I feel very spoiled as although I no longer live in San Francisco, my sister does, and so I feel as though I sorta still have my own apartment there. But now that I have two kids (oh and a husband!–ha)… we can’t always / all take advantage of her spare bedroom, so for her sake we will get a hotel room if the whole gang is coming into town. If it’s just me though I for sure love to crash with her and get my sister / brother-in-law fix. [Bonus Points: My brother-in-law brings coffee in bed with coffee art!] That all said, San Francisco has been lacking in the design-friendly boutique / lower price-range hotels. Whenever out-of-town friends ask me where to stay I’m always a little mixed with my reviews. I usually send them to the Proper Hotel or the Palace Hotel (my top two votes) but both come with their pros and cons. I’ve stayed at the Clift, a bunch at the various Marriotts with my parents… Hotel Zetta, Four Seasons, Hotel Kabuki, Le Meridien… the list goes on. So I feel very well versed to give you my full review on the new Palihotel San Francisco.
First off, if you’re not familiar with Palisociety they have a number of adorable boutique hotel locations. The Palihotel San Francisco renovated an older historic hotel just a couple blocks up from the heart of Union Square. It’s ideally tucked away and yet you’ll see when you arrive, also not so ideal for pulling up and unloading as it’s right as you exit the Stockton tunnel (this is really my only negative though). The decor has a charming European feel to me (loved the sweet Parisian-esque bar and vibe of the second floor sitting area). The rooms are clean and spacious (we had a King suite) which was great since I brought Willow. They serve a simple but great continental breakfast at the bar in the morning (croissants, yogurt, cereal, juice)… and bonus that I personally especially loved, Palisociety curates their own Spotify playlists: Pali Vibes that are playing throughout the main areas.
In conclusion, the three hotels I’d recommend any girlfriend to stay at in SF would be:
Proper Hotel: Kelly Wearstler designed boutique hotel–gorgeous with the best rooftop bar in the city. The con is that it’s in a sketchy part of the Tenderloin so if you’re not familiar with SF that can always be shocking. Which makes this not a great walking hotel. But then again SF is not a great walking city so you will definitely want to Uber to the various neighborhoods.
Palace Hotel: Very classic old-school San Francisco to me. If you’re looking for something a bit fancier, love high-tea, or are traveling with your parents this would be my vote. Walkability is great to the MOMA and Union Square area (you’re actually just a little up Market Street from the Proper but it’s a better area to be walking around).
Palihotel SF: This would be my vote for a younger crowd / more affordable option (hilarious I’m even saying cheap, oh San Francisco with your prices)… cute in design but minimal in amenities. Walkability is great–you’re right in Union Square. Con is there isn’t a valet, but there is a parking garage around the corner and it’s decently priced.