Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
Full of character thanks to its pop theme, this boutique appeals to tourists who can look past small rooms and minimal services to appreciate funky decor.
A small, unique hotel on the fringes of Union Square, Triton follows the Kimpton protocol of theming itself around a story, in this case, "Pop." Expressed through wacky lobby murals, pop music in the elevators, and celebrity-designed suites (the hotel's pièce de resistance), the chosen theme, along with the casual staff, makes this Kimpton more irreverent than most. While the Triton's amenities and services are sparse, you do get those fun, free evening wine receptions and a pretty good, attached bistro.
The 140 rooms are brightly colored and furnished with interesting beds and framed artwork, lending them just enough of a funky feel to avoid being ridiculous. At 200 square feet, standard rooms are small even for San Francisco, but amenities and furnishings are comfortable and up-to-date, including 31-inch, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and beds impressively furnished with Frette linens and pillow-top mattresses. The hotel's real gems, though, are its celebrity-designed, one-of-a-kind suites, including Kathy Griffin's D-List Suite, the J. Garcia Suite, and even a Haagen-Dazs suite with a freezer full of ice-cream.
A small, laid-back, multitasking staff, along with those free, nightly wine mixers create a young, vibrant vibe; minimal amenities -- like the tiny basement fitness center or the "business center" that's a lone computer next to the front desk -- don't appear to bother lodgers. And they seem to appreciate the full-service, attached Café de la Presse bistro with solid fare and an international collection of newspapers and magazines.
The Triton is a good choice for a boutique-style, funky lodging. You can get larger rooms at boutiquelike hotels elsewhere in Union Square, of course. The suite-style Donatello, for instance, offers much larger rooms, but less fun decor; the quirky, themey Serrano has a fitness room, sauna, and slighty larger rooms, but it's right on the edge of the seedy Tenderloin district.
In commercial Union Square, directly across from the Chinatown gateway
Hotel Triton sits three blocks northwest of 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. Still, if conspicuous consumption isn't a priority, you might prefer a neighborhood closer to the city's biggest attractions, like Nob Hill or Fisherman's Wharf.
This casual, pop-themed Kimpton is full of character, with funky furnishings, a great restaurant, and a free wine hour. But its 140 rooms are small, amenities are minimal, and the friendly service is limited.