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“Another excellent "Park-Sleep-Fly" experience”

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BEST WESTERN PLUS El Rancho Inn
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Millbrae
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Martinez, CA
Level Contributor
76 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Another excellent "Park-Sleep-Fly" experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2009

This was our second Park-Sleep-Fly at this facility and we'll certainly use it again.
An older facility, but clean and well-maintained, it's quiet, comfortable, and very reasonably priced.
It's close to many dining options besides the on-site restaurant, and walking distance to grocery, drug, and even hardware stores in case you realize you've forgotten something before your trip.
No elevators to the 2nd floor in the wing we stayed in, but desk staff advised us of that at check-in and gave us the choice of a ground floor room.
On our return, we saw the shuttle departing the airport as we came out the door and had to wait 20 minutes for its return - but that's the closest to a complaint we have.
So: Night's lodging, shuttle to & from parking and parking for 2 1/2 weeks ran us less than $150.00.
We'll be back.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 165
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
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Burgess Hill, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2009

We were at San Francisco airport on November 3rd 2008 trying to find a bed for the night. Our passports and tickets had been stolen on the way to catch our flight, and although both US and UK immigration gave us permission to board, Virgin Atlantic couldn’t sort our tickets out in time, and we were stuck there for another 24 hours. The hotel we’d just checked out of (Holiday Inn Fisherman’s Wharf) had quoted $170 for an extra night, but fortunately we found the Best Western El Rancho in Millbrae who were happy to let us stay for just $65 plus tax.

It was tipping down most of last November so we huddled outside waiting for their courtesy bus which fortunately turned up after a few minutes whisking us the two miles to their site. There were a few others also going there, so as usual we got chatting to them, and most appeared to be getting an early flight the next morning.

On arrival we joined the check in queue which didn’t take us long as the receptionists were pretty fast and got everyone sorted in double quick time. The El rancho is laid out in a rough horseshoe, with a two storey accommodation block to the right and back, and the restaurant and other facilities on the left. The pool is in the middle surrounded by car park. Reception is near the entrance of the car park on the end of the accommodation block. There is a complimentary web access computer sitting there for guests.

After checking in we carried our bags up to the room and let ourselves in. The room was a little on the small side, and only had one bed. It was only when we looked around we realised that this was one of the ‘suites’ with another bedroom in back. The real surprise was the quality of the accommodation. I would guess that the El Rancho had been decorated less than six months before and to a high standard. American Hotel rooms can tend towards the dull and dark, but this one had a light airy feel to it, with superior quality wallpaper, curtains, carpets and light fittings. The biggest surprise of all though was the Duvets, or continental quilts on the beds. The Brits had their duvet revolution about 30 years ago, and you’ll be hard pushed to find a bed anywhere outside of a hospital with sheets and blankets. This was the first time I’d ever seen them in the US however - perhaps I should get out more!

The weather had really deteriorated by the time we got there, and even my daughter who will break ice to get into a pool didn’t want to swim. Pity though, it looked one of the best we’d seen, and again had the recently refurbished feel to it. I left the kids unpacking and walked over to the bar where they had a happy hour promotion finishing at 5.30. After the day we’d had I needed a beer. The barman was genial and efficient and I sat overlooking the courtyard which was only a few yards wide and I could see our room clearly.

I checked out the restaurant and we decided to eat there – the El Rancho being quite a walk from the nearest fast food joints. Sadly I only found out on our return the Millbrae is known for its Asian food, something we all love, but the in house restaurant didn’t disappoint.

The restaurant is a step up from the usual with if not exactly fine dining then more than the burgers and dogs on offer. The Chef and the management have clearly made an effort with the menu and we ate well. Being a Brit I had beer rather than wine with the meal, and here too the US has come on in leaps and bounds. Bud, and MGD are still available, but there is now a blossoming market in micro brewed beers and pretty good they are too.

Next morning we hit the breakfast bar, which was complimentary. Again the food was plentiful and varied, and we all managed to fill ourselves up, and drink copious amounts of coffee and juice before heading back to the room. Check out time was 12.00 rather than the usual 11.00 and so we went to reception and left our bags and headed to the free gym for a workout before our bus took us back to the airport.

