Take Me To the Ballgame: Best Hotels Near San Francisco's AT&T Park

By Tom Molanphy, San Francisco Local Expert

AT&T Park is an excellent landmark to help visitors decide on where to stay - even if they have no interest in catching a Giants baseball game.

But for those who love baseball - wow - what a park this is.

Since its grand opening in 2000, AT&T Park has already helped the Giants win two World Series. Located in the thriving SOMA district (South of Market Area) at 24 Willie Mays Plaza, this 357 million-dollar stadium seats over forty-thousand. Locally beloved for its garlic fries, the Park reflects the same "foodie" palette as the rest of San Francisco: fresh, organic ingredients in many dishes sets the stadium entrees apart from most ballpark burgers and hot dogs.

Although the views of San Francisco Bay are as thrilling as the games being played on the field, those views come with a cost: summer fog can blow in at any moment, so July visitors should bundle up for night games, even if the skies are clear at first pitch.

And if you happen to be visiting during baseball's off-season, AT&T also hosts college football games, as well as the wildly popular "Opera in the Park," when a free simulcast of the San Francisco Opera is blasted from the stadium's huge video screens to a packed audience. 

If you're still not interested in AT&T, just wander from your hotel into the SOMA district for some of the city's hottest restaurants and dance clubs. 

10. White Swan Inn
Photo courtesy of Internet source

Built in the early 1900s, White Swan Inn is located less than three blocks from Powell Street and Union Square and just fifteen miles from San Francisco International Airport. This hotel puts its heat and soul into providing an English country-style B&B experience, so visitors should expect that morning, noon and night. The goal of this hotel is to offer the charm of a small inn but in a convenient, big-city location. The helpful staff dive into the notion of providing personal touches to your stay. Small meeting area accommodates 25 persons. The hotel has only twenty-six rooms total, so be sure to check availability well in advance.

9. Hotel Griffon
Photo courtesy of Facebook

Although San Francisco has many famous luxury hotels like The Palace and The Fairmont, it's also known for smaller, more personal boutique hotels that offer more European, small-scale service. For those who want a smaller hotel experience - but still want to be on the Embarcadero waterfront - Hotel Griffon is an excellent choice. With fifty-seven stylish guestrooms and five luxury suites, this hotel is small enough to feel personal but large enough to offer a wide array of comforts. And to add a California sensibility to your stay, Hotel Griffon follows a very high standard for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. From eco-friendly bath products, to pens and stationary made from recycled materials, the Hotel Griffon strives to provide an eco-friendly hotel experience.

8. Fairmont San Francisco
Photo courtesy of Fairmont San Francisco

With a recently completed renovation, the inside of this landmark Nob Hill hotel has been restored to the grandeur intended by San Simeon architect Julia Morgan. Boasting large rooms that are unknown in newer hotels, this ultra-deluxe palace offers extra long mattresses, plush terry robes and baths that match the room-size. The Venetian Room, made famous by Tony Bennett, has also had a face-lift but still occupies the heart of many locals and visitors. Despite the historical grandeur and beauty, what really makes this a grand hotel is the unobtrusive efficiency and friendliness of the staff. Where you might expect stuffiness, the staff meets you with patience and a great knowledge of the city.

7. Hotel Nikko San Francisco
Photo courtesy of Hilton Union Square

Located in the heart of the city, close to Union Square, shopping and theatre districts, this mid-size hotel is ideal for both tourists and business travelers. It offers gracious hospitality and personal service by a multilingual staff. Amenities include a health club with enclosed atrium, indoor pool, whirlpool, salon, gift shop, restaurant, bar, and travel desk. Rooms feature minibar, fax machine, stereo, VCR, and CD player. Conveniently located within walking distance of the Moscone Center, Museum of Modern Art, and Financial District. Easy access to BART, MUNI and cable cars two blocks away. Thirty minutes from San Francisco and Oakland International Airports.

6. Hotel Monaco San Francisco - a Kimpton Hotel
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Morrow

Located near the Theater District, this hotel offers an array of amenities that includes in-room WebTV, an in-house restaurant and bar, full-size gym, complimentary morning coffee, and complimentary wine service. Conveniently situated four blocks from the train station and 20 miles from San Francisco International Airport. Pet friendly. 201 rooms; 32 suites. The classic decor that has been sustained and revitalized through the years gives this hotel a unique elegance and atmosphere. One note: although the hotel accommodations and staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, the hotel's location near the city's seedier Tenderloin District might not make it as attractive to families.

5. Omni San Francisco Hotel
Photo courtesy of Omni San Francisco

With so many world-class hotels begging for your tourist dollar, how does a San Francisco visitor decide which one is right for him? Since San Francisco is a tidy forty-nine square miles criss-crossed with all kinds of public transportation options, almost all downtown hotels can claim they are within walking distance of most of San Francisco's best attractions. What makes the Omni a bit more distinct in terms of location is its spot right on the historic cable car line. If you're visiting San Francisco for the first time, and you want to hang off a San Francisco cable car, then check out the Omni. It offers all the special accommodations and perks as all the other hotels in San Francisco, with the proximity to the cable car line making it really stand apart.

4. Grand Hyatt San Francisco Union Square
Photo courtesy of Facebook

The Grand Hyatt, right where the urban buzz of Market Street meets the touristy charms of the Embarcadero, is an ideal location for any traveler. In fact, many Bay Area locals choose the Grand Hyatt for "getaway weekends" because of its ideal location. With North Beach and Chinatown within walking distance, and the MUNI, BART and even cable car lines right outside your front door, those who are staying in town for a weekend or less couldn't choose a better location for their San Francisco adventures. The only real drawback: the stunning design and luxurious comforts of the Grand Hyatt might keep some guests happily trapped inside the hotel.

3. Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel

Occupying twelve floors of an upscale residential building, the stylish Four Seasons is one of the most popular San Francisco luxury hotels. The spacious guest rooms are tastefully decorated in soothing tones and feature flat screen TVs, high-speed Internet access, floor-to-ceiling windows and marble bathrooms. Guests also enjoy complimentary access to the adjacent Sports Club LA, which offers state-of-the-art fitness and sports equipment, a pool and a range of spa services. The staff is extremely professional and friendly, eager to accommodate families, business travelers, and couples who are trying to make their San Francisco vacation a memorable and romantic experience.

2. Harbor Court Hotel
Photo courtesy of Facebook

For close proximity to the Financial District, this small hotel is an excellent choice. There's a complimentary limo service within the District, a complete business center, voice mail, and in-room dataports. Complimentary coffee and tea are served 24 hours a day, and a wine reception is held each evening. Guests also have free access to health club facilities. Harry Denton's Bar and Grill next door serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with live music Monday to Saturday nights. Although it's an ideal location for those taking in a Giants game, it's just as attraction for non-baseball fans for its fantastic location on the always interesting Embarcadero.

1. Loews Regency San Francisco
Photo courtesy of Hotel Drisco

The Loewes Regency San Francisco occupies the top 11 floors of 345 California Center, the city's third tallest building – every guest room has a spectacular view. Room amenities include high-speed Internet access, Frette Egyptian cotton sheets, voice mail and fax, and a pair of binoculars. Within walking distance to Union Square, Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf, the hotel is also only a half block from the cable car. The popular Silks restaurant serves three gourmet meals a day; the Mandarin Lounge is available for light meals as well as afternoon tea. For the business traveler, meeting spaces to accommodate specific needs are also available.