Free morning coffee, tea, and baked goods in lobby bar
Free Jaguar car service
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Small standard rooms (250 square feet)
Small business center (it's free though)
Expensive valet parking
No pool, spa, or fitness classes
This is one of the San Francisco's most special hotels. One block from busy Union Square, the 110-room boutique hotel is an enclave of quiet luxury and pampering service. The posh rooms come with Nespresso machines, flat-screen LED TVs, limestone bathrooms, and knitted cotton Ploh robes. The Taj Campton Place restaurant is not just a hotel restaurant -- it is its own institution with a distinguished reputation and two Michelin stars. Travelers may also consider San Francisco's grande old dames -- like the nearby or the on Nob Hill.
Housed in two adjoining century-old buildings, this 110-room luxury boutique is a revelation in bustling Union Square. Much of the hotel's present reputation was built in 2007, when it was acquired by Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces, which also owns the Pierre in New York. Soft renovations brought the hotel up to the India-based luxury brand's high standards. Since then, the Campton Place Taj has won numerous accolades and gained a spot in the Leading Small Hotels of the World collection of properties. Service is taken to new heights here. From the dedicated concierge available throughout the day to the extremely knowledgeable and attentive restaurant servers, Taj Campton Place provides service par excellence. For similar pampering, you'd have to head to the big players like the Loews Regency San Francisco or the Four Seasons.
Despite its stature, the hotel feels surprisingly casual. The sprightly doorman chats with you as he leads you to the small, gleaming lobby full of fresh-cut orchids and paintings by local artists. The lobby's lack of opulence belies the hotel's level of luxury, which includes an impressive array of services and premium in-room amenities such as high-definition flat-screen LED TVs and Molton Brown toiletries. It's no wonder the hotel draws celebrities like Steve Martin and other well-heeled travelers who like the finer things sans pomp and circumstance.
One block away from the commercial hub, Union Square
The Campton Place Taj is one block northeast of Union Square, which is famous for its shopping and not much else (the square is home to enormous outposts of Tiffany & Co., Apple, and Louis Vuitton). While Union Square is a safe area, be careful of wandering into the neighboring, seedy Tenderloin district.
Two-minute walk to the Mason/Powell cable car
11-minute drive to Embarcadero
14-minute drive to Fisherman's Wharf
22-minute drive to Golden Gate Bridge
40-minute drive to San Francisco International Airport
Average-size rooms with luxe amenities, pillow-top beds, and double-paned windows that keep the traffic noise outside
At 250 square feet, standard rooms -- called California Rooms -- feel small, though they're not much smaller than average for San Francisco (an exception is the Grand Hyatt across the street, with 312-square-foot standard rooms). Deluxe rooms, with either one king or two double beds, are between 300 and 390 square feet, and suites start at 450 square feet and go up to 1200 square feet. All rooms have understated decor -- low lighting and a cream color palette -- along with details like fresh orchids and double-paned windows to keep out noise, providing a calming atmosphere. The plush, pillow-top beds feature Frette linens, feather duvets, goose-down pillows, and orange Indian silk throws, as well as retractable reading pinlights on the cushioned headboards.
All rooms have BoseWave radios, Nespresso makers, and flat-screen LED HDTVs with pay-per-view movies and 80 channels. There are leather-topped writing desks with lamps; many rooms have leather-cushioned window seats. Minibars contain premium alcohol and assorted snacks. Cabinets have pear-wood paneling and frosted glass doors, with adjacent shelves that contain mending kits, ironing equipment, umbrellas, hair dryers, shoe brushes, and cleaning cloths.
The beige limestone bathrooms have glass walk-in showers, soaking tubs, and Molton Brown toiletries; some rooms have bathrooms with only a shower area. Super-soft, knitted cotton Ploh robe and matching slippers are provided. Rooms and bathrooms have everything guests should need, but if not, guests can request extra amenities, such as a humidifier. Cribs are free and rollaway beds cost a nightly fee, and can fit in most rooms.
A rooftop fitness center, five meeting rooms, and a highly acclaimed Californian-Indian restaurant with two Michelin stars
Boutique hotels like this one have understandably limited features. The requisite business center is unexciting (it's really just a computer, a printer/copier, and a telephone -- but it's open 24 hours). The gym is limited, also, but its 9th-floor terrace location has a partial view of Union Square. Open 24 hour a day, the open-air fitness center has three exercise bikes, an elliptical, two treadmills, strength-training machines, free weights, and fitness balls. Cold towels, fruit, and magazines and newspapers are available, as are bottles of room-temperature and chilled water.
The standout feature at this property, however, is the high-end, critically acclaimed Campton Place restaurant, which was awarded two Michelin stars in 2016 (the restaurant received one Michelin star from 2011 to 2015). Chef Srijith Gopinathan's breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch menus present a fascinating mix of Indian and Californian cuisine, with distinct French, Mediterranean, and Asian influences. Campton Place's Master Sommelier, Richard Dean, is one of fewer than 150 people in the world to actively hold that title. His wine list is 34 pages long; the wine cellar has more than 1,500 labels. Adjacent to the restaurant is the casual bistro and bar, which serves as a popular first-come-first-serve gathering place for food and drink. Taj Campton Place's extensive and 24-hour room service menu is another way to experience Chef Gopinathan's renowned dishes; there's a full page in the room service menu dedicated to Indian curries. A children's menu is available for in-room dining; if you (or your child) wants anything off-menu, the hotel will accommodate it.
The hotel operates its own laundry and dry-cleaning service; laundry can be done within one hour (as opposed to overnight) and pressing is immediate (as opposed to the standard one-hour wait). Housekeeping is twice a day and turndown service is every evening. Valet parking is pricey; for self-parking, there's a lot on the corner of Sutter and Stockton.
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