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.
Built in 2008 near the Moscone Convention Center in the business-oriented neighborhood of SoMa, the modern, 550-room InterContinental's luxury-level service, high-tech guest rooms, lap pool, well-reviewed spa, and Michelin-star restaurant make it one of the best values in San Francisco. But it's worth it to also check rates at the comparable W San Francisco.
The Fairmont combines the history, cachet, and decor of a turn-of-the-20th-century grand old dame with the amenities, technology, and corporate-dominated clientele of a large chain property. What separates it from its luxury competitors are its beautiful, well-appointed rooms, many with stunning views, and its location atop Nob Hill.
This luxurious, 110-room boutique one block from Union Square is an enclave of posh rooms and pampering service in a dense city. There aren't many features here -- just a gym and a small business center -- but its top-notch service and luxe room amenities make it one of the city's most special hotels.
Everything you'd expect from a Ritz -- formal, doting service; cultivated decor; tasteful, tasty dining; a luxury spa -- all in the ritziest of San Francisco neighborhoods. But while luxury competitors offer free limo rides, 24-hour butlers, or panoramic views, the Ritz lacks a wow factor. It's largely a matter of taste, of course, but we prefer the St. Regis and Mandarin Oriental.
The Four Seasons' huge, well-outfitted rooms and attentive service are among the city's best, but the 277-room property falls a bit short of expectations. Its pool and fitness center are outsourced, and its business-centric SoMa location lacks the prestige of Nob Hill, where some if its strongest competitors reside.
With astounding views from elegant, spacious rooms high up in a Financial District skyscraper and the best in pampering service, this Mandarin Oriental lives up to its luxury reputation. The downtown location makes it best for business travelers, but the spa and fitness center are a draw for others as well. And the rooms and services are hard to beat.
You don't get the service you'd receive at high-end area competitors, but the Westin Market Street does offer immaculate quarters with super-comfortable beds, solid amenities, and a business-friendly location two blocks from the convention center. For travelers seeking a more subdued environment than the nearby mega-Marriott and who aren't up for paying St. Regis prices, this is an acceptable option.
The St. Francis combines the history, decor, and traditions of a turn-of-the-20th-century grand old dame with the amenities, modernity, and corporate-dominated clientele of a large chain property. If you find a better deal at the similarly priced Palace or Meridien -- also business-oriented Starwoods -- go with one of those. If not, the Westin is a perfectly pleasant option.
After its 2009 renovations, the big, bustling, 1,010-room Parc 55 hotel has some great, modern touches -- big HD flat-screens, an extensive contemporary art collection, and top-notch equipment in the fitness center. It's a fine choice for Union Square, four blocks from the theaters and fashion boutiques, but the nearby Marriott and Hilton hotels are both very comparable.
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