games room
  • Parking: $54 per day

Hotel Zetta San Francisco is another solid low to mid range budget hotel on border between SoMa and Union Square. This one is a little closer to the grittier part of town so won’t be a good choice for families.

Guest review scores are highest for staff, comfort and cleanliness. Overall Hotel Zetta offers a highly rated hotel at a fair price in SF and comments are very positive about the games room.

>> Book Hotel: Hotel Zetta San Francisco

15. InterContinental San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.3 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5
Large and very light guest room with huge floor to ceiling windows on two sides double bed and chair InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco
Photo courtesy of InterContinental
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: WiFi, on site restaurant and bar, 24 hour front desk, fitness center, pet friendly, indoor swimming pool and hot tub.
  • Parking: $85 per day

InterContinental SoMa is a great San Francisco hotel close to the convention center and museums. It has thousands of reviews on both Booking and Google, which means it is a popular choice.

Guest review scores are highest for comfort and cleanliness. It appears as though parking is excessively priced and WiFi is not free. But if you don’t need either, this is a solid mid range hotel in San Francisco.

>> Book Hotel: InterContinental San Francisco

16. Palace Hotel San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.6 / 10
  • Google – 4.2 / 5
Lavish and striking golden dining hall with chandelier inside the Palace Hotel in San Francisco California
Photo courtesy of Marriott
  • Price: Expensive $$$
  • Amenities: WiFi, on site restaurant and bar, 24 hour front desk, fitness center, indoor pool, pet friendly, breakfast available, spa services
  • Parking: $75 per day

Palace Hotel is a historic landmark building originating from way back in 1875. It is a grand, gold studded and lavishly decorated San Francisco hotel with elegant architecture.

Guest review scores are highest for comfort, cleanliness and location. Parking is expensive, you have to pay for WiFi and breakfast is overpriced. If you can avoid those three things, this is a lovely place to stay.

>> Book Hotel: Palace Hotel San Francisco

17. Four Seasons SoMa San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.0 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Classy guest bedroom with desk chair bed and light streaming in through window
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons
  • Price: Expensive $$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, 24 hour front desk, pet friendly, fitness center, indoor pool and spa, on site restaurant and bar
  • Parking: $75 plus tax per day

Four Seasons is a true 5 star San Francisco hotel with exceptionally high ratings from thousands of previous guests. It is perfectly located right in between Union Square and SoMa.

Guest review scores are highest for staff, facilities, location, comfort and cleanliness. You know what to expect from Four Seasons and this is one of the top luxury hotels in San Francisco.

>> Book Hotel: Four Seasons San Francisco

Other Hotels To Consider In SoMa

SoMa is all about quality over quantity. The area doesn’t have a huge volume of hotels, but the few hotels that are available have excellent ratings.

Here are three more top rated San Francisco hotels you can consider in SoMa.

Market Street leading to Ferry Building in Embarcadero Financial District of San Francisco yellow cab red bus and pedestrians walking on sidewalks
Market Street cutting through Financial District to the Ferry Building

Financial District / Downtown SF

Pros:

  • Close to shops, bars and restaurants but very quiet at night.
  • Good access to Muni Metro and Cable Cars.
  • Close to SF Bay and Embarcadero.

Cons:

  • Hotels are expensive.
  • Lots of business travel and workers.
  • Not as lively as Union Square.

Financial District is where to stay in San Francisco for business travel or if you want to splurge close to Embarcadero.

It has several top end hotel options, eateries and boozy hangouts for ‘the suits’. The Downtown area also has excellent transport links and it is close to Pier 33 for Alcatraz.

Things To Do In Financial District

  • Eat and drink at quality establishments
  • Head into the Ferry Building for independent stores
  • Walk up to the nearby San Francisco Exploratorium
  • Drink in bars and cocktail lounges

Who Should Stay In Financial District?

