Marriott San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, California

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Completely renovated in 2009, plus soft renovations in 2011
  • Multimedia center that connects a laptop to the TV
  • Great beds: six pillows, down duvet, quality sheets
  • Helpful concierge
  • Three blocks to family-friendly shops and attractions
  • Quieter location than other Fisherman's Wharf hotels, a bit removed from the crowds

Cons

  • No pool
  • Expensive valet and self-parking (both cost the same)
  • Fee for Wi-Fi

Bottom Line

After finishing its renovations in 2011, this 285-room Marriott is one of the freshest-feeling hotels in kid-friendly Fisherman's Wharf, and is located three blocks from the shops and attractions along the waterfront. It has up-to-date guest rooms and a spacious fitness center, but unlike the Sheraton, Radisson, Hilton, and Hyatt, it lacks a pool.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

This Marriott draws a mix of tourists and business travelers with its attractive rates and central Fisherman's Wharf location, just three blocks from the waterfront and close to a cable car stop.

The Marriott San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf
The Marriott San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

This five-floor Marriott finished a renovation of its 285 rooms in December 2009 and a refresher to the lobby, meeting spaces, and a restaurant redesign in 2011. The design is bright and modern, with streamlined design and metalic accents. Due to its contemporary (if corporate) decor and competitive rates, it attracts a mixed crowd -- families; couples; international business travelers; anyone looking to cash in on their Marriott Rewards points.

Given its clean, modern guest rooms and friendly, if not outstanding, service, it's a good pick compared to most other big-chain properties, like the Holiday Inn. However, when compared to the more stylish and service-oriented Argonaut Hotel, it's not particularly impressive (though the Argonaut is often a bit more expensive).

 Service

Friendly, but basic: a well-informed concierge but no all-day room service

While luxury-level service shouldn't be expected at this price point, the staff, in general, is helpful and friendly. Like most hotels in Fisherman's Wharf, the bellmen tend to wait inside the lobby and the valets only park the cars.

  • Room service is available throughout the day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • The concierge (available throughout the day) can help with directions, reservations, and info on San Francisco attractions.
  • The hotel doesn't provide free extra toiletries like toothpaste (unlike at the Courtyard by Marriott), but the on-site gift shop will deliver items to your room with no extra delivery fee.
  • Valet and self-parking, with in-and-out privileges, is very expensive.
  • Daily housekeeping and evening turndown services
  • Safe deposit boxes at front desk for storing valuables.
  • Newspaper delivered to room on request
  • Wi-Fi available throughout the hotel for a fee

 Location

Three blocks from the shops and touristy attractions on the Fisherman's Wharf waterfront; surrounded by many other midpriced chain hotels

The hotel sits three blocks southwest of the touristy shops and attractions on the Fisherman's Wharf waterfront. While that puts it a few minutes further from the action than other hotels, such as the Argonaut and Radisson, it's also out of the way of the area's thickest crowds.

  • Three blocks from the Fisherman's Wharf outdoor shopping and dining complex
  • Three blocks from Ghirardelli Square, a restored chocolate factory now full of high-end restaurants, shopping, and wine tasting
  • Two blocks from the end of the Powell-Mason cable car line, which connects to the farther reaches of the city, like the bustling shopper's paradise of Union Square and swanky, photogenic Nob Hill
  • Pier 41, with docks where ferries leave for Alcatraz, Sausalito, and Tiburon, is four blocks away
  • A 30-minute stroll on the boardwalk will get you to the fancy waterside restaurants at the Embarcadero, or you can take the F-line streetcar, which also stops a block away from the hotel.
  • North Beach (San Francisco's Little Italy) is a 10-minute walk up the hill.
  • Roughly 3.5 miles to the Golden Gate Bridge (for public transportation, the 28 and 29 buses are your best bet).
  • Golden Gate Park is over five miles away (the opposite direction of the Golden Gate Bridge)
  • 25 minutes to San Francisco International Airport

 Rooms

These rooms, renovated in December 2009, are some of the largest in the neighborhood.

A standard guest room
A standard guest room

Standard rooms at the Marriott are larger than average for the neighborhood and, thanks to the 2009 renovations, all of the guest rooms have up-to-date electronics and fresh, comfortable bedding -- they are a bit nicer than the rooms at the Radisson or Holiday Inn. While the decor at the Marriott is modern, it isn't quite as stylish as it is at the Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf or the funky Argonaut hotel.

