I subscribe to several newsletters which specialize in cheap flight deals, last minute flight savings, and frequent flyers deals. While my home airport of Sea-Tac offers pretty good availability, I often find that expanding to include other west coast airports can maximize my savings even more. To help keep flight prices as low as possible, I’m always on the lookout for airport hotels where I can stay before or after those flights.
For San Francisco, my go-to airport hotel is the Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront. It’s about four miles from the airport, and with a complimentary airport shuttle, I can be portal to portal in no time at all. It meets my needs for convenience and practicality without sacrificing on comfort and amenities.
Although I always opt for a basic room, at this property called a King Deluxe, I have occasionally been upgraded to a bay view room because of my loyalty status. Even though your stay might be short, if the price differential is minimal, the upgraded room is worth it. It’s a little extra room, which I always appreciate – especially when beginning or ending a trip – and the view is nice.
The vibe of the hotel, from the lobby to rooms to dining, is California-inspired casual. Think sleek lines, with honey-colored wood furniture, and shades reminiscent of a sunset – deep orange, red, and yellow. If you set your room lighting just so, you can create a sexy glow that exceeds most of what you’d expect in a chain hotel.
Rooms have custom-designed beds with pillow-top mattresses (branded as the Hilton Serenity Bed) with white linens to offset the sunset colors. The flat-screen televisions are a full entertainment center allowing you to plug in and view your digital devices on the monitor. The workspace is well laid out with lots of plug-ins and an ergonomic chair. One thing I appreciate, since time zone changes mean that I may be staying on the backside of the clock, is the blackout drapes. These truly keep the room dark enough to simulate night time, it’s not just a specious claim.
Bathrooms are spacious, with dark wood elevated vanities and ample counter and storage space, and stocked with premium bath amenities.
Wi-fi is free in the lobby. There’s a fee for wi-fi in the room, although it’s waived for Hilton Honors members.
While I don’t typically opt for an Executive floor option for a quick overnight, if you have the status or budget, these rooms come with access to a free breakfast and evening appetizers in the Executive Lounge. If you typically eat breakfast, the savings of this alone can make this a value-added option that more than pays for itself.
The Hilton has a 24-hour business center, an indoor pool, and a fitness center. It is pet-friendly ($75 non-refundable fees), and there’s a dog park nearby. There’s also lots of meeting space if you’re planning an event.
There are two restaurants on property, Windows on the Bay for breakfast (both a buffet and menu ordering) and Fire/Vine Grill & Bar for lunch and dinner. Other restaurants are located nearby – this location is sort of a hotel row along the bay with other hotels and restaurants to support them all.
For a longer stay in San Francisco, I’d recommend staying downtown (the Hilton Union Square is one of my favorites), but for a short stay before or after a flight, the airport property is a great option.
The Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront is located at 600 Airport Boulevard, Burlingame, California. Rates start around $150 per night. You can compare rates at Priceline, Travelocity or other online booking sites. Its airport location makes it a popular hotel with business travelers, so you will likely find lower rates on weekends. Weekday parking is $20 for self-park and $26 for valet. It’s a few dollars less per day on the weekends. A complimentary airport shuttle is available and runs about every 20 minutes, it’s about a 10-minute ride. A cab or Uber will run you about $15.