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1 Hotel San Francisco [In-depth Hotel Review]

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Ashley Onadele
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Ashley Onadele

Senior Content Contributor

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Countries Visited: 15U.S. States Visited: 10

Ashley discovered a love for travel in college that’s continued as her family has grown. She loves showing parents how they can take their families on trips using points and has contributed to numerou...
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Jessica Merritt

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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
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Keri Stooksbury

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The author was traveling as an invited guest of 1 Hotel San FranciscoAll opinions are the author’s own, and the hotel had no input in any part of this review.

As a frequent traveler, saving money by using points and miles is just one aspect of how I prefer to travel. I’ve become increasingly interested in sustainability, specifically sustainability within the travel industry. Last year, my family and I spent some time during our vacation in Kauai cleaning up the beach as part of the Malama Hawaii program.

When I was offered the opportunity to stay at the sustainable 1 Hotel San Francisco, I immediately responded to say I was interested.

1 Hotels was created by Barry Sternlicht, the creator of W Hotels, to bring nature indoors and to the forefront of the design concept. One of its goals is to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification for each one of its properties.

There are 4 LEED levels that buildings can earn based on the overall sustainability of a building. The San Francisco location has been open for just over a year and expects to receive its Gold LEED Certification in October. For brand-new construction, the brand aims for Platinum LEED Certification.

There are 11 1 Hotels worldwide, with 5 more in the pipeline.

Here’s all about my stay at 1 Hotel San Francisco.

Location

1 Hotel San Francisco view
The view of the Bay Bridge from 1 Hotel San Francisco.

1 Hotel San Francisco is located on Mission Street near The Embarcadero in San Francisco. The hotel features beautiful views of the Bay Bridge and the ferry building.

You could easily take the ferry from Oakland, Richmond, Vallejo, or Alameda for a staycation and walk to the hotel. If you’re flying from out of the area, you could fly to either Oakland International Airport (OAK) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and still be about equal distance from the hotel.

The Embarcadero BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station is a 6-minute walk from the hotel.

I live about 45 minutes east of San Francisco, so I called a Lyft to pick me up from my house.

Hot Tip:

San Francisco’s famous cable cars don’t make it down to The Embarcadero, but vintage street cars operated by MUNI stop at the Ferry Building near 1 Hotel San Francisco.

Surrounding Area

One of the greatest draws of 1 Hotel San Francisco is its location near the Ferry Building. I visited the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, one of California’s top farmers’ markets. The farmers’ market happens 3 times a week, with the one on Saturday featuring the most vendors.

When not enjoying the farmers’ market, you can walk across the street to view San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge more. Sailboats, ferries, and fishermen can be seen in the water with Treasure Island in the background. There are several places to shop and eat along the Embarcadero, including the dim sum restaurant Yank Sing.

Booking

This was a media stay, so I didn’t have to book my hotel reservation. However, 1 Hotel San Franciso is an Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts property and a member of Capital One’s Premier Collection. When booking with either of these platforms, you can expect exclusive perks such as space-available upgrades and daily breakfast for 2.

Capital One’s Premier Collection is only available to Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture X Business Card. Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts is available to cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, and Centurion-branded American Express cards.

When booking this hotel through Capital One’s Premier Collection with the Capital One Venture X card, you’ll earn 10x miles per dollar on your reservation. Alternatively, you could also pay for your reservation with Capital One miles at a rate of 1 cent per mile.

1 Hotel San Francisco Premier Collection
1 Hotel San Francisco is a Capital One Premier Collection Hotel. Image Credit: Capital One

You’ll earn 5x Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar when booking from Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts with the Amex Platinum card and Amex Business Platinum card. You must use either of these cards to earn the bonus points on your booking.

Whether you book through a third-party platform or directly with the hotel, the hotel will hold $150 per night on your credit card for incidentals.

There is also a daily $42 amenity fee per room that covers the following amenities:

  • Audi e-tron house car that guests can use or test drive on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Electric bike rental, including a bike made from recycled Nespresso pods
  • Lobby farmstand featuring fresh fruit and fruit-infused ice water
  • Mind and Movement fitness experiences
  • Nature-inspired programming
  • Pet beds

Valet parking is available at 1 Hotel San Francisco for an additional $69 per night plus tax.

