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Hotel Highlights

  • Landmark historic building
  • Quiet national park setting
  • Views of the Golden Gate Bridge

Overview

Hidden on protected forested parkland within the city of San Francisco, the Inn at the Presidio hotel gives guests a sense of what old California must have been like. Housed in a red-brick lodge that was once used as officers quarters of the US army, it has been eco-sensibly refreshed and renovated with a healthy dose of tasteful art and photography alongside military memorabilia. All the hustle, bustle and foodie-centric culture of the City by the Bay is just a quick drive away.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Inn at the Presidio with us:

A gourmet treat such as wine truffles

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

22, including 17 suites.

Check–out

Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $250.00, excluding tax at 14 per cent.

More details

Rates include Continental breakfast and evening wine-and-cheese receptions.

Also

The photography in each room was snapped at different places around the Presidio. A lobby map places each image within the park. Scan the map’s QR codes with your phone and they’ll show you how to find where each shot was taken.

At the hotel

Back patio, fire pit, living room, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod docking station, minibar, coffeemaker, desk, EO bath products. Suites have fireplaces, too.

Our favourite rooms

Take over 211, a second-floor Suite, for access to the communal porch, large side windows overlooking a century-old cypress, and views down a landscaped block of officers’ quarters that are also the oldest streetscape in San Francisco. Room 332 up on the third floor had the best views of the Bay.

Packing tips

Bring leaf-pressing gear: the park is full of Californian flora. Pack swimwear: guests of the inn have access to the park’s beaches, though the water can be chilly.

Also

Dogs are welcome; a $45 non-refundable deposit is payable for your pooch to bed down in your room.

Children

Bring the little ones: the hotel can provide pack-and-plays or an inflatable bed in Suites for no extra charge, and there are child-friendly books in each room.

Eco‐friendly

This park-surrounded hotel knows how to stay green: products are local whenever possible, no toxic chemicals are used on the grounds and bath products come in reusable containers. The LEED-certified building also has trees strategically planted to minimise the need for air conditioning.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

The hotel does not have a restaurant, but serves free Continental breakfast of pastries and yogurt to guests each morning. In the evenings, the Inn serves wine and cheese.

Hotel Bar

None, but there is a liquor-stocked minibar in each room, so guests can bring a bottle of local wine out to the back patio.

Last orders

Breakfast is served until 10am.

Room service

Not available, though the Inn has a long list of recommended local spots.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Military-inspired jackets and casual clothes will be ideal for exploring the old barracks and wandering the park.

Top table

Head outside to the back patio with morning coffee.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The hotel is in a national park, and there are plenty of nearby trails and nooks for exploration. Most are clearly marked and suitable for hiking and biking. A short walk from the Inn, Andy Goldsworthy has created two installations of his natural, ephemeral art, including Spire and Wood Line, both inspired by the surrounding forest of cypress, pine, and eucalyptus groves.

On the southwest corner of the Presidio, Baker Beach is a mile-long stretch of sand with views of Golden Gate Beach, the Pacific and Marin.

Local restaurants

A few blocks from the hotel, jacket-clad staff present classics such as pork chops, meatloaf and oysters on the half-shell at the Presidio Social Club (+1 415 885 1888; www.presidiosocialclub.com), in (another) converted military barracks. A mile away, Spruce (+1 415 931 5100) serves organic Californian food in a library-inspired dining room with soaring ceilings. The Marina’s A16 – named for the long highway that traverses Italy – is a slightly raucous, rambling room serving Italian small plates, crisp pizzas and garlicky pasta (+1 415 771 2216; www.a16sf.com).

Local bars

Self-proclaimed gastro-tavern The Tipsy Pig specializes in slightly tweaked classics, which are even better paired with mussels, sliders or popcorn shrimp (www.thetipsypigsf.com). The Marina’s Bin 38 pours more than 50 wines by the glass, including several local labels from Napa and Mendocino (www.bin38.com). Buena Vista Café on Fisherman’s Wharf popularised Irish coffee back in 1952. The restaurant attracts a good number of tourists, but for good reason: nothing beats back the city’s chilly fog like a mug of spiked coffee (www.thebuenavista.com).

