The Best Hotels to Book Near Alcatraz

Argonaut Hotel affords sweeping views across San Francisco Bay
Argonaut Hotel affords sweeping views across San Francisco Bay | Courtesy of Argonaut Hotel / Expedia
Lynn Houghton

Not far from the Golden Gate Bridge in vast San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz might just be the world’s most iconic prison. Perched on a rock surrounded by the sea, Alcatraz once hosted criminals such as Al Capone, Robert Stroud and James “Whitey” Bulger. Let’s take a look at the top hotels overlooking The Rock, all bookable with Culture Trip.

1. Hotel Zephyr San Francisco


A room at Hotel Zephyr with two twin beds in San Francisco
Courtesy of Hotel Zephyr / Expedia

The chic Hotel Zephyr, on Fisherman’s Wharf with direct ferries to Alcatraz, is within walking distance of six of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods. With Fisherman’s Wharf’s waterfront marketplace, historic shops and piers nearby, this is clearly an exceptional location for a holiday or city break. This area is awash with attractions such as cable cars and trolleys, seafood stalls and great shopping. Add in the hotel’s sprawling yard – replete with fire pits, shuffleboard, giant telescope, foosball and more – and you have the proverbial icing on the cake.

2. Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf


Courtesy of Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf / Expedia

This inspirational hotel based on Fisherman’s Wharf is a certified Green Business, plus an eco-friendly retreat, where guests can use complimentary cruisers to get around, rather than drive. Arrive in an electric car? You get a complimentary smoothie. Non-toxic ECA solutions are used for cleaning, with LED lights fitted throughout the property plus low-flow toilets and showerheads, too. Single-use shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel containers have been replaced with larger, pump-topped bottles, keeping around 144,000 plastic bottles out of landfills each year. Hotel Zoe even partners with the Oceanic Society to protect marine species and habitats.

3. Hotel Caza Fisherman's Wharf


Courtesy of Hotel Caza Fisherman's Wharf / Expedia

Though this kid-friendly family hotel has great entertainment on the premises – including fantastic movie nights – it is lauded for its ideal location. From here, you and the kids can hop on a couple of Vespas to check out Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square or travel a bit further afield for the Golden Gate Bridge, Castro Street, Lombard Street and, of course, Alcatraz Island. Don’t miss what’s right on your doorstep: the waterfront, with its multiple attractions and California seals lounging about.

5. Kimpton Alton Hotel Fisherman's Wharf


Courtesy of Kimpton Alton Hotel - Fisherman's Wharf / Expedia

Home to Little Italy, with its distinctive bistros and red and white tablecloth restaurants, plus the City Lights Bookstore, North Beach was the centre of San Francisco’s 1950s BEAT movement. This precinct is also the location of the Coit Tower, a 210ft (64m) edifice gracing the San Francisco skyline since 1933 and offering 360-degree views over the city. All this is just around the corner from the elegant 248 room Kimpton Alton Hotel, with its marble and bronze fixtures a treat for the senses.

6. Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco


Courtesy of Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco / Expedia

City views from the 316 room Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf are mind-blowing. They almost match this property’s three 400sqft (37sqm) Executive Suites. Superb amenities include a separate living room, multi-functional work area and bathrooms with rain showers. The decor features colors that are a nod to this nautical neighborhood. For swimming fanatics, there is a heated outdoor pool and whirlpool and, with further fitness in mind, Life Fitness™ cardio machines, yoga mats and free weights are available with 24-hour access.

7. Columbus Motor Inn


Courtesy of Columbus Motor Inn / Expedia

This property is all about comfort, affordability and having an unbeatable location. Room sizes include generous family two-room suites while all areas of the hotel offer wifi access. Located in the Cow Hollow district of San Francisco, known for its quaint neighborly charm, the Columbus Inn is halfway between the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf. Friendly staff are always on hand to recommend a local fine dining restaurant, attractions to visit and exciting things to do.

8. Coventry Motor Inn


Coventry Motor Inn
Courtesy of Coventry Inn / Expedia

There’s no better location than San Francisco’s picturesque Marina District and this affordable property has plenty to offer. Top of the list is nearby public transportation giving easy access to all the city has to offer, plus top restaurants within walking distance. For those with accessibility needs, there is a room with two double-sized beds featuring a Lombard Street view and an accessible roll-in shower with a bench and handheld shower wand. Hearing accessible features include visual doorbell alert, visual alarm alert and visual telephone alert.

9. Courtyard by Marriott San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf


Courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf / Expedia

This Marriot hotel is in the heart of the Fisherman’s Wharf quarter within easy reach of Pier 39, Golden Gate Park and Ghirardelli Square and ferries going out to Alcatraz island. Want to travel further afield? Hop on the E-Line Streetcars for the Embarcadero and F-Line Streetcars for Union Square, the Tenderloin and Castro Street while the Powell-Mason cable car drops you conveniently at Chinatown. The Marriot’s spacious, comfortable and clean rooms offer a chance to relax and recharge in advance of your next adventure.

For some stays closer to downtown San Francisco, check out the best cheap hotels in the area or some luxurious spa stays, bookable now with Culture Trip. Be authentic with the top non-touristy things to do or expand your horizons with the best weekend trips and getaways from the city.

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