Staying at a hotel in downtown San Francisco gives you access to three A’s: architecture, attractions and amenities. Centrally placed near the theater and financial districts, as well as Chinatown and the waterfront, downtown San Francisco is a neighborhood that offers endless variety. The area’s architecture ranges from the Art Deco wedding cake of the PacBell building to the sleek modernism of the Transamerica Pyramid. Its accommodation options are no less diverse. From boutique and artsy to posh and historic, here are the best hotels in downtown San Francisco.
A cozy, vintage-style hotel with a resident cat, the rosy pink brownstone of the Golden Gate Hotel holds two dozen guest rooms. Rooms are on the small side but have character; each is uniquely decorated in floral prints, and some come with free-standing clawfoot tubs. The hotel offers a free breakfast, as well as afternoon tea and is also pet-friendly.
With a different work of art in every room, as well as the lobby and hallways, the Hotel des Arts lives up to its name. A mix of short- and long-stay rooms are individually painted by local artists in styles from abstract and pop to graffiti and collage. An art gallery displays less permanent works. If you see one you like the look of, there’s even the chance to snap it up and take it home with you.
If you are a fan of San Francisco’s film history, you may recognize Hotel Vertigo from its role in the Hitchcock classic – the film plays on a loop in the lobby. The decor is orange-tinted with quirky, slightly surrealistic touches, like glossy sculptures and a vertigo-inducing staircase. As it’s only a five-minute walk from Union Square, you’re never far from all the action.
Located near Union Square, the Kensington Park Hotel is elegantly decorated with crystal chandeliers and animal-print carpets. Afternoon tea and evening sherry are served daily beneath the vaulted ceiling of the lobby. The hotel shares a building with the San Francisco Playhouse, home to premieres and Off-Broadway productions.
The elaborate, vividly pastel-tinted facade of Hotel Adagio makes for a very welcome sight for weary travelers. For those seeking food and drink without venturing outside, the hotel’s in-house restaurant and bar (the Mortimer) serves unusual craft cocktails and has a small-plate menu with daily happy hours. Spacious, modern guest rooms – many with views of the city – have big-screen televisions and Bigelow bath products.