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“Hard to imagine a better B&B anywhere”

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The Parsonage Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #7 of 72 San Francisco B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 March 2014

Everything is perfect about this B&B in the lovely Hayes Valley area of San Francisco. It is an old victorian house with 23 rooms, but only half a dozen are used by the guests. The owners, Joan and John, have figured out something to do with all the others.

There is a huge double parlor downstairs which all the guests are welcome to use. It is well stocked with books and magazines about San Francisco and California and there is a dish of chocolate candies for the guests as well.

The rooms are well furnished with furniture appropriate to an upscale B&B and the beds are quite comfy, all of which use special mattresses from a San Francisco company.

In addition to the rooms mentioned on The Parsonage's Website, there is also a two-bedroom apartment with a private entrance available downstairs. One bedroom has a queen-sized bed and the other has two twin beds. There is a full kitchen, complete with high-tech garbage can that opens by itself when you get too close to it. The living room is full of local art. Outside the apartment is a private patio.

Unlike most businesses, which will take anyone with a valid credit card number, Joan is actually quite picky about her guests. She wants interesting people. Breakfast is a communal affair around a big round table. John does the cooking (two courses--first something fruity, then a warm dish like waffles or eggs) and Joan hovers around making sure everyone is happy. The result of all this is that there is always lively conversation at breakfast, with people coming from all over the world. I have stayed there quite a few times and met people from all over America, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Down Under. Almost everyone has traveled a lot and has interesting stories to tell. Breakfast is often the high point of the day although coming back after a hard day of sightseeing is just like coming home to mom and pop.

It is not cheap, but San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the world and this is a super property in one of the city's best neighborhoods. There are dozens of restaurants within a 10-mnute walk, mostly on Hayes St. I have stayed in probably 100 B&Bs in the U.S., Canada, all over Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, and this is definitely my favorite.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Globe_trotter_100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 March 2014

The Parsonage is a little piece of intimacy in a big city, close to many of the attractions we wanted to see and do, but away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Stepping out was peaceful and relaxed, but in walking distance to the centre of "the hood" of vibrant active Haight Ashbury.
The house is typical of the coloured wooden style found throughout the area, inside filled with charm and family history. The bedroom we had was very large and comfortable, our own bathroom clean and functional.
The host was friendly without being intrusive, and we felt very much at "home" there.
We stayed 3 nights.
Although there was no choice provided at breakfast, it was delicious and definitely home-made, much more like home than a big buffet style.
Usually B&B's are more reasonably priced than a hotel but I don't really think this one was. Being a weekend when we were in the city, perhaps the price could have been reduced. However, having said that, it was in the area where we wanted to be, and we were were very happy with the place.
We would definitely stay in here again next time we visit SF.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank misusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2014

This was my vacation of Firsts! I had never stayed in a B & B nor had I ever stayed 5 nights in a city without my husband. I over think everything and my first concern was how will I get my big suitcase up all those steps? As i was exiting my taxi John was coming out the door to help me. He showed me to my room on the 3rd floor via elevator. At first I was surprised I had 2 twin beds instead of a queen but after looking at the size of the room and how nice the bathroom was I was fine. I was handed a key ring with 2 keys - 1 for the room and 1 for the front door. Having a front door key made it feel so much more like a home. My daughter met me there and she is a new resident of San Francisco so we asked for a recommendation for lunch. They explained how to easily get to Zuni Cafe. We enjoyed a fresh pasta dish that was one of my best meals. John also mentioned he was making an old family recipe for waffles and my daughter was welcome to come to breakfast the next morning.
I am not a morning person but waking up smelling food cooking and coffee brewing (even on the 3rd floor) made me get up and get moving! It was so interesting chatting with others from Australia or Germany. The dining room table was set so beautifully and they were always quick to pour that 1st cup of coffee. I would not have had the same experience in a hotel. Traveling alone I did not want to feel lonely and staying here cured that. In the evenings there was always activity if I had to wait for a Uber car to pick me up I could always have a quick conversation with somebody. The best thing about The Parsonage is how good I slept! I felt safe, my bed was comfortable and I felt like I knew people in a big strange city.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank hitmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2014

