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“A nice surprise.”
Review of Marina Motel

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Marina Motel
Ranked #114 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 August 2014

I heard about this place from a podcast that recommended staying here if you are visiting San Francisco and the Presidio in particular. I was very glad I took them up on the suggestion. I reserved directly from their website and about a week before my stay I had to change from 1 queen bed to 2 beds. I called and it was no problem. We were placed in the back so it was quiet for us. Beautiful property with lots of amazing flowers! We didn't have a car but if we did there was small garages available. We arrived before check in and flew out hours after check out and we were able to place our bags in one of the garages and they locked it so we could continue to enjoy our trip. Front desk staff was friendly and helpful. It is in a great location and we walked all over. Be sure to check out Chestnut Street which is 1 block away, it has great restaurants and shops. I would for sure stay here again and would be sure to ask for a rear room. (We were in Room 22 and it was great! Has kitchen!)

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for one in the back, away from Lombard.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank Fortuosity13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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217 - 223 of 603 reviews

Reviewed 28 August 2014

The good: Free parking for one car. Safe neighborhood in Marina district. Very reasonable pricing. Clean bedding and bathroom, once you pulled off the comforters and throw pillows. In-room coffee maker and mini fridge. Really charming plantings all around the courtyard -- quite pretty on the outside. Friendly check-in staff. Walking distance to Ghiradelli and other sights.

The Meh: Noise. We had a courtyard room but with Lombard street, there is traffic 24x7 and it never quiets down. This wouldn't be bad except that the room was stuffy so we had to keep the windows open for air (there is no a/c, which is typical for most SF hotels). Also, there were no screens in the windows. A ceiling fan would have been nice. There was a heater in the room with an ongoing pilot light (even though heat was not on/used), which cast light into the room and made an annoying noise all night long.

The Oh Boy: the decor is really hideous inside the rooms. If you changed all bedding to nice crisp white bedding, added two more sleeping pillows per bed, and ditched the brown/green/beige bedding and throw pillows, it would be vastly better. The drapes, the dark bedding, and the old timey (and brown/parchment) lamps make it look dated, so even though all was in good condition, it gave the impression of being old. Lose the fake plants, too. The walls were a pleasant yellow with white trim. Also the artwork looks as though it was purchased from a furniture store display. How about some nice framed prints/watercolors of the great SF scenery?

All in all, the hotel could make some relatively small improvements (like adding ceiling fans, maybe even a white noise maker to drown out exterior sounds, and changing bedding) that could really elevate the place. It wasn't "bad" but definitely not great. Not sure I'd stay here again.

Room Tip: Definitely request Courtyard which is less noisy than the ones directly on Lombard.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank 910Amy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2014

Toured West Coast USA for a month this August and truly the worst place I stayed in. Had a room in the front of the motel which overlooked road and It was like sleeping right next door to the M25 with cars, lorries on the go all night. Windows not double glazed, but windows open or closed, you had 24 hour horrible motor noise. Beds were uncomfortable, rooms small and cramped and in dire need of a lick of paint and a make-over. When person next door took a shower at 0100, cistern in our shower rang like a clanger. Access to the room straight off main road so anyone could walk up to the door. We were offered a room in the main courtyard, but not worth paying £100 a night extra for same noise and conditions. Wi fi free but very poor quality - worst in any motel we stayed in.You are guaranteed a car parking space, so this is a positive, but there were motels with car parking all over the place and certainly looked in much better condition. My advice, spend a little more and stay elsewhere - this motel almost ruined our stay in this great city.

