Top 10 best luxury hotels in San Francisco

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (March 8, 2021): Top 10 best luxury hotels in San Francisco (California, USA)

No other metropolis in the USA is as loved by its inhabitants as the Bay City, which ranks among the world’s most gorgeous cities. Artsy, bohemian and stunningly beautiful, San Francisco’s main draw is it spectacular bay, which is surrounded by 43 hills ranging upward from 200 to 938 ft (60 to 285 m). With an abundance of attractions, such as bell-ringing cable cars, spectacular bridges, infamous Alcatraz, the Ferry Building (a foodies paradise) and of course the sea lions at Pier 39, it’s best to explore this magnificent city on a bike. Here’s my selection of the 10 best luxury hotels in San Francisco, although none really matches the grandeur of the city (with the exception of the number one property in my list).

There is more information (with reviews & YouTube videos) below my slideshow. Which hotel is your favorite? Or do you think I missed a property? Leave a comment.

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10. W HOTEL SAN FRANCISCO

Embodying the city’s unique energy, W San Francisco places its guests at the center of it all, just steps from downtown must-sees like San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and Chinatown. Hotel rooms boast sweeping downtown San Francisco views and offer modern comforts like Davines bath amenities, pillowtop mattresses and creatively stocked mini-bars. Get your heart pumping at Fit, the hotel’s name for its fitness center, and refuel anytime at Trace, the W’s farm-to-table restaurant. Once evening descends, visit the Living Room Bar, where the downtown set sips on craft cocktails. As the regular home of trendy events, the hotel is on the pulse of what’s new, now and next in San Francisco.

  • Hotel website: W San Francisco
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Classic Travel (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check in, late check out, and a welcome amenity).
  • Review: read my review of W San Francisco here.


9. INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL SAN FRANCISCO

Located in San Francisco’s South of Market Area (SOMA), InterContinental San Francisco is at the corner of Howard and Fifth streets, adjacent to the Moscone West Convention Center and steps from Union Square. The translucent glass 32-story high-rise strikes a fine balance between business and leisure. The modern hotel features 550 rooms, with state-of-the-art technology and floor to ceiling windows in all accommodations (rooms on floors 25 and above. The hotel’s signature restaurant Luce, a Tuscany meets California wine-restaurant, has earned a Michelin star ten years in a row. Hotel facilities include a full-service spa, a health club (complete with an indoor lap pool), and a spacious outdoor terrace.


8. PALACE HOTEL, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL

Encounter the luxury of the Gilded Age at Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel. Located in downtown San Francisco – just blocks away from Union Square, cable cars and Chinatown – this historic hotel features authentic elements paired with classically inspired, modern decor. Its famous Garden Court (the city’s only indoor historic landmark) recently got a fresh new look, with contemporary furnishings and a daring color scheme complementing its plentiful marble and crystal chandeliers. The property boasts 556 rooms, featuring new flooring, dark woods, layered textiles, and massive, tufted headboards – all while keeping the original 1909 details. Facilities include two restaurants with a distinctive setting for any occasion, and a heated, indoor pool with a sky-lit ceiling.

PALACE HOTEL, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL


7. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL SAN FRANCISCO AT EMBARCADERO

Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero was designed to frame the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay. The luxury hotel occupies the top 11 floors of 48-story skyscraper, which rises above the city’s many hills. With its footprint firmly downtown, it’s only a matter of seconds to travel from celestial heights down to the neighborhoods where the city works, innovates, and enjoys itself. Guests experience the height of modern luxury in 155 luxuriously appointed rooms & suites, featuring bespoke furnishings and carefully chosen textures. Later this year, the hotel will introduce an all-new street level restaurant showcasing California’s bountiful produce and world-renowned wines. Also on the horizon, an open-air Sky Deck on the 40th floor will feature unique pop-ups and other events.

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL SAN FRANCISCO AT EMBARCADERO


6. TAJ CAMPTON PALACE

Taj Campton Place, the quintessential boutique hotel on Union Square, is adjacent to the Financial District, art galleries, museums, and the city’s best-known stores. The European ambiance and personal attention offered ensures an elegant and comfortable stay for both business and leisure travelers. The hotel has 110 guest rooms, 24 hour room service, complimentary house-car service, complimentary PressReader hotspot, complimentary morning coffee, tea and pastries in the lobby, in-house laundry and dry cleaning, in-room safes, in-room espresso makers and complimentary turn-down service with bottled water. The Campton Place Restaurant embodies local Californian cuisine with gentle Spice Route overtones and has earned the coveted Two Michelin Stars award for 2019.