Bottom Line:

Nightly rates for 2 guests start from around $369 before taxes and fees. If you’re not booking through a program like Capital One Premier Collection or Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts, consider booking with one of our recommended best credit cards for booking at any hotel.

Checking In

When stepping inside the hotel, I was immediately greeted by the scent of clean air, a refreshing reprieve from big city pollution. The building was light and relaxing thanks to hundreds of live plants on the first floor and throughout the hotel.

1 Hotel San Francisco reception
Plenty of beautiful plants were around the lobby, restaurant, and lounge at 1 Hotel San Francisco.

Behind the front desk was a wall built from living moss. I was told that under the right environment, this wall would live and continue to grow for 15 years.

There was no line at the front desk, but since I had a meeting to attend, I asked the doorman if he could hold my backpack and duffel bag while I took the meeting. I went to Terrene, the hotel’s restaurant, to grab a coffee and sit in the lounge while I waited for my meeting to start.

After my walkthrough meeting, I returned to the front desk to find my room ready. The key was made out of wood with a “1” embossed on top.

1 Hotel San Francisco key and do not disturb
Next to the round, wooden room key is a rock that reads “Not Now,” which can be placed outside your room door for privacy.

Amenities

Lobby Farmstand

On the other side of the lobby is another seating area where you’ll find the lobby farmstand. This is where the hotel offers complimentary imperfect fruit for all guests.

Bamford Wellness Spa

On the top floor is Bamford Wellness Spa, San Francisco’s only hotel spa. I was shocked to learn that other hotel spas in the city had closed during the pandemic, and many never returned.

The spa menu includes facials, massages, and a rooftop tub soak. In line with the hotel’s sustainable materials, the soaking tub was made of cement, which I was told has fewer chemicals than traditional bathtubs.

The Field House Gym

The hotel offers group fitness classes such as Saturday boot camp, personal training, and a fully-equipped gym that is open 24 hours daily.

Parking

Valet parking is available with in-and-out privileges from $69 per night for hotel guests. Parking lots can be found within a few blocks of the hotel as an additional parking option.

Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi was fast and reliable, allowing me to work on the afternoon of my arrival.

Pets

Pets are allowed at 1 Hotel San Francisco. The hotel asks that you include them when making the reservation or call ahead to let them know you’ll be bringing a pet. There is no additional fee to bring your dog or cat, but the hotel does stipulate that you may be responsible for any damage or additional cleaning required after your stay.

The Room

The hotel sources sustainable materials at every turn. At the San Francisco location, that meant refurbishing some of the wood from the old part of the Bay Bridge to use on the interior walls and in the elevator. Each floor also had a unique natural art element from a local artist and a water fountain to refill your water bottle.

I was given a City King room with a sofa bed that featured a city view and a rain shower with a bathtub. My husband and 2 kids joined me for this trip, and we all comfortably made the 2-bed room work.

1 Hotel San Francisco bedroom
The City King with Sofa Bed room at 1 Hotel San Francisco.

The desk area was directly under the television, which would have been fine for me had I decided to work there. The table was spacious, but I worked downstairs in the restaurant while enjoying a late lunch.

1 Hotel San Francisco desk and tv
The desk under the TV was spacious enough to work for as long as I wanted.

The furnishings in 1 Hotel San Francisco rooms are sustainably sourced with linens, bathrobes, and slippers from Kassetex New York.

1 Hotel San Francisco closet
I loved that there was a yoga mat for use in the guest room closet. The cotton bath robes were from Kassetex New York.

On the bedside table was a glass carafe and 2 glasses that could be filled at the filtered water tap near the elevator on each floor. I thought that this was an especially nice touch. Although some hotels give guests water bottles as an amenity, it feels wasteful when I already travel everywhere with my own reusable bottle.

1 Hotel San Francisco water glasses
The carafe is meant to be used at the filtered water tap near the elevators on each floor.

The drinks and snacks in the room were all sustainably packaged. If liquor isn’t in a glass bottle, the hotel will not stock it in the minibar. A Nespresso machine with compostable pods was also in each room.

1 Hotel San Francisco minibar
Sustainably sourced snacks and drinks in the minibar in my room.

The Bathroom

The bathroom featured full-size Bamford Bath products in each guest room. The same products were used at the hotel’s spa.

1 Hotel San Francisco vanity
Bamford Bath products from the spa were also in the guest room bathrooms.

Fitting with the relaxing, natural vibes of the hotel, the bathroom had a naturally soothing charcoal-colored tile inside the shower and throughout. The sink was concrete, similar to the soaking tubs in the spa.

My room had an in-shower bathtub (that was larger than I expected) and a rain shower with an optional shower wand.

1 Hotel San Francisco shower
The in-shower bath was spacious in my king room.

One thing I noted and was grateful for was a properly stocked amount of towels. Usually, I have to ask for more towels after checking into a room. This was duly noted.

Food and Beverage

Terrene, the hotel’s restaurant, is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Brunch is served in lieu of breakfast and lunch on the weekends. The restaurant takes pride in serving food sourced from within 100 miles of the hotel and only what’s in season.

To the restaurant’s right is a cozy lounge where you can enjoy your drink or food or sit outside on the patio.

1 Hotel San Francisco Terrene
Terrene has an outdoor patio with more views of the Bay Bridge in the background.

Usually, I would be nervous about a hotel only having 1 dining option, but I was again pleasantly surprised to find that the food at Terrene was fantastic. We tried almost a dozen things on the menu between lunch and dinner, and each was better than the last.

1 Hotel San Francisco Pacific Shrimp bowl from Terrene
My lunch was a filling Pacific Shrimp bowl from Terrene.

I enjoyed a Pacific Shrimp bowl with quinoa, brown rice, and scallion ginger gremolata for lunch on my first day. It was filling and delicious.

My husband and I ordered mimosas and coffee from room service to enjoy with breakfast one morning. The mimosas were made with freshly squeezed orange juice, and the carafe that the coffee came in kept the coffee hot for well over an hour.

Before checking into my room, I’d walked the property with Director of Sales and Marketing and Sustainability Liason Joel Costa. Joel explained how the hotel, together with Foodprint Group, follows the concept of zero waste in the restaurant.

I was in awe when Joel described how the hotel uses an entire lemon. First, they zest a lemon and juice it for a recipe. Then they put the lemon into the wood fire oven to juice it again for a syrup it uses at the bar. Lastly, the lemon goes back into the oven one last time. It cooks to ash which is then used to line the rim of a cocktail served at the bar.

1 Hotel San Francisco drinks
After learning about the lemon ash on the Z.W. cocktail, I had to order it.
Hot Tip:

Terrene didn’t have a separate kids’ menu, but we were relieved that they had cheese pizza (flatbread) and chicken tenders. Just ask your server if they don’t let you know.

Some of our favorite dishes were the beet muhammara dip, Brussels sprouts, and chicken kofta.

Service

I’m not especially needy when staying at hotels (unless you count not wanting to share towels!), so it doesn’t take much to make me happy regarding service. With that said, from the valet to check-in to the restaurant’s service, everyone I encountered was friendly and happy to help.

Hotel staff not only brought linens for the pull-out sofa bed but also came in and made the bed up.

We had the same restaurant server 2 nights in a row. She was great in helping us decide what to order and sharing the kid-friendly options with us.

On Sunday, we decided to walk to lunch after checking out. The hotel stored our bags for us and let us keep the car my family had valeted until we returned a couple of hours later.

Final Thoughts

I knew from the moment I stepped into 1 Hotel San Francisco that I would be back. The location, property, dining options, and hotel’s sustainability mission make it an obvious choice for my next staycation. And I look forward to staying at other 1 Hotels in Kauai, Brooklyn, and more.

The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the 1 Hotel in San Francisco previously called?

1 Hotel San Francisco was formerly The Hotel Vitale.

Who is the 1 Hotel owned by?

1 Hotels is owned by Starwood Capital Group. Starwood Capital Group also owns Baccarat Hotels, Treehouse Hotels, and SH Collection properties.

When did 1 Hotel open in San Francisco?

1 Hotel San Francisco opened in July 2022.

Who designed 1 Hotel San Francisco?

Nicole Hollis designed 1 Hotel San Francisco’s guest rooms, suites, and public spaces.

Ashley Onadele's image

About Ashley Onadele

Ashley discovered a love for travel in college that’s continued as her family has grown. She loves showing parents how they can take their families on trips using points and has contributed to numerous publications and podcasts.

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