A splashy lobby housing a gin bar, an energetic staff, and the onsite Rambler Restaurant elevates this young San Francisco property. A lively game room, graffiti-covered meeting spaces, and framed 60s rock show posters cast the hotel as a playground for all ages. Owning the typical Viceroy flair for design, rooms embrace the style needs of modern travelers with ergonomic chairs and mod textiles.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The $22 (plus taxes) nightly "amenity fee" includes use of the hotel bikes, electric scooters, the house cocktail and Wi-Fi.
Geometric black and white carpets draw the eye to the bed's purple velvet throw pillows. Graffiti-inspired art hangs over beds and the architect's desk fronted by an ergonomic chair. Large windows are shielded from the outdoors by black out curtains. The smart-TV allows you to watch your favorite Netflix or Hulu shows, or order room service without picking up the phone. Connect your music via Bluetooth to the in-room Jambox and wiggle around the 250-square-foot room.
Ask for a room off the main street for a quieter night's sleep.
The names of favorite local bands from the city's hippie days don the bathroom's wallpaper in psychedelic 60's-style writing. Tiled showers and Roil refillable bath products make the small space seem a touch more luxurious. If you love a good bath, make sure to ask for one of the ten rooms that offer a tub.
The comfy hoodie-style grey robes are available for purchase in the lobby.
Music streams from the entrance, leading past the red Martone bikes (included in the "amenity fee) and the tall female sculpture made of bike parts. Loveseats topped with lip-patterned pillows, and the hanging work table backed by a wall-sized mural of a flower child instantly inform of the hotel's funkiness. A rainbow of gin lines the Mantle Bar, where bartenders sling old fashions and serve bar bites like duck rillette near the fireplace. Down the stairs, the game room, Peace, Love and Soul caters to the work crowd by day, who plug in near the giant peace symbol constructed of license plates. After dark this area fills with the worker crowd, sipping the house cocktail, shooting hoops, and playing skeeball.
The small gym continues the fun design with a man-shaped punching bag, trophies topping cardio machines, and peeks of downtown. Free weights, Pilates balls, and yoga mats allow travelers to continue their exercise routines.
Rambler might feel like a hidden nook, with its knickknack-lined brick walls, but when the sun goes down it is clear that many San Franciscans are aware of the restaurant's fun take on sips and snacks. Breakfasts offer a coffee and pastry bar, or a for those with more time, a decadent biscuit sandwich. After dark, enjoy a pizza at the bar, or charcuterie in the lower level paired with their well-selected wine list. Don't miss the ice cream sandwich dessert.
Rambler Bar's Zeppelin martini lures repeat visitors, many of whom live locally or work in the neighboring hotels. The lobby's Mantle Bar slings gin cocktails, often to a pulsing rock soundtrack, spilling into the downstairs game room for hotel guests.
Valet parking at the hotel costs $55 plus tax, so hire an Uber from SFO, and then tool around the city on Muni or BART. Walkers will find the streets amble-worthy.
Gastropubs abound in San Francisco, so meander over to Hogwash (3-minute walk) for fried pickles and sausage sandwiches in a lively environment. Hops and Hominy (8-minute walk) caters to the after work crowd who fill the red-light eatery for the buttermilk fried chicken.
Japanese master brewers at Hitachino Beer and Wagyu (1-minute walk) understand that if they pump you full of enough craft beer, you're likely to get hungry for some of their wagyu beef skewers. Try to score the password for Bourbon and Branch's (6-minute walk) speakeasy for exquisite craft cocktails in a dark-lit classic setting.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Design hotels come at a high cost in San Francisco, and Hotel Zeppelin might not cater to budget traveler's but it definitely provides an affordable option for stylish explorers. The game room and gin bar make you feel like you got the golden ticket to a hopping soiree.