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The best hotels in San Francisco


As one of America’s most picturesque cities, San Francisco is known for world-class attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge and Pier 39, splendid bay views and mouthwatering, diverse cuisine. Between the Presidio’s history, the bohemian atmosphere of Haight-Ashbury and ample opportunities to joyride in cable cars, the City by the Bay offers something for everyone.

Lodging in San Francisco is a fiercely competitive playoff starring upscale offerings from name brands like St. Regis, Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton. But don’t write off the more eclectic, boutique options like the San Francisco Proper and the Hotel Zetta San Francisco. Many of these hotels are in prime locations, such as Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Embarcadero, offering convenient access to the city’s main attractions, restaurants and shopping.

Whether you’re looking to feel like a 19th-century gold rush tycoon or simply after upscale Northern California relaxation, here are 13 of the best hotels in San Francisco.

The St. Regis San Francisco

San Francisco, California, USA


Best for: Travelers looking for the intersection of San Francisco’s modern art and California luxury.

Why stay here: A stone’s throw away from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, you’ll find 260 recently renovated rooms and suites with modern hardwood floors and Frette linens. The hotel offers a Caroline Astor-inspired high tea on Thursday through Sunday afternoons.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to earn Marriott points while enjoying elitelike benefits and on-property credits, or redeem your points by booking directly with Marriott.

After a massive, multimillion-dollar renovation, the St. Regis reopened its doors in 2020. With tall lobby ceilings, marble floors and a grand central staircase, the St. Regis makes you feel like a distinguished guest.

The rooms and suites are beautifully appointed with a soft, modern palette. At 450 square feet, the entry-level king superior rooms are some of the largest in San Francisco. Marble bathrooms feature a rain-style shower and separate bathtub, and all suites include complimentary butler service, which comes with unpacking/packing services and two complimentary pressed garments daily.

The hotel has carried over touches of the Museum of Modern Art (its next-door neighbor) throughout its accommodations and public spaces. In the restaurant, you’ll find many nature-inspired paintings. There are also floating rose petals in the lobby.

The Astra restaurant offers a California-style fine dining experience with menu options like a classic charcuterie board, duck confit and cavatelli with lamb. The hotel also offers an exquisite, London-style tea service Thursday through Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Rates at The St. Regis San Francisco start at $437 or 77,500 Marriott Bonvoy Points per night.

Related: Unpretentious luxury in the heart of San Francisco: Why I loved the St. Regis despite limited amenities

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Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco

San Francisco, California, USA


Best for: Travelers who want to be transported back to California’s opulent gold rush era.

Why stay here: Designed to outdo 19th-century European competition, there are few things more San Franciscan than a Sunday brunch in the Palace’s Garden Court.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to earn Marriott points while enjoying elitelike benefits and on-property credits, or redeem your points by booking directly with Marriott.

Put bluntly, the Place Hotel is the most historic hotel in San Francisco. After opening in 1875 as the largest hotel in the western United States, early distinguished guests included Hawaiian monarch David Kalakaua, Andrew Carnegie and President Theodore Roosevelt.

The Palace Hotel was destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, but when it reopened three years later, it was grander than ever before. As you walk into the Garden Court restaurant in the lobby, you’re greeted by a palatial Parisan-style grand atrium, marble columns and beautiful Austrian crystal chandeliers. Here, Woodrow Wilson spoke in favor of the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations in the aftermath of World War I. Forty years later, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev addressed the public in a 1959 speech during his American tour. Nowadays, you can enjoy breakfast or Saturday afternoon tea in the Garden Court.

The entire hotel received a major face-lift in 2015. Its elegant 556 rooms and suites feature touches like brass doorknobs, marble bathrooms and 11-foot-tall crown molded ceilings. And since the Palace is part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection, you’ll find staples like upscale Frette linens and an emphasis on local culture.

There’s even a heated indoor pool that offers alluring views of neighboring buildings out of the cylindrically shaped skylights.

Within walking distance of the shops, restaurants and attractions of Union Square and the Ferry Building, there’s plenty to explore nearby, but if time permits, stop for a drink at the Pied Piper bar.

Rates at the Palace Hotel start at $230 or 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Related: Haute and historic: A review of the Palace San Francisco

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

San Francisco, California, USA

Ron Starr

Best for: Business travelers in town for work.

Why stay here: Sitting atop Nob Hill, the neoclassical Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco offers convenient access to the Financial District and is blocks away from Union Square.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to earn Marriott points while enjoying elitelike benefits and on-property credits, or redeem your points by booking directly with Marriott.

Decorously asserting itself on the way up to Nob Hill, guests enjoy sweeping views of the Transamerica Pyramid and San Francisco Bay from the Ritz-Carlton. With velvet furniture, classy chandeliers and an abundance of marble, the only thing missing from the lobby is a Cartier or Tiffany & Co. salesperson.

