Today: Review of the Lodge at the Presidio (San Francisco, USA)
Opened on June 28, 2018, the Lodge at the Presidio is one of San Francisco’s most charming boutique hotels. Enjoying a stunning setting in the Presidio National Park on the northern top of the San Francisco Peninsula, the historic property is San Francisco’s closest lodging to the Golden Gate Bridge. The 42-room, three-story hotel is housed in former USA army barracks, built between 1895-97 and exemplifies the highest standards of sustainability. The majority of the guestrooms feature stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, the city skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, or a combination thereof. The beautiful and historic lodge is the sister property to the Inn at the Presidio which opened in 2012.
The Lodge at the Presidio features in my top 10 list of the best hotels in San Francisco.
Have you ever stayed at the Lodge at the Presidio? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
In this review (more info and photos below my YouTube video):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- Centrally located in the heart of the Presidio, the lodge enjoys a terrific setting and is San Francisco’s closest hotel to the Golden Gate Bridge. There’s a lot to love about the location just steps away from the seven-acre Main Post public greens, Tunnel Tops, and the Presidio Visitor Center. The Presidio features 24 miles of hiking trails, 25 miles of biking trails, the 18-hole Presidio Golf Course, cultural and recreation tenants such as the Walt Disney Family Museum and a trampoline park, restaurants, venues for hosting celebrations and meetings, and free public events. The park is home to the Presidio Officers’ Club, an award-winning museum and cultural center. The free PresidiGo Shuttle also provides easy access to the amenities of downtown San Francisco, making the lodge a home base both for natural and urban adventures.
- The Lodge at the Presidio is housed in one of the iconic Montgomery Street Barracks built between 1895-1897 by the USA army to house six artillery companies, a cavalry troop, and two infantry companies. The historic streetscape was later dubbed “Infantry Row.” By the end of 1897, the Presidio was one of the five largest army posts in the country with over 900 men and officers living there, almost twice the size of the garrison a decade earlier. During the Spanish-American War in 1898 and the Philippine-American War in 1899, the building was used for hospital wards. During World War I, it operated as housing for students in the Reserve Officers Training Camps held at the Presidio to prepare new junior officers for the rapidly expanding army. For most of the period between World War I and World War II, it was the home to companies of the 30th Infantry Regiment, “San Francisco’s Own.” In 1980, enlisted personnel ceased using the building as barracks. During the 1980s, the building was renovated for FEMA occupancy until 2000. In 2018, it reopened as a hotel after extensive renovations.
- On the outisde, the Lodge at the Presidio faces the Presidio’s Main Parade Ground, a sprawling lawn that hosts the popular Presidio picnics on Sundays (March to October). On the inside, the lodge’s elegant design features a classic and timeless aesthetic by blending traditional and modern styles. The Presidio’s rich military history is showcased throughout the property with artisan details and memorabilia, complemented by contemporary finishes and furnishings. Art and design elements “bring the outdoors in” by reflecting the beauty of the lodge’s setting in the Presidio National Park, including its forest and bay views. Social areas include a courtyard garden with fire pit, a front porch with rocking chairs, a lobby reception, and a large dining room lounge with a fireplace. The renovated property’s architecture and interior were designed by the architecture firm Architectural Resources Group in collaboration with LC Interiors.
- The Lodge at the Presidio features 42 decently sized guest rooms in a variety of configurations, ranging from Standard Queen Rooms to Junior King suites. During my visit, I stayed in a View King Room, which offered an unobstructed view of the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge (other room types offer glimpses of the landmark or alternatively, of the downtown skyline). The room featured a comfortable kingize bed and working desk, and the ensuite bathroom was equipped with a rainshower/bathtub, toilet and one basin. Wood and leather furnishings, a navy-hued carpet and a blue accent wall created a cozy and relaxing ambiance. A highlight were the welcome amenities which were delivered inside the room on the day of arrival: a bottle of wine (Sofia Rosé from Monterey County), chocolate truffles from Torn Ranch, and an olive & tomato tapenade from Sutter Buttes.
