The views, the food, the Bay Lights, the rolling fog ... San Francisco goes toe to toe with the very best romantic cities in Europe. While many date nights in San Francisco can end after the classic combo of dinner and a movie, couples that want to kick the romance up a notch (or two), should extend the evening with a stay in one of these luxury hotels. Whether you're seeking a historic inn with bay views and hiking trails or a lush downtown hotel with butler service is more your speed, these top 10 romantic hotels will turn anyone’s one-night stay into a happily ever after.
Romantic hotels in San Francisco
This landmark hotel in downtown San Francisco opened in 1909. The interior design work in the communal spaces is exquisite (think the Titanic but with fewer icebergs), but the guest rooms were recently renovated and have a stylish, spacious feel.
Time Out tip: Order the Palace signature crab salad at the Garden Court during lunch. It comes with Green Goddess salad dressing, which was invented in the Palace Hotel’s kitchen in 1923.
Everything about this lavish hotel screams San Francisco, from the Julia Morgan-designed building and stunning views over the bay to the state-of-the-art wellness spa and the iconic tiki bar in the basement.
Time Out tip: Don’t miss dinner or drinks at the iconic Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar, a tiki bar with a floating band in a lagoon, surprise thunderstorms and mai tais served in fake coconuts.
If you want to be right in the middle of the action, head to the Four Seasons, which offers endless amenities in an unbeatable location in the heart of the city, close to Union Square, SoMa and the Financial District. Plus, if three nights of romance aren’t enough, you can stay the fourth night for free.
Time Out tip: The Den is a monthly cocktail series that pays homage to SF’s original speakeasies. Gain entrance by emailing email@example.com to get the password.
This boutique hotel in posh Pac Heights is the perfect option for the couple who wants to be away from the chaos of downtown, but doesn’t want to sacrifice luxury or style. The rooms feel like actual bedrooms and are furnished with Egyptian cotton sheets, goose down comforters and sleep machines.
Time Out tip: 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, including delicious meatballs that could definitely spoil dinner.
The Ritz-Carlton is the picture of opulence. The landmark hotel, housed in a mansion atop Nob Hill, is guaranteed to make you feel like a VIP, with butler service, a wine tasting lounge and complimentary car service.
Time Out tip: A complimentary house car is available for trips within one mile of the hotel.
It's the world-class spa that keeps visitors and locals coming back to this Nob Hill spot. The colorful Moroccan-themed rooms and stunning views of Grace Cathedral don't hurt either.
Time Out tip: Street parking is not impossible to find and will save $59 a day.
Sophisticated and chic, this hotel is a seductive mix of mid-century modern and casual urban cool. But most of all, it's the spectacular vista including San Francisco Bay that magnetizes guests to Hotel Vitale - and who can blame them? This boutique is based on The Embarcadero after all, where you'll also catch a glimpse of the iconic clock tower, Alcatraz Island and the 1898 Ferry Building on the sweeping shoreline.
Time Out tip: Hotel Vitale's rooftop terrace is the perfect way to enjoy the skyline after a day of wandering the city (and eating a lot).
The St. Regis is the embodiment of a luxury hotel, with complimentary butler service for each suite, it's the perfect retreat for couples who don’t want to lift a finger during their stay.
Time Out tip: Make a reservation for the Art of Tea, afternoon tea service served from 2 to 4 p.m., and be sure to add on bubbles.
This luxurious lodge (a former military baracks) located right over the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito offers sweeping views of the Bay Area and fancy amenities like cooking classes and guided bike tours.
Time Out tip: Sign up for the Chef’s Counter, an exclusive chef-driven dining experience where guests sip on wine and watch and learn.