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There are a few lodgings that cater specifically to female travelers at various levels of service and comfort. Lesbian-owned and lesbian-run, Elaine's Hidden Haven (4005 Folsom St; 415-647-2726 or 800-446-9050; $99+), in this lively neighborhood adjacent to the Mission, consists of a suite with kitchen attached to the owners' house, and offers a private, safe and clean environment. It's in a great, quiet location near several cool shops and cafes. The suite includes TV, CD player, and access to a private garden.
DOWNTOWN AND SOMA
The Ritz-Carlton (600 Stockton St; 415-296-7465 or 800-241-3333; $389+) is the all-round leader in this town, featuring beautiful appointments, fine service, gracious dining, a swimming pool and a convenient Nob Hill location. Guestrooms are a bit underwhelming, and the clientele tends toward the ostentatious and hetero.
The Mandarin Oriental (222 Sansome St; 415-276-9888 or 800-622-0404; $345+) delivers luxurious appointments and top-notch service, plus the most spectacular views in town. Book an executive room for a bath with a panoramic window view. The English gardens are magnificent.
One of the trendiest spots in town, the 375-unit Clift (495 Geary St; 415-775-4700 or 800-606-6090; $245+), an Ian Schrager hotel, occupies a meticulously restored turn-of-the-last-century city building. Rooms are of good size with high ceilings, and the Phillippe Starck-designed interiors are in shades of cool grey, soothing lavender, and eye-popping orange. The uber-modern furnishings are comfortable, and the rooms are rich in amenities, such as plush robes and rotating consoles with TVs and CD/DVD players. Room service provides selections from the hotel's Asia de Cuba restaurant, as well as a library of CDs and DVDs (including gay male adult titles) for rent. The hotel and the its iconic Redwood Room bar both attract a largely straight clientele, but Clift's longtime association with the design and fashion industries, as well as a visible pink presence in the staff, make it a gay-friendly choice among Union Square high-end high rises.
The beautiful 31-story, 423-room W San Francisco Hotel (181 3rd Street; 415-777-5300 or 888-625-5144; $209-449) is across the street from the Moscone Convention Center and adjacent to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. W San Francisco's hip, Pottery-Barn-esque rooms include thoughtful touches like sumptuous linens, CD players, and wireless WebTV. WSF features a lovely pool, a rarity in San Francisco, and an upscale, bi-level restaurant called XYZ (see below). Rates are relatively reasonable.
Kimpton Group: All Kimpton properties can be viewed at www.kimptongroup.com.
The Prescott (545 Post St; 415-563-0303 or 866-271-3632; $189+) is the crown jewel of the Kimpton Group, offering four-star quality, room service from Postrio, and a spectacular suite with baby grand piano and a private terrace hot tub. The Triton (342 Grant St; 415-394-0500 or 800-800-1299; $169+) is on the periphery of Chinatown and offers some aesthetically edgy rooms. Beware the wide range of room sizes in this Kimpton property. Take a walk on the wild side by reserving the spacious Wyland Room, dedicated to and decorated by the famed painter of whales and other undersea tableaux. This hotel -- like many other Kimpton properties -- is pet-friendly; be sure to tell the reservations desk when you book if you plan to bring a furry friend along.
Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four
San Francisco: Introduction
San Francisco: Where to Eat
San Francisco: Where to Play/Meet
San Francisco: What to See & Do
San Francisco: Where to Shop
San Francisco: Resources