San Francisco may not be a big sprawling city, but it has some of the biggest attractions in the United States. There is plenty to keep families busy, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island, and Walt Disney Museum. So if you are looking for the best family hotel in San Francisco, you won’t be disappointed. Family-friendly hotels in San Francisco range from luxurious five-star hotels to more modest accommodation to suit all kinds of budgets.
Some of the family-friendly hotels also stand out among the best hotels in San Francisco. They come packed with amenities that are specifically aimed at young kids. From special kids’ programs to adjoining rooms and kid-friendly activities, you’ll find enough to keep the family indoors if you so choose. However, with all that the city has to offer, staying indoors is hardly an option!
Table of contents
- Parker Guest House
- Handlery Union Square
- The Suites At Fisherman’s Wharf
- Hotel Zetta
- Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf
- Hotel Zephyr
- Four Seasons
- Argonaut Hotel
- Fairmont Heritage Place
- The St. Regis San Francisco
- The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco
- Where to Stay in San Francisco
- Recommended Family Restaurants / Bars in San Francisco
- Recommended Family Activities in San Francisco
Parker Guest House
Parker Guest House is not your typical family hotel in San Francisco, but it’s a good choice for families wanting a bit of respite from downtown and the other touristy areas. Located near The Castro and the Mission district, the guest house puts you close to public transport. Housed in two buildings, an old Edwardian building and a Victorian house, the space is tasteful and welcoming.
The reason why this guest house sits so well with families is the homely vibe. Tastefully decorated rooms with bright white walls and large windows feel warm and welcoming. Ensuite bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations. All rooms also come with televisions.
Breakfast included in the room rate is a good spread of morning treats. The sunny breakfast room overlooking the garden is a good place to begin your day. Another good space at the lodge is the parlor in the old building. Guests can also enjoy the outside seating under the trees. Thoughtful touches such as a kitchen in each building are a welcome bonus for families. Unlike the other family-friendly hotels in San Francisco, there are no big amenities on offer here, but it’s still one of the best family hotels in San Francisco.
Handlery Union Square
As a family-owned and operated hotel, the Handlery Union Square Hotel is a good option for someone looking for a family-friendly hotel in San Francisco that’s affordable and convenient. The hotel is located on the western border of the popular Union Square. If your family loves shopping, the area will provide you with all that and more. It’s also a relatively safe neighborhood which is another reason why families prefer to stay here. Getting around the city is quite easy, too, as the hotel is right on two cable car routes.
The hotel has two distinct sections the conventional Historical Section and the more modern Premier Section. Depending on your family’s needs, you can choose from several rooms types. Given the character of the Victorian building, rooms in the Historic Section are less spacious than the Premier rooms. That aside, you’ll find a good range of amenities in all rooms. The hotel also has a special Family Package that offers a 25% discount on the second room that you book as a family. Dogs are also allowed for a non-refundable fee, but only one dog is permitted per room.
The Handlery boasts one of the best hotel pools in San Francisco that is open year-round. Ample lounge chairs and tables are placed around the pool in the open-air atrium. If your hunger pangs kick in, you’ll find plenty of dining options in the vicinity. You could also order room service that also features a kids’ menu.
The Suites At Fisherman’s Wharf
Families in the city for a longer stay will probably prefer the relatively affordable Suites at Fisherman’s Wharf. The central location provides convenient access to a number of attractions, plus it’s not a sprawling property, so it feels quite welcoming. Unlike the other family-friendly hotels in San Francisco, this one does not have any special kids program. However, the convenient location and spacious accommodation make it a great family hotel in San Francisco.
If you’re looking for modern flourishes and hi-tech gadgets, then this is not the best family hotel in San Francisco for those perks. Though the interiors feel a bit dated, the hotel is clean and well maintained. The suites reflect the same decor, but the beds are extremely comfortable. Additionally, the fully-functional kitchen is a godsend with its wide range of cookware.
As mentioned above, the Suites at Fisherman’s Wharf is a good space for families looking for spacious accommodation without too many frills. There’s a roof deck that provides good views of the surroundings, but other than laundry facilities, standard amenities in the rooms, and free WiFi, there’s nothing else on offer here.
