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5 Great Hotels for Families in San Francisco

Leave your heart in San Francisco (but not your kid's favorite toy.)


"The big red bridge!"

CreditKevin Cole/Flickr

San Francisco is one of the most picturesque cities to visit in the world and from a kids' perspective, the city is even more awesome to experience up close. The Golden Gate Bridge, Cable Car rides, Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz, Boudin Bakery's sourdough bread bowls, the twists and turns of Lombard Street, and the mansions of some of today's leading tech innovators. (Oh wait, that's for us to do.) 

Unlike Los Angeles, where the weather is practically perfect year-round, your visit to San Francisco should be well-timed. Early summer can actually be quite cold, but mid-summer and early summer can be pleasantly warm. We also like doing the holidays in San Fran, especially around Union Square. Yes, the area is crowded but compared to NYC during the holidays, the celebrations seem quaint. Rates do peak at holiday time and in the summer, but right now is easier on your wallet.

Whenever you visit, remember to pack a sweatshirt or sweater for the chilly evenings. We've actually heard that the #1 purchase in San Franciso's souvenir stores is sweatshirts--because tourists never realize how cold it gets at night. Just because it's California doesn't mean its always hot.

Now, here are 5 hotels in San Francisco that we know to be very family-friendly with special kids programs and/or amenities on-site.

Got a family-friendly hotel in SF that you love? Share your recommendations in comments!


What makes it family-friendly:

  • The location at Fourth and Market is unbeatable since you're surrounded by all the mainstream shopping in San Fran. The hotel is literally above the Old Navy store (in case you need a sweatshirt.) And it's a block from the Powell Street Cable Car (Tip: Go early in the morning or never go at all.) It's also within walking distance to the Yerba Buena Gardens, which has a children's playground, a Creativity Museum and a carousel. 
  • Since it's a Kimpton Hotel, The Palomar is well-equipped to accomodate your kids. At check-in, your crib and rollaway bed requests will be fulfilled and you can take a goldfish up to the room as a pet. The kids are also given kid-sized animal robes and a bunch of goodies to snack on during their stay. Plus, parents can partake in the complimentary evening wine hour in the lobby.
  • Rates in November average around $250 a night on the weekends. (There are six other Kimpton Hotels in San Francisco as well but the Palomar and The Tuscan at Fisherman's Wharf are best for families.)


What makes it family-friendly (especially for parents with young babies):

  • If you have tiny baby, all you really need in a hotel is a crib and of course, the St. Regis has these. The property also has a seriously sleek and sexy vibe, making it perfect for new parents who aren't quite ready to give up their high-end hotel choices.
  • Older kids are certainly welcome here too (check out the activities they will give to kids) and the hotel has a list of "Family Experiences" you can participate in, one of which frames the artwork your kid makes. 
  • The signature St. Regis Butler. This highly personalized concierge service just makes everything better. If you book a suite, the butler will even assist you with packing and unpacking.
  • Like the Palomar, the hotel is located close to everything in SoMa. It's also across the street from the Yerba Buena Gardens. 
  • Rates in November average around $350 a night for a pre-paid rate. 


What makes it family-friendly:

  • This hotel has opened within the old warehouse of the Ghiradelli chocolate factory near Fisherman's Wharf. Just arriving at the hotel practically checks off two Must-Do's on your San Francisco list. And yes, the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop is only steps away.
  • The Fairmont has all-suite residences (it's one of those condo-hotel thingies), so whether you choose a one, two, or three-bedroom suite, you will get a full gourmet kitchen, a living area with a queen sleeper sofa, HDTVs, and a dining area.
  • A variety of services are available at Fairmont, from grocery shopping to Club Lounge access, car service and butler service.
  • Rates in November average around $750 a night. There is a package available that gives you a $100 to spend at Ghiradelli Square which includes the chocolate shop but several other eateries and lounges.
  • You can peep more room photos over on HotelChatter.


What makes it family-friendly:

  • The hotel boasts an incredible location within The Presidio, a former U.S army base-turned-national park site and National Historic Landmark at the Golden Gate Bridge. The 22 hotel rooms, including 17 suites with gas fireplaces, are located within Pershing Hall where bachelor army officers used to stay. It's perfect for military buffs in your family, young and old.
  • Amenities include complimentary continental breakfast and evening wine and cheese reception, WiFi, and flat-screen TVs. Outside there are rocking chairs on the front porch and fire pits and a patio in the back with a fire pit. Overnight parking is a reasonable $7 a night and the hotel provides a shuttle around The Presidio and to downtown. Cribs and cots can be arranged too.
  • For larger parties, you can rent out The Funston House on property, a Victorian-style home with four bedrooms, a common living room, dining room, outdoor porch and patio. Rates for this rental start at $1,000 anight.
  • Rates in November start at $370 a night for a classic king. Because the hotel is so small and its location so awesome, weekends sell out far in advance.


What makes it family-friendly: 

  • Everyone knows the Four Seasons loves kids and this property is no exception. Little guests are greeted at arrival with welcome milk and cookies, child-size bathrobes and complimentary baby and children's toiletries.
  • The hotel has the necessary items to babyproof your hotel room as well as other items you may have forgotten like coloring books, DVDs and board games. 
  • Its location on Market Street puts it close to shopping and Union Square but even just being one block away from Powell means you don't have to fight crowds everytime you leave the hotel.
  • Rates in November average around $445 for a deluxe room which will work for two adults and one kid. If you have two kids, you'll need a suite and those go for over $1,400 a night. You have Mark Zuckerberg on speed-dial right? 

[Photos: Courtesy of the hotels mentioned]


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