I think for $65 we had a bargain, particularly as their room rates as advertised exceed this by quite a margin. I think we were lucky that we were both out of season and the airport staff made the call to book it for us. It helps to book hotels late in the day when they’re desperate to fill empty room at any rate as well. However given the high price of hotels in the City, and the brilliant BART system, I think Millbrae could easily be considered a base for tourists. The Millbrae BART stop is on the same road as the hotel, and the courtesy bus will take you there, or you can get the bus into the airport which is one stop further in, and head in that way. Either way the El; Rancho is a fine, decent motel and not to be dismissed as another airport hotel.

  • Liked — Evereything, they'd really tried to get everything right
  • Disliked — It was all good - the gym could do with a facelift, but really everything was fine!
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Kennelman_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2009

On our way from LA back to SFO, we walked in just for 4 hours sleep in order to get on our 6am flight at SFO airport. We called the hotel 5 to 10 minutes ahead. When we got there, the desk staff had everything ready! Very professional and friendly too.
Our room was nice and quiet. And my god we fell asleep right away, not sure if its the bed so comfortable or just us were too tired. In the morning, after a nice shower and some ready-to-go coffee in the lobby, we were so ready for the long flight back home. Thank you so much for the nice stay!!

  • Liked — Everything!!
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MissTLI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New England
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2008

I stayed here because I was flying into San Francisco in the evening from Boston, and out to Seattle in the morning. What I did not plan was that I had an awful cold. The Rancho Inn shuttle from the airport was seamless, check in easy, and the room was very cozy. The hotel seems fully renovated and historic in a 1960's classic motel manner - this makes the hotel kind of elegant. A central pavilion houses a breakfast room, restaurant, pool, and a very unique bar. The bar was featured in the movie "The Right Stuff" because there is a huge picture window between the bar and underwater in the swimming pool! Very Impressive. A continental breakfast is served in the early morning. I look forward to staying there again as the hotel is a true American classic!

  • Liked — excellent airport location, very cozy
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank matt707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riverside, Ca
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2008

This Best western is one of the BEST! Its an older Hotel with nice thick walls. No neighbor noise. The el rancho has an exercise room and internet access. Lots of restraunts within walking distance. Nice place to take the Family on a visit to the Bay Area. The bart station is near. Also a skate/bike park on Milbrae ave for the kids. We have stayed here many times over the years. Couldn't be happier with the El Rancho Best Western inn.

  • Liked — Good night sleep! no noise
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank RTaber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
El Lago, TX
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2008

My husband and I had a very early flight out the next morning so we selected a hotel near the airport. This one was only 5 minutes. Paid $110 before taxes so didn't expect much. The hotel was very old but in a good way, very good condition with lots of upgrades. Granite countertop in bath. Large walk in closet. Arrived late so didn't get a chance to use the pool but did want to say the location to airport and dining was excellent and the bed was one of the most comfortable we have ever slept in. Down comforters! Slept like babies.

  • Liked — Awesome beds
  • Disliked — no problems to report
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HappytrailstoU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
106 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2007

We arrived at SFO quite late with no hotel reservations and found most places were full or too expensive. We settled on this place, having stayed at various Best Westerns around the globe, plus the fact it offers free shuttles to the airport and its BART station, ideal as we wanted to visit San Francisco for two days at the end of our holiday.

It's quite close to the airport but it's on a main road with a few fast food restaurants nearby. Our first night we stayed in a suite, which is a block away. It had two bedrooms and a large living room and kitchen. We opted to sleep in the large room but ended up moving to the smaller room facing the inner courtyard as it was quieter. No complaints at all about the facilities on offer in the room and there's free wired internet access.

We changed next morning to a smaller, cheaper room close to the main set of buildings. This one was upstairs at the end of a block; it had a small second bedroom, slightly more away from the corridor, so we slept in there instead.

You can detect a wireless network here but it's not advertised by the hotel although it's definitely provided by them.

There's a complimentary breakfast but it's offered to early leavers between 04:30 and 7:30 only. Otherwise you pay for it at their cafe but it's merely adequate.

It's reasonable value but only if you really can't find anything for a decent price within the center. If you don't mind making the trip to the centre via the airport and the BART, which takes about an hour in total, then it's a viable option.

  • Stayed September 2007
    • Value
Helpful?
2 Thank Bergkamp9999
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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