This hotel is perfect for a weekend getaway. Even tho you are living in San Francisco or the East Bay. Come out to Pacifica and relax. The people in Pacifica are super friendly and nice and this hotel is right at the beach front. Parking here is for free, which is a big plus especially for a beachfront hotel. Don’t expect a swimming beach. Yes, it’s a sandy and very clean beach but the water is rather cold here. You can see surfers catching waves in their neoprene suites. So be aware if you think this is perfect to take a swim. You should be accustomed to cold water in that case.
From the distance, you can already see the little lighthouse on top of the hotel building. It’s even lit up at night but doesn’t serve a real purpose anymore. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get up to the lighthouse.
Checking in was easy but finding the hotel entrance was not so easy. As I turned off Highway 1 in Pacifica I saw the hotel already but once you are at the little intersection you will see the little ramp which leads up to the parking area at the hotel. I thought this is the parking entrance and will also lead me to the lobby. Wrong! To get to the lobby keep driving straight and you will pass another entrance to the hotel on your right, keep going straight and use the last entrance to the hotel on your right and the lobby will be right there.
From here it was easy. I checked in, got my keys and headed to my room. I stayed here for quite a bit of time and had to change room a few times because I didn’t know for how long I would stay here to work.
King Junior Suite (Room 120)
This room is very very spacious and has basically a big “dead zone” of space right in the middle. The window gives you a good view of the beach walk and the ocean. You can watch the sunset straight out of your room without having to look around corners.
The bed is located off to the left of the room and on the other side of the room is a cabinet with the TV and refrigerator. For that size of the room and the distance between the bed and the cabinet, the TV is too small. They might want you to use the couch on the adjacent wall but the TV is facing the wrong direction. Overall the room layout is a bit weird. When you enter you have a small open area with hangers and PJ’s also good to stow one suitcase there. Next up to the left is the bathroom area. There is a counter with mirror and two sinks there. The shower and toilet are in a separate room behind you when facing the counter.
On the other side of the wall with the mirror is another counter with only one sink but as well a mirror stretching over the whole length of the counter. So you get three sinks for a King bed. On the sink next to the bed is a coffee maker with coffee and tee packs and a little bucket for ice.
You can open the sliding door and step out on the ultra-small balcony. You can basically only do one step before you reach the railing. It’s still good to be outside and hear the waves hitting the rocks and watching the sunset.
None of the rooms have A/C. So you are out of luck there. They only have heaters and you only need them in the winter time I assume. I don’t know if it ever gets that cold here. It’s pretty chilly here after the sun sets and you can open your sliding door to bring in some fresh air and cool down your room. However, I never felt the need to use either the heater or have an A/C in the room.
Two Queen Partial Ocean View (Room 330)
This room has a partial Ocean view but you will see more of the beach parking lot than of the ocean. In the beginning, the put me in a room on the 1st floor which is awesome even with the view of the parking lot. I asked to get moved to a higher floor and got moved to Room 330. Which is facing the same directions just 2 levels higher and a slightly better view. Besides the actual size of the room and the second row of a counter with a sink next to the bed, everything was pretty much the same. The bathroom is identical even in size.
Below some photos:
King Junior Suite Partial Ocean View (Room 454)
This room is pretty much like the others. The only difference is the location in a different part of the building and it offers a good but partial ocean view. A great room to watch the sunset. This room also has a fireplace in the room and was pretty much the same size as my Junior Suite.
The first public place at the hotel you will visit is the lobby. The lobby is rather small and just has a few seating options near the windows. The lobby has also an open staircase to the first floor. Right at the top to your left is the Moonraker Restaurant. Hotel guests will get 10% off and can do room charge. Up the stairs to your right and all the way down the short hallway is the business center. You need your room key to access the business center. It has workstations, printer and a stand with some tourist information.
On the far side of the hotel is the fitness center. The room is close to the entrance all the way in the back of the upstairs parking lot. Sizewise, the fitness center is very small and has only a few pieces of workout equipment. You need your room key to access this place. In here the hotel also stores the towels for the pool.
The pool and whirlpool are just a few steps away from the fitness center on the opposite side of the hallway. Both of them are located outside and can be accessed by one of two doors. Be aware that you need your room key to reenter. If you lose it or forget to bring it you are in a pretty bad position. The area is basically on a balcony and can only be accessed by these two doors leading to the hallway. But without a room key, you won’t have any luck. So be prepared.
