If you need to stay in a specific area, let us know, or and we’ll suggest something. If you’re not here for a convention or Belden travel, here’s a short list of hotels. Some may quote stratospheric prices. TALK THEM DOWN! Go to the web page of the bigger hotels. Sometimes they have special mid-week or offseason packages.

Chelsea Motor Inn (2095 Lombard 563-5600). And the Cow Hollow Motor Inn (2190 Lombard 921-5800) are both a block from Chestnut Street, one of the trendier shopping areas. The Cow Hollow Motor Inn is literally right next to Ristorante Parma (see restaurants above). These are small motels in the Marina District. Not fancy, but reasonable.

Handlery House (351 Geary 781-7800). Right near Union Square, the center of downtown.

King George (334 Mason 781-5050). One block off Union Square, near the Cable Car terminus, reasonable pricing, smaller rooms, one tiny elevator, very European. In the British tradition, they serve tea in the afternoon. Somewhat worn, but in the heart of the city. Location-location without the killer price.

Westin St. Francis (335 Powell 397-7000) Possibly our finest hotel. Luxury right on Union Square, very expensive. Small rooms. Wonderful lobby, especially the mosaic on the lobby floor, but noisy. At least go walk inside. Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steakhouse is in this hotel (see Bourbon in the restaurant guide)

Fairmont (950 Mason 772-5000) “Class” conditions on top of Nob Hill, with a wonderful location, very near Chinatown. This hotel survived the 1906 earthquake and fire (sort of) and is where they filmed the TV series “Hotel”. It is all about the lobby, rooms are very small and not so comfortable. Hallways are narrow. Our advice is to visit, see the lobby, and stay somewhere else.