San Francisco is gorgeous. The city has famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco City Hall, and the cable car system – all nothing short of iconic. Artistic souls are drawn to its pretty streets and Hollywood-style viewpoints. With hiking trails, watersports, and plenty of cycling, San Francisco is as much an outdoor lover’s paradise as it is for foodies and museum buffs. And when it comes to accommodation, the San Francisco hotels are just as art-focused and impressive. There is a fantastic selection of boutique hotels in San Francisco.
The Best San Francisco Boutique Hotels
This guide will cover the 14 best boutique hotels in San Francisco. Whether you have 72 hours or two weeks in San Francisco, the following boutique hotels will provide a tasteful base to maximize your stay. If you are looking for an eco-friendly hotel using recycled materials or a luxury hotel with a playful vibe and plenty of craft cocktails – we’ve got a fantastic selection lined up for you.
1. Staypineapple San Francisco
You might not expect elegance from such a funkily-named hotel. However, Staypineapple is elegant in every sense of the word. The hotel has golden features and furnishings, with polished surfaces everywhere that meet the eye.
While it is in a 1913-built building (with plenty of history if you are interested), Staypineapple San Francisco is a modern hotel. In fact, it is easily one of the sleekest boutique hotels in San Francisco. Its modern, elegant aesthetic drew us to add it to this guide.
Staypineapple San Francisco is located five minutes away from Union Square on foot. The hotel is ideal for art gallery hopping and enjoying all SoMa has going for it. Some guest rooms have beautiful city views – especially the superior queen corner room. A good view is perfect for your morning cup of coffee from the complimentary machine. Check Rates and Availability here.
2. Phoenix Hotel
From the outside, you could easily mistake Phoenix Hotel for motel-type accommodation. Don’t be fooled; this rock n’ roll hotel is one of the best boutique hotels in San Francisco if you want to kick back in style. Phoenix Hotel features its outdoor pool, a dream in summer and brilliant for socializing with other travelers. The outdoor space is dotted with art and sculptures too. Phoenix Hotel’s winning factors are its groovy sense of style and its swimming pool.
Phoenix Hotel is located on the outskirts of Union Square, in San Fran’s nearby Tenderloin District. We didn’t mention this neighborhood previously, but it’s a fantastic, lesser-tourist-focused area to base yourself in San Francisco. Plus, it is within walking distance of many other popular neighborhoods. The rooms at Phoenix Hotel range from standard kings to kings with pool views. There are rooms with disability access as well, so you may want to note that. Check Reviews and Rates here.
3. Hotel Zoe Fisherman’s Wharf
Hotel Zoe Fisherman’s Wharf’s location is what seals the deal. Hotel Zoe is the closest of all our boutique hotels to the waterfront. Just two blocks from Fisherman’s Wharf, Hotel Zoe has an entirely different vibe to staying in and around Union Square. The hotel embraces the waterfront locale, with a seafood restaurant named Pescadores onsite if you fancy some fresh catch.
The hotel has an Italian influence, too, perhaps explaining why coffee is offered in the lobby from 6 am and food is taken extremely seriously. We love the foodie and waterfront focus at Hotel Zoe. It is one of the best San Francisco boutique hotels for good food and a Fisherman’s Wharf location. Check Rates and Reviews here.
4. Hotel Drisco
Hotel Drisco is an Edwardian hotel and a perfect getaway in the Pacific Heights neighborhood. The hotel was built in 1903 and has a real stately appeal. It is a vast pale yellow building sitting along the busy Pacific Avenue. Inside, it still has original features and antique furnishings.
The hotel staircase is like a time machine in itself. Hotel Drisco is one of the best San Francisco boutique hotels for embracing its Edwardian history. For us, its old-school aesthetic and Pacific location earned it its stripes.
Hotel Drisco’s services and facilities are nothing short of wholesome. Guests get a complimentary wine and cheese reception, plus a gourmet continental breakfast each morning. And on the weekdays, there’s a car service to Union Square, which is a nice touch and overrides the only negative about staying at this property – the commute into the city center. With a business center and a gym, you have everything at Hotel Drisco. Check Rates and Reviews here.