Along the same hallway is another exit to a little balcony area. This area has some loungers to soak up the sun. Most of the day, the sun will shine down at the pool if there is no fog rolling in from the ocean. That only happened once during my two-week stay.
These are pretty much the onsite public spaces which you might want to visit during your stay. However, there are some nice trails right behind the hotel. Leading up the small hills which give you a good view of the hotel and ocean. Perfect for a walk in the evening to watch the sunset. Also, the beach is right in front of the hotel and can’t be missed. This is also a good spot to watch the sunset if you don’t have a room facing the oceanfront directly or don’t want to have the walkway between the beach and hotel in your photos.
I really liked the trails and somebody put a small labyrinth of stones up there. If you can, go and check it out. To get there without passing the little stream which runs to the beach. Go to the beach parking lot and on the opposite side of the beach starts a paved trail. Follow it until you can walk left onto a primitive trail. From here there are many ways to the top. They are probably equally difficult and also timewise they are pretty much the same.
From May 1st until December 21st Pacifica has a Farmers Market every Wednesday day from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It is a small market but you can get some local foods and meet people.
The Moonraker restaurant is open every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and on Sunday they offer brunch. The breakfast was good but I preferred “Breakers” right next door. This little restaurant is very popular and on a weekend you should get there as early as possible. Between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., the first lines start to form outside. Breakers is literally right next door. You just walk out the lobby and a couple of feet up the street and it’s right there to your left. They open at the same time as Moonraker but they have an extensive breakfast menu. You can have breakfast here until 3 p.m. and that’s when they close.
Moonraker has some good offers for dinner but I found myself more at Rock’n Rob’s Famous Burgers at the Rockaway Beach Plaza. This little plaza is next to the hotel on Dondee St. The burgers here are great and they have a good selection and even a build your own option. These are basically my favorite food options and preferred them more than Moonraker. But everyone has a different taste.
The one thing none of these places can beat is Moonrakers location. It’s on the west end of the hotel and has a big glass front. Most of their mini-booth face straight outside the window which gives you an awesome view of the ocean. Great to watch the sunset and have dinner or just watch the ocean and maybe the surfers catching the waves during lunch. I really enjoyed that part of the restaurant. Of course, they have a bar as well, which is pretty well stocked normally but was out of Corona for 3 days and that in California. It seems that customizing your order is not an option here. I tried to order my entree with a different side, which is also offered at the restaurant but not for my chosen entree, and they would not let me customize my order and I had to go as it is on the menu. Saturday nights and during Sunday Brunch the restaurant has live music.
For some dancing and cocktails head across the street to Nick’s Rockaway Beach Restaurant. They have a well-sized dancefloor in there.
I ate at all three places and the food was great. Of course, except for Breakers. The breakfast here is amazing. I love it and it’s always crowded in there. People just love the amazing food and flair there and I can’t blame them at all.
This hotel has a great location and that’s what you should use it for. As a home base for your adventures around Pacifica and San Francisco. It’s not the most luxurious hotel you can imagine. The furniture and rooms are outdated. An update on that wouldn’t hurt. The hotel also needs some bigger maintenance in some areas. You are here to enjoy your stay and the area. I have been in 5 different rooms but basically only two different room types, Ocean view, and partial Ocean view. Most of the time I was out anyway either working or exploring.
The internet speed here is pretty impressive for a Best Western and the location. Cell reception could be spotty at some places but overall you have enough coverage to make phone calls and browse the web.
I enjoyed my stay here and the hotel staff was always helpful and willing to fulfill my wishes even tho I had to move sometimes to a different room. This was clearly on me, because of extending the room last minute. I really can recommend this place here and the fact that it is a Best Western made me book a room here.
One of the best things here is that you don’t feel all the city-stress out here. Everyone is calm and you wouldn’t even know that San Francisco is just 20 minutes away. There is another part of Pacifica further up north and south which is denser populated and still part of Pacifica. However, this little area is very relaxed. It feels almost like people miss this spot. I lived in San Francisco and have been around the Bay Area for many years but I never came over here to this part of Pacifica. I took the Highway 1 through Pacifica down south because it is a gorgeous drive but never stopped here.
Have you stayed here before and what was your experience?
Best Western Plus Lighthouse Hotel in Pacifica, CA
- Waterfront Property
- Ocean View either full or partial
- Free Parking
- Great Location with many Restaurants and Trails nearby
- No Breakfast Buffet
- You can lock yourself out at the Pool
- Building needs some repair work
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.