Coming out to San Francisco? Lucky you! Of course, your first order of business is picking your ideal accommodation, a feat that can seem pretty daunting given the myriad options in our little 7×7 town. So, here we offer some of the more unique places to stay in San Francisco to make your trip here that much more unforgettable.
1. Phoenix Hotel: 601 Eddy Street
We'll admit the location of this hotel is not totally optimal, but it's certainly a sweet oasis in the heart of the Tenderloin. Many San Francisco residents know this as the famous rock 'n' roll motor lodge, which has been known to host big rock stars, from Pearl Jam to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Inside, you've got sleek, clean digs with a retro-chic vibe and a great restaurant and bar. Cross your fingers for a warm, sunny day so you can take advantage of the pool!
2. Hotel Vertigo: 940 Sutter Street
Located in the Lower Nob Hill neighborhood, this iconic spot was once a prohibition-era speakeasy, but it's name comes from something even more intriguing: Back when the hotel was named the Empire, it served as the setting for the Alfred Hitchcock film
Vertigo. Nowadays, you can watch the movie on repeat in the lobby or simply enjoy the hotel's baroque-touched fusion of retro and modern design.
3. The Red Victorian Commune & Hotel: 1665 Haight Street
Since 1904, this spot in the Upper Haight has been a refuge for many travelers and artists. It was a major gathering place for the hippies, where political protests and talks of peace, love, and rock 'n' roll helped galvanize many young, inspired souls. The hotel was renovated in 2014 and offers both hostel and private rooms. They bill the spot as a "collaborative community space," and continue to uphold the ideals of the hippies by offering a safe spot for all. You can even stay in the "Summer of Love" Room.
4. Inn at the Presidio: 42 Moraga Avenue
This historic spot is the first and only hotel in the beautiful Presidio, a national park on the edge of the Golden Gate. Built in 1903, it was once used as a home for unmarried officers when the area was a U.S. Army post. It's now a gorgeous, country-chic boutique hotel that features just 22 accommodations. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings (with several trails nearby), the outdoor deck with a fire pit, and the evening wine-and-cheese reception.
5. The Albion Castle
The location here is also not so ideal (the Bayview-Hunters Point district is far from any attractions and is one of San Francisco's most dangerous areas—though there is a growing artist community in the area, in its very near the freeway), but, hey, you can stay in a 19th-century castle! In San Francisco! This 2,000-square-foot home is being rented out on VRBO for roughly less than a grand per night. Learn more about it
6. The Queen Anne Hotel: 1590 Sutter Street
Up for seeing and meeting a little slice of San Francisco history? This 1890 Victorian mansion located in the posh Pacific Heights 'hood has all sorts of antique touches—including a purported ghost. The house was once home to a school for girls run by Miss Mary Lake, who may be found lurking in her room, #410. But ignore all that, and relax in the piano salon, cozy up by the fireplace, and feel like you're living the high life in San Francisco, as it once was.
7. Hotel Triton: 342 Grant Avenue
This Union Square hotel's motto? "A San Francisco hotel that's as unique as you." That bold statement can be backed up by its playful, modern design (some influenced by Jack Kerouac's "On the Road), and rooms that include the Haagen-Dazs "Sweet Suite" for ice cream fanatics, Kathy Griffin's "D-List Suite" designed by the comedian, and Jerry Garcia's "J. Garcia Suite" for the true Deadheads.
8. A Garden Cottage in Bernal Heights
Since its location in Bernal Heights is a bit away from the typical tourist hot spots, this cozy cottage is reserved for travelers looking for that truly local experience. As proclaimed on
, it's owned by "two well known artists" who suggest you even can write a book in their lovely, quiet garden. That's right, live your literary fantasies right here in San Francisco.
9. Hotel Rex: 562 Sutter Street
Flash back to the 1930s at this hip boutique hotel near Union Square, perfect for art and literary buffs. Their rooms have a retro-bohemian vibe, featuring original artwork and hand-painted lamps. You can also enjoy a large library, a free nightly wine hour, live music and poetry readings at the in-house Library Bar.