  • Hotel website: Taj Campton Place
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check in, late check out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

TAJ CAMPTON PALACE


5. FAIRMONT SAN FRANCISCO

The world-class Fairmont San Francisco, perched atop Nob Hill, is centrally located in the heart of the city, and just a short cable car trip from the bustling Downtown, Financial District, Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. In fact, it is the only spot in San Francisco where each of the cities cable car lines meet. This landmark crown jewel of the City by the Bay offers 606 guest rooms and suites with stylish furnishings and updated interiors, revitalizing the already stunning, classic yet contemporary accommodations. The hotel’s two dining venues feature exciting menus: Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar highlights family-style meals and Polynesian-fusion plates, while Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar emphasizes fresh, seasonable California coastal cuisine.

FAIRMONT SAN FRANCISCO


4. FOUR SEASONS SAN FRANCISCO

Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco (the sister property of the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero) is located two blocks from Union Square and the Museum of Modern Art, with heart-of-everything proximity to all that San Francisco offers. Here, you’ll find 277 inviting rooms and spacious suites, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows that provide dramatic views of the Financial District and Yerba Buena Gardens. Room amenities include Nespresso machines and complimentary L’Occitane toiletries. Guests can stay fit with complimentary access to Equinox Sports Club, which offers an indoor lap pool. Gourmets make their way to MKT Restaurant – Bar for handcrafted cocktails, small plates, and sustainable seafood – a true California dining experience.

  • Hotel website: Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check in, late check out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

FOUR SEASONS SAN FRANCISCO


3. THE RITZ-CARLTON SAN FRANCISCO

In one of the country’s best-loved cities, The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco is one of the city’s top hotels. Located in a 1909 Nob Hill landmark, the property is within walking distance to Union Square shopping, the Ferry Building and the Financial District. Each of the 336 guest rooms, which recently underwent a $7 million USD renovation, feature Italian marble bathrooms with double sinks, separate water closets, luxurious amenities and plush terry robes. Guest can enjoy world-renowned cuisine in the hotel’s signature restaurant, Parallel 37. There’s also a full-service spa, offering revitalizing facials, body treatments, and massage therapies. Additional amenities include a chic Club Lounge and stylish event space.

  • Hotel website: The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check in, late check out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

THE RITZ-CARLTON SAN FRANCISCO


2. THE ST REGIS SAN FRANCISCO

This Forbes 5* hotel in the SoMa District offers personalized service, luxury amenities and elegant accommodations. Hotel guests are near area attractions, including Moscone Center, Oracle Park, SFMOMA and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Revealing views of downtown San Francisco, each of the 260 refined rooms and suites feature indulgent beds, ample bathrooms with soaking tubs and rainforest showers, large workstations and Wi-Fi. Exquisite suites offer generous layouts with separate living rooms and hardwood floors, exclusively serviced by St. Regis Butlers. Guests can savor the flavors of San Francisco at the Grill restaurant, experience the property’s signature afternoon tea in the lounge, or refresh in the 24-hour fitness center, indoor infinity pool and luxury spa.

  • Hotel website: The St Regis San Francisco
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check in, late check out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).
  • Review: read my review of St Regis San Francisco here.


1. CAVALLO POINT LODGE

Located at a former U.S. Army post at the Golden Gate Bridge, award-winning Cavallo Point offers one of the most coveted stays on the West Coast, mere minutes from San Francisco. The exterior of the lodge has been beautifully restored, preserving Fort Baker’s original architecture. Many of its 142 historic and contemporary accommodations feature sweeping views of San Francisco Bay, the city’s skyline, and the bridge. Northern Californian cuisine at Murray Circle restaurant makes the lodge a top culinary destination, and an intimate cooking school has an ever-changing class roster. Relax at the spa with an array of massages, facials, healing arts services, and more. Miles of hiking trails in national parklands and dog-friendly housing make the lodge a great choice for families.

  • Hotel websiteCavallo Point Lodge
  • Other accolades: Cavallo Point Lodge also features in my top 10 list of the best hotels in the USA.
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast for two, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).

CAVALLO POINT LODGE


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1 Comment

  1. I live in the SF Bay Area. Many luxe hotels have gone up “south of Market” over the years. They’re gorgeous and probably offer fine service. As long as you don’t go outside in that area, you’ll be fine. I’m not concerned for my personal safety, I just don’t enjoy being confronted by bums, aggressive bums. The Palace is as far south as I go. We can research almost anything now … except the neighborhoods themselves. I pity the traveller who forks over $450 for a room in the ghetto. Such a disappointment.

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