The St. Regis San Francisco: Sumptuous Sophistication

The St. Regis Bar, San Francisco

I’ve been writing about San Francisco hotels for nearly a decade, yet I’d never experienced the pleasure of a St. Regis San Francisco stay, until now. The hotel’s elegant front entrance is tucked discreetly along Minna St., giving it what I would call an “under-the-radar gem” designation. It’s not exactly a “stumble upon” destination.

But judging from the evening revelry one recent weeknight in the hotel’s St. Regis Bar and tea salon—aided by the dramatic, nightly, 6pm sabering of a bottle of bubbly to celebrate the day’s transition to evening—I appear to be in the minority in assuming the hotel’s incognito classification. The St. Regis San Francisco (a Forbes Travel Guide Five Star award winner) is clearly a popular gathering spot, and my perfectly crafted cocktail, served with truffled popcorn, hinted at why this is so—champagne sabering and cultural corridor location notwithstanding. 

The St. Regis San Francisco's elegant front entrance

A north star for arts and culture lovers, the hotel is adjacent to SFMOMA and across the street from Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is located within the property’s ground floor. Union Square, Oracle Park, Chase Center, the Ferry Building Marketplace, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and Moscone Convention Center and more are all within walking distance. It’s also favored by world leaders who place their trust in the professionalism of the St. Regis staff. And, it’s a fabulous choice simply for a bit of citified rest and relaxation. Here's how I enjoyed a perfect overnight stay:

With a choice of 260 rooms, I opted for the Astor Suite, named in honor of St. Regis’ famed founder John Jacob Astor. Though, as mentioned,  I’d not previously enjoyed a stay at this particular St. Regis, my past experience with the brand afforded me the knowledge that St. Regis suite hospitality entails butler service, an indulgence, that, whether utilized or not, exudes decadence. I didn’t necessarily anticipate use of this service which includes packing, unpacking, morning coffee, and other special requests; I just wanted to know it was available. Yet, when my butler discovered that I’d forgotten a swimsuit, disallowing my enjoyment of the recently remodeled and stunning indoor heated swimming pool, he gifted me one—in the perfect size—delivered to my room in a tissue-stuffed gift bag. The surprise and delight of this gesture made my night.

Astor Suite living room at The St. Regis San Francisco
Astor Suite bedroom at The St. Regis San Francisco

Also making my night was my post-cocktail dinner at hotel restaurant Astra: ahi tuna, followed by fresh burrata and tomatoes atop thick Acme sourdough, and then seared scallops served over creamy risotto. A wine list, full of top California and French selections, led me to a flute of intensely luscious Lallier R.108 Champagne. And dessert, imagined by celebrated pastry chef Sebastian Huyhua, included an ice cream creation utilizing the hotel’s fresh honey, harvested from rooftop hives kept by the culinary team. 

Astra dining room
Sweet treats by The St. Regis San Francisco pastry chef Sebastian Huyhua

After a post-dinner perusal of the hotel’s notable art collection, I enjoyed a swim in my new swimsuit, that then led to a late night soak, with bespoke lavender bath salts, in my suite’s deep tub, as soft jazz (set by staff at turndown) wafted through the air. The variety of bath amenities at The St. Regis might confuse at first, but those in the “self-care know” will recognize the three featured brands as simply the best in their categories: REN facial cleanser, Sodashi body lotion, and SACHAJUAN shampoo and conditioner. 

The St. Regis San Francisco's indoor, heated swimming pool

After a nightcap selected from my well-stocked mini bar of deluxe sized spirits and popular wines, enjoyed while surveying the city’s buzzy energy from my suite’s floor to ceiling windows, I pushed a button to electronically close the blinds, and drifted off in the comfort of Frette linens.  

The next morning, with the realization that The St. Regis butlers really do aim to please (swimsuit incident as evidence), I summoned coffee service without a bit of embarrassed guilt, and enjoyed every sip while watching the sun rise over one of the most beautiful cities in the world. 

The St. Regis San Francisco opened in November 2005. The 40-story landmark building, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, includes 102 private residences rising 19 levels above the 260-room hotel. A 2022 reimagination of the hotel revealed newly refreshed and custom furnishings in hues of silver, copper and iron that honor the 1849 California Gold Rush that put San Francisco on the map. 24-hour concierge and room service, a 24/7 state-of-the art fitness center, nightly turndown service, complimentary access to a first-come, first-served luxury house car, and superlative and gracious service by every staff member make for a sumptuously sophisticated stay. 

The St. Regis San Francisco lobby

All photos courtesy of The St. Regis San Francisco

Fran Endicott Miller

Fran Endicott Miller is a luxury focused freelance feature and travel writer for a variety of lifestyle publications and websites, editor-at-large for, senior contributor to Napa Valley Life Magazine, and a California editor for luxury travel concierge service Essentialist, specializing in the Napa Valley. Prior to her journalism career she held positions in the fields of politics, te...(Read More)

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