  • Business travelers
  • Couples on a high end budget
  • Families
  • Those who want peace and quiet but still close to the action

Best San Francisco Hotels In Financial District

Here are the top rated cheap, mid range and luxury hotels in Financial District.

You will find previous guest ratings as per Booking.com and Google, estimated price, amenities, parking fees and a brief description for each hotel.

18. Omni Hotel San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Dark red interior of a San Francisco hotel with tables chairs and a staircase
Photo courtesy of Omni Hotel
  • Price: Cheap $
  • Amenities: WiFi, on site restaurant and bar, 24 hour front desk, fitness center, pet friendly, breakfast available
  • Parking: $65 plus tax per day

Omni Hotel is a wonderful San Francisco hotel option with excellent ratings, cheaper than average prices and a nice quiet location perfect for families, business travelers or couples seeking a peaceful escape.

Guest review scores are highest for staff, facilities, location, comfort and cleanliness. If WiFi was free (it is only free if you become a member), this would be by far the top rated hotel in San Francisco.

Omni is one of our personal top San Francisco hotel picks.

>> Book Hotel: Omni Hotel San Francisco

19. Galleria Park Hotel San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 8.8 / 10
  • Google – 4.3 / 5
Lobby of a hotel in San Francisco with tables and chairs on a carpet high ceiling 2 story room with paintings
Photo courtesy of Galleria Park
  • Price: Mid Range $$
  • Amenities: WiFi, 24 hour front desk, fitness center, rooftop terrace, pets allowed, wine tasting
  • Parking: $54 plus tax per day

Galleria Park Hotel is a highly rated mid range budget San Francisco hotel nestled fortuitously between the Financial District and Union Square in a quiet pocket but with plenty going on in the immediate areas.

Guest review scores are highest for staff, location, comfort and cleanliness. Rooms are elegant, but WiFi is not free, it is included in the compulsory “Urban Amenity Fee” upon arrival.

>> Book Hotel: Galleria Park San Francisco

20. Four Seasons Embarcadero San Francisco

Guest ratings:

  • Booking.com – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5
Guest room at Four Seasons Embarcadero hotel in San Francisco bed carpet chairs table leading to windows with awesome SF city views
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons
  • Price: Expensive $$$
  • Amenities: Free WiFi, on site restaurant and bar, 24 hour front desk, fitness center, in room spa service, city views, pet friendly
  • Parking: $54 per day

Four Seasons Embarcadero occupies the top 11 floors of a 48 story building located between Union Square and the Bay. Every guest room has a spectacular city view overlooking SF.

Guest review scores are highest for staff, facilities, location, comfort, free WiFi and cleanliness. It is hard to find a single negative comment about Four Seasons Embarcadero on either Booking or Google.

This 5 star San Francisco hotel is a gem. If you can afford it, this is the place to splash the cash in SF!

>> Book Hotel: Four Seasons Embarcadero San Francisco

Other Hotels To Consider In Financial District

Similarly to SoMa, there are a handful of high quality hotels and very few other options in the Financial District area.

Here are two more San Francisco hotels you can consider close to Embarcadero.

10 Bonus San Francisco Hotels In Different Areas

Now that we’ve covered the most popular San Francisco neighborhoods, let’s move onto top rated hotels in non-touristy parts of the city.

These hotels in San Francisco should appeal to return visitors who want to mix with locals in residential neighborhoods, rather than be situated in the touristy areas.

Hotels are not ordered in any particular order, just 10 highly rated hotel options scattered around the rest of San Francisco.

We will include location, previous guest ratings and prices taken from the same 3 dates as for the hotels above.

Important – Prices displayed below INCLUDE taxes and fees at time of writing. However, any additional “resort” or “facility” fees added by certain individual hotels are not included.

Kristen from Best Hotels Anywhere riding a bike next to SF bay with Golden Gate Bridge in background
Kristen riding a bike with Golden Gate Bridge in background

1. LUMA San Francisco – Mission Bay

LUMA is a highly rated hotel in the popular Mission Bay area.

