The St. Regis San Francisco Rating: 5.0 Pearls
SoMa, San Francisco, California

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Built in 2006 and immaculate, with an impressive contemporary art collection
  • Central location on border of SoMa, Union Square, and Financial District
  • Close to museums
  • 24/7 butler service (for suite rooms only)
  • 24-hour pool at Remede Spa free; other facilities are charged per day
  • Michelin-starred Ame restaurant

Cons

  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • SoMa location lacks the prestige -- and high hilltop views -- of its Nob Hill competitors

Bottom Line

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.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Modern luxury that hits the mark in every category, minus a historical building or traditionally highbrow neighborhood

The front entrance
The front entrance

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.

 Service

Elevated luxury service, from 24/7 butler service to drawing a bath

A large staff means no lines.
A large staff means no lines.

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.

  • "Guest Digital Assistant" touchscreens connect guests to butler service, provide information about the hotel, and control room features like the lighting, temperature, music, and TV.
  • Twice-daily housekeeping, including automatic nightly turndown service
  • Well-staffed concierge desk open throughout the day
  • Daily delivery of Wall Street Journal or San Francisco Chronicle
  • Free overnight shoeshine service
  • 24-hour room service
  • In-room luxury bath preparation available, ranging from Krug Champagne and Chocolat Extravagance to the Krug Ultimate Bath

 Location

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.

  • Next to the Financial District and one block from Moscone Convention Center, making it nearly perfect for business travelers
  • Far from the Presidio, the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, and Haight-Ashbury, but then so are the other neighborhoods with luxury hotels
  • Four blocks from high-end shopping at Union Square
  • Next door to SFMOMA and the Museum of the African Diaspora, and within two blocks of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum
  • Great transportation access: Cabs are easy to come by, and the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit -- trains that serve the greater Bay Area, including the airport) stops one block away.
  • 30-minute taxi to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Three miles from Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz ferries
  • Three blocks from the Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde cable car lines, which run to Lombard Street and Ghirardelli Square or to Fisherman's Wharf; a 20-minute ride
  • Safe (though vagrancy and panhandling are common, as throughout San Francisco)

 Rooms

Sleek, modern style and cutting-edge technology set these rooms apart.

The St. Regis Suite
The St. Regis Suite

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.

  • Room layouts are nearly identical, and all are among the largest in the luxe category (450 to 550 square feet); views are the biggest variable, with the best views in Grand Deluxe and Executive Premier Rooms.
  • Even in standard rooms, marble and frosted glass bathrooms have deep tubs and large separate showers (with both rain and detachable showerheads), mini flat-screen TVs, and Remede Spa toiletries.
  • Luxurious, comfortable king-size beds have feather-top mattresses, down pillows, and comforters.
  • 42-inch flat-panel LG televisions and DVD players in each room, with 47 local and cable channels and pay-per-view movies
  • Extra tariff for in-room Wi-Fi or high speed Internet; signal strength is inconsistent throughout hotel
  • "Guest Digital Assistant" bedside touch-screens provide direct connection to the butler service, information about the hotel, and controls for the lighting, room temperature, music, shades, and TV.
  • Minibars offer a small but high-end selection of drinks and snacks, including Krug champagne and glass bottled St. Regis branded snacks, plus free Evian bottled water.

 Features

An impressive set of features, and many are free

Gym machines, prepped with towels and water
Gym machines, prepped with towels and water

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.

  • 5,700-square-foot, bright, 5th floor fitness center open 24 hours with room key. Each cardio machine is prepped with a towel, water bottle, and headphones; extra chilled towels, water, magazines, and fruit provided.
  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • 24-hour self-service business center is the hotel's weakest feature: just a small workstation in a hallway with computers and a printer (guests pay to use Internet and print services).
  • St. Regis Hotel Art Collection exhibited in hallways, lobby, bar, and restaurant. The paintings and sculptures include works by many contemporary artists, including Alison Rossiter, Hans Schule, Brad Durham, Mari-Ruth Oda, Doris Mitsch, Stefan Hoenerloh, Damon Hildreth, and Chip Hooper.
  • Free passes to Museum of the African Diaspora, which has an entrance in the hotel's lobby
  • In-room luxury bath preparation available, ranging from Krug Champagne and Chocolate Extravagance to the Krug Ultimate Bath

 Spa

Guests can use beautiful facilities at the new Remede Spa for a reasonable daily fee.

The spa's pool is free for guests.
The spa's pool is free for guests.

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.

  • Remede Spa is open daily; for a daily fee, guests can use the locker rooms (with whirlpools, steam rooms, and saunas), and relaxation rooms, where chocolate truffles and champagne are served.
  • Free 24-hour access to indoor pool with room key; showers and towels available, but spa locker room access is extra
  • Signature Remede Spa treatment menu ranges from basic manicures and waxing services to day-long spa packages, with a focus on customized services and luxurious treatments like "four hand massage."
  • Prices range from 30-minute treatments to four-hour packages (click here for a complete spa services menu)

 Family

There's nothing wrong with bringing a family here, but the hotel doesn't cater to kids.

Vitrine serves kid-appropriate fare
Vitrine serves kid-appropriate fare

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.

  • Large, quiet rooms, and multiroom suites with pullout couches
  • Free cribs, rollaway beds are charged per day
  • Babysitting services can be arranged through concierge
  • 24-hour butlers can assist with museum passes, transportation, and laundry (for suite rooms, only)
  • 24-hour room service (but no kids' menu)
  • Safe neighborhood (though vagrancy and panhandling are common, as throughout San Francisco)
  • Close to museums and Yerba Buena Gardens (a pleasant park that sometimes hosts activities and festivals), but far from Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Park, and Golden Gate Bridge
  • Sandwiches and pasta at Vitrine restaurant, though a bit fancy, is kid-appopriate, but kids will have a harder time finding an appealing dish at in-house dinner spot Ame

 Pet-Friendly

Pets weighing up to 35 pounds allowed

  • Hotel charges a one-time cleaning fee
  • Pets not allowed in the restaurants, spa, or gym

 Cleanliness

Sparkling

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.

 Food

Michelin-starred Ame serves some of SoMa's best gourmet food, and Vitrine keeps guests on a gourmet meal plan for breakfast and lunch.

A dish at the acclaimed Ame restaurant
A dish at the acclaimed Ame restaurant

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.

  • Ame serves New American cuisine from Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, open for dinner seven nights; five course tasting menu available.
  • Vitrine serves breakfast and lunch, seven days a week, in a beautiful dining room with top-notch service: Breakfast even starts with an amuse-bouche.
  • 24-hour room service; a menu of selected items from Vitrine and, at dinner, Ame.

 Bottom Line

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.

Things You Should Know About The St. Regis San Francisco

Address

  • 125 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103, US

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • St Regis San Francisco
  • St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco

Room Types

  • Astor Suite
  • Deluxe Guest Room
  • Executive Premier Guest Room
  • Grand Deluxe Guest Room
  • Metropolitan Suite
  • Presidential Suite
  • St. Regis Suite
  • Superior Guest Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 260
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
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Hotel Information

Location: SoMa, San Francisco
Address: 125 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103, US
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