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“Staying Here Is An Experience I Won't Repeat”
Review of Marina Motel

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Marina Motel
Ranked #108 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 February 2014

I travel to San Francisco on business several times each year. My company is located in the Presidio and my usual hotel was full so I decided to stay at the Marina Motel for 5 nights earlier this month. The first thing I would like to say is how very friendly and helpful every employee was, from the front desk staff to the maintenance and housekeeping staff. Unfortunately, the motel itself didn't give them much to work with. The motel is very aged and the rooms are incredibly small. The entryway was very narrow and I couldn't open the closet door without closing the bathroom door first. There was no heat in the bathroom and the sole radiator in the room was small, hidden in the far corner of the bedroom and didn't put out enough heat, even at the highest setting to adequately warm the bedroom let alone the bathroom. It also seemed that there were long periods of time when the heat must have been turned off as no matter how high I turned it, no heat came out.

I brought the normal electronic devices with me - a laptop, smartphone and Nook. However, the room had only two outlets with a web of extension cords that were already taken by lamps, the TV, mini-fridge, etc. To plug in my devices I had to dig around under the night stand and unplug the clock radio or coffeemaker to plug them in. The room didn't have a desk or work area and using my laptop in the evening proved difficult and uncomfortable. The mini-fridge was a nice touch and included in the price of the room. However, it was positioned in a corner and opened in such a way that to get the door opened, I had to move the one chair in the room out of the way. Oh, and there wasn't an ice bucket or ice machine anywhere to be found. After I asked at the front desk, I was told they could fill an ice bucket for me and I could carry it across the courtyard to my room when I wanted ice. Not very convenient.

The bathroom was very hard to use effectively. There was no counter for my toiletries. There was a medicine cabinet over the sink but the shelves were so narrow that none of my travel-size toiletries could be stored vertically. There also weren't any tissues in the room. Thank goodness I'd packed a travel sized box that I could use during the week. The last straw was when the toilet backed up the first night. The maintenance staff had gone home but the front desk attendant came right up to plunge it. He was very sweet but managed to flood the bathroom floor before he was able to fix the toilet.

If you are looking for a bargain room in a nice location and don't expect much in return, this is definitely the motel for you. However, if you are a business traveler like me, you can do much better at the same price. I suggest the Cow Hollow Motor Inn 3 blocks down. They actually charge less for their rooms and are much, much nicer. Book early though as they fill up quickly on busy weeks.

Room Tip: My room was in the courtyard and it was very quiet. Do not say in a room that fronts Lombard Street...
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled on business
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5  Thank jasgld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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253 - 259 of 601 reviews

Reviewed 13 February 2014

We stayed already in October 2013 for 3 nights and now for another 2 nights at the Marina Motel. The location is perfect, within a few walking minutes you have lots of great restaurant options (open for breakfast till dinner). The Motel is nicely decorated and the rooms are good, with comfortable beds and enough space. Both times we had courtyard rooms, so we had quiet nights and a good sleep. The Motel is also not too far from the airport and for us a perfect choice (price-value), if we visit San Francisco.

Room Tip: Courtyard room - 2 double beds
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Skuld_Kersten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2014

A really nice motel. On main road so noisy. If we could have had one of the rooms in the courtyard it would have been quieter. There are steps up to the room, which is above a garage. The room includes the garage. There was a full kitchen in our room. There are plenty of shops just round the corner in Chestnut Road and 3 bus stops for the Muni buses nearby.

  • Stayed: February 2014
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2  Thank alleng5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2014

This is a darling little hotel right near the Golden Gate Bridge. We were lucky to arrive during unusually nice winter weather. It was gorgeous! We walked from the hotel to the marina and enjoyed them most breathtaking views of the bay. The street directly behind the hotel is filled with boutiques, small shops, banks, coffee shops even a butcher! You can easily spend a day just enjoying the neighborhood.

The hotel itself reminds me of some of the hotels in Europe. It’s smaller, right in the neighborhood and more of a ‘mom and pop’ kind of place. We stayed in a room located in the building in the center of the courtyard. Those rooms have garages under them and their own stairway entrance with a small hallway.

I’ve lived in San Francisco so I knew more or less what to expect from this kind of hotel. Knowing it was on Lombard and older, I knew there would be traffic noise. If you’re looking for a silent room, you should consider staying in the upper floors of a chain hotel downtown. If you want charm, character, an amazing, garden courtyard view, windows that open and a teeny-tiny personal garage, this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank Christina H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2014

We found Marina Motel using Trip Advisor and we were not steered wrong. It is an old motel (built in 1939) and is right where Lombard is almost to the Golden Gate. It is built around a courtyard that is a veritable garden of California flowers and shrubs, meticulously kept by a gardener who clearly loves his work. The rooms are not large and the furnishings are "antique" but well maintained. The whole place is super clean. This is neither for those who want a trendy new place, or the standardized airport box, but if you enjoy a European kind of ambiance and a GREAT price for a spot right in the middle of the SF experience, this is unbeatable. It is one block from Chestnut, which is an urban shopping/restaurant row with mass transit right to the Wharf, the Alcatraz Ferry (with a bit of a walk at the end) and connecting to the streetcars, trolleys, etc. More good restaurants in the area than you can count, and a quick run to Golden Gate, beaches, the Golden Gate Park museums, etc. and the Palace of Fine Arts. Service was friendly, and there is free parking inside the courtyard.

Room Tip: NOT accessible for substantially handicapped, at least for most rooms.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank jmichaelslocum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2014

Free parking, very close to golden gate. $10 taxi from fisher mans wharf! Wonderful stay very clean room. Older rooms but nice and quiet facing in to the courtyard. We enjoyed our 5 night stay very much

  • Stayed: January 2014
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5  Thank CABlum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2014

This motel has a charming exterior and a great location. Unfortunately, the staff are not charming or helpful. I was charged $20 for a broken towel rack that was broken before we moved in. No amount of discussion with the manager would get the charge refunded. This is an older motel and probably every room has something damaged or broken, so check things out carefully before you move into your room.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Katherine O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marina Motel

Address: 2576 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > San Francisco > Marina District
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #108 of 229 Hotels in San Francisco
Price Range: £119 - £251 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Marina Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Historic Hotel in San Francisco, California Founded by the son of a Calfornia Gold Rush miner, the Marina Motel was built to celebrate the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in the late 1930's. Designed as one of San Francisco’s first “motor-hotels” for the dawning of the automobile age, each room in this quaint Mediterranean-style motel has a private garage beneath the rooms, (courtyard garages are subject to size restrictions so guest are directed by the front desk to choose a garage that best fits their vehicle). Our 36 guestrooms and three suites are uniquely decorated with warm, stylish touches to make you feel at home. Our quaint courtyard, surrounded by colorful cascading flowers and a cobblestone driveway, offers a relaxing place to chat with friends. Flower boxes overflowing with fragrant blossoms adorn the windows adding European cottage charm. San Francisco’s top attractions are located within walking distance or a short bus ride from the Marina Motel The Marina Motel is still family-owned and operated today by the original owner’s granddaughter. For the past 70 years the Marina Motel has provided a beautiful and friendly place to stay while visiting San Francisco. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marina Motel San Francisco
Marina Hotel San Francisco

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