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Millbrae, California, United States

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Review Summary

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  • Comfortable hotel that's close to the airport
  • Quiet guest rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers 
  • Two-room suites have kitchenettes with wet bars, microwaves, and utensils
  • Free continental breakfast and to-go bags for early flights
  • Terrace Café serves American classics with a bar; room service available 
  • Outdoor pool/whirlpool in a lovely landscaped setting
  • Fitness center with natural light and cardio and weight-training equipment
  • Laundry room and valet dry cleaning service
  • Business center and meeting space are available
  • Free parking, including park-and-fly packages for extended trips
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout 


  • Far from downtown San Francisco 
  • Older hotel with dated guest room decor 
  • Standard rooms don’t have microwaves and safes
  • No elevator 

Bottom Line

The three-pearl Best Western Plus El Rancho Inn is a viable and affordable option for travelers flying in and out of San Francisco International Airport. Located only a few minutes' drive from the airport, the picturesque, Spanish Mission-style property has been operating for more than six decades. Its 219 guest rooms are tidy and well-maintained, but a bit dated, with flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers with free coffee, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi, but microwaves and safes don't come standard. Suites with kitchenettes are available. Highlights are a free breakfast, an on-site restaurant and bar, fitness center, outdoor pool, and free parking, but the hotel lacks an elevator. Travelers looking for more modern accommodations can check out The Westin San Francisco Airport. 

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A picturesque, Spanish Mission-style hotel with a relaxed vibe and long history

This picturesque, Spanish Mission-style hotel has welcomed guests for more than six decades, including celebrities such as Richard Nixon and Joan Crawford. Set on seven acres, it’s an older, motel-style property with exterior corridors, but it’s been well preserved. The property has fountains, huge palm trees, and decorative tilework throughout, and guests are a mix of traveler who want to be near San Francisco International Airport. The modest lobby has striking terra-cotta floors, Spanish Misson-style plaster walls, and wood-paneled ceilings. It’s a bright and cozy spot, with a fireplace and comfortable, traditional furniture that's a tad old-fashioned. The vibe is friendly and relaxed, with people commonly seen enjoying a meal or drink on the outdoor patio overlooking the pool. Despite being on a major road and staying quite busy, it’s a relatively quiet place. 


In Millbrae, just off Highway 101 and near San Francisco International Airport

The Best Western is located just off Highway 101 in Millbrae, about a six-minute drive to the terminals at San Francisco International Airport. It’s on a busy commercial road with just a couple of restaurants within walking distance, including a McDonald’s (a three-minute walk). The South San Francisco Conference Center is a 10-minute drive. Depending on traffic, approximate drive times to AT&T Park and Fisherman’s Wharf in the heart of downtown San Francisco are 28 minutes and 45 minutes, respectively. It takes about 50 minutes to reach downtown, using the city’s BART light rail system. 


Tidy but dated, with coffeemakers and mini-fridges, but microwaves and safes aren't standard 

Guest rooms have decor with a few variations, though all have a tasteful but rather boring and dated look. Expect beige walls, Berber-style brown and blue carpeting, and matching light-wood furniture, which includes headboards and desks with office chairs. Bright-white duvets are accented by solid brown or blue bedspreads and bolster pillows. Generally, all units are tidy and well-maintained. 

Standard rooms (Kings, Queens, and Double Queens) are average in size and typically include at least one upholstered armchair and small oval tables. Larger, two-room suites with sleeper sofas and kitchenettes are available. All contain 37-inch flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers with free coffee, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi. The kitchenettes in the suites add microwaves, wet bars, dishes, and dining tables that seat up to four people. 

The smallish bathrooms are where the units most show their age. Differences existed in the rooms we saw -- some bathrooms had terra-cotta floors, dated salmon tiling, and small walk-in showers, while others had shower/tub combos and more modern tiling. Granite vanities were either in bathrooms or en-suite. All have magnifying mirrors, hairdryers, and toiletries. Units are generally quiet, with no notable views. 


Full-service restaurant and bar, outdoor pool and fitness center, plus free Wi-Fi and airport shuttle 

Amenities are this property are a highlight, with an ample crop of features to suit its on-the-go, diverse clientele. The Terrace Café features a free continental breakfast buffet with eggs each morning, as well as to-go bags for guests with early flights. The Café has a cozy setting that includes a stone fireplace and the Veranda Bar, that offers happy hour specials daily. Lunch and dinner offerings include classic American fare such as pizza, steaks, chops, and burgers. There's outdoor seating on a lovely patio, and room service is available. 

The oval outdoor pool is on the small side, but it's pleasant and deep, and it has shady areas under towering palms, plus a whirlpool. There's a fitness center that has natural light and up-to-date equipment that includes a treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bicycle. It also has a weight-training machine and free weights. The lobby has a guest computer and printer, and limited meeting space is available. A guest laundry room, valet dry cleaning and laundry services, free parking, and a 24-hour airport shuttles are among other amenities, and park-and-fly packages that offer free parking for up to two weeks while guests travel is available. Wi-Fi is free throughout. Travelers with limited mobility should be aware that there's no elevator. 

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1100 El Camino Real, Millbrae, California 94030-2015, United States