Welcome to the first-ever edition of Curbed's Hotel 38 map, your answer to the question, "Where should I stay in the Bay Area?" This elite group has been ruthlessly vetted before finding its place on the map. The bulk of the hotels are located in the city, but there were a few destinations outside of San Francisco that could not be passed over. We've only included hotels that have been open for more than a year. For those of you readying the pitchforks because your favorite isn't included, wouldn't it just be more productive to tip us for next time?Read More
Here Now, the 38 Essential Bay Area Hotels
This grand dame is one of San Francisco's most iconic hotels. From sipping afternoon tea while gazing up at the Garden Court's stained glass dome to the property tours to better familiarize yourself with this Beaux-Arts gem, this is hotel is rich with history and is consistently ranked as one of the top luxury hotels in the world.
Perched atop Nob Hill with up close and personal views of neighboring Grace Cathedral and Huntington Park, Huntington Hotel blends classic hospitality with modern luxury. It houses the iconic Big Four restaurant as well as Nob Hill Spa, where locals and tourists flock for a chance to wade in the infinity pool or sunbathe on the spa's terrace.
Hotel Vitale is known for its swank aesthetic and luxurious amenities. Hotel highlights include Spa Vitale's outdoor soaking tubs, and culinary delights served up by executive chef Kory Stewart at Americano, the hotel's restaurant and lounge.
Inn at the Presidio
This is the place to stay if you want to escape the city without actually leaving the city. It's located at Perish Hall in the heart of the Presidio, and used to house unmarried U.S. Army officers. Built in 1903, the Georgian Revival-style building completed a historic rehabilitation in 2011.
Dinah's Garden Hotel
If you're stuck in the valley but don't want to feel like it, we suggest this weird, tropical, kind of run down oasis. Rooms are tastefully decided with the Pacific Rim in mind, and there's an outdoor pool.
W San Francisco
Where locals and tourists alike come to play, the W San Francisco is the perfect place if you're looking to party while having every need met·no matter how ridiculous. The hotel regularly attracts a healthy mix of young tech folk and out-of-towners looking to get wild in the hotel bar or pool, with plenty of time spent relaxing and recharging at Bliss Spa.
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
For well-heeled families and business travelers, this hotel should top your list if opulent luxury and amenities galore are a requirement. The hotel, which opened in 1991, is housed in a 140-year-old building at the top of Downtown. If money's not a problem, stay Club Level on the top two floors. It grants guests access to a 24-hour concierge as well as a social area stocked with fresh food and drinks for the taking.
Intercontinental Mark Hopkins
This hotel has stood the test of time and continues to be one of San Francisco's greatest destinations. The 19-story hotel's architecture is a combination of French chateau and Spanish Renaissance. Be sure to visit the Top of the Mark bar, where breathtaking views of the entire city can be seen from nearly every seat.
This recently revamped boutique hotel pairs architectural historic details with contemporary design, and features the largest hotel rooms in the Downtown area. It's now part of the Marriot Autograph Collection, which makes it a great option if you want your Marriot preferred points but don't want the stuffiness of the brand's otherwise traditionally bland hotels.
Cavallo Point Lodge
Located within the Golden Gate National Parks at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, the restored turn-of-the-century officer's quarters used to be the site of the Fort Baker military base. There's also 74 newly constructed contemporary rooms and suites set on a hillside. The lodge's amenities include a cooking school and 11,000-square-foot Healing Arts Center & Spa.
Ocean Park Motel
Ocean Park Motel in the Outer Parkside was built in 1936 and looks every bit the part. The motel was honored by the Art Deco Society in 1987 for "preservation of this Streamline Moderne beauty." Rooms are cozy, and guests are especially fond of the outdoor hot tub. This location offers up the cheapest lodging on this map.
While most rooms offer up sweeping views of San Francisco, guests often go all out and opt for the one of the City View Suites. Hotel Drisco has a great reputation which is further proven by its loyal, repeat guests and employees who have been with the hotel for many, many years. Be sure to check out the Pillow Menu.
Hotel Del Sol
This hotel was built as a motor lodge in the mid 1950's and was fully renovated in 2013. The main attraction is the hotel's inner courtyard that features an outdoor heated pool. While the pool is what attracts many of the hotel's visitors, other perks include palm trees with hammocks and one of 10 hotels certified by the SF Green Business Program.
The Fairmont San Francisco
Built in 1907, the hotel underwent an $85M restoration to return it to its original turn-of-the-century glory. Fun facts: Tony Bennett first sang "I Left my Heart in San Francisco" in the Venetian Room, and delegates from countries around the world met in the historic Garden Room in 1945 to draft the Charter for the United Nations.
The moderately priced Hotel Tomo "fuses modern design with Japanese pop culture," meaning there's sleek furnishings but also anime murals. The "Players Suites" offer up bean bags, 6-foot LCD project screens, and every gaming system available.
This recently renovated boutique hotel offers up contemporary guest rooms and suites paired with grand common areas like the hotel's living room, which is more than 20 feet tall and has a 10 foot tall fireplace. The adjacent Grand Cafe is a must. If you've got an extra hour or two get pampered in the spa on the lower level.
The Westin St. Francis
The hotel is split into two towers. The Landmark Building's intention is to let you "relive the grader of the original St. Francis," and the Tower Building, which was completed in the 1970s, was designed for guests with more contemporary lodging in mind.
Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay
Perched at the edge of a cliff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is a destination unto itself. Featuring an elite golf course and a 16,000-square-foot spa, there's also highlights like a beauty salon and indoor swimming pool.
Clift's the go-to spot for the design-oriented young and posh set, especially since the interiors are designed by the world-famous Philippe Starck. With highlights like the very glamorous Redwood Room and frequent celebrity spottings, this is the place to be if your scene is being seen.
The Phoenix Hotel is a riff on a classic 1950s beach motel. The main attraction is the courtyard, which features an azure blue-tile pool and sculpture garden. Not surprisingly, it was named one of America's coolest hipster hotels in 2012.
Fairmont Heritage Place
Located in a 120-year-old former chocolate factory, this is your one and only option if you seek sophisticated lodging within walking distance of Pier 39. In lieu of single rooms or suites, Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghiradelli Square has 53 one-, two- and three-bedroom residences available. Bonus points: if you love it here you can upgrade from a visitor to a fractional owner.
The Good Hotel
Intended to be "the first hotel with a conscience," the hotel's outfitted with eco-friendly decor like bed frames made from reclaimed wood and a chalkboard wall that guests are encouraged to scribble on. There's a photo booth. This is a great option if you're traveling on a budget.
Four Seasons Silicon Valley
The 24-hour business center is equipped with multilingual concierge service that can cater to your every technological and communications need. If you stay here you absolutely must take in an afternoon from the Rooftop Respite, which offers up a rooftop lap pool, private cabanas, snacks and drinks, and lightning fast WiFi.
Just steps from the Moscone Convention Center, this 32-story hotel has quickly become a favorite for business travelers and those looking to get pampered. Many of the rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows that offer up panoramic views of the city. The hotel's also home to the Michelin-starred Luce restaurant and the I Spa.
Hotel Kabuki anchors the east end of the landmark, three-square-block Japan Center. The design is a take on a Japanese-style boutique hotel. Hotel perks include traditional Japanese-style deep-soaking tubs in most rooms, and access to the nearby Kabuki Springs & Spa. 14 of the hotel's rooms have private redwood saunas.
This luxury Union Square hotel is perfect for traveling families, especially with the babysitting services and family activities that the concierge can curate. The newly renovated Grand Club on the 32nd floor offers up three complimentary food and beverage presentations per day.
Sir Francis Drake
This beautifully restored landmark boutique hotel is half a block from Union Square and steps from Chinatown. Be sure to spend your evening partying at the legendary Starlight Room, which is a 1930s-style nightclub on the 21st floor.
Guests are encouraged to enjoy the 10,000-square-foot health club that's open 24 hours a day and the indoor swimming pool. Try to squeeze in dinner at ANZU, the hotel's restaurant, before heading to Feinstein's at the Nikko, which is a nightclub theater on the lobby level.
Built by famed hotel architect John Portman, the Hyatt Regency is the city's largest luxury waterfront hotel. It also houses the country's largest indoor atrium lobby. There are 802 rooms and suites, so vacancy is rarely an issue.
Omni San Francisco Hotel
Originally built as a bank in 1926, the hotel's lobby is glitzy with Italian marble and Austrian crystal chandeliers. Be sure to check out Bob's Steak & Chop House, and the Omni Kids' Fantasy Suite if you're looking to pamper your little ones.
The Claremont Resort
This historic hotel sits on 22 acres and is nestled at the foot of Claremont Canyon in the Oakland Hills. It's painted bright white to distinguish itself from the greenery of the mountains. Be sure to visit the Club, which has three pools, ten tennis courts, yoga, the newly renovated fitness center, and the 20,000 square foot Spa Claremont.
The St. Regis
The Museum of the African Diaspora is located within the hotel and the SFMOMA is right next door. An appointment at Remède Spa should be required, as should dining at the hotel's restaurant Ame. The fitness center has private yoga and pilates studios as well as a heated indoor lap pool.
Campton Place Hotel
This intimate and very private hotel blends classic European style with modern amenities. Dining at Campton Place Restaurant is an absolute must—just make sure to book early as the one Michelin Star restaurant is popular amongst travelers and locals alike.
Harbor Court Hotel
This relaxed waterfront hotel provides an urban retreat that's far away from the craziness of Union Square but within walking distance of attractions like AT&T Park and the Moscone Convention Center. The hotel's Ozumo restaurant is a hot spot for locals. Hotel perks include yoga mats in every room.
Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
This hotel has a prime location in Yerba Buena and is steps from the Contemporary Jewish Museum and Moscone Convention Center. The Sports Club/LA measures 127,000-square-feet and is home to the hotel's spa. Another hotel highlight is the private contemporary art collection, which has over 90 works.
Parc 55 Wyndham
Just steps from the Westfield Shopping Centre and the theatre district, the hotel has 1,015 guest rooms and 15 suites. There's also three restaurants and a newly constructed fitness center.
Panoramic views from the top floors are what to expect from the city's third tallest building, hence the in-room binoculars available to all guests. Be sure to check out the 8,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, which feature holistic Asian-inspired spa treatments.
Located in the Financial District, the hotel is connected by a landscaped pedestrian bridge to the historic Federal Reserve Building and the Embarcadero Center. Great for business travelers or guests who want to be in a central location but away from the hustle of tourist attractions.