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The Clancy
The Clancy

The best boutique hotels in San Francisco

Aesthetic just as important as a comfy bed? Stay at one of these trendy boutique hotels in San Francisco.

Written by
Danielle Goldstein
,
Mac Goodspeed
&
Clara Hogan
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While there are plenty of amazing hotels in San Francisco for all budgets—from hotels for romance to pet-friendly stays—true aesthetes will want a chic boutique hotel in San Francisco, as beautiful as it is comfortable. Throughout the city, visitors can find boutique hotels with world-class designs capturing the spirit of San Francisco that will make your stay more interesting than a typical business hotel or national chain. Aside from great aesthetics, these choices often also offer fabulous onsite dining, outdoor spaces, and other fabulous features.

Whether you’re trying to tap into the rocker vibe of old or the gorgeous vineyards of nearby Napa Valley, we’ve got you covered with our pick of the most thoughtful designs in the city’s hotel scene.

Best boutique hotels in San Francisco

The Clancy is designed to take guests on a journey through San Francisco — not the touristy side, but the charming and eclectic neighborhood streets. They do this through colorful and sprawling art installations, Muni lines painted on the floor of the lobby, and bold lighting, patterned walls, and seating options. The rooms themselves are modern with clean lines and sophisticated furnishings and many also offer sweeping views of the city. Don't miss the onsite Radiator coffee shop and Seven Square Taproom equipped with an outdoor lounge with fire pits and ambient lighting. 

  • Hotels
  • Yerba Buena
  • price 3 of 4

When in Silicon Valley, do as the techies do. Hotel Zetta, smack in the heart of SoMa, features a massive Plinko board and several games rooms to get your play on. But Zetta has plenty of style, with a salvage-and-rescue aesthetic that showcases artwork and design features made from recycled materials. Stuff yourself silly at the adjacent Cavalier restaurant, then pass out in one of the sleek and spacious rooms.

 

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  • Hotels
  • Yerba Buena
  • price 3 of 4

For the height of opulence, look no further than the St Regis. Not only is there a luxurious design palette (glass, wood, and marble), but all 22 floors are manned by personal butlers. There's also a complimentary car service (first come, first served for drop-offs within two miles of the hotel), a 24-hour fitness center, and an infinity pool. Art lovers will be especially fond of the close proximity of the Museum of Modern Art (just next door) and the hotel's in-house collection of pieces by local artists.

  • Hotels
  • Nob Hill
  • price 3 of 4

The hippest boutique around has been welcoming guests to Union Square for about a century. After a facelift from famed French designer Philippe Starck, the hotel was decked out with chandeliers, fireplaces, groovy rugs, and minimalist-but-comfy furniture. After stints at the lovely and legendary Redwood Room bar, plop down on one of the architecturally stunning chairs in the lounge for digesting and people watching (we recommend the massive blue one).

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  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Presidio
  • price 2 of 4

A National Historic Landmark, the Inn at the Presidio is nestled within its namesake park at the north end of the city—close enough to the action but a comfortable distance from the city bustle. The Inn's many amenities include a stunning golf course, countless scenic walking and hiking trails, and a cozy fire pit with Golden Gate views. The 22-room hotel also boasts a charm distinct from its competitors: the red brick facade and white-columned porch offer a cozy spot to people watch as the evening winds down.

  • Hotels
  • Tenderloin
  • price 2 of 4

If Don Draper were to move west, he’d look no further than the Phoenix. This funky pastel paradise in the Tenderloin evokes a 1950s beach motel, with a tropical courtyard, swanky rooms, and a pool at the center of the action. The hotel is a rocker’s dream—and has hosted the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, and The Killers. Nearby Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and Great American Music Hall make this the perfect base for anyone looking to catch a show in San Francisco. 

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  • Hotels
  • Union Square
  • price 2 of 4

The Beacon Grand A Union Square Hotel (formerly the Sir Francis Drake) doesn’t double down too hard on its theme, although the doormen out front in red Beefeater outfits are fun. Instead, it offers a surprisingly cozy stay among gold-leaf ceilings, chandeliers, and regal red and blue Victorian posh furniture. The architectural style blends classic San Francisco with marble lamps courtesy of Jonathan Adler. The Drake’s offbeat elegance, from its stunning steep entryway staircase to the licorice-looking red statue of the man himself behind the bar, is cultivated with fun precision.

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Pacific Heights
  • price 3 of 4

This posh Pacific Heights boutique hotel is decorated with modern stately home glamor and is eminently inviting. Sat on top of a hill, Hotel Drisco's imposing Edwardian structure offers uninterrupted city views, plus luxury amenities like nightly wine receptions and chauffeur service within the city limits. In fact, the complimentary evening wine reception is not to be missed. There are local California wines, artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, fresh fruit, and hot hors d’oeuvres.

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  • Hotels
  • Lower Nob Hill
  • price 3 of 4

Rock 'n' roll by name, rock 'n' roll by nature: the Zeppelin pays homage to the city's bohemian past. For starters, their motto is 'Calling all rule breakers'. Plus, each suite has its own vintage turntable and vinyl selection. There's also a bar and restaurant on-site, but with a prime location so close to Union Square, the Theatre District, and Embarcardero, you won't be wanting for things to do.

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