San Francisco is one of the most cutting-edge cities in the world, so it only makes sense that it should have the coolest, most up-to-the minute hotels, too.
The Best Boutique Hotels in San Francisco
Read on for our list of the 10 best boutique hotels in San Francisco.
Hotel Vitale has a modern sophistication and an elevated sense of calm about it, even though it occupies the best location in San Francisco: right on the Embarcadero, across the street from the Ferry Building. Splurge for a room with a view (there are even panoramic circular suites) to take in the nightly Bay Bridge light show, and to watch the ships roll in and out.
One of Joie de Vivre’s seven boutique hotels in San Francisco, this contemporary waterfront property, known for its attentive service, is also a see-and-be-seen spot—its lobby doubles as a hip lounge buzzing with creative types, and its Italian restaurant draws the cool crowd for its good food and expansive bay views.
Amenities: Jonathan Adler toiletries, limestone bathrooms, in-room workstation with ergonomic desk chair, flat-screen TV, Bose music system, free Wi-Fi, room service, concierge service, laundry and dry cleaning service, pet-friendly policies, penthouse-level Spa Vitale with soaking tubs, 24-hour business center, fitness center, rooftop yoga classes, three terraces, cocktail lobby lounge, and Americano Restaurant & Bar.
The Proper is, hands down, one of the coolest hotels in San Francisco. Kelly Wearstler’s inspired interiors meld texture and pattern to produce design that’s all its own. The words visitors use to describe this 131-room gem include “hip,” “trendy,” and “sophisticated,” but the Proper is even more than that: It’s also retro and eclectic with inspired touches of the Old World working their way in.
Guest rooms are filled with natural light, technology, and wallcoverings that work surprisingly well. It’s all held in by a historic flatiron building on a triangle corner of the mid-Market neighborhood.
Amenities: Aesop toiletries, comfort beds with Aireloom mattresses, Bellino sheets, down comforters, in-room tablet, Bluetooth speaker, bathroom with stonework and brass, kimono robe, free Wi-Fi, 50-inch HDTV with Google Chromecast, concierge service, 24-hour fitness center, and the rooftop bar Charmaine with firepits and craft cocktails.
Though it was established way back in 1906, Hotel Griffon remains one of the coolest hotels in San Francisco. The 62-room eco-friendly boutique hotel sits right on the waterfront Embarcadero, across from the Ferry Building and just up the street from AT&T Park—so request a room with a view of the Bay Bridge. Suites are well-appointed, comfortable, have 12-foot ceilings, and are tended to by friendly employees known for their personalized service.
Amenities: Smartphone-operated key system, pillow-top mattresses, high thread count linens, bathrobes, high-tech workstation, flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, in-room coffee and tea, coffee and fruit in the lobby, spa services, nightly turndown service, special packages, towncar service, and the lobby-level Perry’s restaurant.
If you’re looking for a fun boutique hotel that’s great for kids, book the Hotel Zephyr. Formerly a Radisson, it’s been transformed into a haven for young people via its colorful maritime theme, art-filled courtyard, indoor game room featuring billiards and ping pong, and even an onsite food truck.
The inviting rooms feature views over the water all the way to the bridges, and the outdoor spaces feature huge versions of games like Connect Four and Jenga. From here it’s an easy walk to Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, and the beach at Aquatic Park.
Amenities: Sealy beds, fine linens, backlit bathroom mirror, EO toiletries, docking station, in-room Keurig machine, 48-inch streaming smart TV, bunk beds in some rooms, fitness center, courtyard, onsite food truck, and in-room games such as darts and backgammon.
Inn at the Presidio
Ever seen the sun rise over the Golden Gate Bridge? Or slept where Army officers used to sleep? Book at the Inn at the Presidio, and you can check those two blocks off your bucket list. Its Georgian Revival-style brick building went up in 1903 as part of the Army base at the Presidio. After being decommissioned, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and then in 2012, transformed into a cozy 22-room inn that knows how to honor its rich patriotic past while presenting decor that’s relevant and comfortable for today.
This eco-friendly member of the Historic Hotels of America is set on scenic national park land that’s as beautiful as it is uncrowded. Still, it’s striking distance from a few key San Francisco sights: the Palace of Fine Arts, the Walt Disney Museum, Crissy Field, Baker Beach—and the Golden Gate Bridge. When you’ve got a down moment, hike one of the peaceful trails through the eucalyptus grove.
