San Francisco’s Cow Hollow district is best discovered on foot. Whether you wish to hike into the Presidio for views of the Pacific, head down to the Marina District to try the modern cuisine, discover Russian Hill’s independent stores, or stay in the exclusive Pacific Heights, this is the place to make your base camp. Here’s our guide to the best hotels that Cow Hollow has to offer.
Close to some of San Francisco’s finest sights along the water, Cow Hollow Inn is comfortable and well placed for day trips; it’s walking distance to the Marina District and the grounds of the famous Palace of Fine Arts. Rooms are bright and traditional with great views of the neighbourhood and feature well-lit work areas, for anyone who needs to catch up on emails during their stay.
Located beside the vibrant Marina District, and within walking distance of the delightful Crissy Field, is the Chelsea Inn. Anyone wanting to be in the heart of the action will love this Tudor style hotel; it’s in a bicycle friendly neighbourhood only a few miles to the Golden Gate Bridge, and the inn allows you to rent bikes to cycle there within 20 minutes. Free parking is a massive bonus.
Infinity Hotel brings comfort and function on the Lombard Street drag of Cow Hollow’s main strip. The patio on the roof is the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast while admiring a great view of the surrounding area. The modern bathrooms and no-nonsense design give this hotel a solid contemporary feel.
Families with young children will be drawn to this charming and colorful boutique hotel in the Marina District. Child friendly in every sense of the phrase, this ex-motor home built in the 1950s has been transformed into the quirky stylings of a Californian beach house. An ever-tempting heated swimming pool surrounded by hammocks and palm trees make it a happy spot on summer trips, while its large movie library, available to all guests, make for happy evenings in your room.
If you’re looking for cozy accommodation with easy access to the city, look no further. Conveniently near the highway as well as the centre of town, Comfort Inn is walking distance to the attractions of the Marina District but far enough away to avoid the noise of the bars on Lombard street. If you are lucky enough to get a room on the top floors of this building, the sweeping views of the city and the bay will keep you happy. There is a free breakfast with famous waffles and as much free coffee as you can handle.
In residential Russian Hill, Castle Inn has close access to the best old-school boutiques and restaurants of the neighbourhood, and is only a short walk to the iconic cable cars that offer some jaw dropping views for their passengers. All guestrooms come with their own full-size bathtub with massage showerhead. On a major bus route, it is easy to get anywhere you could possibly want to go, and friendly staff will happily give you a map of the area to help you explore after your complimentary breakfast.
If you’re heading to San Francisco for history and elegance, this hotel in the upmarket Pacific Heights should be on your list. Both the hotel itself and the neighborhood in which it’s based feel like they’ve been dropped straight out of the movies, with old elegance and exciting new contemporary design to be found. This hotel goes beyond expectations with its service, offering a 24-hour tea and coffee, an evening wine reception, overnight shoeshine and morning newspapers delivered straight to your room. The gourmet breakfast and fitness centre sets up your day; this is life at the top of the hill.
This converted brownstone mansion from the early 1900s offers a bed and breakfast service in Pacific Heights, with ten unique rooms decorated with eye-catching antique decor and fireplaces. There is a serious sense of history here; you’ll feel more like you’re visiting family than a business.
Hikers wanting access to the Presidio will find this excellent Travelodge ideally placed on the edge of the park, meaning what this chain hotel may lack in character, it certainly makes up for in location. In less than 45 minutes, guests can walk through the park and find themselves at the world famous Golden Gate Bridge and its unmissable views. Heading in the opposite direction to Fisherman’s Wharf, through the Marina District, is an absolute pleasure also, especially if you get to sample the local fare.
The Marina Motel was built in 1939 by the son of a gold-rush miner to celebrate the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, and to this day is still run by the same family. A wide range of rooms mostly open onto a flower-filled courtyard that is enchanting in springtime. Since its conception as a motel, each room also has its own free garage for guests to safely enjoy.