Guest Post: Amie O’Shaughnessy is the Editor of CiaoBambino.com, an award-winning family travel guide covering kid-friendly activities and best family hotel reviews.  She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and 7-year-old son.


Where you stay in the San Francisco Bay Area is important.  In addition to the usual kid-friendly accommodation needs around convenience, amenities, and atmosphere, the location of your hotel will significantly impact your vacation experience given the amazing array of very distinct neighborhoods in and around San Francisco.

Highlights from our Bay Area kid-friendly hotel portfolio

In-town options

Hotel del Sol

Hotel del Sol provides a fun and funky California hotel experience.  You may not fall in love with the architecture of this 50’s-style motor lodge, but it is amazingly kid-friendly with treats on arrival and weekend BBQs by the pool.  Luxury seekers should look elsewhere, but if value, space, and location are top-of-mind, Hotel del Sol is an exceptional option.  The swimming pool is small and shady, but will do the trick if you simply need a place for a quick dip between sightseeing stops (noting that summer in San Francisco can be cold and foggy).  What I love most about Hotel del Sol is the location in the Marina District where you can walk to the beach, a long list of casual restaurants, and local-flavor shopping on Union and Chestnut Streets.

St. Regis San Francisco

The St. Regis San Francisco is a top choice for in-town luxury.  The modern atmosphere is warm and comfortable, and rooms have fantastic skyline views.  The location is also excellent and families can walk to Union Square, the Yerba Buena Center, and the Ferry Building Marketplace.

Although we don’t have any San Francisco options in our portfolio yet, we like Kimpton Hotels for families (see top family-friendly hotel chains for reference).  Here’s a link to Kimpton’s San Francisco Hotel List.

Out-of-town Options

Cavallo Point Lodge

Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito is a very special space.  Turn-of-the-century buildings in a stunning natural setting with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco skyline provide an utterly unique Bay Area hotel experience.  The Bayside buildings are my favorite option for families where multi-room guest units make you feel like you’re staying in a San Francisco apartment.  A massive grass area provides loads of space for kids to run—plus, the hotel is literally next door to the Discovery Museum.

The Lodge at Tiburon

The Lodge at Tiburon is another great Marin County option on the water. A three-minute walk from the ferry, you can stay here and still get into San Francisco for urban activities without having to risk sitting in traffic over the Golden Gate Bridge or dealing with the hassle or expense of parking.