Amenities: Complimentary breakfast, complimentary wine and cheese hour daily, complimentary bike rentals, EO bath products, bathrobes, EuroTop beds, 32-inch flat-screen LG TV, gas fireplace, in-room coffee maker, docking station, free Wi-Fi, board games, daily newspaper, inexpensive parking, in-room massage services, pet-friendly policies, and an outdoor patio with a firepit.
Hotel Kabuki is a chic, beautiful boutique hotel in Japantown that, even considering how attractive it is, emphasizes service above all else—staffers are as solicitous as can be. The zen-like public spaces here are refined and made better with great art; the light-filled guest rooms are modern and spacious, with many offering great views. This recently renovated Joie de Vivre property features inventive Asian-inspired decor throughout, extending even outside to its garden and koi pond.
Amenities: Oversized bathrooms, rain shower head, Jonathan Adler toiletries, luxe linens, comfort beds, blackout curtains, LCD high-definition TVs, Bluetooth, work desk, free Wi-Fi, breakfast available for purchase, laundry and drycleaning service, loaner bikes, 24-hour fitness center, yoga studio, bathing pass to Kabuki Springs & Spa, downstairs bar, Japanese garden and koi pond.
The Alise hotel
In 2016, Hotel Grace became the 93-room Alise, one of the newest boutique hotels in San Francisco. Now run by Pineapple Hospitality, this Union Square property in a century-old building has been modernized from top to bottom: Its dramatic lobby features two-story windows and custom art installations, while guestrooms sport yellow-and-gray decor with dark wood floors and custom furniture.
Amenities: Carrara marble and tile bathrooms, walk-in shower, slippers and lightweight robes, comfort bedding, streaming services, high-definition TV, free ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi, Bluetooth station, air conditioning, upgraded sound proofing, Equator coffee and pineapple cupcakes served in lobby, loaner beach cruiser bicycles, passes to nearby fitness center, in-room Keurig machine, complimentary bottled water, and the Pineapple Bistro & Bar.
Hilton Parc 55 San Francisco
If you’re looking for a refined and modern boutique hotel in San Francisco, consider Parc 55. With a perfect Union Square location near BART and Moscone, this well-regarded property manages to be up-to-the-minute hip while retaining classic service and style.
Book an upper room—views from the 32nd floor are spectacular. The accommodations are spacious, and done in a pretty, neutral palette with bay-style windows that provide plenty of natural light.
Amenities: Spacious marble bathrooms, plush towels and robes, comfort beds, 49-inch flat-screen LCD TVs, air conditioning, ergonomic chair and work desk, in-room coffee and tea, outdoor swimming pool, large high-tech 24-hour fitness center, electric car charging, foreign currency exchange, and three onsite restaurants.
Hotel Via recently opened to become one of the coolest hotels in San Francisco. Directly across the street from AT&T Park (and its Caltrain station), this South Beach spot provides the perfect respite not just for baseball buffs but for anyone who appreciates a very modern hotel with fantastic views.
Its striking exterior gives way to a contemporary (and eco-friendly) interior with mood lighting and spaces designed for stylish comfort. Service is attentive and friendly, and guest rooms are stocked with custom furniture, cool neutral colors, sleek decor, and a luxe feel.
Amenities: Stone shower, plush beds, terry robes, free Wi-Fi, Illy coffee, 43-inch smart TV, smart thermostat, fitness center, rooftop lounge overlooking AT&T Park, trendy Bar Via with signature cocktails, and European-style breakfasts in The City Room.
If you’re looking for young, hip boutique hotels in San Francisco near the water, Hotel Zoe should be a strong contender for your trip. This recently renovated property in Fisherman’s Wharf is a skip and a hop from Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, North Beach, and Aquatic Park.
Outside is a modern courtyard area with seating areas around fireplaces and sculptures; inside, it’s modern and chic, with employees who are attentive and generous. Guest rooms are beautiful, with soothing earth tones, materials inspired by luxury yachts, and high-tech touches.
Amenities: Comfort bed, Lather toiletries, Cubie radios that simultaneously charge four devices, 50-inch HDTV, makeup mirror, garment steamer, in-room safe, umbrellas, and daily fitness options such as yoga, barre, and endurance classes.
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–Original reporting by Avital Andrews. Follow her on Twitter @avitalb.