San Francisco is an amazing city at a premium price, and now I am kicking myself for not looking at Military hotels in previous visits. I often had to pay $300 a night even at the govt’ rate just for a room, or burn through points just for a decent hotel. In Tokyo we have the New Sanno which is booked out up to a year ahead of a desired date. The hotel is popular since the Hotel charges well below area hotels to give service members a chance to explore a world class city at an affordable rate.
The closest hotel price to performance equivalent I have found in CONUS is the Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel in San Francisco’s Union Square. Thanks to a tip by reader Eddie S., I decided to check it out. Also General Goddard likes to stay there, so if it’s good enough for a flag officer, it’s good enough for me.
First off this organization is a private club, not affiliated directly with the DoD, it runs completely on donations. The club and building is a living Memorial and Museum to the USMC. I called the front desk at 1-(844)913-7703 and they said I could book for $99 a night for a standard 2 queen room, but only 21 days out. This rate goes up for O-4s and above. The $99 rate would not take effect till I showed up in person to join the cub for free. Other rooms and suites are also at a substantial savings compared to the J.W. Marriott next door. The 6 person 3MLG suite goes for $345 a night!
If you apply for club membership online it would be $35 for membership for the service member and a spouse. Since I was not a member yet, I was booked the room for $319 a night. Upon check-in I presented my CAC and became a member instantly for free with the room rate discount applied for $99 a night for the most basic room.
An affordable room is one thing, but I was blown away by the sheer value of the hotel stay. First off the hotel is beautiful, every floor a museum of USMC history. Nice soaps, linens, and just nice fine woodwork everywhere. The rooms are the quality of a Marriott with better furniture. Any room comes with happy hour (all you can drink) on floor 12 or floor 2 for members only between 1600 to 1800 on weekdays (not Friday night). The rooms also come with breakfast buffet every morning including made to order eggs.
Just an amazing experience, but it doesn’t end there, with over 180 private reciprocal clubs available for member use around the world. I will check out the Chicago ones and get back to you! At least check it out to get membership next time you are in SFO.
We also had dinner at the Leatherneck Steakhouse (where they have happy hour and breakfast on the 12th floor) which was an excellent meal with a beautiful view. I was also able to make reservations using OpenTable for the points. Overall the hotel is one of the greatest values to service members visiting San Francisco.