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Courtesy of Visit California

6 Wonderful Hotels in the Bay Area

6 Wonderful Hotels in the Bay Area
Here are a half-dozen high-end options worth considering for your next trip to San Francisco

The Battery

Looking to mingle with San Francisco’s game changers? Book a suite at the Battery. In 2014, entrepreneurs Xochi and Michael Birch opened this private, members-only social club in San Francisco’s Jackson Square neighborhood (also known to history buffs as the Barbary Coast). Nonmembers—and travelers—can gain access to the entirety of the club by staying in one of the Battery’s 14 hotel suites or the penthouse (with its own private roof terrace). Designer Ken Fulk created opulent, stylish spaces throughout the interior—think lacquer paint, Chesterfield sofas, and a rotating collection of art, with a focus on portraiture. The Battery houses several cocktail bars, including one with a secret passageway into a small speakeasy; a restaurant that can accommodate groups; a gym; a coffee counter; and a library (each club member selects a book when admitted). The guest suites are large and modern by San Francisco standards, with amenities including Geneva sound systems and Malin + Goetz bath products, plus locally sourced liquors and snacks for late-night cravings.

The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

Any hotel in San Francisco that has been operating for more than a century certainly has some stories to tell, and the Westin St. Francis is no exception. From socialites to celebrities to politicians, it seems every bold-faced name has slept (or attended late-night soirees) in its Bliss and Faville–designed towers. Today, guests to this distinctive 1,195-room property still enjoy top-notch service with some thoroughly modern touches: The 1904 landmark building recently underwent a $45 million renovation by Dallas-based interior design firm Forest Perkins, inspired by San Francisco’s moniker as “The Paris of the West.” Guest rooms are painted in Parisian blue, goldenrod yellow, and peony pink, and feature original crystal chandeliers. Downstairs, travelers can marvel at the lobby’s master clock—the first example in the western United States—and study a collection of photographs by Ansel Adams depicting the hotel’s long-lost Patent Leather Bar. Pro tip: Let the hotel’s resident historian bend your ear during a historical tour.

Cavallo Point

Spend the night nestled under the Golden Gate Bridge in the most dignified of accommodations: the former living quarters of high-ranking officers in the U.S. Army. Cavallo Point is the result of the luxurious reimagining of a cluster of military lodges located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, just over the bridge in Marin County. Today, the 142-room hotel serves as a retreat for in-the-know travelers and locals looking for an easy, elevated escape from everyday city life. Original brick fireplaces and beamed ceilings mingle with modern finishes and furnishings, such as butter-soft leather sofas and whitewashed Adirondack chairs. The expansive grounds are meant to be explored on foot or bicycle. The Wellness Weekend package includes all meals, prepared with an emphasis on health at Murray Circle restaurant, morning yoga classes, guided hikes, a spa treatment, nightly wine receptions, and plenty of free moments to soak in the serene meditation pool—the very best kind of boot camp.

San Francisco Proper Hotel

The San Francisco Proper Hotel is the hottest new hotel in town. The reason why? International grande dame of maximalism, designer Kelly Wearstler, revamped a down-and-out tourist hotel deep in the heart of the city, and established the Proper as a magnet for trendsetting visitors and locals. When guests arrive at the 131-room hotel and step inside the flatiron building, they’re treated to Wearstler’s signature pattern-on-pattern aesthetic. In the ground floor lobby, Wearstler sets the mood with salon-style seating areas using richly reupholstered vintage furnishings and Cubism-inspired paintings. Michael Adams, formerly of Central Kitchen, oversees the hotel’s main restaurant, Villon. And while the Proper isn’t the place for those looking for a Zen retreat, it is the place to order a Fifi the Flea cocktail (Tequila Ocho Plata, Ancho Reyes, Ancho Reyes Verde, grapefruit, honey, vanilla, lime, smoked salt) at Charmaine’s, the stylish rooftop bar. Between the fire pits and the bird’s-eye view of Market Street all the way to the bay, it’s no wonder the Proper has become the destination to see and be seen.

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Escape to another world just 30 miles south of San Francisco: In Half Moon Bay, fog-shrouded cliffs and deep-green cypress groves give this sleepy fishing town a retreat-like vibe. Take it all in at the rolling 14-acre grounds of the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, which offer a front-row seat to the Pacific. The accommodations are classic and well-appointed—like a comfortable guest room at Ralph Lauren’s Hamptons house—but it’s the view that steals the show. Stare at the ocean from a coastal view room or suite, and relish in the fact that your every need can be met without ever stepping off the property. Guests can swing a club at one of the two championship golf courses at Half Moon Bay Golf Links, soak in the Roman mineral baths at the 16,000 square-foot-spa, or indulge at the Ritz’s unparalleled brunch. Or do a whole bunch of nothing, beyond sitting fireside and sampling the s’mores kits.

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

When your hotel offers a third-generation German goldsmith just steps from your room, you can be confident you will enjoy a comfortable stay. From the 400-thread-count Frette linens to the L’Occitane spa and the mini bar stocked with 12-year-old scotch, there’s a reason this hotel is ranked among the world’s best. It’s set among the other behemoths of Nob Hill—the exclusive aerie that San Francisco’s Big Four called home—and housed within a neoclassical manse with beefy columns and ornate stonework befitting its 1909 birth year. But a revamp in 2015 brought the hotel’s 336 guest rooms and suites squarely into the present day. And despite the culinary temptations that await just beyond the top-hatted valets, be sure to enjoy at least one meal at the in-house Parallel 37. (Book the chef’s table and let chef Michael Rotondo handle the rest.).

In Partnership with Afar.

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Discover the San Francisco Bay Area

A crimson bridge, cable cars, a sparkling bay, and streets lined with elegant Victorian homes—San Francisco is undeniably one of the world’s great cities. Located along the Northern California at the state’s distinctive bend in the coast, the region has an alluring magic that stretches beyond the bay to diverse cities with nightlife and trend-setting cuisine.

"I left my heart in San Francisco, High on a hill, it calls to me." —singer Tony Bennett

The Bay Area is also home to some of the world’s finest wine country, including Napa Valley and Sonoma, plus waterfront towns, dramatic beaches, and the tech-savvy southern end of the bay known as the Silicon Valley, where lunchtime ideas at Google, Facebook, and Apple, turn into the next brilliant innovation. 

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Journeys: San Francisco

Explore world-class museums, enjoy culinary masterpieces, and shop to your heart’s content
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Half Moon Bay

This delightful little beach town possesses serious surf DNA and is just a short drive from San Francisco

Half Moon Bay is situated 45 minutes south of San Francisco on Highway 1, but it might as well be half a world away. Home to the world-famous...

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Journeys: Wine Country

Experience laid-back luxury on this 6-day trek through Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties
Quintessa Wine Estate, St. Helena, California

The final day of your Northern California Wine Country trip should be spent savoring the very best of the region. In other words, it should be all about the wine, with olive oil and honey tastings to cleanse the palate. From Meadowood, head north along Silverado Trail to...

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Sausalito

Explore this quaint town that’s just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, a steep hillside covered in chaparral and eucalyptus drops from Highway 101 to a flat, sunny shoreline, two...

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Spotlight: Napa Valley

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Explore ultimate wine country luxury in the land where Cabernet is king

Napa Valley reigns as the land of grand estates, expansive tasting rooms, quaint towns, and elegant lodgings, many of which edge up to the...

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Spotlight: Sonoma County

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Escape to wine country with secret vineyards, cozy inns, and rich history

Spanning more than one million acres from the Pacific Ocean to the rugged Coast Range, this slice of wine-country bliss defies typecasting. Yes,...

