Finding affordable lodging in the SF Bay Area is a challenge, whether you’re looking for a hotel to stay in while visiting, or looking for a place to live.
For visitors with a stash of Marriott or SPG points (points from either program can be transferred to the other), there’s a relatively affordable new option.
At 25k Marriott points per night, hotels on the peninsula side of the Bay don’t get much more affordable than the TownePlace Suites San Mateo Foster City.
San Mateo and Foster City are neighboring suburban cities, about 20 miles south of San Francisco, in the northern part of what many consider Silicon Valley.
Why would I wanna stay that far from SF if I’m visiting SF?
Well, mainly the price tag. Every 5th consecutive night of any Marriott reward stay is free, so 5 nights here would cost you a relatively-low-for-the-area 100k points.
But Foster City is also one of the most family friendly places I’ve ever been, so that could be a plus.
It’s a nice, new hotel in an ultra-safe area, with free breakfast and free parking.
How am I supposed to get to SF affordably then?
If you’re renting a car, it’s an easy drive.
There’s also a Caltrain station a few miles away, and a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station nine miles away.
Or you could take a ~$25 UberX ride.
How’s the hotel?
It’s brand new, so everything is still crisp and fresh, and the staff were extremely friendly the night I stayed back in November.
Here are some photos of my suite (including the maintenance cart that was parked in the kitchen upon arrival):
It’s a slight trek to get up to SF if that’s what you’re here for.
It’s also about 10 miles from SFO, and there is not an airport shuttle.
Food & entertainment nearby?
The hotel is tucked into a shopping area with many different chain restaurants and stores.
If you need nearby boutiques and Michelin stars, this probably isn’t the place.
Although the downtowns of San Mateo and Belmont offer lots to explore and are only a couple of miles away.
Nearby Seal Point is a beautiful former landfill that’s free to visit and great for hiking and watching planes descend into SFO.
In San Carlos, about 5 miles away.
Why did you review this hotel?
It’s new & affordable. I also lived in this area of the peninsula for a couple of years, and I have fond memories of it. It’s close to SF, but also safe and quiet. I got the opportunity to stay at this hotel while in the process of moving up to Portland.
The hotel lists surfing as a nearby activity. Really?
Kitesurfing is popular at a few spots along the Bay, including the nearby Baywinds Park.
One last fun fact?
Tom Brady, love him or hate him, was born & raised in San Mateo.
Here are a few other hotel photos: