We arrived at the Seal Rock Inn after a long day of driving. My first impression was that it definately did NOT remind me of a 1950's national park lodge as described in a travel book I had picked up. It is on a relatively busy street corner and the sound of city buses is prevalent. My second impression came to me as I looked out the window - yes, we could see the ocean from our third floor window- but in the foreground, I observed an apparent homeless drunk sleeping in the bushes across the street. After several minutes, he woke up, staggered several steps, urinated in the plants, stumbled several more steps and lay down to sleep again. As I looked around the fairly shabby room of questionable cleanliness, I thought "Oh my God, I can't stay here with my family."
But, I tried to set a good example for my kids and roll with the punches. Amazingly we had a quiet night sleep. The buses stop running and the traffic outside dies down. We had a roomy third floor room with one queen and two twin beds, so the kids were happy to each have their own space. The next day we took the bus downtown. The "end of the line" is right across the street from Seal Rock Inn. So the bus was empty when we first got on, and there was standing room only by the time we got off. But it was a great way to people watch and meet some of the locals who live by public transportation. Many were quite friendly. We did our sightseeing thing that day and returned tired once again by bus. It was nice to not have driven in the car for a day, but one day of bus riding was enough.
The next morning my husband and I got up and walked to a charming diner down the hill. We had breakfast and a spectacular view of the ocean and the Sutro bath ruins. The neighborhood was looking a little better. Later, we drove ourselves to Fishermans Wharf and found a parking garage for another round of tourist stuff, which worked fine too.
Originally our reservations were for three nights, but we decided that two were more than enough. We cancelled our third night and opted to return to an airport hotel that we knew would be clean and reliable, we had an early flight in the morning anyway and we'd seen most of what we came to see for this trip.
In summary, Seal Rock Inn has potential to be a very nice place in an interesting location, but it needs major updating. Most of the staff is friendly, but they reside behind glass in a small office off a non-existant lobby. It doesn't give the guest a very confident feeling about the neighborhood. Free parking is a definite plus. And the price of the room was looking pretty good after experiencing how expensive everything in and around San Francisco is. Still, if we ever find our way back to San Francisco, we will probably save our pennies and pay more for a hopefully nicer place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated next to the quiet, scenic surroundings of Sutro Heights Park and Land's End, we are located away from the noisy downtown traffic and crowds, yet still in the city in a resort-like location. We are just a block up the hill from the historic Cliff House and a few steps further to miles of beach along Ocean Beach. Enjoy a wonderful breakfast or lunch at our own restaurant which serves all day and every day. Our spacious guest rooms, many of which have excellent park and ocean views, provide our guests with many amenities including free high-speed Wi-Fi , cable TVs, dual-line phones with voice mail, free locals calls, in-room iron/ironing boards, and hair dryers. Other hotel amenities incude complimentary but limited covered parking, a private patio with swimming pool, ping pong and badminton. All our guest roomsrooms are non-smoking and some with fireplaces. So if you are ready to try something different in San Francisco then consider us as your home away from home along San Francisco's ocean front. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Seal Rock Hotel San Francisco
- Seal Rock San Francisco
- Seal Rock Inn San Francisco