PHOTO: Hotel Tilden

San Francisco's 10 Best Hotel Bars

Michele Bigley | January 04, 2018

San Francisco properties have elevated the traditional hotel bar so that now locals travel to these properties for libations, stellar views, and a fun environment. From hot spots favored by locals to hidden nooks ideal for a quiet nightcap, here are our favorite SF hotel bars.


Tilden Hotel

Why it made the list

A small pocket of the Tilden Hotel's lobby houses the Douglas Room. A portrait of Prince greets you when you enter this tiny bar. After dark, old school hip hop fills the space. Order 80s themed cocktails like the Purple Rain, or craft brews paired with shishito peppers.

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Phoenix Hotel

Why it made the list

Jumping in this motor lodge's pool is basically expected, especially during Chambers Eat + Drink's summer weekend pool parties. The restaurant bar spills outside, where musicians laze on lounge chairs, or take a dip in the pool. The music gets loud and the drinks are strong, which is why the locals and visiting rockers love this joint.

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InterContinental Mark Hopkins

Why it made the list

A longtime favorite for travelers and locals wanting a celebratory drinking experience. Ascend the elevator to the Top of the Mark to sip martinis or vino to live music and take in the views of San Francisco glimmering below. The Sunday Brunch is worth the splurge.

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Fairmont San Francisco

Why it made the list

The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar have been serving tiki-themed drinks since 1945. The lively bar area (no reservations needed) features a dance floor, and sweet mai tais, some served in tropical fruit. A house band is perched on a moving stage on the restaurant's waterway, conveniently protected from the hourly rain storm that deluges the pool. Though many ambitious drinkers have fallen in the pool, it is not recommended as the pool is unfiltered.

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Mystic Hotel

Why it made the list

Charlie Palmer's handsome Burritt Room lures locals and travelers to gather in the noir-themed space. On select nights live jazz adds to the allure. Curtained booths offer privacy. The ambitious reserve whiskey program and solid cocktail menu are impressive.

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Clift San Francisco

Why it made the list

Long considered San Francisco's hippest hotel bar, the Redwood Room still feels like the place to be, especially when you notice the celebs nursing a glass of Chardonnay with their designer dogs in the corner. Sleek decor and a fine cocktail program round out the experience in this this lobby-level bar.

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Hotel Zetta

Why it made the list

The fun spreads through the two-story lobby of this SoMa property. There's the second-story Playroom. complete with pool tables, Plinko and darts. The laid back Marianne's is a sweet nook filled with couches, ideal for sipping a cocktail or cozying up to your sweetheart. S&R Lounge occupies a prime slice of the lobby, serving craft cocktails to a pulsing soundtrack. Over at Cavalier, sidle up to the bar for a pint and lamb crumpets.

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Hotel G

Why it made the list

A favorite for restaurant workers and locals, Benjamin Cooper serves oysters, cocktails and wine until the wee hours. A fun playlist (often old school hip hop) adds to the fun.

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Hotel Via

Why it made the list

On the ground floor of Hotel Via, across from AT&T Park, Bar Via feels worlds away from the traditional sports bar. The airport lounge vibe extends to their otherworldly cocktail menu. Small bites like flatbreads and charcuterie are a nice touch. Not feeling the futuristic vibe? Head up to the rooftop lounge for a pint under the stars.

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Proper Hotel

Why it made the list

The bar SF never knew it needed until it arrived, Charmaine's, located on the roof of the Proper Hotel, has locals lining up for access to this Kelly Wearstler designed spot. Hotel guests hop to the front of the line to ascend to this sexy lounge. On cold nights, sit inside in front of the fire to sip craft cocktails. Bundle up and gather your friends to sit around the fire pits with a bottle of bubbly. Small bar bites like a hot dog topped with fermented goodies, and desserts will make your stay even longer.

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