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There’s something exciting about a big-city luxury hotel. Even more exciting is a big-city luxury hotel that trades in superlative.
Checking into my room at the newly-opened Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero, the superlative came courtesy of the bell staff. Stepping off the elevator on the 48th floor, he escorted me across the “sky bridge” toward my room. Pointing out the views of the Bay Bridge on one side and the Golden Gate Bridge on the other, he coolly noted that we were standing on the highest floor of hotel rooms in the city of San Francisco.
Brochure fodder, perhaps, but that’s still a sexy claim for a hotel.
My Premier Bridge-View Room keeps the wow factor coming. Like the sky bridge, it has views of both the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges and the sprawl of the city between them. It’s certainly an ego-swelling view, nested high above the Financial District with the TransAmerica Pyramid nestled front-and-center, watching ships slip in and out of the San Francisco Bay. It’s a particularly lovely vantage point when grazing on a lavish room service breakfast of an omelet with fresh lump crab, for one of those true “only in SF” moments.
The hotel takes up the top 11 floors of the California Center skyscraper. It’s actually a reflag of another luxury hotel that previously occupied the space, but Four Seasons doesn’t do anything in half-measures. The public spaces and guest rooms have been completely torn out and redone in neutral grays and whites, with accents of natural wood and gold, evoking the style of the San Francisco cable car, the natural environment and the gold that drove the city’s early growth.
For now, the guest rooms and views are the hotel’s star attraction—perfect for a weekend getaway spent admiring wraparound views and ordering top-quality room service. A ground floor signature restaurant is forthcoming, as is an open-air sky deck on the tower’s 40th floor, which is planned to host periodic pop-ups and other events.
With the delights of the city right at the hotel’s doorstep, it’s rather refreshing to find the property is conceived somewhat in the style of an ultraluxury inn, rather than a grand hotel. The focus appears to be on providing plush, well-wired sanctuaries for guests to work or rest.
Four Seasons regulars know that virtually every request is just a touch of the Four Seasons app away. Guests can chat with guest services via the app to schedule or decline daily room cleaning and nightly turndown, request a bucket of ice, order room service or stock up on extra bath amenities from Codage Paris to use in the oversized rainfall showers or luxurious soaking tubs.
There’s also a focus on the fantastical local environment. On the skybridges, there are strategically placed QR codes for guests to learn more about key landmarks, and as a signature experience, the hotel offers a guided tour with a photography expert to help guests capture their views of the city.
This luxury hotel doesn’t lean on bells and whistles to showcase the spectacle of its prime San Francisco location—guests are simply wrapped in views from their tower-top accommodations, and famously unintrusive Four Seasons service is always waiting at the ready.
I’ve seen rates from $425 per night plus tax. The hotel does not charge a resort or destination fee.
Skybridge views are sure to get attention – guests can tag their posts #ExperienceEmbarcadero.
Four Seasons doesn’t operate a loyalty program, but that doesn’t keep guests from coming back again and again.
Good To Know
The hotel is just a few blocks from the Montgomery Street BART station and is just steps from the California Street cable car line up Nob Hill.
The hotel entrance is on Sansome St, separate from the tower’s main entrance.
Valet parking is available.
Accommodations were furnished by Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero in preparation for this story.