It is close to the convention center and Oracle Park in SoMa, plus the Chase Center which is home of the Golden State Warriors.

Ratings:

  • Booking – 9.1 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5

Prices:

  • Dec 13 – $292
  • Apr 4 – $396
  • Aug 8 – $361

>> Book Hotel: LUMA San Francisco

2. Hotel VIA San Francisco – South Beach

Hotel VIA is directly opposite Oracle Park which is the home of the San Francisco Giants.

The modern hotel features a rooftop bar overlooking the ball park, San Francisco Bay and the awesome SF skyline.

Ratings:

  • Booking – 8.5 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5

Prices:

  • Dec 13 – $348
  • Apr 4 – $302
  • Aug 8 – N/A

>> Book Hotel: Hotel VIA San Francisco

3. Parker Guest House San Francisco – Mission District

Parker Guest House is a quaint and charming bed and breakfast in the Mission District area of SF.

Ratings are extremely high for this friendly and welcoming B+B, which is perfect for couples, families or solo travelers.

Ratings:

  • Booking – 9.3 / 10
  • Google – 4.8 / 5

Prices:

  • Dec 13 – $218
  • Apr 4 – $241
  • Aug 8 – $252

>> Book Hotel: Parker Guest House San Francisco

4. Noe’s Nest B+B San Francisco – Mission District

Noe’s Nest is another top rated bed and breakfast in Mission District.

Guest rooms are located in a charming Victorian building with gardens for a peaceful stay. Breakfast is highly regarded in reviews.

Ratings:

  • Booking – 8.8 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5

Prices:

  • Dec 13 – $259
  • Apr 4 – $259
  • Aug 8 – $259

>> Book Hotel: Noe’s Nest B+B San Francisco

5. Inn San Francisco – Mission District

Inn San Francisco is a highly regarded boutique style mansion house hotel.

A roof terrace overlooks San Francisco, with clear views at sunrise and sunset. Breakfast is included in this popular Mission area lodging.

Ratings:

  • Booking – 9.2 / 10
  • Google – 4.9 / 5

Prices:

  • Dec 13 – $236
  • Apr 4 – $236
  • Aug 8 – $236

>> Book Hotel: Inn San Francisco

Lantern in Chinatown San Francisco lit up against a dark night sky close up photo revealing intricate patterns
Telephoto shot of intricate patterns on a hanging lantern in Chinatown

6. Stanford Court San Francisco – Nob Hill

Stanford Court is a fantastic San Francisco hotel located in the quieter Nob Hill area.

Chinatown and Union Square are close enough to walk, but the hotel amenities might just keep you inside!

Ratings:

  • Booking – 8.6 / 10
  • Google – 4.2 / 5

Prices:

  • Dec 13 – $278
  • Apr 4 – $317
  • Aug 8 – $335

>> Book Hotel: Stanford Court San Francisco

7. The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco – Chinatown

The Ritz-Carlton is one of the best hotels in San Francisco.

It is located between Nob Hill and Chinatown a few bocks north of Union Square, and you already know it is going to be luxurious just from the name.

Ratings:

  • Booking – 9.0 / 10
  • Google – 4.6 / 5

Prices:

  • Dec 13 – $641
  • Apr 4 – $1395
  • Aug 8 – $703

>> Book Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco

8. The Orchard Garden Hotel San Francisco – Chinatown

The Orchard Garden Hotel in San Francisco offers affordability with location and high ratings.

Chinatown, Union Square and Financial District are all a short walk away. At this price point, it could be a firm contender for one of the best cheap hotels in San Francisco.

Ratings:

  • Booking – 8.9 / 10
  • Google – 4.3 / 5

Prices:

  • Dec 13 – $209
  • Apr 4 – $272
  • Aug 8 – $304

>> Book Hotel: The Orchard Garden Hotel San Francisco

9. Queen Anne San Francisco – Japantown

Queen Anne is a charming English themed hotel near Japantown.

