Many of Hotel Zephyr's guestrooms feature a balcony with waterfront views. // © 2017 Hotel Zephyr
Feature image (above): “The Yard” at the property // © 2017 Hotel Zephyr
The first things we noticed at San Francisco’s Hotel Zephyr were the gigantic Connect 4 and Jenga games located near the outdoor fire pit. Even though we hadn’t checked in yet, my 12-year-old daughter asked, “Why can’t we stay for more nights?”
Just steps from popular Pier 39 in the heart of bustling Fisherman’s Wharf, the motor lodge turned upscale boutique hotel is perfect for families and the young at heart. With a modern and quirky vibe, the decor at Hotel Zephyr is made up of upcycled materials that help create a nautical theme. Industrial art is sprinkled throughout the common areas, including metal benches and sculptures made from recycled objects. Wall maps and passages from Moby-Dick written on the walls of the elevators provide unexpected touches of art. In the outdoor area called “The Yard,” shipping containers serve as planters, and a huge periscope gives guests a unique view of the bay.
In addition to the oversize games, there’s an indoor game room with Ping-Pong, pool, shuffleboard and plenty of board games. The lobby area is lined with couches, porthole seats and more funky, nautical touches.
Hotel Zephyr has 361 guestrooms and suites, many featuring private balconies with views of the city, Alcatraz, San Francisco’s famous bridges and more. In our room, blankets emblazoned with “S.O.S.” were draped over the beds, making it feel more like a spacious cruise ship stateroom than a hotel. Some rooms even have portholes and window seats, although ours had a balcony and view of the bay. There was an in-room backgammon set for more game playing, along with high-tech media streaming options and all the expected comforts.
In addition to being close to many of the city’s top attractions, Hotel Zephyr is convenient for those using public transportation. But since the property used to be a motor lodge, parking is close to the rooms, and in-and-out privileges included in the parking fees make exploring San Francisco by car quite easy, too.
Given all that we experienced during our visit, I was surprised we still managed a few rounds of Ping-Pong, indoor and outdoor shuffleboard and Connect 4. Next time, we will need to make sure to leave time for Jenga, too.