My wife and I stayed for 3 nights at The Parsonage. The owners were delightful, well informed and welcoming. Our room at the top of the stairs was roomy and though old fashioned it had all the comforts we needed. The location is convenient for the tramway into downtown and there are nearby coffee bars and shops. The area is historic and The Parsonage is very much part of that history both inside and out. Though we were too busy to make use of it , the elegant sitting room with its collection of books was at our disposal. Breakfast was a friendly affair, sitting around a table surrounded by fine china and eclectic objets with easy conversation with our hosts. The Parsonage was a wonderful place to be based while exploring SF.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Alan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2014

The Parsonage is the home of Joan Hull and John Philips who clearly enjoy enormously running it as a B & B, and make their guests feel very welcome. The sense is of being personal guests in someone's home It is beautifully furnished with antiques which Joan and John have a great interest in collecting. We stayed three nights, and breakfast was different and absolutely delicious each morning. All the guests sit at one table for breakfast. The house is in a residential district away from the centre of the city The area has a great number of architecturally interesting houses, of which the Parsonage is one. We were among the people staying when the wedding took place in the parlor and endorse all that has previously been said. We too would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Christine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2014

This was planned as a mother-daughter get-away during Chinese* lunar new year--a perfect time to stay, we had the place to ourselves. The decor is a blend of Early Americana, pan Asian Buddha statuary, European decorative arts, French kitchen ceramics, and contemporary imagery; rooms with views and themes--a late Qing dynasty ancestral portrait is hallway sentry to the upper floors...
Breakfast soufflés, berries and breads, juices and coffee provide enough energy for a 15,000 fitbit walking tour through the city. Antique beds and soft linens make sleeping a dream-escape.
Centrally located to all transportation. Run by one of the most knowledgable and gracious host and hostess teams in town-superbly recommended!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Anna9876543
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2014

Not so good (anymore),
I think for the price you pay you may expect a faultless B&B; but that is not the case;
it all seems a little bit tired, the couple who is running the place, sure acts friendly but it is so obvious a show; probably it was very good before and they liked the work, But not anymore!
1. the breakfast is nice, but not much;
2. in our room there was a well placed note that said: " we appreciate a tip" We should have done that, because the last two days our room wasn't cleaned anymore
3. the rooms are also tired,
4. the bathroom was not so good (very poor we had no hot water
5. the publique area is sloppy and not clean
6. you also have to be a dog lover, because he is the real king of the house and is always present; so be careful....

This B&B has to be your taste I think, we had an wonderful stay in san fransico and definietely are coming back, but definitely not to this B&B. There are so many more and better options!

Room Tip: be very careful by choosing a room, because there is big difference
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank rob v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
parsonette, Owner at The Parsonage Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 18 February 2014

We regret that you were unhappy with your visit.
We welcome (and frequently implement) constructive suggestions for making
The Parsonage a more welcoming and comfortable place for our guests.
However, the wide-ranging nature of your complaints leaves us perplexed..

John & Joan

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Parsonage Bed and Breakfast

Address: 198 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94102-5711
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > Hayes Valley
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 72 B&Bs / Inns in San Francisco
Price Range: £163 - £207 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Parsonage is an architectural treasure in the heart of San Francisco's historic Hayes Valley, within easy walking distance of the opera house and some of the city's most dynamic restaurants. The elegant bedrooms have excellent queen beds, multiple pillows, superior linens, a marble shower, and good light; some have working fireplaces and/or views; one has a Victorian claw-footed bathtub. With superb access to public transportation, it is within blocks of highway 101, and walking distance of BART. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Parsonage Hotel San Francisco

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