5. Omni San Francisco
Omni San Francisco is one of the most classic boutique hotels in San Francisco. The elegant all-stone exterior immediately screams luxury hotel, and the 1920s decor inside only adds to this old-world elegance. Everything is plush and draped with finery. The chandeliers are the fanciest touch.
Better still, Omni San Francisco is set right in the middle of Downtown San Francisco. It is one of the best San Francisco boutique hotels for fancy Downtown accommodation. And you’ll be steps away from the historic cable cars and most famous street scenes.
We chose Omni San Francisco for its location and luxury style. The rooms are spacious, with dark wood furnishings, thick curtains, and carpets. The picture of luxe comfort in a time capsule of the 1920s. Out of all our boutique hotels in this guide, Omni San Francisco is amongst those that best fit the luxury boutique category. The onsite gym and meeting facilities are extra strong points too. Check Reviews and Rates here.
6. Hotel Zeppelin San Francisco
Hotel Zeppelin San Francisco is an imposing-looking boutique hotel just off Union Square in SoMa. The four-star property has a dark allure, shadowy design scheme, and plenty of black furnishings – including a black-painted staircase. Considering its proximity to the Theater District, it is no surprise really that its aesthetic borders on melodrama. We like its strong sense of character, though. And its facilities are an extra special touch.
Hotel Zeppelin San Francisco has an air-conditioned fitness center, a basement games room, 24-hour reception, and same-day laundry service. It has so much to offer that it quickly falls into that home away from home category that so many hotels attempt to promise.
Hotel Zeppelin also has spacious rooms, especially if you opt for one of the suites. If you want a San Francisco base with facilities to keep you comfortable and entertained for extended stays, Hotel Zeppelin is a wise choice. Check Reviews and Rates here.
7. Hotel Zetta San Francisco
Another SoMa-based property, Hotel Zetta San Francisco, is one of San Francisco’s most conveniently located boutique hotels. Hotel Zetta sits right opposite Westfield Shopping Center, around a ten-minute walk from Union Square. Its location and facilities most caught our eye. Aside from being well-located, Hotel Zetta has a games room, fitness center, bar and lounge, and brassiere restaurant. It is the sort of hotel you would be okay with being locked in if San Francisco wasn’t so exciting to explore.
Each room comes with a portable Bluetooth speaker and an iPod docking station. And with all your favorite music to help you wake up in the morning, the Illy coffee machine might not be necessary. Hotel Zetta San Francisco has a fun sense of hospitality. Check Reviews and Rates here.
8. Hotel G San Francisco
Hotel G San Francisco is smart and contemporary. If Hotel G was a person, it would be a straight-laced, smart shirt type. The sort of person with a 5 pm dinner-then-news routine. Hotel G San Francisco gets the job done – providing comfortable accommodation just two minutes from Union Square. The real deal here is its location; creatives will adore its proximity to multiple theaters, art galleries, and San Francisco’s other inspiring attractions. You can walk almost everywhere from Hotel G San Francisco.
Inside is a 24-hour reception and a top-of-the-range gym. Hotel G San Francisco’s rooms each have black-out curtains for optimal sleep and a coffee machine for optimal waking up. Room options range from queen rooms to king suites. And the decor is light and airy, with plenty of natural lighting. Check Reviews and Rates here.
9. San Francisco Proper Hotel
San Francisco Proper Hotel is probably in the most bizarre-shaped building you’ll ever see. Flatiron buildings are notoriously wacky to look at – extremely narrow and postmodernist-looking. San Francisco Proper Hotel is your best shot if you want a boutique hotel with a novelty element.
Apart from its shape, though, San Francisco Proper Hotel has one of the best customer experiences. Each guest gets an app that connects them to all the hotel concierge services. Plus, there is Chromecast streaming, cotton kimono robes, and Bluetooth speakers. You get the feeling that San Francisco Proper Hotel has thought of everything. The guest rooms are uniquely decorated with striking features like purple floral wallpaper. You can reserve anything from standard rooms to premier suites.
This boutique hotel is located in SoMa’s Market Street region. You are just a short walk from Union Square, dozens of museums, and many urban parks. We recommend getting a gist of your surroundings from the hotel’s rooftop terrace before you head out. Check Reviews and Rates here.
