A beautiful, sprawling national park in the heart of San Francisco, the Presidio is steeped in fascinating history. From its beginnings under Spanish rule through Mexican control to the founding of present-day San Francisco when the Presidio became a US Army post in 1846, this sprawling area in the heart of San Francisco was a renowned military installation.
Today, the Presidio welcomes guests to discover the rich history and beauty of the area.
With over 700 buildings on more than 1,400 acres, this fabulous national park is only a 30-minute drive from San Francisco International Airport but feels worlds away.
We took an Uber from the airport. No need to go into town if you don’t want to! Once here, explore the grounds on foot or by bike. With several restaurants on property, a golf course, two chapels, a bowling alley, a visitor center, and miles of hiking and biking trails, there’s no reason to leave the property if you don’t want to.
The Presidio offers several upscale lodging options, all with beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. During my stay at the Inn at the Presidio, the properties share many of the same characteristics and you can’t go wrong with any of these top-notch on-site lodging options. Here’s why I love these two historic national park hotels!
The information in this article was obtained during a guest stay. All opinions are my own.
The box in the Presidio
1. Proximity to the Golden Gate Bridge
Opened in 2018 due to high demand for more on-site accommodation, The Lodge at the Presidio is a three-story hotel with 42 stylish, comfortable guest rooms. A favorite of business and leisure travelers alike, the lodge offers the closest lodging to the Golden Gate Bridge in all of San Francisco. The lodge offers the finest in understated luxury and exudes modern charm with historical flair. Its prime location in the center of the Presidio makes it convenient for much of the on-site action. Right in front of the building, guests can take advantage of the lush public green space of the main post office and relax in one of the giant red chairs and enjoy the view.
2. Creative historical restoration
The lodge has been carefully refurbished and restored to its splendour, taking care to preserve as many of the building’s original features as possible. The Presidio Trust together with the talented craftsmen have ensured that the details of the classic period have been carefully integrated into the building’s redesign, using the highest quality architectural and construction techniques. The original hardwood floors and railings are priceless. You will also find beautiful lighting and original artwork throughout The Lodge. Upstairs, the former third floor attic has been transformed into a remarkable suite.
The West Point color military canvas headboards and personal memorabilia that accent the guest rooms all pay homage to our nation’s military past. As a member of Historic Hotels of America and winner of their Award of Excellence for Best Small Historic Hotel as well as a Sustainability Champion, this is an important mission for the Presidio.
Pro tip: Since the plots are located on a national park site, they are open to everyone. This means that even if you don’t live here, you can experience the charm of the hotels. For security reasons, all rooms and elevators can only be operated with a key card by registered guests.
3. Free continental breakfast
Both the Inn and the Lodge offer a daily continental breakfast. Here you will find a selection of breads, fresh pastries, meats, cheeses, yoghurts and muesli for a welcome start to the morning. At breakfast, enjoy the ambiance of the dining room and imagine what it was like years ago – full of soldiers.
4. Evening wine and cheese reception with a view
In the evening, get ready for the complimentary wine and cheese reception. Grab a glass of your favorite red or white wine each evening from 5pm to 7pm along with a selection of different cheeses, crackers, nuts and biscuits. Head outside to the fire pit where you can relax and mingle with other guests while taking in the incredible views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Happy hour at the Inn offers similar fare with a cozy fire pit in the background.
5. First class sustainability
During the restoration of the property, the spaces were redesigned to utilize an on-demand power supply process. In other words, the electricity in the guest rooms is only activated via the key card, which saves energy when the rooms are not being used.
The Inn in the Presidio
6. Small inn with private location
The Inn at the Presidio is an intimate place that is a destination in itself. With 22 king suites in a quiet, secluded location, the Inn is the perfect getaway. Whether you’re looking for a quick escape from the city, a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a fabulous girls’ day out, the Inn is your perfect home away from home. Relax in the rocking chairs on the porch or step out the back door and get lost in the woods. The hiking trails are literally steps from the Inn. We like the short hike to Inspiration Point.
7. Well appointed suites
With king suites featuring in-room fireplaces, a pullout sofa and a private bedroom, there’s plenty of room for the family. The simple, clean lines of the interior design give the historic property a truly timeless appeal.
In a world of wood veneer, the bespoke furniture that adorns the space is both solid and graceful. The mini fridge stocks organic Italian drinks, sparkling water, ginger ales, bottled chardonnay and cold ales for your in-room enjoyment. The well-stocked bar includes a selection of red wines and premium bourbon. All are available at a very reasonable price for your convenience.
The stunning bathroom features a modern shower with brilliant floor to ceiling tiling, unique ¾ glass doors and Spanish porcelain double vanities. Comfortable bathrobes and slip-on slippers after the shower are a luxurious touch.
Pro tip: There are steps leading to the second floor of the inn. Request a first floor room or choose the Lodge, which offers an elevator if steps aren’t your thing.
8. Incredible staff
The staff at the Inn is simply amazing. Anticipating every request and happy to go the extra mile, each of our requests was met with an immediate “yes, of course”. This includes our desire for hot-baked cookies long after happy hour, as well as our desire for bikes to explore the grounds. Every single member of staff we encountered was more than happy to help in any way. It seems that no request exceeds their capacity.
9. Perfect for business retreats
The Inn is a perfect home base for business travelers. With meeting space accommodating up to 40 people, the Inn is a popular option for executive retreats and team building adventures.
Pro tip: Funston House is an alternative accommodation choice, great for large parties. This well-appointed historic officers’ home has 4 guest rooms to accommodate large groups.
10. LEED Gold certified
Both the Inn and Lodge are LEED Gold certified, which means the buildings have been proven to have been designed, remodeled and maintained with the highest levels of energy efficiency. Green building initiatives are important to the environment, and properties here contribute to sustainability efforts.
Check everything else to discover around the Presidio: