Best Boutique Hotels in San Francisco, California

12 Cool Boutique Hotels in San Francisco, California

The city known as everyone’s favorite, San Francisco boasts spectacular scenery, endless cultural attractions, and world-class cuisine. While the city was first founded during the 1949 Gold Rush, it has come a long way from being a small village. It is now one of the most vibrant cities in the United States with iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge. There is no doubt that a visit to San Francisco is one of the best things to do in California!

San Francisco has a fabulous arts and culture scene to discover, whether that’s theater, opera, symphony, ballet, or the latest Broadway play. It’s the perfect destination for foodies with various cultural influences and consistent innovations by some of the best chefs in the world. Nature seekers will love the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. Even though the area is often covered in fog, it still makes for amazing photos.

You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to amazing places to stay in San Francisco, with new hotels popping up all the time. So many, in fact, that you might have a hard time choosing the perfect one. So we’ve created a list of the 12 best hotels in San Fransisco to help you plan your perfect getaway!

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Where to Stay in San Francisco

Where to Stay in San Francisco: Boutique Hotels

There are many neighborhoods in San Francisco, each with its own distinctive vibe, scenery, history, and charm. Some popular areas to consider are North Beach, Japatantown, Mission District, Union Square, North Beach, Castro, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Union Square and its surrounding area is one of the most popular neighborhoods to stay in San Francisco. It is centrally located, and hotels in and around this area offer breathtaking views. It’s also a premiere shopping destination, offering every clothing brand imaginable! Don’t miss out on a photo op at the Maiden Lane or riding on the famous cable car.

North Beach and Chinatown are two neighborhoods situated near each other with excellent dining options. North Beach is lined with trees and foliage and has historic sights like the Sentinel Building and Transamerica Pyramid. And Chinatown transports you to a whole other place – crowded streets during the day and quiet lanes with colorful street art and bright lanterns in the evening. 

The 12 Best Hotels in San Francisco

1. Hotel Vitale

Unique Hotels in San Francisco, California: Hotel Vitale
Photos: Hotel Vitale

Situated right across the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, Hotel Vitale is within easy access to iconic sights like the Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Park, China Town, Muni, and the BART. It has a warm and inviting ambiance, decorated with clean lines, stone columns, and a muted palette. As an added bonus, this hotel is pet-friendly!

The rooms and suites are spacious and decorated luxuriously with stunning views of the magnificent city skyline and the Bay. You can go for a drink at the honor bar, dine in at the hotel’s Americano restaurant, or enjoy a soothing soak in your spa-style limestone bathroom. 

The Vitale Hotel offers fitness and yoga classes, as well as access to a 25-meter lap pool. The Spa Vitale is the perfect place to relax and offers rejuvenating massages by expert therapists while you enjoy scenic views of the Bay. 

2. Proper Hotel

Coolest San Francisco Hotels: Proper Hotel
Photos: Proper Hotel

One of the best features of the Proper Hotel is its swanky rooftop bar. It offers stunning views of the city skyline and cozy fire pits to gather around. The hotel interior is tastefully decorated by Kelly Wearstler with bright florals, mirror work, and an eclectic selection of paintings and prints that give this hotel a fun and playful vibe!

The high-end bunk rooms are perfect for solo travelers or those on a budget. The walnut double-deckers have built-in brass ladders, outlets, USB ports, and TVs with built-in headphones. 

If you prefer more privacy, there are standard rooms and junior and premier suites. Those rooms feature California Aireloom king-sized mattresses tucked in crisp Italian Bellino Fine Linens, topped with down comforters and striped Kelly Wearstler cotton blankets. There’s no compromise when it comes to comfort at the Proper Hotel!

Other amenities include Bluetooth speakers, tablets, and Google Chromecast for streaming. The bathrooms are stocked with Aesop beauty products, Bellino Fine Linen towels, Kelly Wearstler cotton kimono robes, and a relaxing rainfall showerhead. Another unique feature of the Proper Hotel is in the in-room tablet you can use to call the concierge for a plethora of services via the Proper app.

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3. Hotel Kabuki

Boutique Hotels in San Francisco, California: Hotel Kabuki
Photos: Hotel Kabuki

If you’re looking for a “neighborhood feel”, check out Hotel Kabuki! This boutique hotel is near Pacific Heights’ famed Fillmore District with quick access to Union Square, the Golden Gate Bridge, Japan Center Malls, and Lombard Street.

The fusion décor will charm you right away! The mix and match of cane-back chairs and bright throw pillows are perfect for photos, while the industrial atmosphere is enhanced by pendant lights, rustic Douglas fir beams, and high ceilings.

Rooms are adorned with traditional and modern Japanese art and calligraphy and Scandinavian-inspired furniture. The oversized windows and balconies offer great views and natural light, while the contemporary bathroom features large walk-in showers and porcelain tiles.

Sweat it out at the revamped, 4,000-square-foot gym that includes a yoga studio and kickboxing classes. Chat with other travelers at the communal table in the lobby, browse through the collection of art and books, or visit the Zen garden and sit by the koi pond for a while. There are plenty of great restaurants nearby including SPQR, State Bird Provisions, and the Progress and Sweet Maple. 

