So, by the time your out-of-town loved ones actually arrive, you probably just want to sit back, relax, and enjoy their company — not stress about how to show them a good time. That's why, in the interest of maximizing glee and minimizing hassle, we made a list (and checked it twice) of some of the city's most crowd-pleasing spots.
From yummy restos with stunning Bay views to contemporary-cool and totally affordable hotels to an awesome museum with live reindeer and indoor snowfall, this cheat sheet spans all of the season's most merry S.F. activities that your visitors will absolutely love.
For the parents who appreciate peace and quiet and would rather opt for a hotel that’s not right in the bustling Union Square area, we're all about Hotel Kabuki. It runs about $150 per night (what a steal, right?) and is located in the heart of Japantown, which means it’s surrounded by tons of yummy eateries and is a skip from Sundance Kabuki Cinema, one of our favorite movie theaters in the city for its assigned seating and ultra-clean interior — and booze. And, although it’s not as near the downtown stores as some of the other hotels, it's walking distance from the trendy shopping mecca that is Fillmore Street, which is easily as tempting in our books.
Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post Street (at Laguna Street), San Francisco; 415-922-3200.
When your sassy sister or best friend comes to visit, this is the hotel he or she should book. First off, it’s located just west of Union Square, in close proximity to all the shopping the ‘hood has to offer, which will keep 'em entertained for days. Plus, it’s priced at around $150 per night, making it more affordable than a lot of the other options in the area. Expect to see the cheeky “diva” theme carried throughout, right down to the dark walls and lingerie artwork. But, we are particularly smitten with the iPhone pillows and the Perrier Bubble Lounge.
Hotel Diva, 440 Geary Street (between Mason and Taylor streets), San Francisco; 415-885-0200.
Have a friend or relative who refuses to part with her pet when visiting? Hey, we get it — the pup’s part of the fam, too! Just direct her on over to Hotel Triton, a quirky Kimpton refuge in FiDi, right on the border of Chinatown. It’s pet-friendly, and at about $200 per night, it’s a relatively affordable option as far as boutique hotels go. Plus, its playful décor makes it a good fit for creative types. For the ultra-eclectic guest, it also offers themed suites like the Häagen-Dazs “Sweet Suite” complete with a fully stocked ice-cream cabinet, the “D-List Suite” designed by none other than Kathy Griffin, with floor-to-ceiling white-suede drapes, and the “J. Garcia Suite" designed by the room’s namesake, with his original watercolor paintings and an autographed wall.
Hotel Triton, 342 Grant Avenue (between Bush Street and Harlan Place), San Francisco; 415-394-0500.
It’s the holiday season, and that means more than ever, some visitors just want a place to stay where they can zen out and unwind. For those friends and family members, the luxurious Hotel Vitale is an excellent option. The rooms are designed in soft, soothing hues, the bathrooms are made of limestone, and the hotel has spa services available. At more than $250 per night, this hotel is a little pricier than the others we’ve profiled. On the plus side, though, you get what you pay for — it’s situated a stone’s throw away from the Ferry Building and is also home to the ever-popular Americano restaurant and bar, an eatery with a big outdoor patio that’s a favorite among the FiDi see-and-be-seen crowd.
Hotel Vitale, 6 Mission Street (between Steuart Street and The Embarcadro), San Francisco; 415-278-3700.
This arty, contemporary hotel is ideal for out-of-town friends on a budget who are also looking to hit up nearby nightlife. It’s located in the ‘Loin, a far-from-glamorous part of town, but it also happens to be right around the corner from Jones and near a whole slew of other bars like Le Colonial, Swig, Bourbon & Branch, and Rye. At about $180 per night, it’s a pretty good value, and we’re fans of the funky décor.
Hotel Adagio, 550 Geary Street (at Shannon Street), San Francisco; 415-775-5000.
This is kind of the go-to place for visitors that are looking to swank it up a bit, but still capture the downtown S.F. essence, which is pretty magical around this time of year. The dynamic views of the Bay, luxe and spacious rooms, and delicious restaurant will make your guests feel right at home — a sleek, stylish home, naturally. The creative cousin, younger sis, hip pal — you name it, if they are into the prim details and cool scene, this is where they need to rest their heads. And plus, considering there are W Hotel’s in every major city, chances are they know what they are in for — no head-snapping surprises here. It’s the last thing you’d need, right? Just impeccable service and gorgeous interiors! Hey, maybe we’ll even kick it at the W Hotel with them? Why not?
W Hotel, 181 3rd Street (at Howard Street); 415-777-5300.
Photos: Via Hotel Adagio; Hotel Vitale; Hotel Kabuki
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