San Francisco is renowned for its open spaces and historic architecture, so a stay here wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Palace of Fine Arts. This neoclassical building in the Marina District is not only begging to be Instagrammed, but is also close to hiking trails, museums, art galleries and restaurants that should be added to your must-visit list.
The Palace of Fine Arts was built to exhibit art for the Panama-Pacific Exhibition of 1915 and is an homage to classical Italianate style, while the neighboring Presidio national park was used by the Spanish ruling military class that was based along California’s coast for 300 years. Places to stay near the colossal Palace include Edwardian guesthouses, grand Painted Ladies and sleek Japanese-inspired hotels – here’s our pick of the best.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Understated sophistication describes this 1903 Edwardian hotel. Its 48 guestrooms have recently been renovated, though the period charm of the property has remained intact. Guests are treated to complimentary extras such as a gourmet breakfast, evening wine receptions, a morning chauffeur service to anywhere within the city center and, of course, the delight of being in the beautiful neighborhood of Pacific Heights. Don’t miss the spectacular views over the Bay, out to the Golden Gate Bridge and beyond.
Based in the beautiful Marina District, this boutique hotel is in one of the city’s most prime positions, next to the famously steep, zig-zag Lombard Street and just around the corner from the Palace of Fine Arts and the Presidio. Rooms are chic and trendy, with free newspapers available. The onsite Twisted St. Café is great for snacks while the wonderful rooftop terrace is an ideal spot to grab a drink after a day of sightseeing.
This traditionally styled property on historic Lombard Street is right in the middle of the action and perfect for the budget traveler. Known for its comfort, accessibility and friendly staff, the Chelsea Inn is also close to some of the city’s best nightlife and staying here will ensure you have great restaurants, attractions and shopping right on your doorstep.
This Victorian hotel was built during the latter part of the Gold Rush Era in the late 1800s and features the elaborate architecture from this period. It is affectionately known as one of the city’s Painted Ladies – Victorian and Edwardian mansions that were repainted, starting in the 1960s, in three or more colors. You’re bound to sleep well here, with antique four-poster beds in the rooms. A deluxe complimentary breakfast is served every day in the Queen Anne’s salon, which has floor-to-ceiling windows, and tea and sherry is served every afternoon in the lobby.
Each of the 10 rooms at the elegant Jackson Court Hotel are individually decorated with Victorian furniture and furnishings. On entering the property via the serene flower-lined courtyard, it’s as if you are transported to the past. The traditional living room is accessible to all guests and you’ll be offered a complimentary breakfast each morning. The hotel’s location in the Pacific Heights neighborhood is close to Fisherman’s Wharf, the Presidio and the Palace of Fine Arts.
This chain of properties is known for comfort and excellent service. Located in the heart of the city on Lombard Street in the Marina District, this is a great base to explore the city from if you’re on a budget or just fancy a stroll, with the Fort Mason center, Ghirardelli Factory and Fisherman’s Wharf all within walking distance. Guest rooms are traditional and styled with antique decor.
Traditional 1950s-style drive-up motels are hard to come by in a city center, so the location for this recently renovated property is excellent. It is on the popular Lombard Street, the unique twisty street with the hairpin turns, and also within walking distance of the ferry to Alcatraz, as well as Fisherman’s Wharf and the Presidio, the Marina District and Palace of Fine Arts. The 30 guest rooms come with air conditioning, a refrigerator, microwave and satellite TV.
Spoil yourself with a stay at this quintessentially French property in the Nob Hill neighborhood in the heart of the city. It is worth staying for the sumptuous continental breakfast alone, offered free of charge, along with tea, soft drinks and sparkling water all day. The Petite Suite has its own expansive balcony and each of the 26 cozy guest rooms has something special, such as a formal fireplace. The stylish decor throughout is a nod to Victoriana but comes punctuated with bright colors and unusual wall hangings.
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