- Guests at the Lodge at the Presidio can enjoy a daily complimentary continental breakfast (from 7 am to 10 am) in the hotel’s dining room. The small but tastefully presented buffet includes oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, pastries, cereal, yogurt, fresh granola, fresh fruit, freshly brewed coffee and juices. Each evening (from 5 pm to 7 pm), the lodge also offers its guests a wine & cheese reception; it’s the perfect occasion to mingle with other guests in the dining room, to sit outside on the chairs on the lodg’s porch, or to enjoy the warmth of the fire-pit, all while indulging in local wines and a selection of cheeses and charcuterie.
- For nearly three years, the Presidio Trust project team and architecture firm meticulously transformed the colonial revival style barrack into a hotel in accordance with the building principles of “adaptive reuse” and sustainability. Construction was done in compliance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) standards. A large amount of waste and energy was conserved when reinforcing the brick building, through the state-of-the-art seismic strengthening process utilizing carbon and glass fibers. Water-efficient plumbing and landscaping result in 20% less than average water usage. Energy efficient “on-demand” power in the guestrooms is key card activated, saving energy when guest rooms are not in use. The original windows have been restored and upgraded with weather stripping and sound reducing glass. Recycled jean scraps were utilized for insulation in the roof and walls.
- The Lodge at the presidio is the sister property to the 22-room Inn at the Presidio, just a short stroll away. Originally known as Pershing Hall Bachelor Officers’ Quarters, the building that now houses the Inn at the Presidio was named for General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, who served at the Presidio and went on to become commander of the American Expeditionary Force in France during World War I. Built in 1903, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Georgian Revival-style brick building is three stories high with San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge views from the top floor. The interior design celebrates the Presidio’s rich past with artisan details and memorabilia, complemented by contemporary furnishings. The furniture and fabrics – simple stripes, natural leather, wool and linen – are true to the discreet character of the building’s past as a BOQ. The art program is an important feature of the Inn, showcasing historic photographs and contemporary regional art that exemplifies the park experience.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
- The Lodge at the Presidio does not offer the same facilities that you’ll find at San Francisco’s more lavish 5-star hotels (although it charges similar rates). For example, there is no pool, no spa and no gym. If you can’t live without these wellness & recreational facilities, the Lodge at the Presidio might not be the best choice for you. But if you’re a history buff and you appreciate a boutique hotel in a unique & serene setting, you’ll love it.
- The Lodge at the Presidio enjoys a secluded location but that’s part of its appeal for most guests. The area around the property has been developed in a non-commercial way, so this also means there are no boutiques and only a few restaurants within walking distance. You’ll have to drive or take a taxi to San Francisco’s lively neighborhoods for more dining or shopping options, but upon return, you’ll appreciate to be staying in a beautiful, tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s downtown area.
- The room rate is rather expensive, but isn’t everything in San Francisco? And any stay at the Lodge at the Presidio also includes some complimentary perks, such as breakfast in the morning, wine & cheese sampling in the evening, and free use of bikes to explore the area while staying at the hotel.
- Except for the daily breakfast and wine & cheese reception, there are no other food services provided by the hotel. The lack of room service or restaurant options in the hotel or nearby can be a little challenging, although delivery to the hotel is always an option of course.
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 7/10
- Pool: not available
- Rooms: 8/10
- Food: not available
- Breakfast: 8/10
- Spa: not available
- Service: 8/10
- Value for money: 8/10
- Overall experience: very good 8/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read here my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like the Lodge At The Presidio (and/or receive many free perks).
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
San Francisco weather is best in the spring and fall, with warm and clear days, and comfortably cool nights. The city is often shrouded in fog during mid-summer (June to September). Winter can bring storms and rains. So the best months, that usually come with brilliant sunshine, are October, November, April and May.
HOW TO GET THERE
The San Francisco area is served by two international airports:
- San Francisco International Airport is located 13 miles (21 km) south of downtown San Francisco and it served by many full-service carriers. Check the Wikipedia page of San Francisco International Airport for a list of airlines that fly to San Francisco.
- Oakland International Airport is located accross the Bay, 5 miles (8 km) south of downtown Oakland, and is served by most American full-service and low-cost carriers. Check the Wikipedia page of Oakland Airport for a list of airlines that fly to Oakland.
Below is a selection of my photos of The Lodge at the Presidio. To view more photos, click here.