Local cafés

Up-and-coming chainlet The Plant Café, just a short walk from the Presidio, serves vegetable-filled spring rolls, kale salad and whole-wheat sandwiches (www.theplantcafe.com). Dating back to 1913, Balboa Café, now owned by Plumpjack Winery, is one of the oldest restaurants in San Francisco. Regulars pop in for Cobb salads, burgers and the popular chicken paillard (www.balboacafe.com).

+ Enlarge
Bridge-view bayside park

Inn at the Presidio

42 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco, California 94129, United States

Inn at the Presidio is situated on the edge of the Presidio national park, a short walk from the Marina and Pacific Heights.

Planes

The nearest airport is San Francisco International, a 35-minute drive away. It’s a major international hub, welcoming flights from London (www.virginatlantic.com) and around the world. Taxis cost approximately US$65. The Bart train goes directly from the airport into the city centre.

Trains

CalTrain, a Northern California commuter rail, journeys from Gilroy up through Mountain View, Palo Alto and up to SoMa, a $20 cab ride from the hotel.

Automobiles

San Francisco has excellent public transport, but if you want to visit anywhere outside of the city, it’s best to drive. Parking is available at the hotel for US$6 a night.

Other

The Presidigo shuttle system takes guests all through the park, as well as to the Embarcadero Bart station and the Transbay Terminal downtown.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Every hotel is visited personally by members of our team and given the Smith seal of approval. As soon as our anonymous reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel on the San Francisco Bay and unpacked their army jackets and nature books, a full account of their city escape will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Inn at the Presidio in California…
Read more

Inn at the Presidio

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Every hotel is visited personally by members of our team and given the Smith seal of approval. As soon as our anonymous reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel on the San Francisco Bay and unpacked their army jackets and nature books, a full account of their city escape will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Inn at the Presidio in California…

Paging Indiana Jones: before any building happens inside San Francisco’s preserved Presidio, an archaeologist visits the site to root around in search of landmarks. As renovations started on the bachelors’ barracks that would become the Inn at the Presidio, experts preserved a century-old cypress beside the building and took note of the building’s many treasures, including douglas fir floors from 1903.

The authentic, historic California theme continues with the decor. Staff hunted through vintage stores and flea markets to find vintage military memorabilia and artworks. Old photographs of General Pershing (who gave his name to the Inn in a former life: Pershing Hall) line a bookshelf, retro magnifying glasses enhance chandeliers in the lobby, and an original take on the California flag is framed in the breakfast room. Upstairs, the 22 rooms look out over the treetops or toward the Golden Gate Bridge Although the army officers once quartered here have left their mark, rest assured: no one will be waking you up for a 6am drill.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Inn at the Presidio from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the location, breakfast, staff (especially Tim), free bike hire and cleanliness.

Don’t expect

A bus stop at the hotel would be a good addition.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the location, loved the casual and friendly atmosphere, the staff and the fellow guests. I had a beautiful room in the beautiful building.

Don’t expect

The breakfast buffet is included in the price so I cannot really complain but it could be a little bit more varied.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The location and surrounding area were unique and gave you a sense of being a million miles away from any city and yet it was central to San Francisco. It was peaceful and quiet at night and each staff member we had interaction with were helpful and engaging. The free Continental breakfast was tasty and a good range was on offer. The design and decoration of the rooms and guest areas of the hotel were wonderfully thought out, tastefully done and the inclusion of military items and design was lovely.

Don’t expect

Nothing.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Ask for the rooms overlooking the San Francisco Bay. You'll see the Golden Gate Bridge to your left and you can watch the sun set and rise over the beatiful bay. It doesn't get much better than that! The staff was wonderfully helpful and made our honeymoon perfect.

Don’t expect

The shower door in the bathroom doesn't swing out completely, so you can't access the shower faucets. Thus, you get a shot of cold water while you are adjusting the temperature.

Rating: 10/10 stars