What are the best luxury hotels in San Francisco?

Answers from Our Experts (4)

The City by the Bay is full of luxury hotel properties in every neighborhood. Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star St. Regis San Francisco opened in 2005 and features 260 impeccable rooms with contemporary décor, and the Four-Star Remède Spa San Francisco is the pinnacle of extravagant pampering. The hotel also is home to The Museum of the African Diaspora, and is just next door to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The stately Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco is located atop Nob Hill and was originally built in 1909 as the headquarters of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco features club level suites with 1,000-thread-count sheets and private balconies. Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons San Francisco is a sleek and modern tower near Chinatown and Union Square. Rooms here are spacious and traditional, with wood-paneled walls, plush rugs and gold-accented furniture — corner rooms include floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of the city. For rooms with even more incredible views, book a stay at Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco. It's located on the upper floors of one of the city’s tallest buildings, so rooms have sky-high views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica Pyramid and the Bay Bridge. Another reason to visit is its Five-Star spa. Finally, Four-Star Taj Campton Place is located in the heart of Union Square among some of the city's best boutiques, galleries and restaurants. All 101 rooms here feature elegant décor and natural hues, Samsung flat-screen TVs, Frette linens and Molton Brown toiletries. But our favorite amenity is the Four-Star Campton Place restaurant, where legendary chefs like Laurent Manrique, Bradley Ogden, Daniel Humm and Todd Humphries have all been at the helm.

Maria Hunt
Four Seasons SF lobby - photo by Mary Nichols

Luxury can be an elusive concept, but you’ll find many hotels in San Francisco offering their own brand of excellence.  It usually involves posh rooms and world-class service, as well as a spa and fine-dining restaurant on site. Here are three hotels that deliver a truly luxurious experience, no matter how you define it:

Nestled in the heart of the Financial District, Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Mandarin Oriental San Francisco welcomes guests with a stunning lobby featuring a curving reception desk inlaid with burled wood and gleaming marble flooring. The opulence continues in the guest suites that are tastefully furnished with a subtle Asian aesthetic. Highlights include marble baths,  an interactive entertainment system and stunning views.

You’re in the middle of everything, yet feel apart from it all at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. Rooms in the downtown hotel have a serene neutral color scheme and subtly eclectic décor that features furnishings inspired by Europe and China, reflecting San Francisco’s diverse heritage.  Special touches include with high thread-count sheets, iPod docking stations, while on the Club Level guests are served tempting small bites and drinks throughout the day. 

Classic luxury awaits at the Four Seasons San Francisco, which is perfectly situated near Union Square, the museums around Yerba Buena and the Moscone Convention Center. The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel has large residential-feeling rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, marble baths and large flat-screen HDTVs. The hotel also features a Junior Olympic-size pool, a high-tech gym and an impressive art collection.

Katie Sweeney

Like any major metropolitan city, San Francisco has its fair share of luxurious lodgings. Here's a round up of the best high end hotels in the city by the bay.

The Fairmont. As a city landmark, a stay at the famed Fairmont will take you back in time to old San Francisco. Located on the top of Nob Hill, the hotel is central to many of SF's top attractions and home to breathtaking bay views. The hotel's bar, the Tonga Room, is a local institution and known for it's indoor rain showers, floating stage, and tiki cocktails.

The St. Regis. A relaxing and blissful time is guaranteed at the St. Regis in San Francisco. The 3rd Street hotel offers guests plush, contemporary-designed rooms, exceptional city views, and a variety of self-indulgent spa treatments.

Four Seasons. An oasis in the middle of downtown Market Street, the Four Seasons is synonymous with luxury. Guests can enjoy a perfectly cooked steak at the restaurant, a leisurely dip in the indoor pool, sample local wines at the wine bar, and receive a variety of rejuvenating treatments at the spa.

Kimberley Lovato

Our city is full of hotels for any budget, and for super luxury, your wallet and your style won't be disappointed.  With so many to choose from, it's hard to just select a few — but here are my favorite plush pillows.

The Four Seasons name is synonymous with traditinoal luxury the world over, and here in San Francisco, there's no exception. The Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco boasts large rooms and suites, a sumptuos atmosphere, an onsite spa, and of course the over the top (but in a good way) service you've come to expect from a Four Seasons property.

For luxury with a view, check into the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Madarin Oriental, San Francisco. Guest rooms and suites on floors 38-48 have recently undergone a refreshing update, and you'll also have spectacular views from this sky high spot.

Traveling techies love the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley. Built in 2006, this Four-Star hotel offers cool perks like wireless head sets on its fitness center's exercise machines and flat screen TVs, plus an unparalleled location right in the heart of the most plugged-in area. Rosewood Sand Hill is another luxe option in the popular Silicon Valley. The casual upscale hotel was built in 2009, and its amenities are suitably modern — especially the Nespresso coffee makers. 

The historic Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco calls the charming Nob Hill neighborhood home. You'll feel right at home, too, when you realize just how close this Four-Star hotel is to the best attractions in the city. 

Like two twin siblings, Taj Campton Place and its onsite restaurant, Campton Place, complement each other beautifully. Both properties have earned Four-Star ratings from Forbes Travel Guide. A night at this hotel is a treat, thanks to amenities like Samsung flat-screen TVs, Frette linens and Molton Brown toiletries in every guest room.

Just 30 miles away from San Francisco, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is a stunner with cliffside views and 36 holes that are just begging to be graced by golf fans. A closer option is The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa in Berkeley, California, about 12 miles away from San Francisco.

For a perfect blend of trendy and luxury, nothing beats the Clift Hotel. Since 1915 the Clift has wooed luxury travelers. Ian Schrager redesigned the interior and the hotel now lures travelers and trendsetters alike who stream into the hotel loung for classic cocktails or to the Redwood Room, the hotels iconic top floor bar with redwood walls (made from one tree).

San Francisco's historic Fairmont Hotel at the top of Nob Hill is the grande dame of luxury classics. It was restored by famed architect Julia Morgan after the 1906 earthquake. With a grandeur and style of yesteryear, and 591 guestrooms and suites, the hotel is understandably a popular spot for special events and once-in a-life-time occasions.

Since opening in 1991, The Ritz Carlton has been the city's most luxurious address. The stately exterior is impressive and the interior is filled with fine furnishings and art work, and club rooms on the upper floors have a dedicated concierge to cater to your whims.  The Parallel 37 restaurant serves American cuisine and hand crafted cocktails in a more edgy environment than typical of a Ritz Carton.


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