San Francisco City Guide

Gay San Francisco San Francisco City Guide

Curation by Yasmina Rodríguez, words by Gina Samarotto

From moody mornings that morph into brilliant days and from the depths of Alcatraz’s mysteries to the flamboyant ‘Painted Ladies’ punctuating her streets; San Francisco is an enigmatic, progressive gem and a traveller’s dream in Northern California. This is a city that has evolved from being the heart and soul of the gold rush to the heart and home of the summer of love. She has witnessed some of America’s most influential moments from the dot-com revolution at the turn of the last century to today’s tech boom. She was the first city in the US to legalise gay marriage and was home to the country’s first openly gay elected official. This grand dame hosts more fetish events and ‘specialty’ bars than we could count, and even was the birthplace of the rainbow flag. Today, San Francisco has permanently granted each of us the right to be as outlandish and stunning as you’d like. And while the queer community is welcomed across the entire city, the epicentre of gay life here is undoubtedly the Castro; one of the US’s first gay neighbourhoods, and a landmark supporting LGBTQ activism and events the world over.

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The best hotels in San Francisco

San Francisco is a city wears elegance as casually as a favourite cashmere cardigan.  And in this place that pays homage to living well, we give you the Proper Hotel in San Francisco’s ‘Mid-Market’ region.  A glorious flatiron, the hotel is a delicious mix Modernist, Cubist and Secessionist era design where old world glamour meets modern luxury.  And while it’s true that F. Scott Fitzgerald centred his epic tale in West Egg, there’s no place like The St. Regis for finding your inner Gatsby.  The epitome of elegance, The St. Regis San Francisco is one of the city’s most iconic hotels. Paying homage to the very concept of luxury, each room at the St. Regis is a feast for the senses. For the utmost in indulgence, a stay in one of the extravagantly appointed suites that come replete with the brand’s signature Butler service. And as if the subtle details, tailored gestures, and genuine warmth’ promised by the hotel weren’t enough, guests of the St. Regis can also make use of the posh Remède Spa where blissful treatments are delivered along with flutes of chilled champagne and a selection of hand-dipped truffles – all proffered in an opulent space with killer city views.

For a change of pace from the typical hotel, the Parker Guest House is a wonderfully unique 21 room bed and breakfast tucked within the vibrant Castro neighbourhood, near the Mission and Noe Valley and just steps away from the area’s endless restaurants, pubs, parks, and Muni Metro. An LGBT-popular choice, this distinctive hideaway offers all newly renovated accommodations (most with private baths), extended continental breakfast, complimentary wine social hour and free WIFI. Indulge your cravings for cosy in the guest house’s communal front parlor that boasts both a library and fireplace, stretch out with the Sunday paper in the sunroom, or explore the extensive outdoor decks and gardens.  Collectively it’s a picture-perfect place to enjoy with old friends – or to make some new ones.

If your idea of relishing San Francisco includes gazing at the Golden Gate while having breakfast in bed, look no further than Cavallo Point. The Sausalito sister to Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn, you can expect divinely prepared, market fresh meals, a plethora of outdoorsy adventures, and the same brand of self-indulgent healing that has made Post so popular.  Sir, yes sir – this old military base has us standing at attention.

Another choice we consider delightfully edgy and thoroughly modern is San Francisco’s Hotel Zetta.  A downtown haven that puts guests at the epicentre of everything fabulous, the hotel is located in the hip SoMa District where it gives a nod to techie indulgence with amenities including an in-room butcher block desks, internet ready 46” smart flat screen televisions and G-LINK™ docking stations. When combined with complimentary toiletries by Neil George, Illy espresso machines, sumptuous down duvets and imported linens; the Hotel Zetta checks all the boxes savvy travellers need for a sweet stay.

San Francisco Proper Hotel | Photo: Manolo Yllera

San Francisco Proper Hotel | Photo: Manolo Yllera

San Francisco Proper Hotel | Photo: Manolo Yllera

San Francisco Proper Hotel | Photo: Manolo Yllera

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