San Francisco has some wonderful hotels. My top recommendations include:
The Fairmont: I have stayed several times at the Fairmont which I really like. I prefer staying in the original building from 1907, with its great character, rather than in the newer tower from 1961.
Across the street is the InterContinental Mark Hopkins with its famous bar Top of the Mark, an Art Deco bar. The historic Huntington Hotel, just down the street, has a great bar as well. It recently underwent a major renovation.
I have also stayed in the Union Square area several times which is a very convenient location from which to explore the city. On my last trip, I stayed at the hip Vertigo Hotel at 940 Sutter. This location is in lower Nob Hill and close to Union Square. It is part of Oxford Capital Hotels & Resorts which has other boutique hotels in San Francisco each with its own character and personality. The Vertigo was a great value. Since I stayed there, it now has a cafe in the lobby which service breakfast. This is a much needed addition. I would definitely go back.
Hotel Zetta, 55 5th St.: This is a contemporary, luxury boutique hotel that is part of the Viceroy group. It is just south of Market St. in the SOMA area which is a great location.
The Washington Square Inn, 1660 Stockton St.: This is a small, charming B&B right on Washington Square in the hip North Beach neighborhood.
Hotel Del Sol, 3100 Webster St.: This is a hotel that was a 1950’s motel complete with a pool and palm trees that was transformed recently to a small boutique hotel. The rooms are small but colorful and contemporary. It attracts a largely European clientele along with many younger people and families. It can be somewhat loud until the pool closes at 10, but it is a good location in the Marina and a very good value.
Other hotels getting good recent press include the Orchard Hotel, Phoenix Hotel, Hotel Drisco where my brother and his wife recently stayed and loved, Inn at the Presidio and the Hotel Triton. I definitely want to stay at the Inn at the Presidio on my next trip.
Cavallo Point: Located on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito in Fort Baker, this is a stunning property that gets glowing reviews. However, it is not as convenient if you want to stay and to explore downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods. It is convenient if you are driving to and from the wine country. It has both contemporary and historic rooms. The restaurant Murray Circle is a great spot for brunch with views of the Bridge from the terrace. I enjoyed eating there with friends from the area. There is also the Farley Bar.