Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A hip, eclectic boutique hotel in downtown San Francisco
Every Kimpton boutique hotel has a theme of sorts, at at the Triton, it's "independent spirit" -- which is reflected in subte details, such as the fact that staff members wear their own clothes rather than uniforms, and not so subtle details, such as the bold, quirky decor that could never be characterized as "cookie cutter." Every Kimpton has an evening wine hour, but the Hotel Triton's wine hour sometimes features live music, tarot card readings, or poetry readings. The hotel's hip, artsy vibe is meant to reflect the character of San Francisco itself.
The lobby area is the most visually striking area of the hotel, with a bright gold couch and wacky murals, and it's actually a holdover from the Triton's prior "theme" (pop). The rooms, unlike the lobby, were renovated in 2012, and have details that reflect San Francisco iconography (such as beat literature overlaid with stencils of Chinese dragons).
Conveniently located near Chinatown and Union Square
Hotel Triton is straddled by two French cafes, Café de la Presse and the Rouge et Blanc, and is located right across the street from the Cinatown gates. It's also three blocks northwest from Union Square, which is famous for its couture shops and not much else. Home to enormous outposts of Niketown, Saks, Tiffany, Macy's, Louis Vuitton, and Neiman Marcus, among others, Union Square is to San Francisco what 5th Avenue is to New York and Rodeo Drive is to L.A. Locals don't hang out here, but the square is great for people-watching nonetheless, and it occasionally plays host to small festivals and demonstrations.
It's about a 15-minute walk to the Financial District and the Ferry Buiding on the city's Embarcadero waterfront.
Small but artfully decorated rooms
Each of the Triton's 140 guest rooms is unique in size and shape, and all are artfully decorated and furnished. Think: green wooden wainscotting, bright yellow headboards, and chalkboards for welcome messages. Details such as beat literature with stencils of Chinese dragons are an homage to the city of San Francisco. The overall feel is hip and eclectic, though slightly worn around the edges; there are old window air-conditioners rather than central air, for example. Note that te Deluxe Rooms can be quite small, and lower-level rooms can get significant street noise. Celebrity-designed and themed suites include the Häagen Daz Ice Cream "Sweet Suite" (complete with a freezer full of ice cream), the Jerry Garcia "J. Garcia," and Kathy Griffin "D-List" suite.
A boutique hotel with a small fitness center and lots of freebies
Hotel Triton has more features than one may expect from a small mid-range boutique hotel. The small basement-level fitness center has modern cardio machines and free weights, and in-room spa services are available. For pet owners, a "Bow Wow" pet package provides pet bowls and a pet bed in your room, as well as dog leashes and plastic bags for dog walks around downtown San Francisco. Pet sitting, grooming, walking and massage services can be arranged. The standard Kimpton freebies are all here, including free Wi-Fi for Kimpton InTouch members, free morning coffee and tea in the lobby, free newspapers, and a free evening wine hour (the Triton's wine hour sometimes features live music, tarot card readings, or poetry readings).
This mid-range boutique hotel, located just across the street from the Chinatown gates, has plenty of personality and all of the freebies that come standard with the Kimpton chain (a free wine hour, a pets-stay-free policy, and free freshly baked afternoon cookies, to name a few). The lobby is bright and funky and rooms have quirky, charming decor, but they're on the small side, some can get serious street noise, and there are window air conditioners rather than central air. All in all, it's a fun, excellent choice for the price, though it's worth comparing rates with the Hotel Rex, which also has a free wine hour, a pet-friendly policy, and boutique charm.