This Ritz-Carlton’s rooms feature subtle gray curtains accented with blue bed throws, blue and white carpet and plenty of natural light. Splurge for a suite and get a separate living room to spread out in. And for a more animated atmosphere, book a club-level room for access to a lounge with chess boards, candy jars and yellow and turquoise pillows on the furniture. The lounge offers light Coastal Californian fare and hand-crafted cocktails.

The hotel is located a few blocks southwest of Chinatown, so ample opportunities exist to sample dim sum and immerse yourself in Chinese American culture. And immediately outside the hotel is the California Street cable car, whisking guests to Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Rates at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco start at $399 or 99,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Related: Review: A deluxe guest room at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco

San Francisco, California, USA


Best for: Travelers willing to pay for a prime location.

Why stay here: Promising ultra-luxurious guest rooms that incorporate the beauty of San Francisco’s fog, redwood trees and ocean, you’re at the heart of Market Street, blocks away from the Ferry Building and famous bay views.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credits.

The Four Seasons San Francisco offers guests modern Californian luxury with convenient access to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Union Square. Throughout the hotel’s public spaces, you’ll find a smooth color palette with grand oak finishes, evoking Northern California’s grand redwood forests. Here, the rooms look a little cold, though that’s intentional, bringing the city’s famous fog into the rooms. The guest rooms are sprinkled with luxurious amenities and plush design touches like custom carpets from Meyer Davis’ New York design studio.

And fitness lovers rejoice: The hotel is connected to the Equinox Sports Club, and guests enjoy complimentary classes and equipment usage. There’s also an indoor Junior Olympic-sized pool.

The MKT Bar offers elegant, panoramic views alongside a San Francisco-inspired cocktail menu featuring drinks like the mezcal-infused Pina Picante and the Fog City, combining whiskey and Earl Grey tea syrup. The dinner menu offers upscale Pacific cuisine like pan-seared boat scallops, hiramasa kingfish and seared Sonoma chicken.

Rates at the Four Seasons San Francisco start at $504 per night.

Related: Planes, buses, trains and cars: The best ways to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco

Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square

San Francisco, California, USA


Best for: Chocoholics who can’t get enough Ghirardelli squares in Ghirardelli Square.

Why stay here: Several blocks from Lombard Street and Pier 39, you’ll find one-, two- and three-bedroom residences with in-room washing machines to accommodate the whole family. Many rooms offer views of the bay, so you can patrol any Alcatraz escapes.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credits.

With just 53 residential-style suites, the Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square is a former chocolate factory converted into a luxury hotel that’s kept some of the original character — like the brick walls. Its residences offer fireplaces, fully equipped kitchens and in-unit washers and dryers. Many residences feature bay views looking out to Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz.

A standout feature of the Fairmont Heritage Place is the rooftop terrace. Here, you’ll find a gazebo, teak furniture and a fireplace. You can also charter this space for an event like a wedding or reception.

The hotel is next to Ghirardelli Square, which offers convenient access to Fisherman’s Wharf, Coit Tower and Lombard Street. Just to the west is the Marina District, home to the Palace of Fine Arts and beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Rates at the Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square start at $622 per night.

Cavallo Point Lodge

Sausalito, California, USA


Best for: Wellness, sustainability and rejuvenation with views of the city and Golden Gate Bridge.

Why stay here: With a choice of contemporary or historic rooms, you’ll enjoy skyline vistas between the kayak tours, sunset sailings, Fort Baker tours and complimentary Lexus test drives.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credits.

Just across the Golden Gate Bridge, the Cavallo Point Lodge is all about rest and relaxation. Plus, it’s hard not to fall in love with the rolling hills, lush greenery and ample hiking trails.

There are two different styles of accommodations here: Historic lodging and Contemporary lodging. Historic rooms offer roomy front porches and Industrial Revolution-era fireplace stoves in a Colonial Revival design. These rooms, located just above Fort Baker, boast massive panoramic windows. The Contemporary rooms all have private entrances, floor-to-ceiling windows, tall ceilings and cozy fireplaces. Many Contemporary rooms even offer views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The resort offers many daily activities, including morning yoga, stand-up paddleboard classes, walking tours and cooking classes. Sula, the new Thursday-Saturday dinner restaurant, is a food lovers paradise with dishes like Dungeness crab pappardelle, charred Monterey octopus and sweet corn and morel risotto.

Cavallo Point operates a complimentary shuttle to the Sausalito Ferry Landing and Rodeo Beach on most days of the week. It’s an easy boat ride from the Sausalito Ferry Landing to San Francisco’s Ferry Building.

Rates at the Cavallo Point Lodge start at $409 per night.

