Hotel Vitale Embarcadero boutique hotel with a luxurious edge
Hollywood Elite, Broker Boys, Media Types
Reason to Stay:
Design Hotel, Boutique Hotel, Waterfront Setting
Preferred Room:Bayview King
Special Features:Waterfront Location, Lobby Lounge, Hip Crowd, Boutique Hotel
Amenities:Restaurant, Bar, Yoga Center, Spa
It's a town ruled by boutique hotels and birthplace of such chains as Joie de Vivre and Kimpton Hotels that have defined an era in American hospitality. Unlike JDV's other properties located in renovated buildings throughout the city, Hotel Vitale is a built-from-scratch boutique hotel located at the end of Mission Street facing the SF Bay Bridge and Ferry Market Building. The exterior of the building feels more Pacific Northwest than California Coast with redwood siding and glassy architectural edges by Heller Manus that frame each of the buildings six floors and rooftop area.
Guests enter a covered valet area and diligent bell-staff that open the double doors leading to the main lobby. Arriving on any afternoon, hotel guests are greeted by a dressy crowd of happy hour revelers who congregate in the main floor lounge and adjacent Americano restaurant and bar. The lobby is divided by a small reception area with casual staff that welcomes fashionable business types and the occasional four-legged guest ($35 extra per night). The interiors are the best we've seen of a SF boutique hotel with sparkling limestone walls intersected by tasteful minimalist furnishings flooded with natural light and good acoustics. Twin elevators carry guests to somewhat dark common areas with natural-wood thresholds adorned with vases containing small sprigs of lavender. For active types, the Embarcadero waterfront is a jogger's paradise should you decide to opt-out of the in-house fitness center and morning yoga in the rooftop stretch center.
Until recently a stay at a boutique hotel meant lingering in the lobby lounge till 12am before retiring to under-furnished guest rooms with painfully modern interiors painted in intolerably hip colors. Hotel Vitale is a refreshing deviation that presents luxurious refinements like a stylish bathroom with limestone rain shower and high thread count linens with down pillows. My bay view room featured a large King Size bed with casual throw pillows and comfy blanket adjacent to a lament-wood desk area with well-stocked mini bar and endless electrical accouterments. The window alcove opened to spectacular views of the Bay Bridge and Saturday Farmerís Market at the Ferry Building, but with a sofa that could have used a few more springs and bit less foam. To my surprise, the hotel chain offers free wireless internet to all guests at speeds that humble the nearby Mandarin Oriental (who charges $25 a day). Like a luxurious version of the boutique hotels you grew to love, Hotel Vitale is a model other hotels would benefit from emulating.
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