The split-level lobby with its games is what draws families to Hotel Zetta in downtown SOMA. If you’re looking for a family-friendly hotel in San Francisco that’s in a bustling area, this Viceroy-owned hotel is a good one to consider. From the hotel’s location, public transport is easy to get to. Half a block away, you’ll find buses, vintage trams, and MUNI light rail, and BART trails, while the Powell Street cable car is a block away.
Games such as shuffleboard and giant Plinko are located in The Playroom on the hotel’s second floor. It also features a Nintendo Wii U console with over 50 games. Spacious accommodation at Zetta is another reason why this is a preferred family hotel in San Francisco. The Zetta Suite is a good option for families as it features a separate parlor with a sleeper sofa, a dining table for four, a mini-fridge, and other extras. All rooms also come with Amazon Alexa voice assistants powered by Volara. Another big draw for families is the PAD (Pup-Approved Digs) Program at the hotel. It means your special family member is not left out.
The Cavalier, a British brasserie adjacent to the lobby, is a good place to grab a bite. There’s also Marianne’s bar and the S&R lounge in the lobby. Apart from this, the hotel has also tied up with MINA Family Kitchen for in-room dining.
Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf
The reason why many rank the Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf as the best family hotel in San Francisco is the amenities and location. Within walking distance of many major attractions such as Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, and North Beach, the hotel sees a good mix of guests. It’s a convenient family hotel in San Francisco, perfect for exploring attractions in the city. Moreover, the hotel is pet-friendly, so your furry family member is more than welcome here.
Nautically themed rooms feature stylish contemporary decor. They’re comfortable and spacious with a good range of amenities such as a mini-fridge, Keurig coffeemaker, charging station, and robes upon request. Families will be better off booking a suite of rooms with two beds. Cribs are also available on request.
Another reason why families rank this as a good family-friendly hotel in San Francisco is the outdoor heated pool on the third floor. Kids enjoy splashing around in the pool or lounging around with their parents. Although there is no poolside bar, guests are allowed to bring snacks and drinks from the bar downstairs. A buffet breakfast is served at The Wardroom, but Brick & Beam offers a good selection of favorites for other meals. If you prefer to dine in your room, you can choose to order from the neighborhood restaurants.
Many families headed to Fisherman’s Wharf choose to stay at Hotel Zephyr for its fun vibe. Some rate it as the best family hotel in San Francisco for its outdoor courtyard. The Yard is where all the fun for kids is. It’s filled with oversized games, such as Giant Connect 4, The Maze, Foosball, and other games, as well as four firepits. There’s also a giant periscope in the courtyard. Don’t fret if the weather turns bad as the 805 sq. ft indoor game room will more than compensate.
Nautically themed rooms are also a big hit with kids and adults. You can choose from various rooms to suit your family’s needs. The hotel also has connecting rooms or rooms with two double beds. All rooms come with standard features to enhance your stay. One thing to note, though, the hotel has an additional amenity fee of $30 per room.
A vintage camper in the outdoor courtyard sells coffees, espressos, breakfast pastries, and light lunches and dinners. However, there are over a dozen restaurants nearby if you prefer something more substantial.
Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco describes itself as ‘an urban playland for families,’ and they’re not off the mark on that one. Young guests at the hotel are made to feel extra special with offers designed with them in mind. Kids receive welcome milk and cookies on arrival and also have a special concierge for themselves. You’ll also find kid-sized robes and slippers, board games, and children’s bath amenities in the rooms. If you think this is all that makes it the best family hotel in San Francisco, you’re mistaken.
Items for childproofing rooms, diapers and wipes, bottle warmers, and a kids menu in all outlets at the hotel are some more perks you can look forward to for kids. Also, age-specific itineraries can be created by the Kids Concierge to ensure toddlers and teens enjoy San Francisco to the fullest. Guest rooms are stylish and well-appointed to provide maximum comfort. The rooms are bright and spacious, with large windows allowing plenty of natural light into the rooms. Cribs and a rollaway can be provided on request with an extra fee for the rollaway.
