The 3 Top Motels in San Francisco – Drive, Park, Sleep, Explore

Tops on our list of the best motels in San Francisco are Beck's Motor Lodge and the Wharf Inn, as they deliver quality sleeps combined with whimsical touches, renovated rooms and a modest price. Based on reviews, these two stand head and shoulders above the rest. Others don't fare as well, but maybe it's because our standards are too high!

San Francisco is an expensive place to stay, but these motels cost way less than Victorian inns and downtown hotels. Generally, parking is free and WIFI is included. Although breakfasts are also included, they are rarely good. So, save your dollars for a real breakfast at one of the many wonderful restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops while you revel in the relatively inexpensive motel culture of SF.

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Beck's Motor Lodge

Becks Motor Lodge

This Castro-area motel rates high in all categories — great location, clean rooms, and security, with modern furnishings, friendly staff, and free parking (rare in SF, even in the motel category).

Another bonus is that public transportation is nearby, making it easy to explore the city. Line-F, an historic streetcar line, departs directly from in front of the lodge and takes you to downtown, Embarcadero, Pier 33 & Fisherman's Wharf. The F-Line runs 365 days a year and frequently, every 6 to 15 minutes.

Guests love the recent renovations with upgrades like air conditioning, in-room safes, and bar fridges. The neighborhood also got top grades for plentiful restaurants within walking distances, shops, and colourful street life. On our next stay, we're planning to book the Fireplace King Deluxe room! Beck's Motor Lodge starts at around $350.

How Our Ratings Work

Superb Plus = 93%+ Travelers Rating
Superb = 88%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated Plus = 85%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated = 80%+ Travelers Rating

Rating = Highly Rated
• 2222 Market Street
• Neighborhood — The Castro

The Wharf Inn

The Wharf Inn

Pay a little more and you will be rewarded.

For starters, you're right on the wharf, with balconies that overlook the action and bring in a fresh breeze. San Francisco is your oyster! The Wharf Inn is conveniently sandwiched between Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. Park your vehicle and walk everywhere.

If you're sensitive to noise (as we are) make sure to ask for a quiet room in the back. Sure, the rooms need a refresh, but the location, free parking (reserve in advance), and free WIFI make up for a lot. We'd book the Penthouse Suite with two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, outdoor patio space, dining room, and stunning views of San Francisco. Wharf Inn starts around $250.

Rating = Good
• 2601 Mason Street
• Neighborhood — Fisherman's Wharf

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Nob Hill Motor Inn

Nob Hill Motor Inn

If you're a child of the 1970s, this motel will seem very familiar with polyester bedspreads in shades of mauve and teal, pink wallpapered walls, nondescript carpets in forest green, and furniture from your grandmother's garage sale.

That being said, guests give the Nob Hill Motor Inn high points for free parking, reasonable rates, and a great location just a short walk from Fisherman's Wharf and Union Square. However, guests universally complain that the place needs a serious renovation, many of the rooms are tired and threadbare. The "continental breakfast" could also use nutritional counselling — currently it's coffee and a box of donuts. Nob Hill Motor Inn regularly sells out long in advance.

Rating = Good
• 1630 Pacific Avenue
• Neighborhood — Polk Gulch

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