As San Francisco City Hall wedding photographers, couples ask us all the time where they should stay before and after the wedding. Since many of them are traveling from out of town, or even from another state or country, they get overwhelmed with all the hotel options in the city. It’s nice to have a hotel relatively close to City Hall, while still enjoying lovely amenities and a nice space for getting ready.
We recommend booking a room for at least two nights, for before and after the wedding. You’ll want a nice area to get ready and a place to head to once the festivities are over.
Argonaut Hotel in one word: Nautical
Two miles from City Hall, so you may want to call an Uber!
We had a hard time coming up with just one word to describe the Argonaut Hotel. It’s grand, it’s iconic, it’s historic, it’s so many things. But we settled on nautical because that deftly sums up both the decor and the location. Every guestroom and suite is filled with tasteful nautical decor that we find supremely charming. Add the views of the SF Bay, and you have a truly nautical hotel.
Now let’s talk location. The Argonaut is located in the heart of the San Francisco Maritime National Park, nestled up to Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s situated right on the water, closer to the water than any other hotel in San Francisco! This provides many of its rooms with astounding views of the bay. And since it’s in Fisherman’s Wharf, this allows for a ton of tourist activities. It’s very easy to turn this stay into a vacation (or honeymoon!), with water activities, shopping, and events on the wharf.
We recommend booking either a Bay View guestroom or one of the stunning 600 square foot suites. And when we mention views, it’s not just simply the bay. You’ll get a direct view of either Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, or the historic ships along the Hyde Street Pier. If you get a city view, you won’t be disappointed there, either; San Francisco boasts so much history and beauty, and the city views are gorgeous both night and day. Plus, a larger room, views, and decor are perfect for getting-ready photos!
Phoenix Hotel in one word: Rock n’ Roll
Walking distance! Short three block walk from SF City Hall.
The Phoenix Hotel has a musical history spanning decades. In 1986, Chip Conley purchased what was a run-down, neglected motor lodge originally built in the 1950s and transformed it into a boutique hotel. The Phoenix Hotel earned its namesake by rising from the ashes of the old motor lodge and becoming a legendary pitstop for musicians. The large parking lot appealed to bands on tour buses and even featured powerful outlets for these buses to recharge. In the 1990s, famous rock n’ roll musicians, as well as actors, knew that the Phoenix Hotel was a safe haven for their celebrity; they could hang out here, party here, and they could do it all in good company.
Now the hotel has transformed yet again to reflect the nostalgia of those rock n’ roll times. The exterior red doors of its rooms instantly transport you to a classic 1950s-era roadside hotel while the poolside area is distinctly artistic. This summer they’ll continue their love of poolside parties every Sunday with their Sunday Summer Series.
During the week, the hotel is much quieter than it is during the busy weekends. But no matter when you stay at the Phoenix Hotel, you’ll enjoy a perfectly heated pool, excellent customer service from their staff, and the joy of experiencing a rich history in this landmark SF hotel.
3. Hotel Vitale
Hotel Vitale in one word: Luxurious
Located on the water, two miles from City Hall, with views of the Bay Bridge and the city.
If you’re looking to indulge and pamper yourselves during your wedding, then staying at Hotel Vitale is a no-brainer. This is a highly rated 4-star hotel located on the waterfront with stunning views of the Bay Bridge and the city. Hotel Vitale not only boasts rooms with luxurious amenities, but also a full-service spa, and a restaurant and bar. Like many of the hotel’s rooms, their restaurant Americano showcases panoramic views of the city which can be viewed from inside the lounge or from their outdoor patio seating.
Spa Vitale offers a revitalizing spa experience that is perfect for relaxing before the wedding day. Opting for a luxurious couples’ massage is a wonderful way to calm those pre-wedding jitters. Or, if you want some alone time, the spa also offers an outdoor private deep-soaking tub surrounded by a bamboo garden.
Hotel Vitale hosts a variety of rooms with multiple view options. From quiet interior rooms to corner rooms with panoramic views, you will find the perfect room for you at this boutique hotel.
Do you have a recommendation on where to stay in San Francisco during your wedding? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!