San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront

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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.

San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront exterior

San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront exterior. I took this pic on the morning after I arrived, and believe me: the sun made it look a lot better than it did in the dull gray conditions the evening before.

SFO marriott waterfront entrance

This pic is a bit more representative of what you’ll see when you arrive.

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.

Main lobby of the San Francisco Airport Marriott

Main lobby of the San Francisco Airport Marriott. Note these pics were taken the morning after I arrived, so the crowds I experienced the night before were long gone.

SFO Marriott check in desk

Check in desks are straight ahead to the right.

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.

SFO marriott decor

Right away I was digging the black and white murals of the city of San Francisco everywhere.

SFO marriott hallway

Guest room hallway of the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront.

SFO marriott room door

The door to my room. The carpet pattern kind of looks like someone spilled a bucket of bleach all over it, right? I didn’t have that impression when I saw it in person, but that’s what I’m thinking now as I look at these pics.

SFO marriott room 8066

Room 8066 was mine for the night.

San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront room entry

Walking into the room for the first time.

SFO marriott waterfront room

Looks pretty good! I like the mural on the back wall.

San Francisco Airport Marriott bed

The white and brown textures remind me a lot of Westin properties. I like this.

sfo marriott room decor

The view from the other side of the room.

san francisco airport hotel room decor

Looks a lot like a Westin doesn’t it?

sfo marriott room wide angle

Here’s a wide angle view showing the entire space.

sfo marriott full room

And here’s a wide angle from the other side.

stylish airport marriott SFO furniture

Lounge area, with table. This is quite a stylish Marriott!

desk lamp SFO marriott hotel

Hotel chains must get really good deals on these desk lamps because I see them everywhere.

sfo marriott phone and notepad

Contents of the desk beside the bed.

$5 water bottle SFO marriott hotel

Think very carefully before you grab that water bottle. You’ll be charged $5 for opening it!

sfo marriott hotel closet

The interior of the closet, just in case you were dying to see it.

sfo marriott hotel bathroom

The bathroom looked pretty nice too!

sfo marriott hotel shower

There was no tub in this room, but the shower was nice and big.

sfo marriott hotel bathroom

I’m including this pic as a better representation of what the colors and textures were really like in here (it was shot with my Sony RX100 II, which captures color a lot better in low light than my GoPro).

sfo marriott hotel bathroom vanity

The vanity was surprisingly basic considering how stylish the rest of the bathroom was.

bathroom amenities sfo marriott hotel

Complimentary THANN amenities.

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!

sfo marriott waterfront hotel room view

The view from my room (facing south).

sfo marriott hotel proximity to airport

Just to show you how close to SFO this hotel is, you can see it clearly by standing right outside the front door.

sfo marriott hotel plane spotting

Looking towards the east, you can get great views of aircraft on runways 28R and L.

sfo marriott waterfront view

There’s a walking path that goes right along the water’s edge, so this is a great place to do a little plane spotting to kill time.

sfo marriott hotel outdoor workout area

Nice little outdoor workout area, which would be great for mornings as beautiful as this!

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.

sfo marriott hotel room service dinner

I paid way too much money for this ($50!!), which was not even close to being worth it. The food was ok, but not $50 ok.

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.

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