01. Introduction: the trip report that almost didn’t happen
02. United Airlines A320 economy class San Diego to San Francisco
03. San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront
04. United Airlines A320 economy class San Francisco to San Diego
I almost felt bad for choosing to stay at an airport hotel when there are so many good (real) hotels in the city of San Francisco. The Westin St Francis is just one example of a hotel located in the heart of the city that I really enjoyed, and there are a billion other just as nice hotels within a stones throw of that place. It’s really hard to go wrong when choosing a pace to stay in San Francisco!
But you have to remember that I was not even planning on writing this trip report, so I thought it would be ok to save a few bucks (and a lot of time) by staying close to the airport. There’s certainly nothing wrong with airport Marriott hotels, but they aren’t necessarily the most interesting subject matter for writing entertaining reviews and trip reports. With that in mind, let’s get on with it…
Of all the hotels adjacent to San Francisco International Airport, the Airport Marriott Waterfront looked the most interesting to me as I was browsing online and making the reservations. I mean, how bad could a hotel that sits right on the shores of the bay really be? The reviews on Hotels.com seemed to be pretty good, so I was confident with my selection right up until the moment we were pulling up to it in the shuttle bus.
First impressions were not all that good. Maybe because the weather was dull and gray and I was dead tired from driving all day, but I guess I had envisioned this place to be a bit more upscale than what I was seeing from the outside. I know, Marriott hotels aren’t known for being plush and luxurious, but being right on the waterfront made me think that it was going to be something special.
Walking into the lobby for the first time was an experience I’ll never forget. It was busy. I mean, like wall to wall “excuse me I can’t get by” people-everywhere kind of busy. The lobby was full of people attending some sort of formal event, and then once I got past that I saw that the lounge took up most of the floorpan with the check in desks pushed way over to the right. The lounge was packed, and the line for checking in was long, but thankfully I didn’t have to wait for a significant amount of time.
The desk agent checked me in super-fast and sent me on my way before I could even ask about the WiFi, but I did feel thankful that she was so quick about it. This was not a calm welcome to this hotel, and I was very much looking forward to the quiet sanctuary of my room.
The room itself was pretty nice. Certainly not luxurious or high end, but very quiet and comfortable which was exactly what I was looking for. The view was pretty good too, though it was unfortunate that I wasn’t facing the airport (my room faced south). Rooms on that side of the building must have had one heck of a view!
Room service was the biggest disappointment. First of all, prices were outrageously expensive. And while the menu did look quite good, the food arrived with plastic wrap clinging to it looking as if they had just taken it out of the microwave. It even tasted mass-produced and frozen dinner-like. I was so exhausted from a long day of driving that I didn’t have enough energy to go out for dinner, but I’d highly recommend it to anyone thinking about ordering room service here.
All in all, the Airport Marriott Waterfront at SFO is a good airport hotel. Not bad, but not what I’d consider excellent either. You could very easily get more value for your money by choosing to stay at a nicer airport in the city, assuming you don’t mind the (minor) hassle of getting to and from the airport. The BART train makes that easy though, so you really have no excuse not to if you have the time.