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San Francisco's Best Boutique Hotels


You'll find sleek interiors, smart service, and quirky amenities at these designer hotels.

1. W Hotel San Francisco

Courtesy W San Francisco

This chic hotel next to the Museum of Modern Art is always bustling; the lobby bar and lounge is a favorite spot for visitors and locals alike. Rooms feature luxurious pillow top mattresses and down comforters; some have upholstered window seats. The signature restaurant, XYZ, attracts a glamorous crowd, as does the Bliss Spa located adjacent to the glass-roof pool.

Location: Near Union Square
Address & Phone: 181 Third St.; 415-777-5300
Rooms & Rates: 401 rooms; doubles from $211
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2. The Clift Hotel

Designed by Philippe Starck, Ian Schrager’s Clift hotel is cutting-edge stylish. The dark, sleek living room-like lobby features a gigantic Napoleonic chair and is warmed by a roaring gas fireplace. Spacious rooms feature high ceilings and ultra-modern furnishings. The exquisite Art Deco Redwood Room bar is perhaps the city’s most exciting place for cocktails. The location, two blocks from Union Square, is convenient for shopping, theater, and transportation.

Location: Near Union Square
Address & Phone: 495 Geary St.; 415-775-4500
Rooms & Rates: 337 rooms; doubles begin at $285
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3. Hotel des Arts

This funky, centrally located hotel has garnered wide praise for its innovative decor featuring rooms painted by up and coming local artists. The small, windowless "painted rooms" are curated by a San Francisco gallery; bathrooms are shared and rates begin at just $59. If you have something more roomy in mind, opt for the more conventionally designed deluxe queen room or two room suites with private baths. Hotel des Arts sits in San Francisco's mini French Quarter, which features authentic Gallic cafes and restaurants nestled along the charming alleys just off Union Square.

Location: Union Square
Address & Phone: 447 Bush St.; 415-956-3232 or 800-956-4322
Rooms & Rates: 51 rooms; doubles from $59
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4. Hotel Diva

This ultra modern hotel has a stylish, high-tech feel, with monochromatic rooms done in greys and blues and black leather furnishings. Edgy art and glass paneled doors define the look of the lobby; rooms are spacious and clean lined, with down comforters and designer lighting. This centrally located hotel near Union Square is a good choice for business travelers; the hotel's business center is open 24/7, and the restaurant provides room service.

Location: Near Union Square
Address & Phone: 440 Geary St.; 415-885-0200 or 800-553-1900
Rooms & Rates: 116 rooms; doubles from $139
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5. The Good Hotel

Photo by Cesar Rubio courtesy JDV

This eco-friendly hotel, built of recycled construction materials, has been praised by "Good Morning America" and The New York Times. The rooms are decorated in soothing pale tones; vending machines in the lobby are stocked with wallets made from FedEx envelopes. The location in a somewhat scruffy part of South of Market is nonetheless convenient to Union Square. This pet-friendly lodging also offers free bicycles and houses a thin-crust pizzeria downstairs.

Location: South of Market
Address & Phone: 112 7th St.; 415-413-4720
Rooms & Rates: 117 rooms; doubles from $109
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6. Hotel Palomar

This intimate hotel occupies the top five floors of the beautiful 1908 Pacific Place Building downtown. Sleek furnishings and fancy linens decorate the rooms; the highly-acclaimed Fifth Floor restaurant features a cozy adjoining bar/lounge. In-room spa services and room service are among the many top services and amenities.

Location: Near Union Square
Address & Phone: 12 4th St.; 415-348-1111 or 866-473-4941
Rooms & Rates: 185 rooms; doubles from $250
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7. Hotel Tomo

Photo by Cesar Rubio courtesy JDV

Located in bustling Japantown, the Hotel Tomo is inspired by Japanese pop culture, from the wall of televisions in the lobby to anime murals and glow-in-the-dark desk blotters in the guest rooms. Each of the bright, cheery rooms is uniquely decorated with individual wall paintings. There are two gaming suites with PS3 and Wii, bean bags, sofa bed, 6-foot LCD projection screen, microwaves, and mini refrigerators.

Location: Japantown
Address & Phone: 1800 Sutter St.; 415-921-4000
Rooms & Rates: 125 rooms; doubles from 109 
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8. Hotel Monaco

This stylish hotel is housed in a pretty Beaux-Arts building near Union Square’s best shopping and theater. The plush lobby has extravagant floral displays, deep seated chairs, and a cozy fireplace. Rooms are colorful and vivid, with Chinese inspired armoires and canopy beds. The lovely Grand Café restaurant and bar downstairs is a great spot to have dinner or linger over a cocktail.

Location: Near Union Square
Address & Phone: 501 Geary Street; 415-292-0100
Rooms & Rates: 201 rooms; doubles from $190
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