10. Hotel Emblem San Francisco
Hotel Emblem San Francisco is an absolute work of art. This boutique hotel is inspired by the Beat-era generation and is full of nods to the literary world. Hotel Emblem has weekly poetry events, original artwork, and live music. Not to mention a ton of books stashed around the hotel. Even the rooms have artwork hanging stylishly on all the guest room walls. Hotel Emblem is flawless for the creative traveler wanting an inspiring boutique hotel with plenty of luxury amenities. The literary theme is so impressive that we included Hotel Emblem in this guide.
Apart from its creative sense of style, Hotel Emblem is centrally located in the Theater District – roughly between Nob Hill and Union Square. It is perfect for exploring San Francisco’s best areas on foot and making the most of creative attractions like theater shows and galleries. And the Obscenity Bar & Lounge is onsite with plenty of cocktails after a long day of sightseeing and theater shows. Check Reviews and Rates here.
11. Galleria Park Hotel
Galleria Park Hotel is another one of San Francisco’s Union Square hotels. However, this San Francisco boutique hotel has a distinguishing feature – its rooftop terrace with a walking track. Many San Francisco hotels deserve a spot on this guide, but do they have a walking path on their roof? It is impossible not to love the infectious novelty of this feature. Besides, why stay in one of the most beautiful areas of San Francisco and not find a boutique hotel with good rooftop views.
Inside Galleria Park Hotel is just as beautiful. Each room has marble-topped desks and bold, colorful paintings adorning walls throughout the hotel. The interior design is unfussy and has a laidback, livable style. Galleria Park Hotel has the least try-hard interior design style of all our boutique hotels in San Francisco. Facilities and services are a whole other story, though. Guests access events like nightly wine tasting (you are in wine country, after all), morning coffee service, and room service dinner menus. The hotel has a real around-the-clock hospitality vibe.
The rooms at Hotel Zoe Fisherman’s Wharf are equally impressive. The design scheme features red accents throughout the guest rooms. Some rooms feature city views, and others feature views of the outdoor courtyard hidden in the center of the property as a private outdoor communal space. Check Reviews and Rates here.
12. Hotel Kabuki Hyatt
Hotel Kabuki is a blend of modern touches, Japanese influence, and a rather industrial boutique style. It has a really trendy atmosphere, which is hard not to love. It is best described as one of those boutique hotels with a real sense of class. Hotel Kabuki has high ceilings, dark wooden furnishings, and plenty of dark grey walls. And in fact, true to its Japanese influence, it also has an indoor garden and fishpond. For an aesthetic that immediately makes you want to relax, Hotel Kabuki is one of the best San Francisco boutique hotels.
Facility and amenity-wise, there is an onsite bar called The Bar at Hotel Kabuki. This bar specializes in Japanese whiskey, beer, and sake – a fantastic insight into international alcoholic beverages. There is a 24-hour gym as well, plus complimentary newspapers. Hotel Kabuki is in San Francisco’s Japantown, right between Nob Hill and Pacific Heights. It is full of fantastic restaurants and centrally located to some of San Francisco’s leading attractions. Check Reviews and Rates here.
13. The LINE San Francisco
Flatiron buildings are some of the most popular destinations in San Francisco. And The LINE San Francisco is one of the best out of the bunch. The four-star boutique hotel is a luxurious and novelty stay in San Francisco. A ridiculously thin building, it still shockingly manages to create spacious rooms. Even more impressive are the views you get out of its rooms. The more luxurious the room type, the higher up the building you go and the better the views of the city below. The king suite’s views are stunning – even from your freestanding bathtub. We saw the pictures of the king suite views and were won over immediately.
The hotel has some brilliant facilities and amenities as well. A gym, business center, bar, restaurant, and even a complimentary bike hire service exist. Of course, just 750 yards from Union Square, you can quickly get around on foot. Check Reviews and Rates here.