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4 Awesome Wine Country Resorts

Luxurious spas, farm-to-table dining, and easy access to dozens of wineries—these Napa and Sonoma resorts offer the indulgent getaway you need

Ready for some “me time” amid decadent surroundings? Reserve your spot at one of these spectacular Wine Country resorts.

Farmhouse...

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Spotlight: Berkeley

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See a stunning museum, shop, and feast in the Bay Area’s most outspoken city

A haven for backyard artists and coffee-shop philosophers, Berkeley has deep roots in the Flower Power movement of the 1960s and ’70s. But...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Make memories at some of California's family-favorite beaches

Sand, water, and kids—it’s a natural combination for easy family fun. This sandy dozen offers appealing, family-friendly features, such as calm water for new swimmers, tide pools for intrepid...

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Russian River Brewing Company

CALIFORNIA QUESTIONNAIRE: Natalie Cilurzo

The co-owner of the wildly popular Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa shares her story, along with a few Golden State favorites

Natalie Cilurzo will never forget the day everything changed for the Russian River Brewing Company. It was February 5, 2010—the first Friday in...

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San Francisco's cable cars are the country's only mobile National Historic Landmark.
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Taste the delicious dishes from these amazing California chefs

From a candy-colored pastry shop to Michelin-starred dining rooms, top restaurants run by celebrity chefs dot the Golden State. And even if you don’t know these chefs from the TV...

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San Francisco has only one drawback - 'tis hard to leave.
Rudyard Kipling
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Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

Sure wine country is romantic, but now it’s a surprisingly great destination for families too, with a growing number of vineyards trading in elegant tasting rooms for kid-friendly fun zones that...

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World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class accommodations. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot spots in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, California’s...

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San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth.
William Saroyan
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Trip 8-10 days 10 stops

Ultimate Northern California

Explore the best of Northern California's Great Outdoors
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Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisanal cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets...

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From Gold Rush history to the 8th wonder of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the rich collection of natural treasures, fascinating...

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Courtesy of Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Performing Arts

Museums, music, and a hint of bohemia

Nested near the city’s cupola-topped City Hall, impressive performance spaces in San Francisco present some of California’s—and the world’s—...

May

Rock rolls into the wine country with this three-day event in Napa that features headliners Bruno Mars, The Killers, and Muse. With more than 80 performers in the May 25–27 lineup ranging...

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Spotlight: San Jose

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Tech savvy, international flair

The first hit of this city’s unmistakable techy-ness starts right off the bat—if you get here by plane. Meet Space Observer, a 26-foot/7.9-meter-...

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Livermore

Ranches, vineyards, and relaxed appeal east of San Francisco

With warm sun and wide-open spaces cradling vineyards, ranches, and wine-country estates, the Livermore Valley makes an appealing destination just...

It's simply a very romantic place. Just one look at any of those streets, and you couldn't be anywhere else -- it's so beautiful, and there's that location, and the sense of the free spirit. ... Who couldn't become ravenous in such a place?
Julia Child
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Old-fashioned fun in the Golden State

Historic oceanfront playgrounds, classic city-park charmers, boisterous adventures—smaller theme parks and attractions offer an array of ways to play.  These smaller parks offer old-...

Safari West
Tai Power Seeff
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Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you're in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you'll find it here. Want to sample fresh produce? Try our farmers...

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According to legend, Winchester Mystery House's maze of passages and building oddities were designed to confuse the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles.
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Kids get an inside look at wildlife, space, and more

From cool ways for your kids to learn about wildlife, to an insider’s look at a space station, to a chance to walk through a rain forest or learn about the night sky, there’s a bumper...

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Trip 3-5 days 10 stops

San Francisco Bay Loop

Discover this something-for-everything loop tour around an iconic bay
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End your road trip by exploring one of the world’s great cities. Famous for grand-dame Victorians, classic cable cars, dynamic diversity, a beautiful waterfront, and a soaring crimson bridge, the “City by the Bay” truly has it all. Trend-defining cuisine ranging from Michelin-starred dining to...

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Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind-the-scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of worth-the-...

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