Literally and figuratively, San Francisco is a city that's constantly shifting. Established in 1776, it was destroyed a century later by the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, whose tremors and subsequent fires razed the Golden Gate City. Afterwards, San Francisco began rebuilding — and it has never really stopped.
Indicative of the city's perpetual rebirth are a handful of recent hotel projects, including new openings and renovations, both of which are keeping the city fresh for business travelers and meeting groups.
One such project was recently completed at Harbor Court San Francisco in San Francisco's South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood, which announced early this month that it has completed a $10 million renovation encompassing its lobby and its 131 guest rooms and suites, each of which has been redesigned.
The lobby, which has been totally revamped, now includes a blue, cream and chocolate color palette; bookshelves; a large fireplace; a communal working table; and "Space to Create" co-working areas, including glass-enclosed meeting rooms for impromptu yet private meetings. There's also a new 24-hour café featuring grab-and-go pastries, coffee, smoothies and snacks, as well as grab-and-go beer and wine.
Redesigned guest rooms, meanwhile, feature a charcoal, chestnut and chocolate color palette; new linens; renovated bathrooms with new walk-in showers; and fresh amenities, including HDTVs, Bluetooth music alarm systems and gourmet honor bars stocked with organic and healthy treats.
The hotel — which also has meeting facilities for up to 30 people and an onsite sushi restaurant with a sake lounge — is one of many new or renovated properties whose collective presence is putting a fresh shine on San Francisco. Here are five others:
• Stanford Court: Located in San Francisco's distinguished Nob Hill neighborhood, Stanford Court this spring completed a $16 million renovation encompassing its porte-cochere, lobby, cafe and bar, 400 guest rooms, fitness center and 2,100 square feet of meeting space. The revamped hotel combines old and new San Francisco by blending a historic Nob Hill feel with the latest technology, with keyless entry coming soon; JAMBOX speakers; PressReader, a digital content platform that gives guests access to digital magazines and e-books via iPads; and Daylighted, a collection of local artwork curated exclusively for the hotel. Additionally, guests can borrow Apple iMac computers and iPads in the lobby, where bikes also are available for guest use.
• San Francisco Proper Hotel: San Francisco Proper Hotel opened last fall in San Francisco's Mid-Market neighborhood. Located in a vintage flatiron building, the design-forward hotel has 131 guest rooms that are among the most memorable in the city thanks to their flashy wallpapers and mid-century modern furnishings. The hotel also offers an onsite restaurant, a gymnasium and a handful of event venues, including: Charmaine's, a rooftop terrace for groups of up to 250; Rudium Hall I for groups of up to 75; Rudium Hall II, a boardroom for 14; and Gilda's Dining Room, a private dining room for up to 14 in the hotel's restaurant, Villon.
• Hotel VIA: Located across the street from AT&T Park in San Francisco's South Beach neighborhood, Hotel VIA opened last year. The new-build hotel — a rarity in San Francisco — has 159 guest rooms and a spectacular guests-only rooftop lounge that is available for private events of up to 200 people.
• Lodge at the Presidio: Lodge at the Presidio opened last month at the Presidio, a Civil War-era military post that is now part of the National Park Service. Located in the former Montgomery Street Barracks, built in the 1890s by the U.S. Army, the boutique hotel offers access to a 24-mile trail network and is the closest lodging to the Golden Gate Bridge. It has just 42 rooms, which makes it ideal for executive conferences and board retreats.
• The Westin St. Francis: The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square completed a $45 million renovation this spring. Inspired by San Francisco's moniker as "The Paris of the West," the renovation encompassed each of the hotel's 618 guest rooms and four specialty suites, as well as the guest room corridors. It was the largest-ever renovation of the historic building, which dates back to 1904 and has over 56,000 square feet of meeting space.
Even more hotels are on the way: Later this year, San Francisco will welcome the 194-room Virgin Hotel San Francisco in SoMa and the 203-room YOTEL San Francisco in Mid-Market.