San Francisco is as iconic a travel destination as there is. There’s a world-famous landmark on every corner. Visitors can climb every steep hill and see treasures like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Coit Tower. Whether shrouded by fog or kissed by the California sun, you’ll spend your days riding cable cars, perusing world-class museums and galleries, and deciding between fresh seafood on the Wharf or dim sum in Chinatown. There’s no finer way to end your day than by retiring to one of San Francisco’s top-rated luxury hotels. Here are the best of the best, according to Booking.com users.
The top choice of Booking.com users is Hotel Drisco, a turn-of-the-century architectural gem in the Pacific Heights neighborhood. Its hilltop setting, verdant surroundings and immaculate amenities make this property truly outstanding. Imagine the historic charm of cast iron radiators warming your room on a chilly morning, complemented by indulgences like Bulgari bathroom amenities and a pillow menu. Guests enjoy a gourmet continental breakfast, an evening wine, cheese and charcuterie reception, and 24-hour access to an elegant sitting room, where tea, coffee and homemade biscotti are served.
The Scarlet Huntington
The Scarlet Huntington is a historic icon of ritzy Nob Hill. The memorable aesthetic of its red brick facade continues inside the airy lobby. The decor of the rooms and suites is equally striking, with such details as antique mirrored doors and color palettes of fuchsia, black and gold. Upgrade to a suite for spacious living areas, plus a shower with an inventive Kohler Hydro-rail system. Toast to San Francisco at the gleaming brass bar of the beloved Big 4 Restaurant.
The location of the Orchard Hotel, halfway up Nob Hill and steps from Union Square, is one of its most appealing features. Yet the hotel prides itself most on its promise of “boutique elegance and eco-awareness.” The former is exemplified by custom, handcrafted furniture, captivating displays of San Francisco-themed photographs, and the marble floors of its inviting entryway. Fresh, locally sourced ingredients are featured on the menu of the Daffodil Restaurant. For a special evening, reserve the private Wine Room.
The Fairmont San Francisco
The world-famous hotel group has one of its premier properties at the top of Nob Hill, a setting that offers panoramic views across the city and bay. High-end touches include extra-long pillow-top beds and plush robes in all 592 guest rooms and suites. Select a balcony suite for a private filigreed terrace, elegant parlor and marble bathroom, or choose a signature Golden Gate suite for views of the famous bridge and Alcatraz. On weekends, head downstairs for afternoon tea, a Fairmont San Francisco tradition since 1907.
Hotel Nikko San Francisco
Hotel Nikko, at the edge of Union Square, takes inspiration from Japan for its contemporary decor and high-tech amenities. Innovative guest room features include rain showers and a television you can watch through your bathroom mirrors. Stay in a club room to enjoy a light breakfast and evening wine and beer reception in an exclusive lounge. All guests have access to a glass-enclosed indoor pool and expansive health club. Other features include an on-site Starbucks, exotic vehicle rentals, and Restaurant ANZU, which specializes in Asian-Californian fusion cuisine.
An exclusive property steps from Union Square, Club Donatello gives you a luxurious home base within minutes of the city’s best shopping, dining and entertainment districts. You might be tempted to spend some time on site, where Zingari Ristorante serves tempting Northern Italian fare and Donatello’s Club 1500 boasts panoramic city views. Go for a suite if you’re seeking spacious accommodations. Each one is more than 400 square feet and includes a connecting parlor.
InterContinental San Francisco
The InterContinental San Francisco, a gleaming tower of translucent blue in the heart of the SOMA neighborhood, is as striking inside as it is out. Its guest rooms feature wood and marble fixtures, contemporary art displays and floor-to-ceiling windows framing city and bay views. Club floor accommodations come with upgrades like a pillow menu, unpacking service, late check-out and early check-in, and discounted spa treatments. Be sure to make a reservation at the hotel’s Michelin-starred Luce Restaurant, which offers artisanal contemporary American cuisine and an award-winning wine list.
Hotel Zetta San Francisco
A boutique hotel in fashionable SOMA, Hotel Zetta prides itself on its creative, contemporary atmosphere and high-tech appointments. Its 116 spacious, pet-friendly guest rooms and suites all include a smart TV, Bluetooth-enabled entertainment systems and video game consoles, while the lobby features a “social hub” with Mac computers and both virtual and analog games. Local art is featured in an underground exhibit space and throughout the hotel. Dine in The Cavalier, a brasserie offering elevated British pub fare, or try one of the signature cocktails at intimate and eclectic Marianne’s.
Hotel Zelos San Francisco
Another of SOMA’s luxury hotels, Hotel Zelos is close to SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Gardens and the Powell Street BART station. A historic treasure, the circa-1907 Pacific Building boasts larger-than-average guest rooms, each distinct yet sharing a subdued, calming color palette. Choose a luxury spa king room and end a day walking the city’s hills with a soak in a deep Fuji tub. Hotel Zelos has an outstanding Canine Club program; let them know you’re bringing your dogs and you’ll be provided a complimentary bed, water bowl, food and treats. The Dirty Habit restaurant’s heated rooftop patio is a delightful place to sample seasonable, shareable cuisine and a craft cocktail menu.
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
San Francisco Marriott Marquis is another SOMA gem. In addition to delightful rooms with contemporary decor, marble bathrooms and thick mattresses, the most notable feature of the property is The View Lounge. Set on the 39th floor, it’s an unmatched venue for seeing the city sparkle after dark, cocktails in hand and small plates to share. Bin 55 Restaurant and Wine Bar is another fine choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner.