The survivor of two major earthquakes, some headline-grabbing scandals, and even an attempted presidential assassination, this richly appointed, serenely elegant, and superbly located property delights. The landmark building's Empire-style furnishings and Victorian moldings connect to the newer (and modern) 32-story tower. Adding to the air of upscale sophistication is the classic Oak Room, upscale Clock Bar, Chateau Montelena tasting room, and Caruso's café and lounge. With an address overlooking Union Square, you don't get closer to the action than this.
Ride the glass elevators up the tower for spectacular city vistas.
Handsome rooms cater to business travelers and families with large windows overlooking Union Square. The decor pays homage to the windy nature of the Bay with lined carpets, textured wallpaper, and thick blackout curtains. Expect plush bedding atop their signature Heavenly beds, work desks with plenty of outlets, and flatscreen TVs with personal streaming.
Ask for a room in the tower for jaw-dropping views and repeat rides on the glass elevator. It's a fun elevator.
Signature Westin bath products and marble granite sinks add class to the small bathrooms.
Transport yourself to another era as you ascend the stairs into the opulent lobby. Marble columns and high ceilings lead you past the hopping Clock Bar, Chateau Montelena tasting room, and Caruso's cafe to the registration and concierge desks. Comfy sitting areas populate the space, cluttered with the business-crown converging for happy hour, families sipping green juice, or travelers surfing the net.
YOU SHOULD KNOW In December the lobby lures the masses to photograph the hotel's annual sugar sculpture--typically a castle, but they've been experimenting with other structures. This holiday treat is simply not to be missed.
On the 14th floor, Rejuve Spa and Wellness Center offers a slew of wellness treatments, including massage, facials, and wraps. A medical spa, their signature treatment include Phytomer facials and microdermabrasion peels.
The newly spruced up fitness center offers a wealth of elliptical machines, Life Fitness machines, free weights, and Cardio Theatre. Complimentary bikes, running trail maps, and rental exercise clothing prove the hotel's commitment to wellness. Hotel guests are invited to a complimentary yoga class on Saturdays in Rejuve Spa's wellness center, which also offers guided meditations.
The casual Caruso's serves grab-and-go breakfast, panini sandwiches, and nightly bar snacks like a charcuterie plate or dim sum sampler. The former "Men's Bar" is now the hotel's signature restaurant aptly named, the Oak Room. An actual room of oak, this dark dining area is dotted with red furnishings. Guests enjoy a full breakfast spread of blueberry pancakes, lunch salads, and nightly dinner entrees like a massive hunk of prime rib smothered in Gorgonzola butter.
YOU SHOULD KNOW In December, reserve a table in advance for the Holiday Tea.
Michael Mina's Clock Bar caters to the after-work crowd and convention-attendees. Dark leather furnishings complement the seasonal take on classic cocktails. Bar snacks like a Kobe burger enliven happy hour. Grab a glass of vino at Caruso's, or sample Chateau Montelena's annual varietals in their only San Francisco tasting room.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Chateau Montelena winery put Napa valley on the world's wine scene by being the first American vintner to win the Judgement of Paris.
Nightly parking rates are high (topping $77 including tax), so leave the car at home and take advantage of the property's proximity to the cable car, which stops right out front. Walk to Powell Street Station (5-minute walk) to hop on Muni or BART, which gets you to the beach, Golden Gate Park, the East Bay, and beyond.
Local favorite Kitana-Ya (3-minute walk) hawks umani-rich ramen in a dining room cluttered with art and pictures. At Chinatown's Mister Jiu's (12-minute walk) don't miss Chef Brandon Jew's outstanding wood ear mushroom bao, and rabbit sausage claypot rice.
You might catch baller Steph Curry playing the tambourine at Black Cat (13-minute walk), a jazz club known for their classic cocktails like the Widow's Kiss, or the perfectly concocted Old Fashioned. Immerse yourself in the red velvet decor and sip the milk punch in sultry Gitane (8-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
History makes this classic hotel a must-see destination for all San Francisco travelers; so why not book a room and ride those glass elevators up to that decadent bed to sleep with the twinkling lights of the city laid out below.