I did a lot of hotel research before our San Francisco trip last month. The city is so expensive and it was tough weighing the location and features with the cost. In the end, we chose the Holiday Inn Express Fisherman’s Wharf and overall it was a good choice. I’m sharing 5 reasons we loved the hotel and 3 reasons we didn’t.
5 Reasons We Love The Holiday Inn Express at Fisherman’s Wharf
1. Nearby Attractions
Staying in the Fisherman’s Wharf area means you are within walking distance of many popular attractions. You are within a few blocks of the Boudin Bakery, Pier 39 with the Aquarium of the Bay, Ghirardelli’s Square and 2 different Cable Car lines. We also enjoyed Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum and Musée Mécanique nearby. Plus there are grocery and drug stores within walking distance, making it easy to pick up a few staples for your hotel room.
2. Convenient Transportation
Beyond the Cable Cars, you can take a bus or trolley further down the piers to the Exploratorium or Alcatraz Landing. It’s also an easy ride to Chinatown. Ubers were readily available if needed, we used them for transportation to the San Francisco Zoo and Walt Disney Family Museum.
3. Free Breakfast
Having an easy breakfast at our hotel before heading out is always our first choice when traveling. I am not a huge breakfast food fan and the kids don’t want to wait around in a restaurant, so a simple breakfast at the hotel works best for our family. The free breakfast option here was pretty comprehensive and even included a few protein options like pre-made omelets, sausage, bacon, and hard boiled eggs. There was also cereal, biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls, muffins, toast, yogurt, and fruit. The breakfast area was always busy, a testament I think to the variety and the value it provides.
4. Comfortable Rooms
There are several room options including a few mini suites. Our standard room with 2 queen beds felt spacious. There was plenty of storage between the closet, dresser and floor space for our luggage. Plus there was a small table and two chairs in the corner that worked well for bringing breakfast back to our room.
5. Pricing Options
Hotels in the Fisherman’s Wharf area come at a premium and it can be hard to catch a deal. The Holiday Inn Express is part of the IHG rewards program, though, and you can redeem reward points for free rooms. If you don’t have a lot of points, you can use their points + cash option and bring rates down for a more affordable stay. There is a regular Holiday Inn next door that would also offer the IHG reward options.
3 Reasons We Don’t Love The Holiday Inn Express at Fisherman’s Wharf
1. No laundry room
No laundry room is almost a deal killer for me, at least on longer family trips. I prefer to pack only 1/2 the clothes we need. Doing a quick load or two in the middle of our trip is easy to do when there is a laundry room on site. With the size of this hotel, I am really surprised they don’t offer even a small laundry room for guests.
2. No Fridge
We also prefer a hotel with a mini fridge, if only for drinks and a few snacks. The saving grace at this hotel was the free breakfast, so we didn’t have to worry about cereal and milk in the mornings. They did offer mini fridge rentals for $20/night.
3. No Pool
Having a heated pool would have been a nice option on our week long trip. There was no balcony or other outdoor space for the boys to run around and blow off energy. A pool would have been a welcome respite after a long day of touring the city. I did notice the Holiday Inn next door did offer a pool, though.
We’d Recommend the Holiday Inn Express Fisherman’s Wharf
Overall we were very happy with our stay at the Holiday Inn Express Fisherman’s Wharf. Our room was comfortable and the breakfast was decent. Our favorite thing about this hotel though was the location. So while I would consider staying at this hotel again, I would first recommend checking amenities and prices of other hotels in the Fisherman’s Wharf area before booking your room.