The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
Located near Union Square, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco is both an integral component of its city and a reflection of it. The symbiotic relationship plays out in alluring ways, from luxury suites that command city views, to the Bay Area wines showcased at Parallel 37 restaurant, to the cable-car stop located outside the hotel’s front door.
Set in a stately century-old building whose colonnaded facade resembles the U.S. Supreme Court building, this Ritz maintains the conservative classiness that defines the chain: traditional oil paintings on the walls, fresh orchids, marble everywhere, and more chandeliers than you can count.
The hotel is also just two blocks from the peak of Nob Hill. In the afternoon, a harpist performs in the lounge. A rose accompanies your room-service spread. Classy all the way. Finally, there’s the luxury spa, a destination unto itself; an inviting indoor pool and whirlpool (rarities in San Francisco); and an acclaimed restaurant, Dining Room. Even so, the Ritz doesn’t quite match up to its competitors. No separate soaking tub and shower, just a standard shower/tub combo in the rooms, unlike at the St. Regis and no free rides in the house Maserati like at Fairmont Heritage Square.