It has one of the most breathtaking urban vistas in the world, great food and a mind of its own – no wonder everyone wants to go to San Francisco. The hotel scene, however, has long been lacking, with real estate centered around lifeless Union Square and the somewhat buzzing Tenderloin district – but over the past decade a flurry of new openings has spread across the city. made it remarkable.

Today, you can stay in historic buildings in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, in a new building across from San Francisco’s baseball stadium, in the middle of America’s oldest Japantown, or on Market Street – The “new” Union Square (it’s convenient to get around, although not much going on). Whether you prefer to be disturbed by the fog or the dragging crowds, there’s something for everyone in California’s most secluded city.

The best hotels in San Francisco are:

Neighborhood: Marins Headlands

Cross the bridge and return to nature at Cavallo Point

(Kodiak Greenwood)

Warning for the light sleepers – this converted military base at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge can be quite noisy at night with a blinding fog as trains pass under the bridge. Fortunately, earplugs are provided, and the atmosphere – as the bridge frequently emerges from the fog that covers it – is Hitchcockian enough to forgive the disturbance. On a clear day, the views are superb from the rooms in the modern suites that dot the hillside (there are rooms in the original buildings as well, though they don’t have panoramic views). In keeping with the location of the Marin Headlands (the wild land across from the city), this is a seriously green resort, with specially designed windows in lieu of air conditioning, eco-friendly toiletries Thais and wild deer are running around the marram grassy ground.

Price: Doubles from $687 (£556)

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Neighborhood: Japantown

Room with King Bed at Kimpton Buchanan

(Laure Joliet)

Fifteen minutes, but it feels like a world away, away from Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco’s Japantown – America’s largest and oldest – is quiet, authentic, and tourist-free. That last one explains why you get so much of your money here – this swanky hotel is half the price of anything around Union Square (and the surrounding area is much nicer than worth it). tell). It’s exquisitely beautiful with quiet, modern rooms that come alive with Japanese touches like guest kimonos, calligraphy on the walls, and in-room easels. The in-house restaurant, Mums, has been going strong for nearly four decades with a Japanese-American menu.

Price: Doubles from $179 (£143)

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Neighborhood: Sausalito

Inn Above Tide

(Inn Above Tide)

There’s a lot to keep you going at this luxury bed and breakfast, floating on the opposite side of San Francisco Bay in Sausalito. First, it’s the view – every room overlooks the water, whether it’s towards Alcatraz, Angel Island, the city, or all three. Then there’s the comfort – some have fireplaces, others lie on the decks of the water, but all have the kind of incredibly plush beds that seem only American B&Bs can afford. Finally, there’s the food – tall stacked trays with everything from pastries to eggs served to your room morning and evening with California cheeses and wines. It takes you just a few minutes from the ferry to the city, but you may find yourself on it less than you expect.

Price: Doubles from $515 (£337)

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Neighborhood: Financial District

Golden Gate Room with King Bed at Loews Regency

(Loews Regency)

Not many hotels in San Francisco have a setting like this, specifically the top 11 floors of one of the city’s tallest buildings, in the heart of the Financial District. Maybe that’s why so many hotel conglomerates have wanted a part of it – it opened as a Mandarin Oriental, then moved to Loews, and in early 2020 it will be refurbished and open. reopened as the Four Seasons. Rooms are variable – although they’re polished and drenched in marble – but the 40th-floor bar gets nowhere, and so do the views – of the city, the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and Oakland. No upgrade needed for the views here – they’re all great.

Price: Doubles from $609 (£494)

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Neighborhood: Presidio . Park

Relax with a fever by the fireplace at the Inn at the Presidio

(Paul Dyer)

Located on the city side of the Golden Gate Bridge in the wooded Presidio Park, this former Georgia Revival-style military barracks has been converted into a peaceful 22-room hotel (17 of which are suites are equipped with fireplaces). An annex building, Funston House – the home of a former officer – has four additional rooms, which can be rented individually or as a whole. All rooms, all vary from classic military-style cast iron bedspreads to elegant contemporary interiors with luxurious leather furnishings and high headboards, while views from the surrounding forest around to the Golden Gate Bridge from the top floor. While it shares the same elements as Cavallo Point, it’s a smaller, much more B&B-like affair – there’s no restaurant, but they do breakfast with California wine and cheese every night.

Price: Doubles from $310 (£251)

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Neighborhood: Intermediate Market

Rooftop Bar, Charmaine’s at the Right Hotel

(Proper hotel)

Surprisingly 131 rooms have been housed in this slender flat building from the early 20th century on Market Street, the main streetcar lined street that runs through the city (but not much to it, when sightseeing). ). Much fanfare was made when it opened in 2017 for its design credentials: there’s a mid-century feel as the patterned wallpapers clash with patterned curtains, patterned bedspreads, pillows. pattern and carpet pattern. It’s the trendy hub – toiletries by Aesop, bikes by hit Detroit brand Shinola are provided to guests, and the low-rise rooms feature ultra-luxury walnut bunk beds. But the real attraction is Charmaine’s v-shaped rooftop bar.

Price: Doubles from $339 (£275)

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Neighborhood: Intermediate Market

Yotel is the ideal place for those who want to reduce costs


Another Market Street location, which opened in 2019, is housed in a building dating from 1904, overlooking the tramway. Yotel is of course known for its pod-style rooms, and although this is more of a “hotel”, space is kept to a minimum – the bed flips up into a sitting position to provide more space. Showers and smart TVs are equal, of course, and while deluxe rooms don’t have windows, other categories ranging from two-story, loft-style spaces to deluxe and corner rooms, are More traditional hotel overlooking other heritage buildings. . If you’re going sightseeing and don’t intend to wander back to base, this is a great value. A rooftop bar is also in the works.

Price: Doubles from $207 (£168)

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Neighborhood: Union Square

Luxurious Staircase at Sir Francis Drake

(Delcan McKerr)

Here’s the surprise for San Francisco: a lavishly sumptuous hotel, built in the 1920s, harking back to the glory years of old England. The public areas are wonderfully OTT, stuffed with marble and gold leaf within an inch of their lives, while hand-painted murals and Beefeater-dressed doorkeepers agree with the owners. English subject. Up the grand wrought-iron staircase are the bedrooms – modern but with a hint of charm, from bright red drawers to rococo headboards. On Sundays, this is where the city’s best brunch is held: Sunday’s a Drag, where your food is accompanied by a great performance. The only problem with this hotel? Its location, close to the Union Square hotel center, which has chain stores but doesn’t have much of the San Francisco atmosphere you’ve traveled to.

Price: Doubles from $347 (£281)

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Neighborhood: South Beach

Step back and enjoy the view in room 1205 of Hotel Via

(Via Hotel)

Down on South Beach – near SoMa nightlife and en route to trendy Mission – this newly built hotel is across from Oracle Park, the baseball stadium where the San Francisco Giants are located. You won’t be bothered by the fans here – the 3,000-square-foot rooftop lounge, complete with fire sprinklers and tents, is for guests only. The downstairs bar is open to the public – and is much appreciated by them on match days. Rooms are boutique chic – think crisp whites and neat stools instead of desk chairs – and front-facing rooms offer water views towards Oakland.

Price: Doubles from $243 (£196)

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