I read most of the reviews on Marriott Insiders as well as those on Trip Advisor for San Francisco hotels and I still can't make up my mind. In 500 words or less , please tell me where you stay when you go to San Francisco. We stayed at the Stanford Court a couple of years ago, but it is no longer a Marriott.
I am also looking for some advice on where to stay at the airport before an early departure. It will be a short stay, so share your advice in 100 words or less. We've done a lot of the touristy things, but would love some suggestions on activities "off the beaten path". As always, thanks.
If I do not have a car...the SF Marriott Marquis has the best combination of value (typically less expensive than SF Marriott Union Square and SF JW Marriott), location (right in SoMa/Union Square as well as close to the BART) and benefits (Concierge Lounge is open 7 days a week for breakfast, nightly appetizers and desserts).
For close to the airport, San Mateo Marriott is nice; it has a resort feel and they have lots of suites so you have a good chance of getting upgraded to a big room. For Gold/Platinum members, weekend breakfast is 2 vouchers for the full breakfast buffet in the hotel's restaurant.
My recent stay at The CY, Larkspur/Marin County was fabulous. It is such a peaceful place, and I could walk to the Ferry and visit SF, but then return to a wonderful area at night. Rented a car and enjoyed Marin County.
Second choice would be any hotel in Fisherman's Wharf.
Have a great trip!
I'm new to the Insiders community, but thought I'd add my 2 cents to this convo as San Francisco is one of my favorite cities. Though, I am not sure 500 words or less is always my forte! As a few people have already mentioned you can not go wrong with staying at the Marriott Marquis downtown. The location is great if you are looking to be in the heart of it all. Not to mention some of my favorite restaurants and stores are literally steps away.
Is your trip for business or pleasure?
I am not a fan of "downtown" San Francisco, where the Marriott Marquis is - just my point of view. I prefer the Fisherman's Wharf area and of the two Marriott properties: full-service Marriott and Courtyard, I actually prefer the Courtyard. Fisherman's Wharf is a touristy area, but there are tons of restaurants in the area. Some of my favorite are a short walk up Columbus Street to Little Italy. You can catch the Muni (street car) one block from the Courtyard and the Cable Car three blocks away.
You can view some of my photos of this property at this link: Courtyard San Francisco Fishermans Wharf . I have also stayed at the full-service Marriott and my rooms at the Courtyard were larger than my rooms at the Marriott, but I have only stayed in two rooms at each property and that might not be the case with every room.
I also agree with jerrycoin that the Courtyard at Larkspur Landing is great. It has a completely different feel and the ride on the ferry to and from the city is as enjoyable as anything!
Good luck and have fun!
I relatively recently had a positive experience at the JW - Good location, well managed property, generous concierge lounge and, of course, some photos (all of which were taken within walking distance of the hotel) here: San Francisco (and America's Cup)
I like the SF JW Marriott too. Like the SF Marriott Marquis, its Concierge Lounge is open 7 days a week. The SF Marriott Union Square is also nice and a newer property. Their Concierge Lounge is not open 7 days a week, but it is a nice one and overlooks the often picturesque Union Square Park.
If you have a car, I do not suggest staying in Downtown SF. Hotel parking rates are very high and you can stay at a Marriott just outside the city (like the San Mateo Marriott) for typically $100 less a night. And for me, traffic and parking in the city is not as bad in SF as one might expect.
In terms of "off the beaten path," one of the best things to do in SF that many of the tourists do not do is to really explore SF's rich culinary scene whether it is trying the city's very progressive high-end restaurants like Saison, Benu or Atelier Crenn or exploring the great and often reasonably priced food in the hipster neighborhood Mission--Tartine (one of SF's best bakeries...I also like b. Patisserie, which is located more in the Nob Hill / Pacific Heights adjacent area), Flour and Water (great pasta tasting menu), Bi-Rite Creamery (the city's most popular ice cream shop), and Roxy's Cafe (a pop-up restaurant in a former milkshake shop that serves a chef's tasting menu at $25).