A couple of years ago, San Francisco’s hotel scene had grown stagnant. The city had not experienced an opening or revival in what felt like ages. However, with 2013’s debut of the tech-centric Hotel Zetta San Francisco in SoMa (and with mainstays like Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco recently completing a $27 million renovation), a new era in hospitality was ushered in. Here, we break down three recently opened properties for you to consider when planning your next visit to The City by the Bay.
In 1909, eight-story The Fielding Hotel opened on the corner of Geary and Mason. It was a stylish place that did exceptionally well — so much so that four floors were added 30 years later to honor the Golden Gate International Exposition. Since then, the space has seen several owners and design improvements, but the best and most significant is its latest incarnation as Hotel G. The New York-based Hun Aw Studio, Inc. decorated each of the 153 rooms uniquely with a mixture of vintage (Victorian settees), modern (denim headboards), worldly (Indian rugs), whimsical (California-shaped pillows), and luxurious (Matteo linens) details. There’s also original abstract artwork — all of which is for sale — from Creativity Explored, a local nonprofit that helps adults with developmental disabilities express themselves through art.
Of course, no hotel of this caliber is complete without a notable dining experience, and Hotel G boasts not just one, but three unique restaurants. There’s Klyde Café & Wine Bar, an all-day spot that serves everything from huevos rancheros and salad niçoise to grilled pork chops with sautéed kale and creamy polenta. For a more upscale meal, head to 398 Restaurant and Bar, a large space with red accents and original exposed cement that specializes in French-American cuisine with a twist. There’s escargot, melt-in-your mouth scallops and eggs poached in red wine. Need a drink afterward? Head to Benjamin Cooper, the cocktail and oyster bar that offers innovative libations and service so friendly you won’t forget the bartender’s name.
The Battery is quite the conundrum: It’s a private club for San Francisco’s tech elite, an event space for the crème de la crème of the Bay Area, and a 14-room hotel. Founded by British entrepreneurs and couple about town, Michael and Xochi Birch, the four-story space in Jackson Square was meant to be an address that recreated the private members clubs popular at one time in London. All of the rooms (the entire club, in fact) were custom designed with SF décor darling Ken Fulk’s traditional hunting lodge flair. But what makes The Battery truly special are its distinct spaces to hangout. There’s a basement wine cellar and dining room perfect for private parties; the bustling main-floor House Bar; a library that frequently hosts interesting live music sessions (chamber-pop band San Fermin, May 22) and screenings; a state-of-the-art study equipped for meetings; and a 6,200-square-foot penthouse suite with one of the city’s best private patios and views.
The Warwick San Francisco
Just up the street from the Hotel G is The Warwick. This elegant hotel dates back to 1913. Cozy and inviting with plenty of plush carpets, ornate headboards and plump throw pillows, The Warwick’s design was overseen by UXUS with a desire to meld contemporary hospitality with authentic history. The 74 rooms have a muted, but comforting color palette of whites and grays with pops of yellow and cobalt. Although each room differs, they are all equally charming. Thankfully, not all of the creativity was reserved for the décor, though. The Warwick is also home to The European, a stylish bar with dark leather chairs and other masculine overtones reminiscent of a lounge in Prague that has an astounding selection of Amaro (an Italian digestif). On the other hand, Aveline, a restaurant that highlights new Californian cuisine, softens its approach with muted hues and button-tufted seating.