Known as the City by the Bay, San Francisco sits at the tip of a peninsula in Northern California. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay, the city is the fourth-largest in the state, and known as the cultural and financial hub of California. It is home to around 900,000 people and scores of tech companies like Twitter, Uber and Airbnb. The city is known for its hilly landscape, restored Victorian homes, and perpetual fog. Alcatraz, the infamous prison that housed many of America’s most hardened gangsters back in the day, sits on an island in the surrounding waters, and visitors can take tours of the now-closed penitentiary.
A wildly popular tourist destination, San Francisco offers much in the way of the arts, history and outdoor recreation. We have selected the following luxury hotels based on amenities, location and guest reviews. Settle in, hop on a cable car and take your time exploring the many city’s vibrant neighborhoods and universities.
From $385/ night
Luxury abounds at the aptly-named Palace Hotel. From the moment guests step into the opulent lobby, they are surrounded by luscious textures, fine fabrics and elegant finishes and furnishings. Guests rooms have 48-inch flat screens, pillowtop bedding, 11-foot ceilings, tufted headboards and marble bathrooms with rain showers. Among the swank amenities: an indoor pool enclosed in a glass dome with city views, a decadent spa, and a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center. Several restaurants and lounges serve upscale fare, artisan cocktails and small plates. Union Square is a five-minute walk away, and the Fisherman’s Wharf is a 20-minute cable car ride.
From $825/ night
Located in the SOMA District of San Francisco, this posh property features a full-service spa, concierge services and an indoor pool. Guest rooms are on the minimalist side with crisp, contemporary furnishings, city views and minibars. Each room also has an elegant soaking tub and designer toiletries. Two on-site restaurants provide local and light fare throughout the day. Yerba Buena Gardens is directly across the street, and Union Square is a quick eight-minute walk from the hotel. Definitely one of the most luxurious hotels in the city, guests won’t be disappointed with the attentive, elevated service.
From $385/ night
If you’re searching for an out-of-the-box hotel, look no further than the Kimpton Sir Francis Drake. Just off Union Square, guest rooms are decorated in deep blues, plums and reds, and feature iPod docking stations, a yoga channel and free yoga accessories. Say goodbye to cookie cutter rooms and hello to luxe fabrics, custom furnishings, unique artwork. On-site dining is available at Scala’s Bistro, as well as The Starlight Room, a trendy nightclub on the 21st floor that has incredible 360-degree views of the city, A nightly wine hour happens in the lobby from 5–6 p.m. Just steps away from the hotel is the popular Howell Street cable car line, as well as a subway station. Chinatown and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art are a short walk away.
From $280/ night
Located in the bustling Fisherman’s Wharf area, this modern property is a 10-minute walk from Pier 39 and four miles from the Golden Gate Bridge. Guest rooms feature 42-inch flat screens, work desks and deluxe bedding. Among the hotel amenities: an outdoor pool surrounded by a lovely terrace with fire pits, fitness facilities and a business center. Breakfast is served daily in an on-site café. Many restaurants and activities, including Alcatraz tours, can be found in the Wharf area. A great neighborhood to explore on foot!
From $405/ night
This beautiful, contemporary hotel overlooks the San Francisco Waterfront, offering sweeping views of the bay. A five-minute walk to the historic Ferry Building Marketplace, the property is in close proximity to many shops and restaurants, and a trolley car makes a stop directly in front of the lobby. Spacious guest rooms feature unique floor plans, soaking tubs and exceptional work desks. Amenities include a spa, an upscale Italian restaurant, and an outdoor rooftop terrace. Daily wellness activities are offered on-site and and guests have access to a nearby YMCA to work out.