My husband and I recently had the pleasure of experiencing The Warwick San Francisco Hotel, which just completed an $8 million remodel. The property, once known as Maryland Hotel and referred to as a ‘House of Sunshine’ by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1913, is located in the Theatre District of San Francisco. It’s just steps from world-class shopping, famous San Francisco landmarks, excellent dining, museums, galleries and the iconic Cable Cars.
Stepping through the doors of the hotel, I felt as though I’d entered an elegant mansion rather than a hotel. The lobby has an inviting seating area complete with a fireplace and charming details such as dramatic lighting and ornamental architecture.
The hotel’s original architect, Arthur Brown Jr., is well known for his iconic designs such as San Francisco City Hall and world-famous Coit Tower.
Once we were checked in, the welcoming staff got us seamlessly off to our 7th floor corner room.
Cozy and comfortable, we felt as though we had been transported back to another era, yet with all the modern conveniences of today. Amenities include wireless internet, customizable pillow menu, spa-line bath amenities, 24-hour in-room dining, and courtesy Town Car service to the Financial District just to name a few.
The bed is luxurious and the room, even though it faced a somewhat busy street in a bustling downtown area, was incredibly and surprisingly quiet. Bill and I could not believe how peaceful it was. We had a wonderful night’s sleep.
The Warwick San Francisco has 74 guest rooms, all designed in the Beaux-Arts method with contemporary and elegant touches.
The ornate headboards, armoires, gargoyles and light fixtures are 101-years old and have been preserved, maintaining the property’s historical charm.
One of my favorite design touches in our guest room was this Art Deco-style round mirror.
Vintage San Francisco photos, curated from the San Francisco Public Library, remind you that you’re staying in a property that has seen many eras come and go. I love this touch of authentic history.
While we had a standard guest room, the hotel does offer 20 suites. Fold out couches and/or a second bedroom make the suite suitable for four guests.
The new color palate used in the remodeled guest rooms is modern yet classic. Shades of greys and whites are complemented by golden yellow and bold cobalt blue hues.
What I love about the Warwick’s location is it’s close enough to shopping and landmarks but located in a somewhat residential neighborhood, giving you a real urban feel.
Just a short walk down the street is Union Square, excellent for shopping or just looking in windows. This meditating swimmer caught my eye.
And so did the Louis Vuitton store.
Bill surprised me by buying me a clutch I’ve been wanting for years.
When we finished our visit to Union Square, we climbed a few of those steep hills San Francisco is famous for, and headed for Chinatown. It’s so colorful there, and so much to take in!
After exploring Chinatown’s shops, we had tired legs and needed a refreshing drink. It was time for a late afternoon glass of French champagne!
Adjacent to the lobby at The Warwick is The European Bar which opened recently. This chic lounge offers unique, handcrafted European cocktails and an extensive wine list. The design was inspired by the 1910s Parisian art-de-vivre. Relaxed and elegant, it’s a place for both tourists and business people.
Located on the other side of the hotel’s lobby is Aveline, a newly opened restaurant with an innovative dining concept created by Top Chef finalist, Casey Thompson. Chef Thompson features her signature cooking style, which is expressive, creative and spotlights the fantastic foods Northern California is known for.
The atmosphere is contemporary but inviting and warm.
The menu is new California cuisine. It was a true adventure in eating! We have never experienced such unique flavor combinations and vibrant, original food styling.
From the edible artwork that is the ‘Vegetable Garden’ salad…
to the Crab Macarons, presented in a white box, tied with string (my favorite of the night) and the raw Amberjack served with salted dried banana, black lime, cherry blossom, and ham snow, it was quite an unforgettable culinary experience!
Bill ordered a dessert called ‘Batter’ with dark chocolate, cashews, and hazelnuts served in a ceramic mixing bowl, complete with a wooden spoon. Talk about creative! It was such a fun dessert and delectable, too.
In addition to wonderful, unique and beautiful dishes, Aveline also offers an extensive and impressive wine list and superior service.
The restaurant has gotten great reviews and plenty of attention. Even on a Sunday night, there were lots of full tables and a lively environment. Approachable, comfortable and, at times surprising, Aveline is a superb dining experience.
Bill and I will definitely visit The Warwick San Francisco Hotel again, perhaps for a night or two during the holidays as it’s so close to shopping and dining. I adore the mix of old world charm with modern styling. The friendly and helpful staff, wonderful food and convenient location make it a ‘must return’!
Aveline is open for dinner 7 days a week and breakfast is available daily to guests of the hotel. For more information or to book a reservation, visit their website at Avelinesf.com or call (415) 292-6430.
The European is open 7 days a week and is slated to offer weekend brunch in the coming months.
To make a reservation at The Warwick San Francisco, call (415) 928-7900 or visit warwicksf.com
See the $8 million remodel for yourself and take advantage of their special “Now and Then” offer for $599 per night, or a limited time introductory rate, starting at $329 per night, both valid through December 30, 2014.
Disclosure: Our room and all food and beverages charges were waived. The opinions expressed here are, as always, my own.