Inn at the Presidio
What We Love
- A daily wine-and-cheese spread
- Fireplaces in all suites
- Countless hiking trails nearby, thanks to the hotel’s national park backdrop
- Eco-sensible accents, like bath products that come in reusable containers
What To Know
- Second-floor suites offer communal porch access
- Dogs are allowed, for a fee
- There is no restaurant at the hotel, though it does serve a daily complimentary Continental breakfast until 10 a.m.
- The hotel shuttle ferries guests to the Embarcadero Bart Station
Though this two-story Georgian Revival structure did enjoy a brief stint as a hotel in the early 20th century, it’s more commonly remembered as the site of a former army base. Thanks to its proximity to a certain suspension bridge, it was nicknamed the “guardian of the Golden Gate”—which it faithfully remained, until it was turned over to the National Park Service over twenty years ago. Today, the 22-room high-design hotel is the National Park’s sole lodging option. Rooms are elegant but homey, with Pendleton blankets, wrought-iron beds, gas fireplaces, and black-and-white photographs that chronicle the inn’s military past. Though there’s no restaurant directly onsite, a short walk will land you at The Commissary, a Spanish-influenced dining room by award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins. At lunchtime, the restaurant cleverly morphs into a canteen—pick up one of its grab-and-go sandwiches as fuel for one of your many hikes: there are 24 miles of public trails, winding their way through a 300-acre cypress, pine, and eucalyptus forest waiting to be explored.
In the Area
In addition to the many walking trails, the Presidio is also the site of many gorgeous lookouts (it surrounds San Francisco’s scenic southern exposure) such as Pacific Overlook, with its edge-of-the-continent vistas, and Inspiration Point, perched above the park’s most significant watershed. On a clear day—somewhat rare in these perpetually misty parts—you’ll see a sweeping panorama of the Bay, Alcatraz, and Angel Island. Also part on the park’s property: a climbing gym, trampoline park, bowling alley, and the SenSpa, an Asian-inspired wellness center where treatments include deep-tissue massages and lymphatic detoxes all carried out in—no surprise here—a former military module.
How to Get There
The Presidio Inn is a wonderful place to base you stay in San Francisco. I love the location as you are staying in a large park/forest but in beautiful San Francisco. I just park my car and walk. In the evenings, we take Uber or LYFT to get to restaurants or the theater.
We stayed here in a king suite on the second floor for two nights and it was just lovely. We had asked for the sofa bed to be made up on our arrival as we have two teens and it was. There is unlimited complimentary water available and delivered to your door upon request. This inn has been lovingly restored down to the smallest detail. If you are looking for a peaceful and beautiful place to stay in SF, this is it. I took away one star simply because the sofa bed mattress wasn’t great, and there are limited options for food without a drive. Still, we knew this going in and enjoyed our stay.
Although we did not stay here, we were enchanted with the public areas and the staff was super nice in answering any questions we had. After exploring the park and hike and bike trails all day, we stopped to look around. The lobby area and adjacent public areas are just beautiful. Extremely well done. They are a small hotel, adding to its quaintness and exclusivity. The surrounding park and trails are such a draw, that it would be lovely to come back and stay two nights and be in the heart of everything. Then again, if the rooms are as lovely as the public spaces, which I am sure they are, it would be hard to leave the hotel! They also have a small area with some unique gifts that are reflective of the area.
We stopped in San Francisco for two nights on a 10-day vacation from the East Coast. We wanted to do a lot in our short stay in San Francisco and have a home base that was both nice and was outside the hustle-and-bustle of downtown. This exceeded our expectations in every way. It is not inexpensive by any stretch (we had two adults and a teen in our party) but WOW what you get for the money: parking for an additional $10/day, breakfast, a really nice wine & cheese each late afternoon/early evening of our stay, the experience of staying on a former military base with a rich history, incredible views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, and a beautiful room. After check-in day 1, we took a Lyft to Fisherman's Wharf and had dinner at In 'N Out, then ice cream at Ghiradelli's Square. On our full-day in SF, we walked from the Presidio to Sports Basement (where they sell every kind of athletic wear and gear) to rent bikes so we could bike the Golden Gate Bride. (My husband and son loved the biking; I'm not that athletic and probably would have enjoyed walking the Golden Gate just as much if not more!) We then took a break back in our room before walking to a hot pot restaurant outside the Presidio for lunch (authentic and our teen loved it). In the evening, we walked over to the Palace of Fine Arts (a beautiful park, especially so at sunset) and then had dinner at one of the Presidio restaurants. We also had several enjoyable walks around the Presidio and visited the Vistors Center, Parade Grounds, etc. On the Saturday night we stayed there was a wedding on post (it was fun to be on the Parade Grounds and hear the music and the bridal party stayed at the Inn). Before we headed out in the morning, we walked over to the Yoda fountain for pictures (a number of companies have offices at the Presido including a unit associated with George Lucas). Kudos to the friendly check-in staff and folks who staffed breakfast and the wine-and-cheese. We stayed in the one off-building location (the Funston House) which is a historic cottage within sight of the main building. We had a room with sitting room (with pullout sofa for our teen). There's also two larger, common rooms where you can sit and read (with desk and large dining table). Very secure setting and quiet, felt perfectly safe (and the rooms were spotless and beautifully furnished). Staying at the Inn was the highlight of my vacation. I hope to have the good fortune to return someday.
What a great location! My kids and I absolutely loved our stay. We thoroughly enjoyed the spacious room and the beautiful surroundings of the Presidio. I grew up nearby and it brought back many good childhood memories for me. My only suggestion for improvement is to increase the offerings at breakfast so that all tastes are included so that it's not necessary to hunt down a place for eggs and bacon when it's so pleasant to be there.