California

Why I Love These Historic National Park Hotels In The Heart Of San Francisco

california, destinations, san francisco, united states, why i love these historic national park hotels in the heart of san francisco

The Lodge at the Presidio with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background Photo credit: Ben Davidson

The Presidio is a beautiful, sprawling national park site tucked away in the heart of San Francisco and is brimming with fascinating history. From its beginnings under Spanish rule through Mexican control and the establishment of what is present-day San Francisco, when the Presidio became a U.S. Army post in 1846, this expansive area in the heart of San Francisco has been a renowned military establishment.

Today, the Presidio welcomes guests to discover the rich history and beauty of the area.

With over 700 buildings covering more than 1,400 acres, this fabulous national park site is located an easy 30-minute drive from San Francisco International Airport, but feels worlds away.

We took an Uber from the airport. No need to drive in the city if you don’t want to! Once you’re here, explore the grounds on foot or on bike. With multiple restaurants on the property, a golf course, two chapels, a bowling alley, a visitor center, and miles of hiking and biking trails, there’s no reason to venture off the property if you don’t want to.

The Presidio offers multiple upscale lodging choices, all with magnificent views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. While my stay was at the Inn at the Presidio, the properties share many of the same characteristics and you can’t go wrong with either of these premier on-site lodging options. Here are the reasons I love both of these historic national park site hotels!

The information in this article was obtained as part of a hosted stay. All opinions are my own.

california, destinations, san francisco, united states, why i love these historic national park hotels in the heart of san francisco

The Main Post green space in front of the Lodge at The PresidioPhoto credit: SJ Morgensen

The Lodge At The Presidio

1. Close Proximity To The Golden Gate Bridge 

The Lodge at the Presidio, opened in 2018 due to a high demand for more lodging on-site, is a three-story hotel that offers 42 stylish, comfortable guest rooms. Popular with business and pleasure travelers alike, the Lodge offers the closest accomodation to the Golden Gate Bridge in all of San Francisco. Offering understated luxury at its best, the Lodge oozes contemporary charm with a historical flair. Its prime location in the center of the Presidio makes it convenient to much of the action on-site. Directly in front of the building, guests can take advantage of the lush Main Post public greenspace and relax in one of the giant red chairs while taking in the view.

california, destinations, san francisco, united states, why i love these historic national park hotels in the heart of san francisco

The Lodge at the Presidio incredible family suite Photo credit: Paul Dyer

2. Creative Historic Restoration

The Lodge has been painstakingly refurbished and restored to its grandeur, taking care to retain as many of the building’s original features as possible. The Presidio Trust, along with the talented craftsmen, have ensured that the Classical-period details have been thoughtfully incorporated into the building’s redesign, using the highest quality architectural and construction techniques. The original hardwood floors and banisters are priceless. You’ll also find gorgeous lighting and original artwork throughout The Lodge. Upstairs, the former third-floor attic has been reconfigured into a remarkable suite.

The headboards made of military canvas blankets, the color of West Point, and personal memorabilia accenting the guest rooms all pay homage to our nation’s military past. As a member of the Historic Hotels of America and winners of their Award of Excellence for Best Small Historic Hotel as well as Sustainability Champion, this is an important mission for the Presidio.

Pro Tip: Since the properties are located on a national park site, they are open to all. This means, even if you’re not staying here, you can still experience the charm of the hotels. For security, all rooms and elevators can only be operated with a key card by registered guests.

california, destinations, san francisco, united states, why i love these historic national park hotels in the heart of san francisco

The Lodge at the Presidio firepitPhoto credit: Paul Dyer

3. Complimentary Continental Breakfast 

Both the Inn and the Lodge provide a daily continental breakfast. You’ll find an assortment of breads, fresh pastries, meats, cheeses, yogurt, and cereal to be a welcome start to your morning. As you eat breakfast, enjoy the ambiance of the dining hall and imagine it as it was years ago — filled with soldiers.

4. Evening Wine And Cheese Reception With A View

In the evenings, get ready to settle in for the complimentary wine and cheese reception. From 5–7 p.m. each night, grab a glass of your favorite red or white along with a selection of various cheeses, crackers, nuts, and cookies. Head outside to the firepit where you can relax and chat with other guests while taking in the incredible views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. The happy hour at the Inn offers similar fare, with a cozy firepit out back.

5. Premier Sustainability 

During the property’s restoration, the rooms were redesigned to utilize an “on-demand” power process. In other words, the power in the guest rooms is all key-card activated, thus saving energy when rooms are not in use.

california, destinations, san francisco, united states, why i love these historic national park hotels in the heart of san francisco

The author hiking the trails, just steps away from the Inn at the Presidio Photo credit: SJ Morgensen

The Inn At The Presidio

6. Small Inn With Private Location 

The Inn at the Presidio is an intimate space that is a destination in itself. Offering 22 king suites in a quiet, out-of-the-way location, the Inn is the perfect getaway spot. Whether you want a quick escape from the city, a romantic weekend, a vacation with the family, or a fabulous girls trip, the Inn is your perfect home away from home. Relax in the rocking chairs on the front porch, or step outside the back door and get lost in the woods. The trails are literally steps away from the Inn. We like the short hike to Inspiration Point.

california, destinations, san francisco, united states, why i love these historic national park hotels in the heart of san francisco

Dining Room at the Inn at the Presidio Photo credit: SJ Morgensen

7. Well-Appointed Suites

Featuring king suites complete with in-room fireplaces, a pull-out sofa, and a private bedroom, there’s plenty of room for the family. The simple, clean lines of the interior design give the historic property a truly timeless appeal.

In a world of wood veneer, the custom furniture that decorates the space is solid and graceful all at the same time. You’ll find the mini fridge stocked with organic Italian beverages, sparkling water, ginger ales, bottles of Chardonnay, and cold ales for your in-room pleasure. The well-stocked bar includes a selection of reds as well as top-shelf bourbon. All are available for your convenience at a very reasonable price.

The stunning bathroom features a modern shower with brilliant tile all the way to the ceiling, unique ¾-glass doors, and double vanities made of Spanish porcelain. The comfy robes and slippers to slip on post shower are a luxurious touch.

Pro Tip: There are steps that lead up to the second floor at the Inn. Request a first-floor room or choose the Lodge, which offers an elevator if steps aren’t your thing.

8. Incredible Staff

The staff at the Inn is simply amazing. Anticipating every request and happily going the extra mile, our every request was met with an immediate, “yes, of course.” This includes our request for hot-baked cookies long after happy hour as well as our request for bicycles to tour the grounds. Every single staff member we encountered was more than happy to help in any way. It seems no request is beyond their capacity.

california, destinations, san francisco, united states, why i love these historic national park hotels in the heart of san francisco

Happy hour at the Inn at the PresidioPhoto credit: SJ Morgensen

9. Perfect For Business Retreats

The Inn makes a perfect home base for the business traveler. With meeting space that can accommodate up to 40 people, the Inn is a popular option for executive retreats and team building adventures.

Pro Tip: The Funston House is an alternative lodging choice that’s a great option for large parties. This well-appointed historic officer’s home has 4 guest rooms to accommodate large groups.

10. LEED Gold Certified 

The Inn, as well as the Lodge, are LEED Gold certified, meaning the buildings have proven to be designed, remodeled, and maintained with the highest degree of energy efficiency. Green-building initiatives are important for the environment and the properties here are doing their part in sustainability efforts.

Check everything else there is to explore around the Presidio: