A Belle Epoque beauty near Union Square
The lively Hotel Monaco was once a staid bastion of bland hospitality but now has been transformed by the Kimpton Group into a young-in-spirit boutique hotspot. The 1910 Beaux Arts building features a lobby with columns and a grand wrought iron staircase and sculpture by renowned Bay Area artist Albert Guibara. The hotel’s Grand Cafe, with a look of Parisian rail station, welcomes locals and guests alike with an eclectic American cuisine and the more intimate Petitie Cafe and Bar serves French bistro fare.
The guest rooms at the Hotel Monaco are a fanciful affair with the fin-de-siecle air continued with striped silken canopy beds, sconces and a bounty of textures and patterns. But the playfulness is accompanied by luxe: beds offer pillowtop mattresses, down comforters and Frette linens. This cocoon of comfort is still linked to the outside world with complimentary wireless access, CD players and flat screen TVs.
The up-to-the-minute Hotel Monaco has benefits beyond the norm: hybrid car owners enjoy free parking and the pampered pet is welcomed with its own turn-down service. A spa and sauna are also available.
Location: 501 Geary St San Francisco, CA 94102, USA; driving time to the airport is about 40 minutes.
Luxury style: Lively and playful but with comfort enough for all ages; hipness combined with hospitality.
What we’ve heard: Rooms can be to cozy for some and a bit on the small size. Location is a major plus with shopping, theater all within steps.