Ruth, whale watching in Iceland. Photo taken October 4, 2012.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Historic San Remo Hotel in San Francisco

We spent five fantastic days in San Francisco back at the beginning of November. Only a short while after that, our laptop gave up, and we thought we had lost all of those photos!

Fortunately, we now have those photos back, and so we're doing a couple of extra posts right now that we wanted to have a record of on the blog. And, we had promised to tell you about where we stayed and why, and so this post is to tell you about the historic San Remo Hotel.

One thing we learned very quickly when we did our research is that San Francisco is an expensive city. The average daily rate for a hotel stay is $246 USD. But if you want to stay in the city itself, your cheap options are extremely limited. In fact, almost non-existent.

When we came across the San Remo Hotel, we knew we had found exactly what we were looking for!

Ruth, at the entrance to the San Remo Hotel.

The hotel was one of the first buildings built after the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, but it wasn't until 1922 that it was named The San Remo, as it has been since then. 

To us, one of the best things about the hotel (besides the staff!) is that it has retained character. This isn't your typical hotel where every room looks exactly the same as the last hotel you stayed at. This hotel has charm, and the rooms remain very much the same as they would have been a hundred years ago. Although the hotel has 64 rooms on two doesn't feel like it. In fact, we think it feels more like a family "inn" than a hotel.

Our room, we lucked out with a bright corner unit.

And our own in room sink. Washrooms and showers are down the hall.

The hall!

More like staying in someone's house.

There are no noisy distractions. No televisions,  telephones, or air conditioners. A ceiling fan is all that's necessary. Besides, if you're in San Francisco, you're going to want to be out exploring, not holed up in your hotel watching television!

We loved the design of the showers and washrooms, all of which were kept spotlessly clean. And with ample supplies of big soft white towels! The washrooms are for the use of all guests, however they are private. You get your own closed door toilet, and your own closed door shower. While we were there, we never had to wait to use any of the facilities.

The washroom facilities.

Old style toilets, with upper tank and pull chain!

Not everything is kept will find some modern amenities, such as wifi internet, and a modern laundry room.

The laundry room!

Of course with all of this, the location must be terrible, right? 


The San Remo is located just 5 minutes from the Fisherman's Wharf area and you can hop one of San Francisco's famous trolley cars only a block away!

The famous Fisherman's Wharf.

And of course, the Golden Gate Bridge!

You can't visit San Francisco without taking a trolley car.

We totally enjoyed our stay at the San Remo. Can't find anything bad to say about it. The staff were excellent. General Manager Kenley, or Assistant Manager Brian were always available for any question about the hotel, or if you simply wanted some tourist info. 

We don't hesitate to give our complete recommendation if you're looking for somewhere reasonable to stay in San Francisco. can still shop for prices! The hotel's website prices are typically between $99 and $139 per night, however we found slightly better pricing at both and, and even came across a coupon code useable at

San Francisco's historic San Remo Hotel.


  1. Thanks for the tour through the San Remo. I'm going to keep it in mind for friends coming from out of town; and, I might even spend a night or two there. I've always wondered what the rooms look like, but haven't ventured in. Yes, the City can be expensive but I'm sure you found that there are lots of things to do and see that are free, also.

    1. We loved our time there and we really like how it had such a homey kind of feel to it too. Each room is decorated so differently and that really adds character to the hotel. You would love it there Mary-Pat!

      San Francisco can be expensive but you are right, there are lots of things to do that are cheap or free. We found that the downtown area is very walkable which is something that we love to do especially when the architecture is so fascinating.

  2. For a moment I thought you drive to San Fransico with Sherman., looks like your enjoyed your time there.

    1. No, you know us George, we like to travel slowly! :-)

  3. Shelagh and I love San Francisco. We camped just north of the city in the Samuel P Taylor state Park. We drove up to the ranger's office and asked for a three night stay. He asked for our reservation number and I told him we did not have one. People book six months in advance for a camping spot here. Luckily there was a cancellation and we got a great site for three nights! Nearly impossible.

    1. We remember seeing the campground on the map and thought that it was pretty neat that you could almost camp right in downtown San Francisco! All you would need then is a bike and you would be all set to explore the area.

      Luck was sure shinning down on you that day! Glad you were able get a spot and enjoy the city for a few days.


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