Hotel review: Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront

A couple of weeks ago I attended the United Airlines Family Day event at San Francisco Airport. Instead of flying up just for the day, I spent the weekend there and booked a room at the Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront. I’ve stayed at a huge amount of airport hotels and this is the first near-airport property to exceptionally impress me.

I checked-in with Ashlin and she was by far the most real, yet professional, Hilton employee I’ve ever come across. She acknowledged my status and reviewed the benefits at the property as is normal during most of my Hilton check-in experiences, but she had a way of doing it that added a touch of un-robotic reality and personalization. I don’t know how to better describe it than that – Hilton needs to clone her.

I requested an airport view at check-in and Ashlin was quick to accommodate my request and apologized for having to move me one floor lower than what was pre-reserved. The apology was really unnecessary, but I thought it was a nice touch.

The lobby and surroundings were impressive and spotless. Near the elevator bank, there was a row of computers with a printer and a table setup with refreshing water options.

I took the elevator up to floor nine and made my way to room 914.

I believe this property was recently refreshed as the room was exceptionally appointed and comfortable. I like that they added a touch of locality with the mural of San Francisco appearing above the bed. All the plug-ins you could need were next to the desk and as usual, an in-closet safe was present large enough to fit a laptop.

The bathroom was just “okay” as the showerhead was a bit antiquated and the grouting on the floor was splotchy. Still, it was well appointed and carried the standard bathroom amenities.

As a Gold HHonors member, I had access to the Executive Lounge that is open daily from 6:00am to 10:00pm at this property. The day I checked in, I went up prior to the 5pm to 7pm Hors D’oeuvres time and was able to snap a ton of pictures without being “weird” had other people been present.

It, too, was well appointed and comfortable. It features several seating areas, televisions, a business center and complimentary newspapers. Once 5pm rolled around, the “buffet” section was ready and I enjoyed an array of vegetables, cheeses and crackers, bruschetta-esque delicacies and buffalo wings. Not pictured is a refrigerator of self-serve soft-drinks and bottled water (though you can see it in the mirror reflection).

Unlike many Hilton properties I’ve stayed at, the wait staff in this lounge was incredibly responsive to your every need. They quickly cleared empty plates, asked politely if you needed anything else and were genuine in their service. I was very impressed. In the mornings, they had eggs and sausage one day and eggs and bacon the next, along with fruit, pastries and yoghurt.

I generally never use the pool or fitness room when staying at a hotel, but took a tour specifically to include for this review. Both areas are quite small, but given it’s an airport property they seemed adequate. Signs were posted in the lobby and on the door of the fitness room that a renovation is near.

My interactions with the staff throughout my stay were impressive. Everyone was courteous, polite, not overbearing and sincere in their approach. I appreciate when people act “real,” and all of the employees at this property did just that.

I sort of regret not having dined at the property’s restaurant to include in this review, but will definitely stay there again when the need arises. Having stayed at many airport hotels near SFO, this by far was the best experience I’ve had. Well done, Hilton!

[Please note that I was not paid for this review, nor did I inform Hilton in advance that I am a travel blogger.]


  1. Good to see Hilton have improved this property since taking it over from Sheraton. I used to mattress run (when it was Sheraton) back in ’06/’07 and it was very run down back then. I will certainly plan a stay there next time I’m in the Bay Area.

    Thanks for the review – very comprehensive.

  2. Actually the improvements were made while this hotel was a Sheraton just before it rebranded. I had a photo album on Facebook that I removed when the hotel rebranded as Hilton.

    The property looks the same.

    This is an old hotel. I held a conference there during the Rodney King beating verdict riots in 1992 when it was Crowne Plaza.

  3. Thanks for the review. The lounge is one of the better ones in Hilton’s domestic system. This property and Hilton Washington Dulles are two solid airport hotels IMO.

  4. Thanks for all of your comments. Good to hear a bit of this property’s history and changes of ownership.

    @mr27: I’ve heard about that Dulles property… will have to check it out.

  5. I stayed at this property when it was a Crowne Plaza back in 1986. The tubs, tile in the lobby and the pool look unchanged since then – though in fairly good condition.

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