A stay at the Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco

Families have hundreds of lodging options while visiting San Francisco with kids, but if they want to be in the heart of the Pier 39 action, the location of the Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf can’t be beat. Literally steps from the wharf, the Radisson is the only bay hotel with this prime location, with a back entrance opening on the Embarcadero. The surrounding area is busy and crowded and noisy at night (think San Francisco’s Times Square), but with so many attractions and dining options close at hand, the trade off may be worth it. From our adjoining rooms on the fourth floor, we didn’t hear much street noise.

renovated room, Radisson fisherman's wharf

The Radisson is an older hotel showing its wear, but they’re currently in the middle of a large-scale renovation. When we visited in May 2012, the guest rooms and lobby had been redone, with plans to improve upon the outdoor areas next. The standard rooms are not large (pretty standard for city hotels), but the new decor is very nice (especially the large wall murals of the Golden Gate). The bathrooms sport tubs as well as showers, a nice perk, and it was great to have a mini-fridge and closet space. Note: The Radisson beds have Sleep Number mattresses, worth mentioning as people tend to love them or hate them (for what it’s worth, we hate them).

Perhaps the nicest amenity of the Radisson is their outdoor pool and courtyard. Situated between the ‘U’ shape of the main building, the large ground floor courtyard features an outdoor fire pit, plenty of comfortable seating, and a nicely sized heated pool. Next to the pool is a small but adequate fitness room. Self parking is available (for a nightly fee of $37…pretty standard for the city) and wifi is complimentary in all guest rooms.

 pier 39

We didn’t mind the fact that the outside of the Radisson was still in need of its scheduled facelift. The location more than made up for this. Our only complaint was the difficult-to-navigate layout of the hotel. The parking garage is at the back of the hotel, and uses its own set of elevators, easily confused with the main bank of elevators that lead to the lobby. If you’re coming from your car, the walk through the hallways can be long, and there are so many entrances to the courtyard area (street access, lobby access, and parking garage access) that visitors can get turned around. We could see the pool and courtyard from our room window, so we allowed our 10 and 12-year-olds to go down solo. They took the wrong elevator and got lost for some time, so please accompany tweens (we should have anyway) and note that street access to the courtyard does exist…kids could easily end up there. We’d advise using only the lobby elevators when accessing the pool area.

Plenty of dining exists in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, including fast food and a Johnny Rockets directly connected to the courtyard. One door down is a nice IHOP. A few pizza places deliver to the rooms as well.

Date last visited:

May 2012

Distance from the interstate:

Just a few miles away from either I-80 the or Highway 101.

Room rates:

At the time of our visit, room rates were listed at just over $300 for a standard double bed room. What you’re paying for is the location, and if you plan to spend significant time exploring the Wharf, Embarcadero, and Ghiradelli area, it’s worth it for the prime spot.

Included amenities:

As mentioned above, wifi is complimentary. Parking is an extra fee, but some rooms do come with breakfast vouchers (for the adjacent IHOP) included.

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The Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf is located at 250 Beach Street, San Francisco. From I-80 or Highway 101, take the Embarcadero to the wharf.

As I disclose whenver applicable, we stayed at the Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf at a media rate, for the purpose of review. While we appreciate Radisson’s hospitality, this rate came at no expectation of a positive review.