Room Tip: Do not stay in room at front of motel: very very noisy. Probably the same in all the rooms.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Softybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2014 via mobile

We have recently stayed here. I had heard about the reviews about noise but I paid extra for a room in the courtyard so it would be quiet. However if you imagine the rooms there as a horseshoe shape, we we're put in room 12 at the end of the horseshoe and therefore near the road. No sleep whatsoever the first night and the next two nights minimal with earplugs. You have to get a room at far back or else... On a good note the staff were helpful and the location good. A dimple bus 30 to the wharf and union square. Don't drive

Stayed: August 2014
3  Thank sammkeane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

So let me start with the good, the place is stunning! Its simply beautiful, such a difference from the normal chain style hotels. My girlfriend and I are on a mammoth road trip across the USA and this was our second stop. We checked in and instantly loved the place. It was then that the trouble started. We were still jet lagged and in need of a decent nights sleep. We turned the lights out at 9pm and hoped for a good nights sleep. Our room was right on Lombard Street and other than maybe a 2 hour window of quiet we didn't sleep at all. We decided to check out a day early and move to another hotel as the rest of the rooms were booked so we had no choice of moving. We had another issue which was that we paid 50% upfront in the UK and then were charged the whole amount all over again. The hotel said we would have to deal with bookings.com as that was who we booked it through, even though the payments were both taken by the hotel and bookings.com never take any payments. Overall I would love to be writing a completely different review but it was not what we expected and not what the website suggested. Plus the after service has been less than I would have expected.

Room Tip: Make sure your room is NOT on Lombard!
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank PDHerring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
InnkeeperHeidi, General Manager at Marina Motel, responded to this reviewResponded 14 August 2014

Dear Guest,

We are very much aware of the noise in the rooms that face Lombard Street. I have repeatedly asked booking . com to post on our site that street facing rooms are noisy. They have refused each and every request. These large booking companies don't care about you or your stay. All they want is their commission. I don't trust any of the online booking agencies. When I make a reservation I ALWAYS call the hotel directly. If I had a choice I would not do business with them. Unfortunately I have to if I want to keep our establishment in business. We do our best to move guests into the back courtyard where it's much quieter but we can't do that if we are sold out. To get a quieter back courtyard room always call us directly.

Please, let me give you some inside information that will help you in your future bookings. Use the online booking cites to find a hotel. If the site says that the hotel is sold out for the dates you requested, don't believe it. Hotels are blocking rooms from the site to encourage you to book directly with them. Hotels are tired of paying out huge commissions to these booking agencies when you are doing all the work. Once you have found the hotel you want to stay with call them directly. This is your opportunity to ask them all the important questions. Ask them about their cancellation policies, additional taxes and if any additional fees are added. Then tell them you found them on line and you want to book directly with them so they don't have to pay out a commission. Some places will give you a discount or they may upgrade you to a better room depending upon occupancy. When you look out for the hotels best interest they tend to look out for yours.

Once again our street facing rooms are noisy. We want to tell you in advance of your booking but the booking agencies won't let us. They have our backs up against a wall.

General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

The Marina Motel is in a fantastic location, easy walking to great shops and restaurants, and free parking to provide a base to explore from. It is very clean and well kept, but a little dated. Just know what you are signing up for, it is great at what it is, but it is not a new modern property. As noted in the other reviews the road noise is significant, (from the street side room) especially if the windows need to be open for temperature control. There are not a lot of easily accessible outlets if you have things to charge etc. I would note that if you are traveling with children you may need to manage their expectations (I got complaints about the lack of counter space in bathroom, size of rooms, etc). I'd say judging it for what it is not what it isn't, the Marina Motel is a great place to stay in the Marina District.

Stayed: August 2014
2  Thank Jack S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

This motel/hotel was as charming of a place ive ever stayed at. The layout is unique as its like a courtyard around a garage/garden area. Hard for me to describe but it was very cozy and homely feeling. Rooms weren't too big but they were more than enough for as much time as travelers spend in their rooms. Nice beds, almost felts like going over grandmas house, and they had about 34 pillows on the bed for some reason. walgreens is a block away if you need anything. Lots of neat little restarants close by and the bus to get down to the wharf and piers and stuff is like 1.5 blocks away. Hotel has free parking and is close to Golden Gate Bridge too. Awesome cozy stay, don't hesitate to stay here...

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank joeyj1980
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 94123-2504
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 #114 of 230 Hotels in San Francisco
Price Range: £118 - £220 (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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