Outside the rooms, you’ll find quite a few amenities to keep you and the older kids busy. The Equinox Sports Club, under the same roof, welcomes guests aged 15 years and older. It features a junior Olympic lap pool and a basketball court. There’s also a full-service spa at the same venue. Guests at the hotel receive complimentary access to the Equinox Sports Club. For dining, you can head to the onsite MKT Bar, open for all meals.
Housed within Fisherman’s Wharf historic Haslett Warehouse building, the Argonaut Hotel is another family hotel in San Francisco that feels like a step back in time. Exposed red brick walls, wooden plank floors, and a nautical-themed design make for a welcome change. The hotel stands out as one of the best family hotels in San Francisco because of the wide range of amenities for adults and children.
There’s a treasure chest of toys and a scavenger hunt for kids, plus board games around the fireplace. Inside the lobby living room, you’ll also find Xbox One console on a large screen TV. Guests can also request the use of DVD players. The hotel is also pet-friendly so that you can bring your four-legged family member along too.
Spacious guest rooms echo the seafaring theme with compasses on the headboards, star-shaped pillows, and sailor stripes. All rooms and suites come with complimentary access to Maritime Visitor’s Center and standard amenities. Many rooms have enviable views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Dining is at the hotel’s iconic Blue Mermaid Restaurant, where you can enjoy tasty seafood. You can also choose to dine in your room or have a delicious meal in one of the nearby restaurants. With Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square just a few steps away, you’re quite spoilt for choice.
Fairmont Heritage Place
The fact that Fairmont Heritage Place occupies an old chocolate factory will leave kids quite wide-eyed. However, that’s not what makes it an excellent family-friendly hotel in San Francisco. Families come here for the breathtaking views of The Bay as well as the spacious accommodation. Suites range from one to three bedrooms and are designed to make you feel right at home.
The living/dining areas in guest rooms feature hardwood floors, but the bedrooms have grey carpeting. Full kitchens are well appreciated by families. These come with dishwashers, microwaves, coffeemakers, and full sets of cookware and dishes. On request, you can also get cribs, nappy genies, and children’s bathrobes. In addition to this, babysitting and childcare services can be
While there is no onsite restaurant, a complimentary breakfast is served each morning. There’s also a late afternoon wine and cheese reception. Additionally, guests can order room service from nearby restaurants or avail of the pre-arrival grocery shopping. Other than a small fitness room, there are no other big amenities to look forward to. The former Ghirardelli chocolate factory sits in an area that’s surrounded by upscale restaurants, chocolate and ice cream stores, and boutiques. It’s also right on the waterfront at Fisherman’s Wharf, an area that kids love.
The St. Regis San Francisco
Luxurious, modern, and welcoming is how we’d describe The St. Regis San Francisco in SOMA. The contemporary hotel may not come across as a regular family-friendly hotel in San Francisco, but the hotel does extend a warm welcome to kids. Children receive a stuffed toy at check-in, plus milk and cookies in the room. With 24 interconnecting rooms to choose from, St. Regis is an outstanding family hotel in San Francisco.
260 guest rooms at the hotel range from standard Superior rooms to larger suites. You can look forward to elegant, spacious rooms at the hotel with deep soaking bathtubs in the ensuite bathrooms. Rooms showcase the latest technology with bedside touch controls operating everything from the window blinds to ‘do not disturb’ notices. Guests who reserve the suites get the extra privilege of the signature Butler Service.
It goes without saying that the service and facilities at St. Regis are par excellence. From a 50-foot heated saltwater lap pool to a top-notch spa and direct access to the Museum of the African Diaspora, the facilities here are quite outstanding. The only letdown is the dining with only one fine dining restaurant onsite and a lobby lounge. That aside, the hotel is undoubtedly one of the best family hotels in San Francisco and one of the most romantic hotels too.
