It is hard not to “leave your heart in San Francisco”, arguably the most eclectic of cities in America and certainly the most diverse. San Fran is renowned for its inimitable style, unique sights, and luxury service. Beaches, parks, hiking, and biking trails weave their way through and around the city. Fans of art & culture can revel in the graphics at the Cartoon Art Museum, and the 50-year history of the Cable Car Museum.
Visitors can take a ride from Powell to Hyde to savour the delights of Chinatown, Nob and Russian Hill’s ending at the bustling hub of Market Street. One can relax and take in the iconic vista of the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, feast on the sumptuous array of seafood caught fresh from the bay and sip wines from the Napa Valley - one of the world’s most famous wine producing regions – which is just an hour away by car.
The BusinessClass.com guide to the best hotels in San Francisco:
Fairmont San Francisco - 9/10
Opened in 1907 the Fairmont has been a home from home to many U.S. Presidents, world leaders and stars of sport and stage. The hotel is located high above the city on the famous Nob Hill and it enjoys spectacular panoramic views of San Francisco. Guests can choose from 606 guestrooms and suites across 19 categories starting with a Signature Room. These are around 34 square meters and are located in the Tower Building – offering unrivalled picture window views down to San Francisco Bay. The Cambridge Suite at 102 square meters of elegance enjoys views of the Nob Hill neighbourhood. Amenities in all guest rooms include high-speed Wi-Fi, luxury linens, Keurig, or Nespresso coffee makers, one king or two double beds, an oversized marble bath with separate shower, sitting area and large desk.
The Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar is open for breakfast and dinner and showcases local California coastal inspired cuisine. The Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar serves Polynesian-fusion food family-style and is infused with live entertainment and dancing. The Live Fit Gym & Wellness Spa is located on the Terrace Level. It features a broad selection of cardio equipment and free weights. Beauty, facial and massage treatments are offered alongside chiropractic and acupuncture care. Guests can take in the culinary and rooftop gardens complete with 100 square metres of scented plants including rosemary and lavender. It is also home to 9 hives where the hotel’s popular honeybee population resides.
The St Regis San Francisco - 9/10
The St Regis is ideally located in the SoMa district adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art and a short drive from Union Square. Each of the 260 guest rooms is furnished with Bella Crema marble, picoted leather panelling and offers a spacious work area high-speed internet access and 55” plasma televisions. There are stylish touches include bespoke artwork inspired by the California landscape. In the bathrooms, guests will find a deep soaking tub and a separate rainfall shower, robes, and slippers. All suite guests receive the signature St. Regis Butler Services and access to the luxury house car - which is available on a first-come basis for journeys within 3.5 kilometres of the hotel. Families will appreciate the memorable little touches offered by the St. Regis Family Traditions program.
The Grill at the St Regis is a signature fine dining restaurant, the Lobby Lounge offers a relaxed cocktail bar environment open from breakfast and serving afternoon tea, drinks, and light snacks. The expansive fitness centre covers 570 square metres - with a range of Peloton bikes, life fitness machines and cardio equipment. The facility boasts a large picture window with views to the city. The tranquil infinity pool is flooded with light. The Remede Spa offers sensory rituals, massage and facial treatments and beauty services.
Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco – 9/10
Located in the heart of downtown close to Union Square, this landmark building dates to 1909 and provides a resort-style retreat for visitors to the city. Guests of the Ritz-Carlton can choose from a selection of 336 luxury guestrooms and suites - with downtown or bay views. Each room is furnished in shades of silver, grey and steely blue and are completed with artworks depicting San Francisco culture and city scenes. All rooms feature high-speed internet access, 400-thread count cotton linens, and Nespresso coffee machines. Bathrooms have Kohler performance rain shower and spacious soaking tub, Italian marble décor and include luxurious Asprey bath amenities.
Both classic and light breakfast options are served at Parallel 37, head to The Lounge for traditional American cuisine and craft cocktails in a sophisticated yet lively setting. In partnership with legendary winemaker Jean-Charles Boisset, the JCB Tasting Lounge offers exclusive wine tasting flights. An extensive selection of cardio and weight equipment is on offer in the Extensive fitness centre. A complimentary house car service is available for trips within a 1.6-kilometre radius of the property - although Chinatown is just a 5-minute walk and the California Street cable car picks-up from outside the hotel. It will take you to the Embarcadero Centre with its selection of over 100 stores and restaurants.
