What are the best places to stay in San Francisco?

Answers from Our Experts (6)

San Francisco has an ample supply of hotels with superb service, appealing design and top-notch dining. Here is our short list of the best places to stay in San Francisco:

For a sophisticated and sexy stay, check in at the Five-Star St. Regis San Francisco. Sip a Manhattan by the fireplace in the lobby bar, enjoy a cut of tender wagyu steak at Ame restaurant, or work out the kinks at the 9,000-square-foot Remède spa. A stay at the Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco will put you within walking distance of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, as well as prime shopping like Prada, Gucci and Bloomingdale’s. The elegant Four-Star Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco is more polished than ever, thanks to a recent $12.5 million renovation that refreshed the 100-year-old neo-classical landmark. The serene spa offers luxe indulgences such as couples’ massages and caviar-and-pearl facials, while The Dining Room serves excellent French-Japanese fare (and one of the country’s largest collections of scotch, to boot). For some of the best views in town — including vistas of both the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge — check into the Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco. The Asian-influenced hospitality extends from the feng shui room design to complimentary jasmine tea service, making this Eastern-influenced location one of the most memorable stays in the West. Rooms at Four-Star The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa also feature some of the best views in San Francisco. The Tudor-revival hotel overlooks San Francisco Bay, providing guest with views of the city's famous bridges. The elegant Four-Star Taj Campton Place is located in busy Union Square, and the offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. One of its biggest draws is its Campton Place fine-dining spot. The Four-Star restaurant has a track record of cultivating fresh new talent, like current star chefs Bradley Ogden and Daniel Humm.

I stay in hotels in San Francisco all the time. I love staycations. The big, great old hotels are The Fairmont San Francisco, InterContinental Mark Hopkins and The Huntington Hotel — they’re three in the very top of California. There’s a bar in The Huntington called the Big 4, which is a beautiful old bar.

The Palace Hotel downtown is another one. Old San Francisco hotels have big rooms, unlike old New York hotels. The Fairmont has huge ceilings, just a big railroad-tycoon-type hotel.

There’s this place called Cavallo Point, which is right across from the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s not over the top. It’s fancy, but it’s not like the Four Seasons. It’s very old school, but it’s very tastefully done. It’s more about the energy and calmness than it is about the show.

Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco is always awesome; the service there is great. It’s right downtown. Four Seasons Hotel is right downtown, so is The Ritz-Carlton. They all are pretty centrally located.

I haven't stayed in a hotel in I don't know how long here, but I know that the Hotel Vitale — it's one of Chip Conley's hotels — is really nice. It's actually really close to the Ferry Building so it's looking right on the bay. That's a cool one and it's totally affordable. My mom stayed there before. And then, I think our W is actually really nice here. It's a good location — it's right near the Museum of Modern Art.

Photo for Ming Tsai

Well it depends who's paying! The most amazing views and crazy bathrooms are at Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco. In the bathrooms, there is a full-length window, so you're essentially washing yourself to the world watching and you're high enough up that no one can see in, I assume. But it is just stunning. It's a Mandarin property, which is awesome. Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco is a superb hotel; it really is one of the best hotels to stay at, anywhere.

It’s in Sausalito — Cavallo Point Lodge. It looks onto San Francisco. It’s my treat to myself when I have a 5 a.m. flight. It’s amazing. It’s an old army and coast guard barracks. It was a redone military base. Hotel Kabuki is totally sweet, serene and affordable. It’s in Japantown, which is a totally different experience. For me, when I’m down here a lot, if I can get into there, it’s great. They have an amazing little spa that’s very authentic. Those are my two stays.

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