Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Vitale
8 Mission St., San Francisco, California 94105, United States See on Map Fodor's Choice
"Luxury, naturally," the theme of this eight-story, terraced bay-front hotel, is apparent in every thoughtful detail. Guests love being across the street from the Ferry Building, taking advantage of the rooftop spa, and then chilling out with a glass of vino as the sun sets over the bay.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel charges a $35 "urban fee" per night. This includes access to the spa, YMCA access, a pillow menu, shoeshine, and Wi-Fi.
Little vases of lavender are mounted outside each handsome room. In guest quarters expect high tech amenities like Wi-Fi and LCD flat-screen TVs. Spacious family studios have a sofa bed or two curtained off from the main sleeping area. Room design seems inspired by the city's natural elements and immediately beckon relaxation.
Limestone-tiled spa bathrooms feature Jonathan Adler amenities. Some rooms include deep bath tubs.
The sophisticated lobby area testifies to the hotel's commitment to relaxation with water-hued cushions and wall decor, comfy couches ideal for work or play, and coffee or tea is available.
Take advantage of the spa's outdoor cedar baths.
The penthouse-level day spa features soaking tubs set in a rooftop bamboo forest. Traditional spa services like massages and facials are available.
The hotel's "urban fee" offers guests access to the YMCA gym nearby.
Locals populate the hotel's excellent restaurant Americano's outdoor terrace for cocktails and appetizers. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this restaurant's glassy exterior brings the outdoors in as you delight in the pasta of the day or pizzas.
The happy hour gets packed at Americano when hip jet-setters and financial district workers crowd the bar-stools for discounted cocktails like Orchard (a gin-based herb-infused creation). This bar is best later in the evening even the crowds thin and the lighting offers a sophisticated spot for a glass of wine with views of the Bay Bridge.
Parking rates are steep (north of $60 a night). Leave the wheels at home and take advantage of the hotel's proximity to public transportation. The trolley, cable car, and Muni buses stop a block away. The Muni/BART Embarcadero train station is also a block away, connecting travelers to Union Square shopping area, museums, Golden Gate Park, and the Mission. The BART train also serves the Oakland and San Francisco airports. Walkers will appreciate the paths along the bath, stretching beyond AT&T Park and all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Across the street, the Ferry Building (3-minute walk) showcases the dining stars of the city with favorites like Slanted Door (get the pho or shaking beef), and Boulette's Larder. For a more upscale dining experience, head to the famed Boulevard (3-minute walk) for decadent seafood or meat dishes in a light-filled dining room.
Sit on the high stools at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant (3-minute walk) to sample a wealth of local wines. Sidle up to the bar at Waterbar (7-minute walk) for bay-front martinis and the chance to spot tech execs doing business deals.
WHY WE LIKE IT
A green pedigree with views of the bay, Hotel Vitale offers eco-friendly accommodations to the luxe crowd.
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