4. Staypineapple Hotel

Where to Stay in San Francisco, California: Staypineapple
Photos: Staypineapple Hotel

The moment you enter the lobby of the Staypineapple Hotel, you’re sure to fall in love. The gold and yellow accents coupled with the grayscale color palette give this hotel a luxe, old-Hollywood vibe. On arrival, you’ll be served pineapple water or afternoon coffee with pineapple cupcakes to get you in the vacation mood!

Rooms are elegant and stylish with hardwood parquet floors, graphic area rugs, Hollywood Regency furnishings, and a muted color scheme with gold and yellow accents. Beds are comfy with plush bedding and soft duvets. Bathrooms feature large walk-in showers, and Tommy Bahama bath products. Rooms also include a mini-fridge and Keurig coffee maker.

The Pineapple Bistro and Bar has large windows overlooking the street and cozy bar and cafe-style seating. This is a great place to enjoy your morning coffee while planning your day of adventures around San Francisco. Union Square, Chinatown, and Nob Hill are all close by. At night, head to the hip rooftop bar next door or the historical speakeasy-style bars around the corner.

This hotel offers complimentary bright yellow bike rentals so you can explore the town in style! 

5. Hotel Zoe

Best Hotels in San Francisco, California: Hotel Zoe
Photos: Hotel Zoe

Right in the heart of the Fisherman’s Wharf, Hotel Zoe is a perfect choice if you want to explore San Francisco’s main attractions. Sausalito, Alcatraz, Madame’s Tussauds Wax Museum, Ferry Building Marketplace, SF Dungeon, Pier 39, and Wine Country are all close by!

Hotel Zoe exudes an inviting feel, with gorgeous décor and innovative artwork in the lobby that seamlessly flows into the bar. Don’t miss the 24-foot-tall metal sculpture named Zoe in the outdoor courtyard. If you pay the Zoe “amenity fee” of $22, you get a complimentary glass of wine and access to the 24-hour gym, bicycles, organic coffee and tea in the lobby, free Wi-Fi, and iPads. 

They have deluxe rooms and suites that offer views of the Wharf or the interior courtyard. Bathrooms have a sleek design with ample counter space and glass-framed showers. Be sure to try the hotel restaurant, Pescatore, which offers casual Italian dining all day. Signature dishes include prosciutto di parma crudo and black linguini with manilla clams and shrimp. Sip a refreshing cocktail at the Bar Zoe in the evening!

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6. White Swan Inn

Boutique San Francisco Hotels: White Swan Inn
Photos: White Swan Inn

The decor of the White Swan Inn makes you feel although you are in an old-school London hotel in the 1960sl, yet you’re in the heart of San Francisco’s Nob Hill. The dark wood furniture and floral wallpaper offer a nice contrast and there are beautiful swan images all throughout the property! The parlor has a retro feel with comfy seating areas with a fireplace. Check out the lending library with its whimsical artwork on the walls and accent-lit bookshelves that give off a warm glow.

You can enjoy panoramic views from the large windows in your room and curl up in front of the gas fireplace if it gets too cold. Other amenities include a 32-inch flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, a wet bar, tea and coffee making facilities, and a mini-fridge. The tub in the bathroom is perfect for an evening soak. 

The White Swan Inn is located within walking distance of Union Square where you’ll find upscale department stores and chic boutiques. You’ll also be close to Fisherman’s Wharf, which features numerous water sports, boating activities, and cruises. 

7. Club Donatello

Unique Hotels in San Francisco, California: Club Donatello
Photos: Club Donatello

Club Donatello features gorgeous Italian-themed décor – after all, the hotel is named after the famous Renaissance artist! Rooms feature king-sized beds with crisp white linens accented by colorful pillows and striped throw pillows. Other amenities include work desks, wet bars with sinks, and mini-fridges. Some suites offer private terraces where you can enjoy magnificent views of San Francisco.

There is a state-of-the-art fitness center and a sauna and whirlpool that’s perfect for relieving stress. You can also schedule a relaxing massage treatments at the spa. Zingari Ristorante serves Italian cuisine, which you can enjoy while listening to live jazz music. Want some quiet instead? Head to the Club Lounge and take advantage of complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate!

The location of Club Donatello is excellent as it is only one block from Union Square and close to delicious restaurants like Postrio, Mina’s, Mortons, Burritt Room, and Tavern. 

8. Hotel Emblem

Unique San Francisco Hotels: Hotel Emblem
Photos: Hotel Emblem

The Hotel Emblem is a Beat Generation-inspired boutique that emphasizes its literary flair with Beat poetry-inspired carpeting, weekly poetry slams, and antique typewriters. And don’t miss the collection of vintage books in the lobby!

Beatnik and literary references are found throughout the rooms too, both on the walls the the bathroom ceiling. Browse from the collection of in-room books with titles like James E. Ryan’s “Wait, What” and Coleman Barks’ “The Essential Rumi.” All rooms have amenities like king or queen-sized pillow top beds, 55-inch Samsung flat-screen HDTVs, Nespresso machines, and individual climate control. USB ports by the bed and Bluetooth systems are available as well.

