Hotel Del Sol
San Francisco Review
Located in the heart of the upscale shops, trendy restaurants, and young professionals of the Marina District, the Hotel del Sol is a motel with bright colors, low prices, and a great location. The hotel is family-frindly, pet-friendly, and prices include free parking.
Conveniently placed off of Lombard Street, the hotel puts vacationers between Union and Chestnut -- two of the more popular streets
in San Francisco, as both are filled with their share of trendy nightclubs, delicious restaurants, cafes, and beautiful people who could purchase you along
with their afternoon soy caramel latte.
While not a five-star hotel by any stretch of the imagination, the Hotel del Sol is what a motel would look like if its founders
had money -- that is, it's bigger, cleaner, more cheerful, and has better service than any motel you've ever been in -- but it really doesn't rise
Still, what you're paying for here is location -- and what you're getting is a few added pleasantries. For example, rooms are
attractively furnished and include CD clock radios that will awaken you with sounds of waves, rain and so on (of course, this proves mostly fruitless
as you'll more than likely be awakened by the pleasant sounds of street noise on Lombard.)
Coffee and tea are available in the morning by the pool,
and while it's a rare day in San Francisco that a pool can actually be used, it's a nice benefit if you're in town at the right time. The staff, too,
is pleasant and experienced -- they know all the hotspots to go in town and could double as tour guides on their off-hours. Finally, a parking garage
assures that you won't be spending half your time looking for parking – and as the locals will tell you, looking for parking in San Francisco is
about as fun as trying to find a needle in a haystack while two hundred other people are looking for that same needle.
The Marina District makes the best sell for the hotel. Aside from having San Francisco's famed Mel's Diner right down the block,
visitors are also a few miles away from Fort Mason, and ten or so blocks away from the Bay – where people fly kites, lay in the sun, and try to peek
into the ultra-luxurious houses that stand by and watch.
The Palace of Fine Arts is another prime location, and it stands just a few blocks away from the Del Sol – holding such attractions
as the Exploratorium Museum and looking like something straight out of old Rome rather than the quaint streets of San Francisco.
So, how much will all these pleasantries cost you? The rooms will range from anywhere between $149 to $219 (it comes with free parking).
Worth it? Well, considering the location, the experienced staff and the wallpaper that will keep you permanently happy -- we'd definitely say so.
Patricia writes, "Hotel Del Sol is an absolute kick. I love the colors and the convenience of the hotel."
A reader writes, "This hotel is centrally located and near many good restaurants and
attractions. The staff was very helpful and had written guides to many of the areas and attractions in the city. I
followed one of their written guides to a great night in North Beach including a trip to City Lights Bookstore. The rooms
are clean, bright (if you don't like color, don't stay here), and attractively furnished, including a clock radio that can make the sounds of waves,
rain, etc. Coffee and tea are available in the mornings in the courtyard by the pool. The rooms run about $150 including parking. I definitely give it
a thumbs up for the price."
We stayed at the hotel during early 2010 and updated our findings. This is a motel that you will choose for its location and price. The rooms are on the smaller side, and the decor is bright and colorful. A very basic breakfast of bagels, muffins, croissants, and coffee is free with your stay -- as is the parking for an area that is quite difficult to park. There is no eating area for the breakfast outside of the outdoor courtyard tables - most guests walk the food up to their rooms. The pull here is the convenience to the Marina and Union Street restaurants, cafes, and shops. It's also quite convenient to bus lines to Union Square shopping and touristy Fisherman's Wharf. There are three floors of rooms with stairways in each corner of the courtyard -- there is one (older) elavator to bring up bags, but expect to mainly use the stairs.
Don't expect much above "basic" from the room. If you use the Marriott Courtyard as your benchmark - the room is below those standards. The motel has worked hard to turn a 1960's motel into a regional chain standard -- but there is only so much you can do. A major minus was the comfort of the beds. As other chains invest heavily in top-quality beds that are even sold on their websites -- these beds were not the most comfortable. If a restful night's sleep is your priority -- you may want to consider other choices. The room had a large closet and nice soaps in a renovated bathroom - but was definitely on the small side.
Parking for the motel within the courtyard and auxillary parking lot offsite is limited to a total of 35 spaces for 56 rooms. An auxillary parking lot is located next door and arriving late night back to the hotel may require some help parking from the front desk. The auxillary parking lot "parks in" cars and may require a valet's help during the day. Like any motel with an open courtyard -- noise can be an issue here. The acoustics of the courtyard really transmit - although the motel works to help with a 10pm to 8am quiet hours. The pet-friendly option at no extra charge ( many hotels add on $25 - $75 fee's per day) is a huge plus -- as is the free parking ($42 at other similar hotels with quality locations in San Francisco). We strongly recommend the Marina area over Union Square and Hotel Del Sol is a great choice together with several other larger motel / hotels in this budget area approaching the Golden Gate Bridge on-ramps.
Lombard @ Webster
By: Yuri Baronovsky, Copyright SFTRAVEL LLC