Take a look at the best luxury hotels in SoMa.
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.
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), 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.
Hotel Griffon is an elegant, upscale hotel with a prime location on the Embarcadero waterfront on the edge of San Francisco Bay. Some of the 57 guest rooms and five suites have views of the Bay and the Bay Bridge, but many do not have a view at all, and most are very cramped and have small bathrooms. Throughout, decor is elegant and tasteful, and rooms have 32-inch flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, but no mini-fridges or minibars. Travelers may also want to consider the InterContinental - San Francisco, which offers bigger rooms and large bathrooms, an on-site spa, a fitness center, and a lap pool.
With stunning architectural design and 552 rooms on just eight floors, this upscale landmark hotel built in 1875 is aptly named. It is located near Union Square’s luxury shopping and beside a BART station, and striking features include Maxfield Parrish’s Pied Piper painting in the bar, a gold atrium ceiling in the restaurant, and glass-roofed indoor pool. Ornate designs make for a unique business setting with a business center, 24-hour gym, and market. Elegant rooms feature antique touches, stylish mid-century furnishings, and tall ceilings; some suites have parlors with fireplaces. Breakfast, valet parking, and Wi-Fi cost extra. The nearby W San Francisco has a Bliss spa and hipper atmosphere, but no pool.
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, 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 upscale Hotel Vitale has a great location on the Financial District waterfront, surrounded by fine dining and across the street from the famous Ferry Building. Its 200 rooms are warm and spacious, with a soothing neutral palette, free Wi-Fi, and upscale amenities such as Bose sound systems, LCD TVs, fully stocked minibars, and limestone bathrooms. Americano Restaurant & Bar is known for its popular happy hour, which spills over to its cute outdoor terrace, and the spa offers a serene bamboo patio with soaking tubs. Rates are average for location and style, but there is a steep fee for valet parking, and the mandatory “Urban Fee” (which includes basic Wi-Fi, daily 10-minute massages, and Nespresso machines) may make some guests feel nickel-and-dimed. In this price range Le Meridien San Francisco offers a comparable experience.
An outpost of the generally solid "lifestyle"-focused chain, the 404-room W San Francisco in the SoMa art district offers a fun vibe in a whimsical, stylish setting. But despite efforts to seem boutique-y, the W is still a big, national chain at the end of the day, and the approach is less about personal touches than overall atmosphere. Scenesters could also try Hotel Zetta San Francisco, a trendy boutique with free property-wide Wi-Fi (the W only offers free Wi-Fi in the lobby).
You don't get the service you'd receive at high-end area competitors, but the Park Central Hotel San Francisco 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.