California’s economy is the biggest in the nation, so it’s little wonder that tech titans, Hollywood movers and shakers, and venture-capital big wigs are all constantly Cali-bound. Here are Oyster’s top hotel choices for business travelers: swank Silicon Valley scenes, beachfront mega-resorts with gobs of meetings space, legendary L.A. icons, and more.
Next to the Financial District and one block from Moscone Convention Center, the St. Regis San Francisco is nearly perfect for business travelers. The hotel's impeccable service is also perhaps the best in town: In suite rooms, for example, 24/7 butler service 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.
The Rosewood Sand Hill is located on Sand Hill Road (which is like the Wall Street of the venture capital and technology industries). Its 121 rooms are bright and airy, complete with HD TVs and large, sunny patios and balconies with views of the beautiful natural surroundings. Michelin-starred dining at Madera, a luxury spa, stunning landscaping, and a family-friendly outdoor pool round out the experience. It's one of the top luxury properties in Silicon Valley, and proves why the Rosewood brand's reputation is well-deserved. All in all, this may be one of the best hotels for business travelers in the country.
Upscale touches are everywhere at the Four Seasons in Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto, from the beautifully manicured grounds to the sleek wood-paneled lobby to the spacious rooftop pool with free sunscreen. Rooms are bright and modern with floor-to-ceiling windows, flat-screen TVs, and marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs. The hotel is located right off the freeway, and while rooms are well-insulated to shield the noise, some still have unappealing freeway views, and there is a daily fee for Wi-Fi.
With astounding views from elegant, spacious rooms high up in a Financial District skyscraper and the best in pampering service, the Loews San Francisco Hotel (formerly Mandarin Oriental) lives up to its luxe 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.
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 (complete with spacious work desks and extra outlets), lap pool, well-reviewed spa, and Michelin-star restaurant make it one of the best values in San Francisco. The Club Floor rooms have stunning views of the city; Executive rooms on the building's corners offer two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows and also have terrific views.
The sprawling St. Regis Monarch Beach is situated on a beautiful golf course overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It has elegant, comfortable rooms with large, beautiful bathrooms and its well-equipped business center features a 60-inch plasma TV, video conferencing technology, a projection screen and integrated sound system, and a remote-controlled AV.
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. An enormous ballroom (perfect for key-note addresses), tens of thousands of square feet of meeting space, and a well-equipped 24-hour business center, make this a popular choice for business travelers.
Located on a serene lagoon, the 421-room Sofitel San Francisco Bay is a convenient choice for business travelers that want to be near the airport and freeway. Rooms are spacious and offer nice touches like flat-screen TVs and Keurig coffeemakers, but design-wise are on the bland side. On the other hand the lobby is airy and attractive with plenty of white marble and fresh flowers. Perks include a nice outdoor pool with peaceful views of the lagoon, along with a restaurant serving California-inspired French cuisine, called Bay 223. While the free shuttle to San Francisco International Airport is convenient, there are pesky fees for Wi-Fi and some leisure travelers might wish they were closer to the action of San Francisco, a 30-minute drive away
After completing renovations in 2013, this 660-room Grand Hyatt is now stylish as well as comfortable -- and there’s free Wi-Fi with on-site eating options. A popular Union Square location and 30,000 square feet dedicated to conferences and special occasions, including an event space with magnificent city views, make this four-pearl property an ideal choice for corporate travelers.
The 360-room Le Meridien San Francisco is a stylish upscale high-rise in the Financial District that connects to the Embarcadero Center via a pedestrian bridge. Contemporary, monochromatic rooms, which were renovated in 2015, come with 55-inch flat-screen TVs and minibars, and suites have separate living rooms -- some offer balconies with bay views. Geared toward business travelers, the hotel has 14 meeting spaces and a business center. A lobby bar and American grill with outdoor seating provide after-work gathering spaces, and there’s also a 24-hour gym and valet parking (for a hefty fee). Travelers seeking a comparable hotel with a pool might want to check out the InterContinental - San Francisco.
With 1,908 rooms and 134,500 square feet of meeting space, including nine ballrooms, this Hilton is the quintessential business mega-hotel. The business services are indeed impressive: there's a full-service center (which will print posters to your specification and deliver them to your meeting room), an office to help with a PowerPoint presentation; an audiovisual services desk available for equipment rental and technical support; and a separate business concierge that will assist with all business-related needs, like finding a notary public.
This 569-room Beverly Hills hotel, the site of the Golden Globes, excels at affordable luxury. Two business centers and blazingly fast Internet in the elegant rooms make it a top pick for business travelers (in addition to the traditional self-service business center, the hotel also has an Events Technology Center, run by an outside company, which specializes in event planning and business needs, with shipping, collating, file transfer, and data-entry services). The Beverly Hilton's huge pool and name-brand fitness center ably compete with the leisure facilities at more expensive hotels, though its restaurant and bars don't.
This 453-room luxury hotel caters largely to business travelers and other adults; its Business Premier Rooms feature oversize desks, extra lighting, and office machines such as fax, printer and copier. Spacious standard rooms, heated lap pool, and Financial District location make it a fine choice, especially when its rates dip well below those at other luxury hotels.
The 160-room Balboa Bay Resort is one of Newport Beach's most upscale properties, and has excellent restaurants, a spa, plenty of meeting facilities (large ballroom and 20-plus conference rooms), and an Olympic-size swimming pool. Rooms have elegant Mediterranean style, and all come with private balconies. The hotel is under a 10-minute drive to the sand, and has a waterfront location on a marina (part of the exclusive Balboa Bay Club). Just be aware that the resort fees, breakfast fees, and parking fees can add up, and some guests may start to feel nickel and dimed. Still, in Newport, only the Resort at Pelican Hill is more luxurious.
The 250-suite Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort is an upscale beachfront resort located on almost nine acres, between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. The beautiful, wide, white sand beach is this hotel's hottest selling point. Guests are treated to free breakfast, cooked to order in the Coastal Grill, and there is a pool, tennis court, and fitness center on site. The large number of meeting rooms and flexible event spaces, coupled with the convenient location, make this a good spot for business travelers and groups.
Located across from the Downey Civic Center and within a 30-minute drive to Downtown LA and Disneyland, this upscale hotel offers an ideal location for business guests (who frequent the atrium's "tech lounge," which has comfortable, modern seating and lots of outlets for charging electronics). Thanks to a major 2015 renovation of the lobby and common areas, it has a sophisticated, modern look with space-themed accents that are a nod to Downey’s status as home to the Apollo Space Program. The 2,190 rooms were not renovated, so their decor is a bit generic and dated, but they're still spacious, with a two-room layout of a bedroom and lounge area. Amenities such as a 24-hour fitness center and business center, a heated indoor pool, and an on-site restaurant and bar add to the appeal. A full breakfast plus snacks and drinks at the hotel’s nightly reception are included.
This 234-room, three-and-a-half-pearl hotel serves corporate travelers with extensive meeting space and extended-stay amenities like full kitchens in guest suites. An outdoor pool with a hot tub and casual restaurant offer on-site options for winding down the day, while the hotel’s location on Shellmound Street is a short drive to Emeryville-based companies and a stroll to Emeryville’s main shopping and dining drag: Bay Street. Visitors looking for a less chain-like vibe should investigate the upper-middle-range Hotel Durant in nearby Berkeley.