Hotel Vitale

San Francisco Hotel Review

The Hotel Vitale is part of the new breed of San Francisco hotels that attempt to strike a balance between modern cosmopolitan elegance and the tranquility of a luxury day spa. In both regards it succeeds admirably. Hotel guests quickly find a home away from home—sometimes, just a bit nicer than home. After all, whether from the rooftop, the outdoor patio, or one of its many rooms facing the water, the outstanding views of the Bay Bridge is something home never offered.

Open since March of 2005, the Hotel Vitale is the very definition of contemporary chic. The interior design inside the hotel walls was created by a local San Francisco design company to emphasize both luxury and nature. It’s only natural, then, that the hotel offers complimentary yoga and stretching classes every morning. The hotel grants free entrance to the expansive YMCA gym facilities nearby, and even gives out jogging maps that you can use to enjoy runs along the bay. Paid facilities on offer include a complete on-site spa, as well as private soaking tubs inside a lovely garden on the roof. The staff calls it an “urban oasis” and you may feel inclined to agree.

The 199 non-smoking rooms are average-sized, and many offer stunning views of the bay. All rooms feature walk-in showers with rainforest showerheads, Fresh signature bath & body products, comfortable beds with 440-threadcount sheets, pillow-top mattresses, and luxurious bathrobes. There are also large flat-panel televisions, entertainments systems—including Bose Ipod docking stations—and free high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi. Comfortable ergonomic chairs and desks make the rooms work-friendly, but there is also a 24-hour business center on hand if you need it.

You’ll find that one of the real benefits of the Hotel Vitale is its excellent Embarcadero location. Accessible directly from the SFO airport by BART (exit Embarcadero station), you’ll never need a car here. A limousine ride from the airport is only around $75 direct to the hotel. You’re walking distance from the financial district and many of the city’s best museums, including the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). You’re also only a few steps away from the all the MUNI metro streetcars, as well as the scenic F-line train that guides you along the waterfront all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf in one direction, and through downtown to the Castro district in the other.

The hotel is also a great place to have a drink and try all the delicacies of the San Francisco restaurant culture. The Hotel Vitale even places a "Food Lover's Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area" in every guestroom, and the staff is replete with suggestions about the hottest new places in town. The Ferry Building across the street offers a farmer’s market on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and inside boasts exquisite eateries everyday. The hotel’s own restaurant, the Americano, was recently featured in Gourmet magazine. Its gorgeous outdoor patio looks out onto the water, and offers a great mix of cocktails, wine, and California cuisine. The dishes certainly benefit from the proximity of the farmer’s market. Frequent guests are often invited to weekly wine tastings, so be sure to get to know the staff!

There’s a lot to like in the Hotel Vitale, especially its healthy outlook on travel. Vitality is the key word here, and if you let yourself go at the Vitale, you’ll soon find yourself pampered, eating well, and enjoying the best that San Francisco has to offer. Perhaps the Vitale is taking a cue from San Francisco residents themselves—and that’s not such a bad thing at all.

By: Benny Zadik, Copyright SFTRAVEL LLC