San Francisco has long been a mecca for free-spirited travelers with an eye for art, a palate for imaginative cuisine, and a passion for adventure. The city boasts world-class multicultural cuisine, museums, wildlife parks, cozy cafes, first-class shopping, and plenty of exciting nightlife venues. If you’re planning a trip to San Francisco soon, we’ve taken the liberty of whittling down your accommodation options and present our list of the very best luxury hotels the city has to offer. Enjoy!
1 Hotel San Francisco
Located across from the revitalized Ferry Terminal on the Embarcadero, this luxury waterfront retreat mixes classic California comfort with green initiatives. Large windows and modern decor made from reclaimed and natural materials define each of the 200 rooms, as do beds draped with dreamy organic cotton linen. Enjoy down-home hospitality at the cocktail bar and restaurant or a rejuvenating massage at the spa. In town for business? You’ll find the perfect meeting space here, too. 1 Hotel San Francisco is the perfect base to explore popular city sites such as Pier 39, Alcatraz, Exploratorium, and Coit Tower.
Hotel Emblem San Francisco
Step into the beautifully re-imagined Hotel Emblem at the intersection of Nob Hill and Union Square, where the creative and the rebels gather to think and live as boldly as they wish. Surrounded by shops, galleries, and restaurants, the hotel is steps from everything worth exploring in Downtown San Francisco. As a place to relax, the hotel’s Obscenity Bar and Bluestone Lane offer libations and bites from day to night. And when you’re ready to rest, the rooms are made for comfort featuring a writing desk with charging ports, large windows with a view, Wi-Fi access, and pillow-top mattresses.
Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero
Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco is an urban retreat rising above downtown, with light-filled rooms boasting jaw-dropping city views, soaking tubs, and thoughtful tech touches such as charging pads. If in town for business, you will find the hotel well-equipped with everything you need with a 24-hour business centre, premium Wi-Fi connection, and comfortable desks to work from. And if you do eventually venture outside, you’ll find yourself steps from the California cable car route and a short walk to the Ferry Building, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, and Chinatown.
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
Housed in a majestic neoclassical building that was once an insurance company, The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco stands regal among the skyscrapers of the financial district. Here, you’ll have the whole downtown at your fingertips starting with the cable stop right outside. Then it’s off to luxury shopping at Union Square, afternoons at the MOMA, and snacks at the Ferry Building. Back at the hotel, you’ll find a luxe spa, expansive courtyard, wine-tasting lounge, casual dining at The Lounge, and a gym. You’ll discover a welcome retreat in the designer rooms fitted with all the mod cons you could ever need.
San Francisco Proper Hotel
Find plenty of personality mixed with a little bit of sheen at the San Francisco Proper Hotel. This Kelly Wearstler-designed hip hotel might appear lost in a sea of prim and proper hotels in the city, but its professionalism can be seen in its impeccable taste for the refined. Find rooms fitted with handmade Aireloom mattresses, Vifa sound systems, tablets, and rain showers. Feast on gourmet dishes at Villon and La Bande, both spearheaded by Michelin-starred chef Jason Fox. A bar on the rooftop, Charmaine’s, offers you unparalleled panoramic views of its Mid-Market neighbours and beyond.
Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel
A San Francisco institution, the Palace Hotel was the city’s first premier luxury hotel and the largest in the world when it opened in 1875. The style is Classic yet modern. Grand staircases lead you to spacious rooms offering contemporary comforts such as marble bathrooms, Frette linen, flat-screen TVs, and pillow-top beds. You’ll relish in a bevy of hotel amenities from concierge and event services to a fitness centre and indoor heated pool. Start your day with breakfast under the glass dome of the iconic Garden Court then easily explore San Francisco’s treasured landmarks: Golden Gate Bridge, SFMOMA, and the Ferry Building.
Fairmont San Francisco
From its perch atop Nob Hill, Fairmont San Francisco offers unparalleled views of the city and the bay. But that’s not the only superlative detail you’ll uncover here. Its features 606 individually furnished guest rooms and 62 elegant suites, including the city’s 10 best balcony suites. There are 72,000 square feet of function space, a rooftop garden, and a restaurant and bar that offer innovative cuisine and vegetarian or gluten-free options. As for exploring the city, it couldn’t get any better here with the cable cars right outside ready to take you anywhere downtown.
