If you’re looking for simple, convenient accommodations, the Marina Motel is one of your best bets. Guests enter the property on a cobblestone driveway, and pull their cars into a courtyard with cascading flowers, reminiscent of a European inn. They then park in their own private garage—unheard of at most San Francisco hotels, and, for that matter, most San Francisco houses too. Rooms are small and clean, though a little noisy if they front Lombard Street. (Ask for a room in the back if you’re a light sleeper.) All rooms have fridges, and complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. About half of the units have fully equipped kitchens, making this a great choice for extended stays and families. This sweet and simple “auto courtyard” motel was built to celebrate the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1939, and has been owned by the same Gold Rush–era pioneer family ever since. Trendy restaurants and shops on Chestnut and Union Streets are just a few blocks away.
- Erika Lennert