By Mark Chesnut
The Presidio — San Francisco’s scenic, 235-year-old former military base — will introduce a new option for travelers in April, when the first hotel ever to operate on site opens its doors. The Inn at the Presidio is expected to attract both business travelers and anyone planning a California vacation in the city by the bay, thanks to its upscale ambiance and proximity to noteworthy attractions.
The hotel is being built at the base’s Pershing Hall, formerly the post’s bachelor officers’ quarters, and includes 22 guest rooms, 17 of which are one-bedroom suites. Rocking chairs on the front porch will set a decidedly relaxing tone for those arriving at the hotel, but business travelers can make use of two small meeting areas downstairs, and the property is close to several large conference spaces in the Presidio.
Established in 1776 by Spain, the Presidio served as hub of colonial military strength, and later became a U.S. military base before being transferred to the National Park Service in 1994. Guests with leisure time will be able to explore the 1,491-acre park and National Historic Landmark District, which includes historic buildings, several miles of trails and impressive views of the city and its surroundings. Guests will also have access to the Presidio’s recreational options, including a golf course, wedding and event facilities, bowling, a YMCA gym/indoor pool, spa and rock-climbing studio.
Décor at the Inn at the Presidio is described as “contemporary,” but the hotel’s history and art program will use historic memorabilia and photographs as well as regional art to showcase the region’s heritage. The hotel’s operator, California-based Waterford Hotels and Inns, is pursuing LEED Gold certification for the building, which would confer official “green” status on the hotel.
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of LatinFlyer.com, which focuses on travel to Latin America. He’s never slept on a military base, but would love to make an exception in San Francisco.