The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco
Any parent familiar with The Ritz-Carlton chain of hotels will know just how kid-friendly the hotel chain is with its dedicated Ritz Kids program. Although The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco may not have as many extras as their other properties, the hotel still stands out as an excellent family hotel in San Francisco. Children receive a special welcome to the hotel with their own registration experience and a welcome kids packet. Other perks include children’s menus throughout the hotel, seasonal events, and DIY scavenger hunts.
Situated in the wealthy Nob Hill area, the neoclassical building seems a little out of place in the modern glitzy neighborhood. It’s a short walk to Union Square from here, and half a block uphill, you’ll find the 19th-century cable car that whisks you to Fisherman’s Wharf. For families looking for a bit of toned-down luxury, a say here is worth it. Rooms here are large and luxurious with a few mod cons. Crisp whites, deep blues, and rich grays set the tone, making the rooms feel chic rather than dull. Rollaway beds are provided for an additional charge, but larger families would do better to book a suite.
Parallel 37 serves up a delicious American breakfast. It also has a kids’ menu. Apart from dining here, guests can also savor food and drinks at The Lounge, which opens from 11:30 a.m onwards. A luxurious wine tasting lounge is also open in the lobby of the hotel. If you have the time, the hotel’s fitness center is a great place to burn the extra calories.
Where to Stay in San Francisco
San Francisco is a big city, and deciding where to stay can be a bit confusing, especially if you’re with family. For someone looking for a family-friendly hotel in San Francisco, it’s a good idea to zero in on a family-friendly locality.
One of the most popular neighborhoods for families is Fisherman’s Wharf. Located in the northeastern part of the city, you’ll find some of the more popular tourist attractions in the area. Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, and the Wharf has plenty to offer the entire family. If you do plan to stay here, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly hotels in San Francisco in this area.
Union Square is another popular location for families with its high-end shopping and wide range of dining. It also has a central location which is an added bonus for exploring the city. You’ll find some of the city’s historic cable cars in the neighborhood too. During the holiday season, the ice skating rink is a favored destination.
Nob Hill is another good choice for families for its iconic views and the ‘most crooked street!’ The historic cable car that goes all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf is another big draw. It’s no surprise that you’ll find some of the best family hotels in San Francisco in the area. Apart from Nob Hill, another popular family-friendly neighborhood is North Beach, with its Italian heritage and abundance of restaurants.
It doesn’t matter where you plan to stay in San Francisco because you’ll always find something for the entire family. Be it the best family-friendly hotel in San Francisco or family activity; there’s always something in the vicinity.
Recommended Family Restaurants / Bars in San Francisco
- MAC’D – If your family loves their mac & cheese they’ll definitely enjoy all that’s on offer at this restaurant close to Ghirardelli Square. Here you get to build your own mac & cheese by selecting from six dehttps://getmacd.com/licious cheese sauces (they have vegan and lactose intolerant options too), choose your macaroni and anything esle you’d like to mix in it.
- Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers – In operation since 1978, this burger place at the end of 24th street is highly popular with families. The burgers here are quite huge and with over twenty differnt styles to choose from the kids are sure to find something they like. You can also enjoy a hot dog, sandwiches or a salad here.
- Ice Cream Bar – Take a step back in time at this ice cream place with its full service 1930s style soda fountain. You can enjoy various ice creams plus baked goods using locally sourced dairy and produce.
Recommended Family Activities in San Francisco
- Aquarium of the Bay – One of the top things to do in San Francisco with kids is a visit to Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39. The kids are sure to be dazzled by the over 20,000 marine animals at the center. Walking through the 300 foot long crystal clear tunnels with sea creatures swimming by is an unmatched experience.
- Ghirardelli Chocolate – This shop may not be as interesting as Willy Wonka’s factory but kids will undoubtedly enjoy the experience of visiting the oldest continuously operating chocolate maker in the United States.
- Walt Disney Family Museum – Almost every family has been touched by Walt Disney at some point, through his movies, so a visit to the family museum is definitely worth it. Discussion on family favorites, Bambi, Snow White, Fantasia and Pinnochio will surely engage even the youngest ones. The museum also has several interesting activities.