1 Hotel San Francisco

San Francisco, California, USA

Brandon Barre Photography

Best for: Travelers who welcome San Francisco’s eclectic side.

Why stay here: Thanks to sustainably sourced bedding, filtered water taps and in-room greenery, your immersive time in San Francisco doesn’t end when you retire for the evening.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credits.

As one of San Francisco’s newer luxury hotels, the 1 Hotel promises an unforgettable stay in a sustainable sanctuary. The property was built with local and reclaimed redwood just across the street from the Ferry Building. Other sustainable touches include HVAC recovery, LED lighting, sustainable bed linens and more insulation. Electric bikes and the Audi e-Tron house car are available to guests.

To reduce single-use plastic, guests are provided recycled wine bottles transformed into water glasses for use at filtered water taps. And, if you’ve overpacked, you can leave unwanted clothing under a room marker, and the hotel will ensure it gets donated to a local organization, eventually reaching the hands of someone in need.

Guest rooms here are beautiful, offering a sleek, ski chalet-like vibe with elements of nature scattered throughout. Bathrooms feature rainfall showers (with polite timers to let you know when you’ve reached five minutes in the shower).

As expected, the hotel’s Terrene restaurant is all about fresh, local, sustainably sourced ingredients. There’s a nice selection of flatbreads, though I’d go with the chickpea patty vegan slider. You can also find nonvegetarian entrees like pan-seared branzino with apricot and pumpkin seed pilaf and harissa chicken skewers with an Indian raita sauce.

Rates at 1 Hotel San Francisco start at $309 per night.

Taj Campton Place

San Francisco, California, USA


Best for: South Asian elegance steps from Union Square.

Why stay here: The Campton Place combines European and Indian luxury in Union Square.

Best way to book: Book directly for the best rates and packages, or through your favorite credit card travel portal.

A hop, skip and a jump away from Union Square, the Taj Campton Place offers travelers convenient access to some of San Francisco’s best shopping and dining.

Here, rooms feel classy, have upscale furnishings and are designed with soft, neutral tones, soothing beiges and golds. In the bathrooms, marble is king. Since this is a Taj Hotel, you’ll also notice small hints of Indian luxury, like the Desi-inspired bedspread, as well as modern touches like a Bose sound system.

Guests will also find an open-air rooftop fitness terrace with updated exercise equipment and great views of the surrounding Union Square neighborhood.

Even though the elegant Campton Place Restaurant recently lost its Michelin star (and chef), there are plenty of delicious options here. Consider booking a rate that includes breakfast for a Belgian waffle with homemade strawberry jam, a masala three-egg omelet or a smoked salmon eggs Benedict.

Rates at the Taj Campton Place start at $203 per night.

Related: 6 great road trips from San Francisco

San Francisco Proper

San Francisco, California, USA


Best for: Design-oriented travelers looking for something special.

Why stay here: For something more unique than the grays and browns of San Francisco’s Financial District, fun house-like wallpaper and handmade California-built Aireloom beds dressed in Italian bed linens await.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credits.

After beautifully restoring a historic Flatiron-style building, San Francisco Proper opened as one of the city’s premier, chic boutique hotels. The hotel commissioned renowned architect Kelly Wearstler to design its vibrant interior, so you’ll find groovy art, fun tapestries and unique furniture throughout the hotel’s public spaces. There’s also an intimate rooftop terrace with multiple fire pits surrounded by elegantly lit botany, perfect for grabbing a James Beard-curated cocktail.

Its 131 modern, pied-a-terre rooms and suites beckon with natural light. You can wirelessly connect your phone to the Vifa Bluetooth speakers and listen to music in California-built Aireloom beds dressed in Italian bed linens. There’s no shortage of Aesop bath and body products in the bathrooms, and given the hotel’s triangular shape, every room has a view.

With a menu by chef Jason Fox (of Michelin-starred Commonwealth fame), it’s no wonder the restaurant recently has garnered attention from critics. And since San Francisco Proper is all about giving its guests a local experience, you can walk to the Civic Center (where you can hop on BART and MUNI), Davies Symphony Hall and War Memorial Opera House.

Rates at San Francisco Proper start at $300 or 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Related: San Francisco vs. Oakland: Which airport should I fly into?

Hotel Drisco Pacific Heights

San Francisco, California, USA


Best for: Travelers looking for a dreamlike retreat in Pacific Heights.

Why stay here: Come here for luxe amenities including Bulgari products, merino wool throws, a pillow menu, sleep machines to help you snooze and a complimentary continental breakfast.

Best way to book: Book directly for the best rates and packages, or through your favorite credit card travel portal.

