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The St. Regis San Francisco, California - Hotel Review

Art and Soul: Thinking Forward in San Francisco

By Alain Gayot

Airy and sleek room of The St. Regis San Francisco in California
Airy and sleek room of The St. Regis San Francisco in California

With a South of Market setting in an area once known for its Skid Row aesthetic, the Yerba Buena Arts District is now a hot destination. As is always the case in trend-setting neighborhoods, it was only a matter of time before gentrification arrived. In this instance it made a grand entrance, in the form of The St. Regis San Francisco. To its credit, The St. Regis brought more than just trademark service and luxury, making an earnest effort to assimilate into San Francisco's eclectic, artsy architectural society.

By topping the early 20th-century Williams Building with an eye-catching contemporary tower, The St. Regis symbolizes San Francisco, a city that adores its own history but never lets history encumber innovation. It incorporates commissioned artwork—from Masayuki Nagase's white marble Minna Street Fountain, based on traditional Asian folding screens, to laser-cut Australian lace wood in the guestrooms—and by doing so deserves its location adjacent to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Ame: Italian-Japanese fusion at The St. Regis San Francisco in California Asian-inspired Minna Street Fountain at The St. Regis San Francisco in California
Ame: Italian-Japanese fusion
Asian-inspired Minna St. Fountain

The Williams Building section is home to two of the hotel's big draws, the 9,000-square-foot Remède Spa, offering Champagne, truffles and customized treatments, and Ame, from restaurateurs Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani. We ranked Terra in Sonoma County among our 2004 Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., and we think highly of the St. Regis venture, whose Japanese and Italian influences result in pleasant surprises, such as the startling contrast of delicate sea bream atop rich monkfish liver, and Chawan mushi (Japanese egg custard) with Maine lobster, sea urchin and mitsuba sauce, which we predict will become a signature dish.

Complementing the hotel's forward thinking design are spacious, subdued accommodations, whose merger of white and linen sets a soothing tone. Of the 260 guestrooms, 42 are suites, and all come with 42" recessed plasma TVs, WiFi access, iPod ports and 24-hour St. Regis butler service. An additional 102 private residences inhabit the 22nd to 40th floors, and although guests and tenants have exclusive access to numerous amenities, The St. Regis is no elitist, since Ame, Remède Spa and most of the artwork are available for all San Franciscans to enjoy.

The St. Regis San Francisco
125 Third St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-284-4000
Visit The St. Regis San Francisco official website

 

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