We’re always looking for posh new places to rest our heads and while we love the pillows at haute classics like The Ritz-Carlton and The Four Seasons, it’s refreshing to check out what new, smaller boutique hotels have to offer. The latest to catch our eye? San Francisco’s Hotel G. Located just off of Union Square on the corner of Mason and Geary, the Hotel G is a chic, inviting hotel with lots of charming details like original flooring, throw pillows shaped like the state of California, and chalk boards for guests to write messages on.
Although the building dates back to 1908 and has always been a hotel, it’s latest incarnation as the Hotel G opened just shy of a year ago. The hotel has 12 floors and 151 guest rooms, which were designed by a New York based company, the Hun Aw Studio. The minimal rooms feature a mixture of old and new: there’s vintage settees and mid-century writing desks along side oversized Edison bulbs with extra long chains, giant headboards covered in tufted denim, and rustic rugs imported from India. It’s these little features that make the Hotel G feel distinctly San Franciscan. The denim pays homage to Levis Strauss, who created the first pair of jeans in SF during the gold rush era. The walls of many rooms are painted a cool grey color called Balboa Mist that brings to mind the fog that lingers on the Bay.
The walls are also covered with original abstract artwork that is for sale. The hotel has partnered with a local non-profit arts center for developmentally disabled adult artists, Creativity Explored, to display a changing showcase of paintings, ceramics, digital prints, and sculptures. The whimsical furniture and playful artwork is juxtaposed by modern necessities like large flat-screen televisions, Nespresso coffee makers, and iPod docking stations. Although the gym is small, it’s clean and new with several machines and a Technogym Fitness center.
Foodies will be excited to learn about the Hotel G’s three unique dining experiences. There’s Kylde Cafe & Wine Bar, a European-style bistro that’s open all day from 6:30 am until midnight. For breakfast there’s grab-and-go options like a muffin of the day and pain au chocolat as well as heartier fare like poached eggs in spicy tomato sauce with lamb sausage, and crab and fried green tomato Benedict. For the rest of the day there’s a menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads, pasta, and mains like build your own mussels (we’re fans of the piperade chorizo base), fish and chips, and steak frites.
If you’re looking for a more upscale meal, the Hotel G’s restaurant, 398, is the ideal spot to pull up a chair. Executive chef Sam Fechheimer is serving up an updated menu of classic European and American favorites. There’s finger-licking good escargots smothered in garlic and parsley butter, melt-in-your mouth scallops in a decadent pool of brown butter, creamy lobster bisque, and a succulent burger served with seared foie gras and red wine butter.
The third and final dining experience is Benjamin Cooper, a small side bar that specializes in innovative craft cocktails and a changing menu of oysters. The bar is not accessible from the hotel, but instead drink lovers must exit and enter through a side staircase off of Mason Street. Visitors to the Hotel G should not skip a trip to this enticing, but tiny libation heaven. Bartenders Brian Felley and Mo Hodges are making some of the city’s most creative cocktails. To that we say cheers, may the Hotel G enjoy many years to come!