The highly rated Victorian boutique hotel in San Francisco is affordable and comes with breakfast included.

Ratings:

  • Booking – 8.5 / 10
  • Google – 4.4 / 5

Prices:

  • Dec 13 – $190
  • Apr 4 – $225
  • Aug 8 – N/A

>> Book Hotel: Queen Anne San Francisco

10. Infinity Hotel San Francisco – Marina

Infinity Hotel is an affordable modern and laid back place to stay in the Marina District.

Hotels in this area are cheaper in general and Infinity is one of the top rated options. It is close to the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Ratings:

  • Booking – 8.4 / 10
  • Google – 4.2 / 5

Prices:

  • Dec 13 – $195
  • Apr 4 – $212
  • Aug 8 – $205

>> Book Hotel: Infinity Hotel San Francisco

Close up of Alcatraz Island from a boat in the bay
Close up of Alcatraz Island from a boat in the bay

What Are The Best Cheap Hotels In San Francisco?

Are you traveling to SF on a low budget?

Well, you’ll only be interested in cheap hotels so let’s take a look at the top rated cheap hotels in San Francisco.

What Are The Best Luxury 5 Star Hotels In San Francisco?

Are you looking to splurge on your SF vacation?

Well, it’s easy to splash the cash on lodging so let’s take a look at the top rated luxury 5 star hotels in San Francisco.

What Are The Best Boutique Hotels In San Francisco?

Do you less interested in a typical hotel chain and would prefer to stay in a boutique style hotel in SF?

You’re in luck, there are plenty of boutique hotels in San Francisco featuring influences from around the world.

Aquarium of the Bay in SF tunnel leading through water with marine life and sharks
Tunnel leading through marine life at Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco

What Are The Best Family Hotels In San Francisco?

Are you looking for the most family friendly hotels in San Francisco?

Well, you should probably stay clear of Union Square, Tenderloin and Chinatown. We would recommend staying near the bay, either in Fisherman’s Wharf or around the Embarcadero area.

Let’s take a look at the best hotels for families with kids in San Francisco.

What Are The Best Hotels Near San Francisco Airport?

Do you need a hotel close to San Francisco airport to catch an early flight?

There are a handful of quality hotel options with easy access to the terminal, so let’s take a look at the best San Francisco airport hotels.

Remember, San Francisco International Airport is 13 miles from Union Square.

This can be as little as 15 minutes drive when clear but that is very rare. The route is more likely to take between 20-40 minutes by car.

Alternatively, you can take the BART from Union Square to SFO.

But if you’d rather be right at the airport for an early flight the next morning, it might be worth staying in one of the airport hotels above with free airport shuttle.

Best Hotels In San Francisco FAQ’s

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most frequently asked questions about where to stay in San Francisco, California.

Where Is The Best Part Of San Francisco To Stay First Time?

The neighborhoods of Union Square, Nob Hill, SoMa, Fisherman’s Wharf and Financial District are all excellent places to stay for a first time visit to San Francisco. They are all close to top SF attractions and each is walkable from the next.

What Is The Safest Area To Stay In San Francisco?

Nob Hill is the safest area to stay in San Francisco. If you’re visiting SF with the family and don’t want to take any chances, book a hotel somewhere in the quiet and upscale residential area of Nob Hill.

Is 3 Nights Enough In San Francisco?

Three nights is enough time for the perfect San Francisco itinerary if you just want to get a taste for the city and see the major tourist highlights. However, you will need longer if you want to visit museums and really get to know the famous San Francisco neighborhoods.

Our Most Popular Hotel Guides
Top Hotels In Places Near San Francisco
We hope this guide to the best San Francisco hotels helps you book the perfect hotel for your trip to California!

Please let us know if you have any questions about any of our best hotels in San Francisco in the comments below.

Happy Booking,

Mark and Kristen
Best Hotels Anywhere