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The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco 4.5

Nob Hill, San Francisco, California

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Convenient Nob Hill location two blocks from Chinatown and Union Square
  • Cable car stops right outside of hotel
  • Chic and spacious contemporary rooms have Nespresso machines, minibars, and flat-screen TVs
  • Parallel 37 serves seasonal California cuisine, plus 24-hour room service available 
  • Stylish Lounge offers casual fare and afternoon tea, plus it hosts live music 
  • JCB Tasting Lounge offers wine flights 
  • Large and impressive modern fitness center and a L’Occitane spa 
  • Club Lounge for Club-Level Rooms has free food/drinks, including breakfast, light lunch, and hors d' oeuvres
  • Elegant meeting/even rooms, including a ballroom
  • Free house car service within mile radius of hotel

Cons

  • Many bathrooms have shower/tub combos, some lack rainfall showerheads
  • Most guest rooms don't have views
  • No pool
  • Built on a steep hill (to be expected in San Francisco)

Bottom Line

The luxury Ritz-Carlton occupies a Neoclassical mansion sandwiched between Chinatown and Union Square in Nob Hill. Elegant interiors rife with marble and chandeliers are coupled with doting service for a luxurious experience -- but a handful of quibbles prevent it from a five-pearl status, including shower/tub combos in bathrooms and lack of views in most rooms. The 336 rooms are still spacious and chic, with mod-cons like Nespresso machines and iPod docks. It might be worth upgrading to a Club-Level Room for perks like free breakfast, light lunches, and drinks in the Club Lounge. Dining open to all includes a stylish restaurant and a lounge with casual fare, plus there's an atmospheric wine tasting lounge. Other features include an impressive gym and L'Occitane spa. For great window views, check out the nearby Fairmont San Francisco.

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Scene

Luxury hotel in a landmark Neoclassical mansion

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco is situated in an impressive 19th-century Neoclassical mansion that was once the headquarters of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The stately setting is paired with a conservative classiness that permeates throughout: marble-lined interiors are dotted with chandeliers, art lines the walls, and fresh orchids add color. The hotel's restaurant, Parallel 37, takes a more contemporary approach with mostly wooden accents and modern decor. The Lounge has a swankier vibe, decked out with chic armchairs and tufted seating, flowers on every tabletop, and a marble fireplace. The JCB Tasting Lounge mixes eclectic details with a speakeasy vibe. Gilded screens hang crookedly on a crimson-curtained wall and display classic art like the Mona Lisa. Leopard print mixes with burgundy hues and tasseled bar stools.

Location

Hillside location in Nob Hill, sandwiched between Chinatown and Union Square

The Ritz sits two blocks from the peak of Nob Hill, a posh, affluent neighborhood home to some of the city’s most luxe hotels. Note that it's on a steep hill, which can be an issue for those wanting to explore the area on foot. Dining options and bars surround, and Chinatown is two blocks away down the hill. Union Square is a six-minute walk in the opposite direction. A cable car conveniently stops right outside of the hotel, easing trips back uphill, and the Cable Car Museum is a 10-minute walk away. For those who don't mind walking, Fisherman's Wharf is about a half-hour downhill walk from here, or 20 minutes by public transit (10-minute drive). Other top attractions include Lombard Street (seven-minute drive or 25 minutes by public transit), Golden Gate Bridge (12-minute drive or 33 minutes via public transit), and the Palace of Fine Arts (12-minute drive or 40 minutes on public transportation). San Francisco International Airport is around a 20-minute drive from the hotel (depending on traffic, can take up to 40 minutes) or around 50 minutes via public transportation.

Rooms

Chic and spacious rooms have flat-screen TVs, Nespresso machines, and minibars, but some bathrooms could be more luxurious

There's an array of rooms and suites available here, from three different kinds of guest rooms (Deluxe, Superior, and Club-Level), to several suites ranging from One-Bedroom Suites to a Presidential Suite with lovely views over the city. Rooms are chic and spacious, with entry level units starting at a roomy 400 square feet (38 square meters), while suites range from the 600-square-foot (56 square meters) Junior Suite to the 1980-square foot (184 square meters) Ritz-Carlton Suite.

Chic, contemporary decor in cool blue and gray hues was inspired by San Francisco's architecture and fog. Patterned accent wallpaper and patterned carpeting pair stylishly with sleek furniture and some swanky elements like large velvet headboards and chaise lounges. Large windows fill the spaces with natural light and some rooms on higher floors offer nice city views -- but most don't offer much in terms of vistas. All rooms have work desks, free Wi-Fi, and large flat-screen TVs. Other amenities include Nespresso machines, minibars, iPod dock radios, and electronic safes.

Suites have separate living rooms (with the exception of Junior Suites). Presidential and Ritz-Carlton Suites add chic living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchenettes with microwaves, toasters, and electric kettles. The Presidential Suite also has a 1,200-square-foot terrace with lovely city views.  

Chic marble bathrooms offer plenty of storage space on sink vanities. Shower/tub combos are not particularly luxurious though, nor do all have rainfall showerheads. Most suites have separate tubs and showers, plus Presidential and Ritz-Carlton suites have whirlpool tubs. Plush bathrobes are supplied, as are Asprey toiletries.

Club Level rooms have access to the Club Lounge, which comes with plenty of perks, including free food and drinks during the day (breakfast, light lunch, hors d' oeuvres, dessert, and alcoholic drinks like wine, beer and spirits) as well as tastings with award-winning local wineries on the weekends. 

Features

Seasonal Californian dining in stylish restaurant, atmospheric lounge, impressive gym, L'Occitane spa, and Club Lounge with lots of perks

The hotel's restaurant, Parallel 37, serves seasonal California cuisine in a stylish setting. The Lounge offers cocktails, local beers, and spirits as well as a menu of casual fare and afternoon tea service, plus there's live music here a few times a week. The JCB Tasting Lounge presents wine flights and tastings in an atmospheric, intimate setting. Room service is available 24/7.

The fitness center is large and impressive, well equipped with modern, high-end equipment that includes strength-training and cardio machines, each with a personal TV screen. There's also a relaxing L’Occitane spa that offers various treatments like facials and massages.

Club Level rooms have access to the Club Lounge, which comes with plenty of perks, including free food and drinks during the day (breakfast, light lunch, hors d' oeuvres, dessert, and alcoholic drinks like wine, beer and spirits) as well as tastings with award-winning local wineries on the weekends. 

The hotel offers several meeting and event rooms, including a ballroom. Other features here include a Wellendorff Jewelers boutique in the lobby and a boutique selling jewelry, candles, perfumes, and coffee table books. Free use of the hotel's house car service is on offer for trips within a mile radius. Wi-Fi is free throughout. 

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Things You Should Know About The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

Address

600 Stockton Street, at California Street, San Francisco, California 94108-2311, United States

Phone

(415) 296-7465

Also Known As

  • Ritz Carlton San Francisco
  • Ritz-Carlton San Francisco
  • Ritz San Francisco
  • San Francisco Ritz
  • San Francisco Ritz Carlton
  • San Francisco Ritz-Carlton
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco

Room Types

  • Club Deluxe Room
  • Club Junior Suite
  • Club One Bedroom Suite
  • Deluxe Room
  • Junior Suite
  • One Bedroom Suite
  • Presidential Suite 910
  • Ritz-Carlton Suite 919
  • Superior Room

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