Situated on famous Market Street, this Four Seasons property offers a sophisticated home away from home. Guests can choose from a selection of 277 rooms and suites with a range of views - Downtown, Market Street, Yerba Buena Gardens and San Francisco Bay. Rooms are decorated in blue and steel tones with brass and gold accents. They feature generously sized floor to ceiling windows, king beds with down pillows and duvets, a large dressing area, complimentary Wi-Fi and many USB charging ports.
MKT Restaurant and Bar is open day-long and serves a superb range of local seafood, meat, and seasonal dishes with a focus on sustainable produce. It offers homely easy dining, pasta burger and grill dishes. The rooftop beehives provide honey for restaurant dishes and cocktails. The Equinox Sports Club has a 25-metre pool, offers many weekly classes, features a selection of cardio and weight equipment, boxing, and yoga studios. The Spa is open Thursday to Sunday and it features a candle-lit hallway and reception area with Buddhist-inspired décor. Visitors can choose from a selection of facial and body treatments and massages. With a focus on family, the Kid’s Concierge can create age-specific itineraries and the hotel includes complimentary bath and bedtime amenities to ensure even the youngest guest has an outstanding stay.
Originally built in 1987 the hotel underwent a full renovation in 2019 before being opened as a Four Seasons property in 2020. The property is located in the financial district - a short walk from Union Square and the Embarcadero waterfront. Guests can choose from a selection of 155 rooms and suites - located on the top 11 floors of this 48-storey building. Rooms are of contemporary design - with natural wood floors and warm textures & colours. All have picture windows affording a selection of panoramic views including San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Transamerica Pyramid, and other skyline landmarks. Guest room features include one king or two queen beds, desk/dining table, lap-top safe, Nespresso coffee maker, private bar, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The modern bathroom is fitted with marble vanity and spacious shower and includes bathrobes & slippers and complimentary deluxe bath amenities by Codage Paris.
A bright and airy state-of-the-art gym is located on the 3rd floor with cardio and strength training equipment. A breakfast and all-day dining menu are available for in-room service. Outside the neighbourhood is host to some of the city’s oldest restaurants and fine dining hot spots.
Located downtown, The Palace was San Francisco’s first luxury hotel property and was established in 1875. It was most recently renovated in 2015. It features an architecturally stunning gilded atrium lobby - the Garden Court - the only indoor historic landmark in San Francisco. All guest rooms and suites are tucked behind solid oak doors, leading to elegant 11-foot-high ceiling spaces with intricate textiles and rich colours - taking in inspiration from Californian Impressionism. Beds feature Frette linens, pillowtop mattress and leather headboards; bright back-lit mirrors bright light to the marble bathroom with jacuzzi-style tub and rainfall shower, plush robe and slippers and designer bath amenities.
The Garden Court well known for both its signature Tea Service and City Brunch also serves breakfast and lunch daily. The Pied Piper lounge bar features mosaic tile flooring and rich wood panelling. Guests here can choose from a selection of cocktails, fine wines and spirits accompanied by light snacks and sharing plates. The heated indoor pool and whirlpool spa are housed in a beautiful sky-lit oasis. Guests can enjoy a dip under the twinkling starry lights of the San Francisco night sky. The fitness centre features treadmills, ellipticals and bike cardio equipment, free weights, and exercise balls
This landmark property is comprised of two buildings located on Stockton Street at Union Square, close to the downtown and financial districts and just two blocks from Chinatown. The Taj Campton Place features just 110 rooms and suites with a selection of eight different room types. Entry level rooms - California King – offers a modern elegant design featuring pear wood panelling, premium linens and choice form the pillow menu, a work-desk, complimentary Wi-Fi, Nespresso coffee maker and mini bar. The limestone tiled bathrooms have a deep-soaking tub and a walk-in shower, plush bathrobe and slippers and complimentary bathroom amenities are from Molton Brown.
