Some San Francisco hotels deliver traditional classics, like a fireplace and champagne, for a romantic city stay. Or, if entertainment is the cornerstone of a romantic city getaway, consider Michelin-starred dining, an indoor heated pool with a view, a supper club with live performances, or even tickets to a Major League Baseball game right across the street.
Featured Photo: Palace Hotel
The lights of San Francisco, the breeze of the bay, sipping champagne with the one you love. If this sounds like the romantic getaway you want, Hotel Spero is the hidden gem you need. Steps from Union Square and the Theatre District, relax in fully renovated guest rooms, City View Suites or the exclusive Serenity Suites that feature a shower made for two. In the morning, indulge in a mimosa flight and avocado toast at Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen.
TIP: Hotel Spero has a coveted spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Be sure to check out the marble and travertine tile, the chandeliers and the beautiful cherubs on the ceiling — all in the lobby — all from 1924!
Opened during the Prohibition as the Sir Francis Drake, this completely renovated and renamed version debuted in June 2022 with a bright new design that nevertheless complements its storied heritage. Blackout shades and plush-top, gel-foam mattresses in the 418 rooms help bring sweet dreams in the midst of vibrant Union Square nightlife — including the Starlite Room, the latest incarnation of the late Harry Denton’s hotspot, due to open in early 2023.
*Readers’ Choice Best Romantic Hotel in the Bay Area
TIP: You can walk to dozens of shops and restaurants, or hop on the cable car for an exhilarating ride to Ghirardelli Square or Fisherman’s Wharf. Fuel up first with fresh pastries in the mezzanine-level Beacon Lounge, then return in the evening for a whiskey, dinner and live music on weekends.
Just off Union Square, a jewel box of a live entertainment supper club is one of the things that makes this hotel an especially attractive destination for a romantic weekend. Intimate and sophisticated, Feinstein’s at the Nikko features top name visiting performers managed in partnership with multi-platinum artist Michael Feinstein. The Japanese-inspired Imperial Club guest rooms have views of San Francisco and elevated amenities like luxurious Subarashi Ame rain showers.
TIP: Dogs are VIPs on a dedicated floor with its own pet terrace.
If a roof terrace with fire pits plus a baseball game sounds like a romantic urban stay, this hotel across the street from Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, is a home run. Consider spending a romantic evening under the stars drinking Champagne served with caviar in a cozy, intimate rooftop cabana. Retire to a park view suite or a courtyard room with a private terrace. The gym is open 24/7.
TIP: If you love sports, keep it going with Sunday brunch at Bar VIA.
The Huntington Hotel (Temporarily Closed)
There’s definitely something romantic about the cable car passing by this Roaring 20s-era hotel at the crest of posh Nob Hill. Romance continues in The Big 4 Restaurant with dark panelled walls, leather furnishings, candlelight tables by the fireplace, and a live piano bar for background music. Rooms and suites are Classical nostalgia and glamour come together in this property, known for its excellent spa and prime location across from Grace Cathedral.
TIP: Fresh air, anyone? The sash windows are operable.
Mansion on Sutter
Take a step back in time to a grand historic home, a reminder of 19th century fortunes made in mining gold and silver. This is the city’s only high Victorian residence turned into a five-star hotel. Admire oil paintings hung on panelled walls, chandeliers, rich marble imported from Spain and Italy to complement modern offerings such as Wi-Fi and a gym.
TIP: Luxuriate in butler service and personal touches: a complimentary bottle of wine, welcome treats from the pastry chef, in-room masseuse service, and more.
The Palace Hotel
One look at the sumptuous and classical Garden Court, and it’s clear why this turn-of-the-century hotel is part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection and well-suited to its royal name. Request a king-size canopy-framed bed dressed in luxurious Frette bed linens and bathroom with a deep soaking tub. The fitness center is open 24-hours and the heated indoor swimming pool has a glass-domed ceiling with city views, especially pleasing in the evening.
TIP: The Pied Piper cocktail bar is named for the enchanting 1909 Maxfield Parrish painting that adorns it.
Taj Campton Place
An intimate landmark property in the heart of Union Square, the emphasis is on discreet, impeccable service. Book a spacious, quiet suite — the windows are double paned — and dine in with city views. Or reserve a private booth in the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Campton Place. Known for innovative Californian/Indian-inspired cuisine and a sommelier to guide guests through the outstanding wine list, the charming room even provides custom cushions for ladies’ handbags.
TIP: Cable cars are a block away, the hotel is pet-friendly and has free Wi-Fi.