Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams Presents another Great Reason to Stay in San Francisco: The Inn at the Presidio
If you’ve ever enjoyed walking the grounds of Annapolis Naval Base in Maryland, West Point in New York, or historic US Army bases like Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn or Fort Totten in Bayside, New York, you’ll find a military-crisp style to the buildings and landscaped grounds in the park in the fashionable Presidio area of San Francisco. The red brick buildings that once served as the BOQ, a new term for mean that stands for the Bachelor Officers Quarters, is now the location of chic boutique hotel called The Inn at the Presidio.
A long porch provides great views of this 1500 acre park setting and invites the visitor to sit for a spell, relax with a book or newspaper, inhale the aromatic fragrance of trees and flowers, and become infused with the sense of being far from crowds, traffic, attractions, and the roar of the uproar that is San Francisco. But while you indulge in this time away from everything in the middle of what appears to be a countryside inn, you are, in fact, in the best location you could ask for in the heart of San Francisco surrounded by quickly accessible attractions that every visitor to that city wants to visit because you are literally only minutes away from Golden Gate Park and its museums and attractions, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Union Square District and the trendy SoMa, South of Market Street, area, and in easy reach of San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean beaches that dot the shore line of San Francisco.
There are a few interesting and unusual savings you’ll tap into as a guest of the Inn at the Presidio. Because you are ensconced within this historic park, you’ll find parking for the inn is just behind the property. You will be giving a parking pass at reception when you check in so that your parking is free. This can easily be a $40-$70 a day savings when you deduct parking fees, valet fees, and tips you would pay if you were parking at an inner city hotel where parking generally becomes a significant expense. You also have the time-saving convenience of having your car right on hand so if you need something from your car or just want to take it out for a spin you have no wait-time for your car’s delivery to the door of the hotel.
The Inn at the Presidio, because it is a boutique B&B with 17 spacious suites, each with a working gas fireplace adorning a comfortable living room and 5 additional bedroom accommodations, provides the added complimentary service of a more-than-just-bread-and-rolls continental breakfast. If you’ve ever been to Holland, you’ve already experienced the step-above-the-norm that one expects in a continental breakfast. Like inns in Holland, the Inn at the Presidio provides a variety of cheeses, ham, fruit, yoghurt, granola, scones, breads and rolls and hard boiled eggs along with juices, coffee, tea and hot chocolate which will get your day off to an energized start. Additionally, in the early evening, an array of wines and cheeses are provided for guests which creates the right mix of opportunity for guests to get to know one another which extends the sense of warmth, hospitality, and hominess that pervades the atmosphere, starting at the top with its exceptional management team and is felt at every turn.
When you walk along the porch of the historic Inn at the Presidio, you’ll notice that the windows are enormous and each large pane of glass appears to be original. While the general manager of the property, Terry Haney, explains that the occasional pane of broken glass was replaced with new glass of the same genre as the historic glass which is a bit wavy, rippled and dotted randomly with trapped air bubbles all of which adds to the charm and character of the building.
When you enter the inn, you’ll be taken aback by the brightness and gleam created by the sunlight that the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce likes to boast about reflecting off the glossy blond wood floors. The wide entry hallway lines up with the area where the massive breakfast table, also used for the complimentary nightly wine and cheese events, and the lounge area for guests to relax in, if you can pry them out of their spacious suites, combine with the hallway to make a grand impression on the arriving guest. If you’re into photography, be sure to capture an image of the dark wood railing that borders the steps ascending to upper levels. There look created with the contrast of light floors, white walls and dark banisters is nothing short of eye-candy but the uniqueness of the railing wrapping around-and-around the rising levels of the stairway reminds me of the intersection of something created by Frank Lloyd Wright and reimaged by Alfred Hitchcock.
The beds are super comfortable, there’s free Wi-Fi, the bathrooms are enormous, and there’s a flat-screen television in the living room which also has a sofa bed in the event you’re traveling with family or friends.
Another lovely service of the inn, especially if you’ve arrived by taxi from the airport and plan to taxi/cable car/trolley your way around San Francisco, is their “Presidio’s PresidiGo” which is their free daily shuttle service in the part that also provides guests with transportation to and from downtown San Francisco! The value of the above outlined features should be factored into the room rate to calculate the heavily loaded value-added benefits for hotel guests.
And for those of you traveling with Fido, the Inn at the Presidio offers three special features: firstly, the inn is pet-welcoming; pet owners will love sitting outside by the open fireside conversation pit for a bit of fresh air by the warmth of the fireplace; and the inn is encircled by the park! After a restful night at the inn, a short walk across the inn’s parking lot delivers you to the lush greenery of Presidio Park and you’re off exploring trails with your furry family member in tow! You’ll be pleased to note that San Franciscans love their dogs and you’ll find beaches, trails, parks and outdoor cafes in abundance where you can grab a meal or a bit and have Fido along with you! (You’ll note that I rarely mention travel with cats since cat lovers sneak their pets in everywhere unnoticed! It’s a bit tougher to dress your Springer Spaniel or Irish Setter in a bunting or overalls and hoodie and try to pass it off as your child who has a hairy skin condition!).
While you might be told that the Walt Disney Family Museum, a unique museum of person family memorabilia, home movies, personal insights into the visionary illustrator and cartoonist whose entrepreneurial skills continues to deliver long-reaching entertainment to all age groups far beyond his years on earth, is only about 200 feet away from the Inn at the Presidio, I think the person that came up with that figure is probably also responsible for myths like everything in St. Maarten is 15 minutes drive from where you are right now and that the train station that services Venice, Italy is only a 10-15 minute walk from the port where the cruise ships dock. If you’re not up to a handsome walk, take your car and drive over to the museum. While it’s within the park where the inn is located, the museum is not “2 doors down from the inn. . . about 200 feet away.” Not.
You can hear an interview I did with the Terry Haney and get in-depth insights into the hotel, its location and the inside track to all the good gossip, click on this link to the full show notes, links to the inn’s website and the link to the segment in which Terry’s interview aired.
--Gotta Fly Now!sm
Your Personal Travel Expert
Nationally syndiated radio show host