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BEST WESTERN PLUS El Rancho Inn
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Millbrae
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Sonora, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“would rate this a 4 but”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2011

I really liked the location and the services provided for park N fly for the San Francisco airport. As you enter the hotel grounds, it is lovely, quaint. My reason for a three was that we were given a room in the back area of the hotel ..reminded me of an old motel strip. the rooms where clean but I just wasn't comfortable there. If we go back to stay again, I would request a room number in no larger than 500. A plus for the hotel is that everyone that stayed there seemed to be repeat customers and they all truly liked the El Rancho. just try to avoid the 600 to 700 wing if possible would be my recommendation.
Excellent delivery and pick up service to the airport too!
Be sure to arrive early for continental breakfast. they do not put out more items towards the end of the time allowed for the time frame.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms numbered 200 to 400
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Honeystravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,801 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (234)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Arizona
Level Contributor
98 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2011

This was the cheapest option "offered" by my airline after a missed connection. Called and waited about 30 min for the shuttle (would be good to let travelers know when they call for the shuttle that they might have to wait that long so they don't get needlessly frustrated). The staff were all very helpful. Upon check-in, there were cookies and fresh apples. I was in the 500 building. While I was awake I could hear the train, but no problems once I fell asleep. Room is clean with a big flat screen TV, but I couldn't find an outlet near my bed. Continental breakfast thankfully starts very early for travelers and had some surprisingly tasty options (the ham and cheese muffin thingy - yum!).

Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank SunnyInCleveland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whitewater, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
67 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2011

This was a great place to stay before flying out the next morning. Comfortable, clean, friendly and close to the airport.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank spiritpast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Benicia, ca
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2011

Stay/park at this hotel is a great deal, particularly when using it at both ends of journey. Rooms are nice and well maintained, and early morning "snack" was substantial. I will be back!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
Helpful?
1 Thank geniee_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
middle of nowhere five hours from chicago
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2011

Situated just outside San Francisco, you have a sense of being sheltered from all the activity nearby, able to enjoy a peaceful getaway, and be refreshed to head back out!

From the time I saw the pictures online, I knew that this is where I wanted to stay. With the palm trees and beautiful layout...I knew it would be more than just your typical chain hotel. Nothing against them, but for part of our trip, I was looking for just a step up, a more resort-y type feel, within budge! At our price of $127.00 a night, I thought it was well within means to be this close to San Francisco.

This hotel has a pool (small, to be sure, but San Francisco's weather isn't often so inviting to those who normally would want to swim. The atmosphere around the pool, with it's levels of decks and patios, palm trees, and flowers makes for a lovely, peaceful area to sit, read, relax or eat your provided continental breakfast, and several people took advantage of this area. It was never overcrowded, but certainly many found it an inviting area!

I did hear the pool has a window in it allowing for a view from the bar, said pool supposedly having been filmed in a movie some time ago. Before "I'd" get in, I'd like to know more about that. The hot tub beside it, provided for me some much needed rejuvenation after 2 days worth of walking in San Francisco!

Our room was lovely.... plush bedding, with three chairs, two wing-back type chairs, as well as a computer desk chair. Along with those, a padded sitting bench was also available to place suitcases or for extra seating. With four of us, and staying four nights, we were glad for those extra comforts. We also had a refrigerator we filled from our across country travels.

Coffee as well as gourmet tea was provided and welcome for morning or evening relaxation. There were no elevators to our second floor room, but the entrance to our stairway was covered with an arch of fragrant flowers. Any walk from our room to the office or breakfast off the onsite restaurant took us past areas of flowering plants, some small, others large enough to have fountains and benches.

Transportation to the city is available if you don't mind walking about 8 blocks... 15 minutes or so. We came to the city to walk, so that was ok, but some days, I preferred something closer! : ) (ouch, those poor feet!) Also if it was raining, it'd be quite a wet walk, though it never rained while we were here! You can pick up either BART or CalTrain at 'the station' in Millbrae. It is the last stop on the line. If you are going to a Giants game, take CalTrain as it is a block from the entrance. BART is farther from that stadium. When we went to the city tourist places, we took BART to the Powell Station, from there, one can go up and find the visitor's center which can give you maps, and tips on getting to your desired destinations. (There is a mall at the Powell station.) We did Lombard Street, Alcatraz, Chinatown, and Little Italy. Oh, and a Giants game. At the Powell Station, up on the street, be alert to your surroundings. We always kept our credit cards and cash in our front pockets, jackets and maps in our backpacks. In some other tourist areas we saw purses and evidence of pick pockets. Be wise and it should go just fine for you. Teach your children the same. We saw one person leave their shopping cart behind, get on the bus after having scoped out a family for several minutes.

Near our hotel, on the walk to and from the BART - CalTrain station, we walked past many Asian restaurants....Many Japanese and sushi places, a Vietnamese fast food sandwich stop with a cool menu, an award winning Chinese restaurant, and a Crab Shack type of place. Also there are a couple typical fast food places such as Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, also Burger King. Just beyond the station was an In-n-Out Burger. Past our motel the other way there was a Jack in the Box, and more Asian food. I found amazing sushi behind the Asian restaurants on our way to the train station across the street... and the ones in front looked wonderful also. For transportation, one can also take the hotel shuttle to the airport and take BART from there. Do notice however that BART, though a stop closer to the destination costs maybe almost double what it would going from the Millbrae stop.

Also note that transportation options in San Francisco are not so coordinated. When in Chicago I found it easy to buy an unlimited pass and was able to use a good variety of modes of transportation. That is less so here. You have to check out your options and put more time into finding what is valuable. One unlimited pass did cover buses, trolleys and cable cars. We opted for that. In the end we opted to walk more than we thought we would. It's a lot of walking for some people but really the tourist part of town is soooo close together that you can see a lot in a short amount of time. (Lombard Street, Chinatown (you have to see the markets there if you never have, even distinct from Mexican Markets, enjoyable), and Little Italy. And even doable is making it to the Piers from their on foot, though you might like public transportation. The bikes for rent also would have been fun!

There were a couple less than good parts of our stay at this hotel. When checking in, (ie: our FIRST face to face interaction with the hotel) the guys working engaged in their own nonverbal conversation, that felt exclusive....one showing the other, when pulling my info up on the screen, something on the computer and then smirking. It may or may not have had something to do with me, perhaps a different customer they found amusing. It is not the way to check in people. Leave that for when no customers are around.

The bigger disappointment had to do with the breakfast. Promoted was an well liked egg/omelet/biscuit, as well as other items over and above a simple continental breakfast. This place had a breakfast to be desired. Past comments suggested the same. OUR experience was that an hour or two before shutting down, (yes, they have amazing hours for their breakfast, plus a to go breakfast for travelers.) much had run out of their breakfast...the eggs, muffins, orange juice and more. I saw a lady ask for orange juice, and the worker lifted up the pitcher that held a glass worth and told her it was 'gone'. Wow!! This happened twice. Why not give what is in there. When asked about the breakfast items mentioned they said that it wasn't there fault, that the hotel was full, and had two buses. I can understand not having the special egg item if they can only get that somewhere else, but orange juice? Which was also served warm several times. It's also not that hard to have back up muffins in the freezer which can thaw quickly to serve the remaining guests. Management responded by giving us free breakfast in the restaurant, which allowed us to see two other groups of people dissatisfied for other reasons. I think they need some work in that area. I don't quickly blame the workers, if they are given limits by management. But if it lies with the workers then management needs to know as well. I hope this was a one weekend issue. We did see improvement on our last day. There was food available when we went. But a customer who came back with another friend said when she was there earlier not all that food was available! So did they just save some back til the end, keeping it from earlier guests?!!

The restaurant menu is nice and the food we had for breakfast was excellent and in some cases unique which I like. (Gourmet Mexican for me!)

The free breakfast at its prime is fantastic!!

If you don't mind the walk to the station, this is really a reasonable option for touring San Francisco, and coming back to at night. Take BART from San Francisco to the airport and get the shuttle to the hotel if you do not want to walk alone at night. We were a group of four, and it was fine. I let my older sons go alone to a few places. Millbrae was an enjoyable suburb! San Francisco is full of many unique things to do very close together for a large city!

Also to note, this hotel, besides the long term stays offered slightly off site, is divided up into room sections each one farther from the pool, free breakfast, restaurant and office which are all closer together. If you need to be close to those sites you will need to make that request. We noticed there are laundry facilities and an exercise room but didn't utilize them! It wasn't that far at all to get to those places if walking is not a problem but some will want to make it a priority to get put closer. Elderly, or those with children who might want to be close to the room and able to keep an eye on the others for those who don't all go at once to eat or swim.

Truly a relaxing area that I would consider going back to if the breakfast situation does not become a standard problem. We pick our hotels based on them having breakfast.

Room Tip: No elevators so ask for ground floor if needed. Breakfast, diningroom, pool and office are near the...
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank katieniowa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2011

The motel was clean, comfortable, and reasonably priced (for the Bay Area),. I had a lovely time in the Bay Area, all pleasure, and the motel figures into that.. It is a bit out of town, but easdy to get onto the Bayshore and into the city, or the BART station is a few blocks away if you don't feel like driving. The breakfast is more than I expected, the grounds are nice. I didn't spend a lot of time at the motel, except for sleeping, but I liked it a lot. Free parking (in the Bay Area that can be worth $30-50 a night, depending if you are at a downtown hotel or not.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AltoJazz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eureka, California
Level Contributor
84 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2011

We had to be at SFO the next morning early, so we found this near-by. This 5-room suite was a great deal for what you got. We had 2 bedrooms, a living room, a real kitchen fairly well-equipped, and a dining room. We also had two entrances and three TVs.

The architecture of the Inn, restaurant and terrace was old Californian with colorful tile and nice fountains. We also enjoyed our walk to a wonderful Chinese restaurant on Broadway 5 blocks away, the Shanghai Dumpling Shop.

The only downside is I could hear the Bart train go through a couple times during the night, but my husband didn't hear it, so it wasn't that bad. The beds and pillows were great!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eurmac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about BEST WESTERN PLUS El Rancho Inn

Property: BEST WESTERN PLUS El Rancho Inn
Address: 1100 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030-2015
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Millbrae
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Millbrae
#1 Family Hotel in Millbrae
#1 Romantic Hotel in Millbrae
#2 Green Hotel in Millbrae
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — BEST WESTERN PLUS El Rancho Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 219
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Closest Best Western hotel to SFO Airport, AAA 3 Diamond Rated, with full service restaurant offering complimentary daily departure snack from 4:30am - 9:30am. At the Best Western Plus El Rancho Inn you’re sure to find that little something extra. With our modern amenities and thoughtful design, the Best Western Plus El Rancho Inn will stand out among other hotels in Millbrae, CA. For the business traveler, a spacious work desk and free internet access are included in all our guest rooms to ensure you don’t miss a beat while you’re away from the office. For extended stays, each room provides a convenient in-room mini fridge that is ideal for drinks and snacks. We also have an in-house fitness room, so you can keep up your workout routine while you’re on the road. As always, the Best Western Plus El Rancho Inn will provide you with the superior customer service that you are used to at any Best Western hotel ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Plus El Rancho Hotel Millbrae
Best Western Plus El Rancho Inn And Suites
Best Western Millbrae
Millbrae Best Western

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