Feel like you’ve stepped back in maritime history as you enter this award-winning boutique hotel located in Fisherman’s Wharf. The Argonaut showcases its original wood beams, red brick walls, and deck floors to perfection. At the same time, the hotel offers you 252 ultra-comfy rooms with nautical-inspired decor, eco-friendly amenities, and oversized bathrooms with Jacuzzis. Take time to discover more of the hotel’s delights such as its outstanding chowder at the Blue Mermaid Restaurant or a choice of in-room spa treatments, and complimentary use of bikes to lure you out to explore all that is downtown San Francisco.
Hotel Zetta San Francisco
The cool and hip Hotel Zetta San Francisco blends well amidst its SoMa location — close to Chinatown, SFMOMA, Union Square, and Lombard Street. It’s playful and creative but takes your comfort seriously. Rooms are modern with plush pillow-top beds, sumptuous linen, and deluxe bath amenities, plus smart tech like Amazon Alexa and smart TVs. Leisure and business come together at the lobby featuring Macs, a game wall, and complimentary Wi-Fi connection. Relax at the Salvage & Rescue Lounge offering a full menu of scrumptious meals or opt for a hand-crafted cocktail and soak up the vibe.
JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square
Retreat to JW Marriott San Francisco, a gorgeous luxury hotel in the heart of Union Square, near Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, and Chinatown. Burn the calories from all those seafood chowders in the hotel’s fitness centre, or opt for cocktails and farm-to-table eats at the Level III Restaurant. If in town for business, you’ll appreciate the hotel’s modern event venues and open-air terraces. And when you need a break from all the excitement, rest and sleep in the exquisitely appointed rooms featuring plush beds, Illy coffee makers, smart TVs, and sleek, spa-inspired bathrooms.
The St. Regis San Francisco
Nothing beats the comfort and luxury of a St. Regis hotel — San Francisco included. Redesigned guest rooms come with customized furniture, ultra-soft Frette linen, and deep bathtubs to soak your stresses away. The facilities are as fabulous as the rooms, with a spa offering all manner of treatment. An enormous gym with spectacular views and a 50-foot lap pool make for the most relaxing stay in this bustling city. Here, you can easily wander next door to SFMOMA and Yerba Buena. A few steps north or south will take you to the bustle of downtown, exciting nightlife, and swanky restaurants.
W San Francisco
A defining luxury hotel on the San Francisco scene, this modern and cutting-edge property has dazzled business and leisure travelers alike since it opened its doors. Get your heart pumping at FIT, the hotel’s sleek fitness center, and refuel anytime at TRACE, the hotel’s farm-to-table restaurant. Rooms at W San Francisco boast spectacular city views and a slew of exquisite modern comforts like pillow-top beds, generous bathrooms with Davines bath amenities, and stocked mini-bars. And the location on Third Street in SoMa is steps from must-sees like SFMOMA, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, and Oracle Park.
Located in San Francisco’s iconic Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, Kimpton Alton is a microcosm of chic, retro, and modern that’s both comforting and approachable. Minutes from landmark sites such as the Coit Tower, Aquarium of the Bay, and Golden Gate Bridge, and within walking distance of Ghirardelli Square, Kimpton Alton is at the center of SF’s finest experiences. You’re invited to savor a scrumptious selection of Filipino-Californian cuisine at Abaca, or join the hosted evening wine hour. And lest you want to walk around with bags under your eyes, retreat to Kimpton’s laidback but luxurious sanctuary to restore your energy.
The allure of San Francisco is hard to resist. There will always be something to entice you whatever kind of traveler you are. For the discerning and with a taste for everything modern and convenient, our list of hotels will surely be the perfect base from which you can enjoy the pleasures of this city by the bay.
Looking for more options? See all our luxury accommodation in San Francisco.
Image credit: Hotel Emblem San Francisco, a Viceroy Urban Retreat
What’s your luxury?
Luxury means different things to different people. Is your luxury a glamorous hotel in downtown Manhattan, a private island hideaway on the Great Barrier Reef, or a safari camp on the plains of the Serengeti? We’ll help you find your perfect version of luxury in some of the world’s most beautiful places.