San Francisco - United States
San Francisco's hotels run the gamut from head-of-state luxury to modest motels. The City's premier hotels are almost all in the downtown area including Nob Hill, Union Square, and the Financial District/Embarcadero. Motels along the main corridors in and out of town, and pleasant bed-and-breakfasts in attractive, residential neighborhoods also exist. As a tourist destination with limited space, San Francisco hotels can charge premium prices, and do, especially downtown and on Nob Hill.
The Westin St. Francis is not quite the premier hotel it used to be, but it's still the best known and the most central. The nearby JW Marriott Hotel ratchets up the cachet a notch or two. Campton Place offers understated elegance. At the Lion Gate of Chinatown, the postmodern Triton (decorated floor-by-floor by the city's top designers) is stylish and not unreasonably priced. Further down towards the Tenderloin, the Hilton hosts innumerable conventions, and the Nikko is a popular choice with businessmen. Guests at these hotels should travel outside the neighborhood but not in it. On Market Street, the Garden Court Restaurant of the capacious Palace Hotel is an old San Francisco tradition.
Financial District & The Embarcadero
The typewriter-shaped Hyatt Regency, with its huge atrium lobby, is conveniently located for tourists and businessmen both where the Embarcadero meets Market Street. Hotel Griffon is stylish, featuring quality restaurants and a very cool location on the Bay at the Embarcadero. In the heart of the Financial District, the luxurious Mandarin Oriental offers impeccable service and facilities with an unostentatious Asian theme. The antiques in the lobby and meeting rooms are worth a mint.
The pinnacle (literally and figuratively) of luxury. It's all impeccable service and cushy comfort atop Nob Hill's Olympian Heights. You will feel like a king in the Fairmont, the Mark Hopkins, the Huntington, the Renaissance Stanford Court Hotel, or the Ritz Carlton. Room rates? Don't ask!
The W San Francisco brings style and glamour to the neighborhood. Otherwise, for the most part, inexpensive student and international accommodations are the name of the game on the streets to the south and west of the Moscone Center.
North Beach & Fisherman's Wharf
Bed and breakfasts are the way to go in crowded, urban North Beach. You'll also find the standard array of chain hotels including the Ramada Limited and the Sheraton at Fisherman's Wharf, catering to the heavy tourist trade.
Cow Hollow & The Marina
Lombard Street is a good place to look for motels. San Francisco rents assure that you probably won't end up in a fleabag. More motels and motel-like hotels can be found up Van Ness Avenue. You might want to consider something with several floors as these streets have a lot of automobile traffic throughout the day. The Marina and Cow Hollow also feature some of the City's better bed and breakfasts like the slightly off-beat Art Center Bed & Breakfast (near the Fort Mason Center).