There are so many things to love about the locally owned and operated Hotel Drisco. Originally built in 1903 as an Edwardian-style hotel in Pacific Heights, its charming 48 rooms and suites have been fully updated to offer a gorgeous blend of contemporary and classic luxury with beautiful neighborhood views. The B&B-style hotel is all about making you feel right at home. The staff is trained to treat you like you’re an old friend, so be ready for the latest San Francisco insider knowledge.

All guests enjoy a complimentary gourmet continental breakfast with freshly baked bread and pastries, cereals, yogurt, cold meats and cheeses. There’s also a complimentary — and unlimited — California wine reception every evening that includes artisan cheeses, charcuterie, fruit and hot hors d’oeuvres.

The hotel excels at the small touches that make a difference to guests. There’s chauffeur service on weekday mornings, a warm scented face towel at check-in, complimentary coffee and tea downstairs 24 hours a day and bicycles you can borrow to cruise around town on.

Rates at Hotel Drisco Pacific Heights start at $431 per night.

Hotel Zetta San Francisco

San Francisco, California, USA


Best for: The trendy millennial.

Why stay here: Between the photo booth, pool tables and pinball machine in the bar, it’s hard not to have fun here.

Best way to book: Book directly for the best rates and packages, or through your favorite credit card travel portal.

Perfect for an urban retreat, Hotel Zetta is a fun and affordable hotel. You’ll find a pool table and bar inside the mural-filled lobby. There’s also a playroom, which offers board games, shuffleboard and human-sized Plinko — all of which are begging to be played.

Sustainability and comfort are at the forefront of this hotel located off Market Street. You can reserve one of the Well + Away rooms, which are deep cleaned using Method products. These rooms offer hypoallergenic pillows, comforters and Casper mattresses. With padded leatherette headboards, all rooms are designed with a darker palette but full of small, vibrant bursts — like small potted plants.

The Cavalier restaurant offers upscale, brasserie-style British fare. You’ll find dishes like the Double “Marlowe” Burger with caramelized onions, two patties and two slices of perfectly aged cheddar cheese. And don’t worry, it also has the quintessentially British meal of fish and thrice-cooked chips.

Rates at Hotel Zetta start at $153 per night.

InterContinental San Francisco

San Francisco, California, USA


Best for: IHG enthusiasts looking to stay downtown.

Why stay here: The club lounge rivals some of the best international business-class lounges — and there’s a massive indoor pool.

Best way to book: Book directly with IHG to earn or redeem IHG One Rewards points and enjoy any elite benefits.

With 32 floors and 556 rooms and suites, the InterContinental San Francisco is one of the city’s largest hotels — but that doesn’t mean you should write it off. Between the modern and luxurious accommodations that offer amazing city views, an indoor lap pool and Jacuzzi, and the delectable restaurant Luce, the InterContinental should be on your radar.

The hotel is located one block from the Moscone Center and two blocks from Market Street, where you can access the Museum of Modern Art, the Westfield Shopping Center, Union Square and the Ferry Building. All of its light-filled rooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows, but for the best skyline views, reserve one of the Premier View rooms on floors 25 to 30.

At Luce, the popular restaurant with Asian American food, the six-course tasting menu — featuring dishes like kampachi crudo and octopus lasagna — is not to be missed.

Rates at InterContinental San Francisco start at $179 per night.

Related: Exploring San Francisco with kids: Where to go and what to do

Hotel Kabuki

San Francisco, California, USA

Kip Dawkins

Best for: World of Hyatt members looking for something special in San Francisco.

Why stay here: Come here for a delectable collection of Southeast Asian dishes at Nari, the meditation garden and the 4,000-square-foot gym.

Best way to book: Book directly with Hyatt to earn or redeem World of Hyatt points and enjoy any elite benefits.

Hotel Kabuki is an eclectic hotel that combines Japanese pop culture and comfortable amenities to deliver a boutique, neighborhood-centered experience. Its location isn’t ideal for tourists looking for Union Square’s restaurants and shopping. Still, being in Japantown, you can easily access various cultural attractions, including the Japan Center Mall and the historic Fillmore District.

Inside the hotel, you’ll find a loungey lobby full of pop art, a Zen garden, Japan-inspired backdrops and a brand-new lobby bar serving internationally inspired craft cocktails and Japanese whiskies.

The guest rooms have been spruced up with 1930s and 1940s Japanese pop art, contrasting vintage Bay Area maps, photos, mosaic-inspired headboards and plush beds with soft linens. Some rooms offer balconies, which can be great for a glass of wine overlooking the city.

Wellness seekers are in for a treat at Hotel Kabuki. You can enjoy honey harvested from the hotel’s own beehive, and the 4,000-square-foot fitness center features floor-to-ceiling windows and a Peloton bike. There’s also an open-air meditation garden to get your Zen on.

Rates at Hotel Kabuki start at $237 or 17,000 World of Hyatt points per night.


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