The Best Hotels to Book Near San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts

Hotel Kabuki is a short cab ride from the must-see Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco
Hotel Kabuki is a short cab ride from the must-see Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco | © Hotel Kabuki / Expedia
Photo of Lynn Houghton
8 October 2021

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.

Hotel Drisco

179f47e0 Hotel Drisco
© Hotel Drisco / Expedia
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.

Infinity Hotel SF, Ascend Hotel Collection

6fcf0612 Infinity Hotel SF, Ascend Hotel Collection
© Infinity Hotel SF, Ascend Hotel Collection / Expedia
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.

Hotel Kabuki

d13a55c6 Hotel Kabuki
© Hotel Kabuki / Expedia
This boutique, Japanese-influenced hotel is based, fittingly, in Japan town. It has the clean lines, minimalism and style you would expect of the neighborhood and is only steps from the precincts of Fillmore, Tenderloin and Lower Pacific Heights. Its Nari Restaurant specializes in seafood and is the latest project of Michelin-star chef Pim Techamuanvivit, while the Garden Restaurant plays host to a breakfast buffet. If you stay here, be sure to check out the Meditation Station, a complimentary service that provides you with Master & Dynamic headphones, an oversized floor pillow, a soothing Saje Natural Wellness face mist, and an iPad loaded with guided meditation exercises and calming music.

Chelsea Inn

43eae003 Chelsea Inn
© Chelsea Inn / Expedia
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.

Queen Anne

b7bb7a13 Queen Anne
© Queen Anne / Expedia
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.

Jackson Court

eb3c8e75 Jackson Court
© Jackson Court / Expedia
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.

Coventry Inn

89f4f845 Coventry Inn
© Coventry Inn / Expedia
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.

Lombard Plaza Motel

e8c3b03b Lombard Plaza Motel
© Lombard Plaza Motel / Expedia
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.

Petite Auberge

8b21e0b0 Petite Auberge
© Petite Auberge / Expedia
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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