  • Standard rooms -- with either a king bed or two doubles -- are larger than average for the neighborhood at 320 square feet; Junior Suites measure 430 square feet and have a king bed, sleeper sofa, and a spacious sitting area.
  • Very comfortable bed: Sealy Posturpedic mattress; 100-percent cotton sheets; six pillows (both down and poly-fil); down comforter with a duvet
  • Daily housekeeping and evening turndown
  • 32-inch LG flat-panel TV with a sparse collection of only 14 channels, including HBO; neat Marriott multimedia center linked into TV for computer or audiovisual hookup
  • Six power plugs built into the work desk
  • Wi-Fi availble for a daily fee
  • Shallow safe; large enough for a laptop but not much else; safe deposit boxes available at the front desk
  • Coffeemaker with free coffee and tea and an empty mini-fridge
  • Waffle-comb bathrobe
  • iHome iPod-docking alarm clock
  • Dimly lit bathroom
  • Paul Mithcell bath products provided
  • Newspaper delivered to rooms upon request
  • Room service available throughout the day

 Features

No pool, but a spacious fitness center

The gym
The gym
  • Over 7,000 square feet of meeting space; refreshed in 2011
  • Spacious fitness center: three treadmills, three ellipticals, and two excercise bikes (each cardio machine has its own TV screen); free weights and weight machines
  • Small business center: two computers, a laser printer, and a workspace for guests toting their own laptops
  • Two washer-dryer combos that are free for guests to use; detergent can be purchased at the front desk
  • No pool, unlike at the Radisson, Hilton, and Hyatt

 Family

A decent choice for families, due to its location, but there's no pool

The nearby family-friendly attractions in Fisherman's Wharf are big pluses, but all hotels in the neighborhood offer comparable access to the fun. For a bit more cash, it's also worth considering the Argonaut, which has a well-executed nautical theme (including a "treasure chest" full of toys), and the Radisson, which has an impressive pool.

  • Standard rooms have either one king or two double beds (to sleep four); rollaway beds fit in king rooms and are charged per night; cribs are free.
  • No pool, something the Radisson, the Hilton, and the Hyatt all offer
  • No kids' menu at the Lobby Lounge, though staff can prepare things like grilled cheese and mini hamburgers
  • Three blocks from the family attractions along the waterfront; a shade farther than other hotels in the neighborhood

 Cleanliness

Renovated in 2009 and still looking new (save for some slight flaws)

While all the rooms were renovated in 2009, the windows in some rooms were in need of a scrub and there were a few spots on the bed skirt. Everything else in the room and in the bathroom, as well as the rest of the property, was well maintained. A 2011 refresh to the lobby, meeting spaces, and restaurants have helped keep it that way.

 Food

Two on-site options; better food in the neighborhood

Breakfast at Red Fin
Breakfast at Red Fin

The hotel has two options for dining, the Red Fin restaurant and the Red Fin Lounge. Both received a major redesign in 2011, now featuring streamlined modern design. A white and pink color palate, with gold and blue accents, is playful but kept tasteful with simple but sylish furniture.

  • Red Fin hosts the hotel's breakfast buffet and also offers a la carte breakfast.
  • The lounge serves light lunch and also doubles as the hotel's bar, with happy hour deals (half-price drafts and cheap tacos) in the evening.
  • The Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood also abounds with good -- if a bit touristy and overpriced -- seafood restaurants.

 Bottom Line

After finishing its renovations in 2011, this 285-room Marriott is one of the freshest-feeling hotels in kid-friendly Fisherman's Wharf, and is located three blocks from the shops and attractions along the waterfront. It has up-to-date guest rooms and a spacious fitness center, but unlike the Sheraton, Radisson, Hilton, and Hyatt, it lacks a pool.

Things You Should Know About Marriott San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf

Address

  • 1250 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Marriott Hotel San Francisco
  • Marriott San Francisco
  • San Francisco Marriott

Room Types

  • Guest Room
  • Hospitality Suite
  • Junior Suite
  • Junior Suite, Corner Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 285
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
Address: 1250 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133
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