The Obscenity Bar & Lounge offers bespoke cocktails like the gin-based Beet Generation and H-Owl, along with delicious bar snacks, cheese and charcuterie plates, salads, and sandwiches. Make use of the “Underground Concierge” for personalized recommendations of things to do in San Francisco.

Hotel Emblem’s location is excellent too! It’s just a few blocks northwest of Union Square, near the Theater District. The charming neighborhoods of Chinatown, Nob Hill, and North Beach are close by. You can take the Powell cable cars that go up to Lombard Street and Ghirardelli Square or Fisherman’s Wharf near Pier 39. 

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9. Orchard Garden Hotel

Where to Stay in San Francisco, California: Orchard Garden
Photos: Orchard Garden Hotel

The Orchard Garden Hotel is an eco-friendly hotel in the central downtown area, around the corner from the main gate to Chinatown. It’s also within walking distance to Union Square and the Financial District!

The hotel’s lobby is decorated with sustainably grown blond wood furniture with simple artwork created by local artists Archie Held and Dulcy Wolverton. Guest rooms are modern and functional, with carpeting made partially from recycled materials. Since the hotel operates on a “green theme,” rooms have a key-card-controlled green energy system that shuts off power when guests leave.

Be sure to check out the rooftop deck that overlooks the Financial District and Chinatown. The Roots Restaurant, which also features a bar, adheres to the same sustainable practices as the hotel and specializes in responsibly-sourced ingredients, including local meats and seafood. 

10. Hotel G

Where to Stay in San Francisco, California: Hotel G
Photos: Hotel G

The Hotel G is a luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of San Francisco. The lobby has a  contemporary design with exposed cement ceilings, sleek furniture, and modern artwork throughout. 

Guest rooms at Hotel G have an industrial vibe with tufted headboards, cement flooring, and rustic wooden furniture. Amenities include Nespresso coffee makers, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, Mascioni linens, laptop-sized safes, plush bathrobes, and honor bars. 

The fitness center is large and airy with plenty of advanced cardio equipment. You can try weight training or Arke fitness equipment if you’re looking for a challenge. There are fantastic restaurants onsite such as the Klyde Cafe and Wine Bar and Three 9 Eight Restaurant and Bar. Don’t forget to try some decadent handcrafted cocktails and oysters at the Benjamin Cooper cocktail bar!

The hotel is conveniently located right across the street from Union Square where you’ll find numerous shops, bars, and dining avenues. Fisherman’s Wharf, Coit Tower, and Civic Center, and the Financial District are just a few minutes away.

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11. Hotel Zeppelin

Best Hotels in San Francisco, California: Hotel Zeppelin
Photos: Hotel Zeppelin

Hotel Zeppelin has a funky theme that celebrates San Francisco’s bold, bohemian past. The interior is decorated in psychedelic rock ‘n roll style with neon-lit accents, vivid velvet detailing, and modern seating. 

Rooms have queen or king-sized beds with leather headboards, retro band posters, and quirky light fixtures. LED TVs, Nespresso machines, electronic safes, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi are included as well. Bathrooms are decorated in an offbeat style that is totally unique. The Zeppelin Suite is the classiest of all, with a living room, a grand fireplace, a cozy den, a kitchenette, and a private roof deck.

Sample yummy Californian cuisine with locally sourced ingredients at the hotel’s onsite restaurant, Rambler. If you feel like gaming, check out “The Den”, which has lots of lounging areas and games like foosball, pool, skeeball, and more. The gym features weight-lifting machines and cardio equipment so you can keep up your fitness routine while on vacation.

Hotel Zeppelin is ideally located right near Union Square, Chinatown, and Nob Hill. 

12. Hotel Drisco

Unique San Francisco Hotels: Hotel Drisco
Photos: Hotel Drisco

Situated in the iconic Pacific Heights neighborhood, Hotel Drisco is the perfect place to unwind and during your stay in San Francisco. 

Guest rooms are pristinely outfitted in cream and white, with unbelievably comfortable king-sized beds with pillow-top mattresses. Amenities include work desks, bathrobes, mini-fridges, large flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and Sound+Sleep devices to help you get a good night’s sleep. Bathrooms are spacious and opulent with Bvlgari bath products..

Be sure to take advantage of the complimentary breakfast that includes raspberry-topped fruit and yogurt parfaits, hot oatmeal, bagels and lox, clotted cream, and organic protein shots. You’ll love the complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres in the evenings. The hotel has a fitness center and is located near a YMCA if you want to get a workout in during your trip.

The Hotel Drisco has an ideal location with many upscale galleries, boutiques, and antique shops in close vicinity. Or you can visit the Presidio National Park where there are plenty of hiking and cycling trails.

That’s it – 12 of the best San Francisco hotels! Did we miss any cool boutique hotels in San Francisco? Comment below so we can add them to the list!

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6 months ago

Great recommendations! I’ve stayed at Hotel Vitale and can 100% recommend it. Great location and very comfy rooms.

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