14. Argonaut Hotel
Argonaut Hotel is one of only two hotels in Fisherman’s Wharf that made our guide. So what won us over about the Argonaut Hotel? In a word, aesthetic. The entire hotel abides by a nautical theme (which you’ll probably agree is fitting given its locale). It also has that classic boutique vibe, with exposed red brick walls and cream-painted wooden shutters in each room. This hotel is also eco-friendly. A massive win in our books.
Argonaut Hotel serves homemade food, including freshly caught seafood. There are ocean-themed cocktails, too, as an extra nautical touch. Fitness-wise, the hotel has a gym onsite, plus in-room yoga channels if you want a yoga session within the privacy of your guest room. It isn’t all just the fitness and waterfront lifestyle at Argonaut Hotel. If you have business to deal with while in San Francisco, there’s a 24-hour business center as well. Check Reviews and Rates here.
FAQs: Boutique Hotels in San Francisco
San Francisco’s boutique hotel scene is an exciting place to get to grips with – it makes sense that you still have some burning questions left over. We’ve got just enough time to run over the essential FAQs, so let’s dive straight in. Check out these top San Fran queries.
What hotel in San Francisco has the best amenities?
San Francisco Proper Hotel has the best amenities. Guests can access the latest tech industry products, like Chromecast streaming and top-of-the-range Bluetooth speakers. The hotel even has an app connecting you to concierge services. The rooftop terrace is stunning as well.
What hotel in San Francisco offers the best views?
The LINE San Francisco has stunning views of San Francisco. The flatiron building maximizes views with uniquely shaped rooms. It has a beautiful suite with city views from a freestanding bathtub.
What hotel in San Francisco has the best location?
Hotel G San Francisco is just two minutes’ walking distance from Union Square – one of the most centrally located hotels in San Fran. If you want to be central, it is the best-located hotel in the city.
Where To Stay in San Francisco
San Francisco has a lot of popular neighborhoods – there’s no denying that. So before we rush into the best boutique hotels in San Francisco, let’s look into its best neighborhoods. We’ve got an in-depth guide that you can check out here. But for a quick overview, we’ll cover the basics now. Do you want to be surrounded by local artists? Natural beauty? Or spectacular views of the city skyline? Check out these top favorites.
- Union Square, aka SoMa
Union Square is a specific area in the neighborhood of SoMa – basically, the place where you’ll find all of the skyscrapers. SoMa’s atmosphere can be a little more inner-city, so keep your wits about you and stick to the nicest areas like Union Square. Union Square is a hotspot for art galleries and stunning city skyline views.
- North Beach
North Beach is a nod to San Fran’s Italian influence. Think of it as San Francisco’s ‘Little Italy’; the neighborhood has many culinary ventures, including the famous Vesuvio Cafe. If you haven’t heard of North Beach and its Vesuvio Cafe, look them up now. North Beach is full of character and delicious food.
- Pacific Heights
Pacific Heights is primarily residential, with peaceful streets and a select handful of local-loved shops and eateries. With families, or even just for a quieter experience of San Francisco, Pacific Heights is a well-located neighborhood with a fantastically calming atmosphere.
- Downtown San Francisco
Downtown San Francisco is the iconic district, best for first-timers and those wanting that photogenic San Fran experience. There are cable cars and historic architecture, bars, and restaurants – everything you need for a solid introduction to San Francisco.
- Nob Hill
Nob Hill is a little more exclusive and full of massive mansions with plenty of history behind them. It reigns supreme when it comes to viewpoints and is located strategically just outside of Downtown San Francisco.
- Fisherman’s Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf is easily the most exciting place for kids to stay in San Francisco. The waterfront is cramped with attractions like the famed wax museum. Families can dash in and out of cutesy souvenir shops and cafes.
There are so many stunning boutique hotels in San Francisco. You can find the best boutique hotels scattered throughout San Fran’s most popular neighborhoods – from the Financial District to Downtown San Francisco and Pacific Heights. As such an artistic and inspiring city, it’s no wonder that its boutique hotels are so creatively decorated and run. And it makes sense to book somewhere to stay that inspires you when visiting such an iconic destination.
Ready for some more San Francisco inspiration? We have a guide on the best things to do to help you plan your trip even better. Enjoy your stay in one of the city’s best boutique hotels with a San Fran itinerary of your ultimate dreams.