Campton Palace Restaurant offers two Michelin-starred dining. Here Chef Srijith Gopinathan conjures a fusion of Californian and Indian cuisines. For the cellar, Sommelier Patrick Miner has carefully selected over 1500 fine wines from around the globe, over forty of these are sold by the glass to offer the perfect complement to the eclectic cuisine. Taj Campton Place Bistro and Bar offers a petite but well-rounded menu. On the 9th floor of the smaller of two hotel buildings is an open-air roof-top terrace with an unusual, tented fitness centre with TechnoGym equipment and Peloton Bikes. On fine days the walls are left open to reveal views of Union Square.
Hotel Drisco – 9/10
Established in 1903 in the Pacific Heights neighbourhood and named after its first owner L. Frank Drisco, this Edwardian property offers a boutique “hide-way” often described as a luxury “home from home”. Included for all guests is a sumptuous continental breakfast, and an evening wine reception with hot hors d’oeuvres, artisanal cheese, and charcuterie. Complimentary tea & coffee is served throughout the day. Select from just 48 rooms and suites furnished in a contemporary style in shades of grey and cream: all with Egyptian cotton sheets, goose down comforter, merino wool throw and soft down pillows - exclusive to the hotel.
Classic guestrooms feature a king bed with pillow top, club chair, work desk and views over the courtyard or neighbourhood. Bathrooms feature marble accents, heated floor, and a walk-in shower. The Hotel Drisco is ideally located from where to explore San Francisco, using the luxury chauffeur service which can be pre-booked for one-way journeys within the city limits. It runs most of the day and is complimentary. Guests have use of one of the hotel’s five bicycles, complete with helmet and lock - for a speedy self-guided exploration of the city. The fitness centre on lower-ground level. Although not extensive, it offers treadmill, elliptical, Peloton and TRX machines with a range of weights, yoga mats and complimentary water and towels.
This self-styled “cultural launchpad” is a unique sophisticated urban retreat located in the SoMa district - just a 6-minute walk from the Moscone Centre. On offer is a selection of 116 guestrooms and suites, all furnished with a contemporary urban edge and featuring king bed, luxurious linens, Illy Espresso coffee machine, plush bathrobes and ROIL by Amanda George amenities. Well + Away rooms include a Peloton bike, hypoallergenic bedding and Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link purifiers. With an emphasis on the business traveller, rooms include oversize butcher-block desks, Amazon Alexa voice assistants powered by Volara and smart televisions for wireless streaming from your mobile phone.
Salvage & Rescue - the New York style lobby and lounge - is a lively location. Split across two floors this convivial space features televisions, video games, pool table and shuffleboard. The Cavalier - a London inspired Brasserie style restaurant - serves a British menu including culinary classics such as Fish Chips, meat pie and sticky toffee bread pudding. The State-of-the-art fitness centre is a trendy work-out haunt offering ARKE core and bodyweight training, body-pump, spin, and yoga classes alongside Peloton bike, Excite Run treadmill and Excite Synchro machines. In-room spa options are available including a lavender crush body scrub, reflexology, and selection of massage therapies.
Cavallo Point Hotel – 9/10
Located in Sausalito – just over the Golden Gate Bridge – the Cavallo Point Hotel offers the best views of San Francisco. Opened in 2008, it features 170 rooms and suites. Just under half of the accommodation is situated in 20th century colonial buildings – in bright white of course – the other rooms are housed in ultra-modern, highly-eco friendly buildings. A great contrast. All guestrooms feature organic bedding and enjoy superb views of the bay and indeed San Francisco.
The Cavallo Point Hotel is home to Murray Circle – one of the city’s most revered restaurants. Executive chef Michael Garcia also looks after Farley Bar which serves easy food and the Tea Bar – located in the spa. The hotel boasts one of the finest culinary schools in the world – where you can learn to bake bread, clean out a lobster or prepare the perfect pizza! The spa & healing centre offers guests hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and consultations – with accredited doctors and aestheticians on site. The site was until 1995 Fort Baker and is 25-minutes’ drive from Embarcadero. The hotel is ideal for wine adventures into Napa and Sonoma. Cavallo Point itself is a wonderful spot to stand and take in the magnificence – at any time during the day and night - that is San Francisco city, the Bay, the Presidio, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
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