Our tried-and-true favorite places to stay in San Francisco
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Sleek, urban hotel meets winking, artsy hangout at the Zetta. The beds are plush and pillow topped, the bathrooms slick and pristine, but it’s the playroom with a pool table, giant Jenga, and air hockey table that better captures the playful vibe here. All the art, including the chandeliers made of old eyeglasses, contain something reused. Located in retail central, right next to the Westfield Shopping Center. $$$$; 55 Fifth St.; viceroyhotelsandresorts.com.
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The hipster ski lodge décor, the rooftop bathtubs, the lavender-scented hand towels at check-in, and the positively hopping happy hour at the attached Americano Bar & Restaurant all make the Vitale one of the trendiest hotels in the city. But it’s the location, right off the Embarcadero and steps from the Ferry Building, that make it a real gem. $$$$; 8 Mission St.; jdvhotels.com/hotels/california/san-francisco-hotels/hotel-vitale/
3 of 7Ebbe Roe Yovino-Smith
Inn at the Presidio
Built in a converted 1903 administrative center on the old Presidio military base, the Inn at the Presidio now sits in a National Park with some of the most astounding views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. The décor is a modern nod to the Presidio’s history. There’s a front porch with rocking chairs, a deck and fire pit, and 24 miles of trails just outside the door. $$$; 42 Moraga Ave. (Presidio National Park); innatthepresidio.com.
4 of 7Clift Hotel
The city’s slickest hotel has sexy glamour down pat. The Union Square address can be hectic and a tad gritty, but the lobby (pictured) is all low lighting and playful furniture like the Big Arm chair and a seat made of horns. It doesn’t hurt that the Redwood Room (just enter through the red tunnel) is downtown’s chicest bar. $$$; 495 Geary St.; morganshotelgroup.com/originals/originals-clift-san-francisco.
5 of 7Courtesy of Hotel Drisco
The elegant and stately Drisco gives you the chance to get out of the tourist loop and into the neighborhoods. Perched atop a hill in Pacific Heights, the Drisco offers some of the best vistas around and plenty of hills on which to walk off the lavish complimentary breakfast. $$$; 2901 Pacific Ave.; hoteldrisco.com.
6 of 7Photo Credit The Scarlet Huntington
The Scarlet Huntington
This updated grand dame of San Francisco, right across from Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill has loads of historic charm, slick red-hued décor, and one of the best spas in the town, including a Zen relaxation room and an indoor pool with an expansive view of the city. The clubby Big 4 Restaurant is beloved by guests and local alike. $$$; 1075 California St.; thescarlethotels.com/huntington-hotel-san-francisco/.
7 of 7Photo courtesy of The Marker San Francisco, A Destination Hotel
The Marker San Francisco
In the thick of the theater district (also known for cheap Indian food), the modern, color-happy Marker has a complimentary wine reception every afternoon, provides free yoga mats, and lends bicycles to help you explore the city. And not only do they allow Fido, they’ll treat him like a special guest, arrange for dog walking, and provide a doggie turn-down service. $$$; 501 Geary Blvd.; themarkersanfrancisco.com.