Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Modern luxury that hits the mark in every category, minus a historical building or traditionally highbrow neighborhood
In contrast to San Francisco's grand old dames, this is luxury, 21st-century style. The St. Regis was built from the ground up in 2005, and its modern glass exterior and contemporary art collection make the hotel seem like an extension of its artsy neighbors, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of the African Diaspora. But the St. Regis doesn't just rely on a pretty face to keep guests happy. Inside you'll find what's arguably San Francisco's finest in luxury. Highly attentive, personalized service includes a 24-hour butler staff (for suite rooms, only). The relaxation rooms at Remede Spa serve chocolate truffles and champagne. The hotel's Michelin-starred Ame restaurant is a notable destination in its own right. And the rooms and suites match the city's best for space, superior technology, and amenities. In every luxury category, the St. Regis hits the mark.
So why go to another hotel? At this tier, it's mostly a matter of taste. While historic hotels atop Nob Hill like the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, Fairmont, and Ritz-Carlton have long been prestigous destinations, St. Regis' new building and SoMa location reflect a different attitude. In contrast to Nob Hill's grand turn-of-the-century lobbies full of chandeliers and jazz bands, where guests sip martinis from armchairs or clink tea cups at Sunday brunch, the St. Regis' sleek lobby -- designed by Yabu Pushelberg (of New York's Smyth Tribeca and W Union Square) -- is filled with sculptures and paintings from renowned modern artists and a lively crowd mingling at the bar with cocktails in hand.
The hotel is also committed to maintaining the sleek space from top to bottom: the lobby was renovated in 2013 and now features custom-designed furniture, rugs, and art installations in metallic hues, dark blues, and black lacquer. The sophisticated color scheme draws its inspiration from the pervasive fog that often blankets San Francisco, while the clean lines of the furnishing create a minimalist design statement that speaks to the hotel's neighboring cultural institutions.
Elevated luxury service, from 24/7 butler service to drawing a bath
Without a doubt, this is some of the best hotel service in town. A large staff prevents guest pileups at the front desk, concierge, or anywhere else, for that matter. Doormen in top hats tip off the front desk to a guest's arrival through walkie-talkie headsets. And perhaps best of all, 24/7 butler service (for suite rooms, only) is a touchscreen tap away -- a staff member will do everything from collecting shoes for a free overnight shine to delivering toiletries, newspapers, or dry cleaning to making reservations.
Central SoMa location is close to convention center, as well as museums and shopping
Right next to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in SoMa (the "South of Market" section of downtown), St. Regis' location sets it apart from San Francisco's other luxury hotels. The area is cutting edge and convenient to some, or the hotel's biggest drawback to others. It's near the business district, but far from several landmark tourist attractions. Plus, the neighborhood has next to no nightlife. It's not an area where locals hang out.
Sleek, modern style and cutting-edge technology set these rooms apart.
Modern, beautiful, huge, comfortable ... need we go on? Compared to the smaller, stuffier rooms at competitors like the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons, these rooms are refreshingly modern and high-tech. Amenities like mini televisions in the bathroom, separate tubs and showers, and huge flat-panel TVs match or surpass what you'll find in the best rooms in the city. Views are the one area where the St. Regis is undeniably weaker than its competitors: Nob Hill hotels loom high over the city, and the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental are housed in the top floors of downtown skyscrapers. While a limited number of St. Regis' rooms have city views, others offer just street views from low floors.
An impressive set of features, and many are free
Most San Francisco hotels offer little more than a business center and gym, so a long list of extras is part of what makes the St. Regis a truly great hotel. Plus, nothing is outsourced, like the gym at the Four Seasons.
Guests can use beautiful facilities at the new Remede Spa for a reasonable daily fee.
Opened in 2005 along with the hotel, the 9,000-square-foot Remede Spa boasts beautiful facilities, an extensive (and expensive) service menu, and a serene 24-hour indoor pool complete with poolside drink and food service. Hotel guests can use the whirlpools, steam rooms, and saunas, plus relaxation rooms that serve chocolate truffles and champagne. Use of the pool is free.
There's nothing wrong with bringing a family here, but the hotel doesn't cater to kids.
Large, luxurious, and quiet rooms will appeal to nearly any type of guest, including families, but the atmosphere at the hotel is very adult: The sleek, dimly lit lobby and restaurant are better suited to romance than babytalk. Still, there's no reason families won't feel comfortable.
Pets weighing up to 35 pounds allowed
Fastidious, twice-daily housekeeping keeps the St. Regis looking like it was built yesterday, and by San Francisco standards, it was. Put up in 2005, the building sparkles inside and out.
Ame opened with the hotel in 2005 to much critical and popular acclaim, and its mixture of Japanese and new American cuisine is still a hit with locals and visitors alike. The chefs Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, renowned for their Napa Valley debut restaurant Terra, create a menu that mixes fresh Californian ingredients with Japanese and New American cooking techniques. Ame, which has received one Michelin star, is open only for dinner, but a selected menu is available at the lobby bar at lunch. Vitrine restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch.
Built in 2005, the St. Regis offers the best in luxury: rooms with great beds and bathrooms, 24-hour butler service (for suite rooms only), Michelin-starred Ame restaurant, and Remede Spa and pool. Its business-heavy SoMa surroundings and modern building lack the historical grandeur of Nob Hill's grand dames, but otherwise it stands shoulder to shoulder with its hilltop competitors.