The Marines’ Memorial Club is one of those lesser known gems for military families visiting San Francisco. I first heard about it from another Marine family when visiting San Francisco years ago.
It is a “living memorial” dedicated to Marines past, present and future. It is also a full service hotel and a club that requires membership. If you or your spouse is active duty they membership fees are $35 compared to $200! You can sign up for membership through their website or show up in person and fill out the paperwork and show your military ID. You can book a room at the member rate and establish your membership upon check in if you have the proper id. This is a major convenience especially if traveling short notice.
The hotel rooms are clean and tidy. They offer standard rooms as well as suites. Many of the floors of the hotel have a theme relating to the Marine Corps, Navy, or military service. Walking down the halls to your room can feel like you are in a museum. Which is exactly the way they want it to be as a “living memorial”. You can walk through, eat, sleep, and stay inside the historic building with displays and allusions to Marine Corps history in every corner of the building.
Our favorite feature is the three large bulldogs that roam the front desk and lobby. The English Bulldog is the official Marine Corps mascot. It is yet another way the hotel alludes to the rich history of the USMC and contributes to the living monument to the Corps! If the bulldogs are sleeping or not there while you are in the lobby you can head upstairs to the library where there are three life sized statues of the three dogs in uniform in front of a large fireplace. The library is the perfect spot for a military history enthusiast to spend a few hours reading or perusing books with a view of the San Francisco skyline out of the large stately windows.
One of the most welcome features for a traveling family is the included breakfast buffet! Served every morning on the top floor restaurant the food and the view can not be missed. In our two visits to the hotel so far we have enjoyed being surrounded with the veterans of San Francisco who are members that often partake in the club amenities such as the brunch that includes unique offerings you would only find in a USMC hotel like S.O.S (if you are unfamiliar with the meaning here is an explanation from the Naval Historical Foundation). On occasion we have been lucky enough to chat with some of the members and establish immediate connections or common ground through being a military family. It is unlike any other hotel stay a military family can have. That is reason enough for my family to choose it every time we visit.
The hotel is centrally located. It is in the Theater District and is a short walking distance to China Town. The famous cable cars run up and down the steep city streets just a few blocks outside the entrance of the hotel. It is perfectly situated to launch into the unique sights of the bay city.
Milmomtips: the hotel offers parking for an additional fee per night through a nearby club. If you have a car you will need to drive less than a city block on the same street as the hotel to be valet parked.
Club membership included access to many reciprocal clubs both within the United States AND Internationally! This alone makes membership a very interesting opportunity. Some of the clubs have unique offerings and many over overnight accommodations.
We can’t say enough good things about this hotel! If you are planning a trip to San Francisco stop by to see the library and have dinner, or better still book a room and become a member!