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All reviews courtyard room chestnut street marina district palace of fine arts free parking the golden gate bridge full kitchen lombard st the presidio crissy field fisherman's wharf within walking distance street noise bed was comfortable public transit two blocks garage
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Reviewed August 4, 2019

I took a chance on the Marina Motel and was pleasantly surprised. Reading other reviews, I expected this motel to be very old, dingy, small and antiquated but clean. Our room, #12, was decent sized for 3 adults: 2 beds, 2 comfortable faux leather chairs, a large dresser, mini fridge, and microwave. The building itself is old but renovated and tastefully decorated in a bit of an Old World style. We loved it!

In past visits, we stayed right near Pier 39 or Fisherman’s Wharf. This was a nice location off the tourist traps yet close to shops and restaurants one block over on Chestnut. A nice grocery market on Chestnut about a block away. And we were able to walk to Pier 39 easily in about 30-40 minutes.

The motel has parking garages beneath the units so you can park for free. That, alone, in San Francisco is a big deal (nearby hotels charge well over $50 per night for parking). We got a rental car for flexibility but did not need to drive much, so it was nice to be able to park and leave it.

Check in was easy and our room was ready after 3 pm. Free Wifi that worked well.

This is a no-frills motel and there really are no common spaces to hang out. It would be lovely if there were a picnic table or some small area in the courtyard to sit outside and enjoy a drink. The courtyard is really pretty and there are flowers all around it. It’s a quiet space away from the city traffic.

Beds were very comfortable. Room and bathroom were clean. Bathroom included amenities such as shampoo, soap, makeup remover wipes. Coffee, hot chocolate, and tea were provided along with a Keurig type maker. These were all replenished each day. There was a small microwave and a large mini-fridge, which was handy for drinks and snacks.

No balcony or patio. Some rooms have a full sized kitchenette, which we would have preferred, but they were all booked.

As others have mentioned, there are a few things to know before you go, so you’re not disappointed. Our room faced the exterior (side, not street), not the courtyard. Weather temperatures were in the mid 60s but the room gets a little warm during the day and there is no air conditioning. There is a fan which helped. At night, temps cool down and we were quite comfortable. We did leave our windows open all the time, which helped with air flow. We were on the second floor and did not feel unsafe. However, the windows are old and there is no window screen so be aware if you have small children.

Other reviewers have mentioned noise. You’re next to a main street in the city so yes, there is some traffic noise. We did not find it that noisy, compared to many cities we’ve stayed in. There was a knocking sound of a radiator as well. I always travel with ear plugs so it made no difference to me! And the fan was nice white noise to minimize the traffic sounds.

There are a couple homeless people who seem to stay at the end of the block near the bus stop, but we never felt unsafe and they never bothered anyone. I actually felt there were fewer homeless in this area than in many other cities we’ve stayed in.

This motel is pet friendly, for a small fee. You have to let the hotel know about your pet and they have some reasonable rules for pets. I did not notice any pet odor, which is a great thing! Everything was clean and fresh.

Overall, we really enjoyed this motel and its location. It’s a great cost saving option in an expensive city, and gives you a fresh view of a different part of San Francisco. We would stay again!

Room tip: Courtyard side is quietest
Date of stay: August 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Steamboat323
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2019

We stayed at the Marina Motel for 3 nights in the beginning of July. The location is very convenient, close to the hop on hop off bus, buses, restaurants & a Laundromat in the next street. Staff were very friendly & helpful & emails leading up to the visit were promptly answered.
The rooms are very basic, but very clean. There was a small fridge & microwave & coffee maker in the room. There are also about 10 steps leading up to each room. Although it is located on a busy street, we had a room in the courtyard & could not hear any traffic noise & the whole complex is very quiet. There is plenty of parking for those with cars.
We enjoyed our stay here, good value & the location is great.

Room tip: Ask for a room in the courtyard, as the motel is located on a busy street.
Date of stay: July 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Jan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2019 via mobile

We stayed here for 2 nights this month. We received friendly greeting at the office and they even had chocolate chip cookies for guests. Great start! We chose a courtyard room off busy Lombard and with windows open, it really wasn’t that noisy. The courtyard was gorgeous with many flowering shrubs in bloom and tromp l’oeil on walls. While decor was a little dated, it was a very clean room with all equipment and plumbing functional. Charming kitchen, well equipped, and we used it for breakfast and snacks mainly. The bed was comfy, too. One night, my husband awoke to banging noises which may have been neighbor’s radiator. We used our radiator only on the morning we left and it was quiet, worked nicely. The motel’s garages were great. We parked our car in one, closed the door and hoofed it over to Chestnut Street, Marina Green, Bay Trail, and Palace of Fine Arts. Easy walks. We took a Lyft to Orpheum Theatre to see Hamilton (excellent musical btw!) and truly, the motel’s location was just terrific. SF very walkable and lots of transportation options—leave the car! We’d definitely stay at Marina Motel again!

Date of stay: July 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
3  Thank Scooter914
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2019

Spent two nights at the Marina Motel and I enjoyed every minute. We had a room on the street and we were told it was going to be loud and it was, but it didn't bother me a bit. I threw open the windows and embraced it all. My son used earplugs when sleeping and said he didn't hear a thing. The staff was great, especially Declan! He was very helpful, and gave us great advice about seeing the sites, places to eat, and areas to stay away from. He was spot on with all his inside information and hidden gems in the city. We were a party of seven so we were driving a large SUV. Declan helped us with parking and rollaway beds. Couldn't ask for anything else. Loved the shower, loved the location, and the beautiful flowers surrounding the property. Hope I have the opportunity to visit SF again in the future and would definitely stay at the Marina Motel.

Date of stay: June 2019
3  Thank Kathy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2019

This is a gem for those that don't need a fancy dancy stay. Stayed at the Marina Motel for 5 nights. It was great! Visiting the Academy of Arts University for educational purposes. This motel met all of the daily needs. Rented a car, and had a private garage within steps from the room. The room had a kitchenette which was used daily to cook all meals. Walgreen's is on the corner, walked for necessities. Walked all around during the day and at night. Felt safe and secure! The motel grounds are just beautiful! Flowers and plants everywhere! The owners are super duper nice, friendly and helpful to boot! Transit system runs right in front of the motel for convenience. Perspective is the key! Clean, friendly, safe!

Date of stay: May 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank R D
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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