A city known for its iconic hills, posh lifestyle and, of course, mammoth bridges, San Francisco stands as a modern city ripe with rich history. The city’s vibrant culture has witnessed the likes of the Beat Generation and the counter-culture movement. Recently San Francisco has enjoyed an influx of wealth from the Dot-Com explosion, making the city a hub of commerce and banking. With the revived economy of the city massive redevelopment across the area gave San Francisco new life. The Embarcadero, a historically busy seaport largely forgotten with the transfer of many shipping ports to nearby Oakland, was transformed into a grand boulevard rich with art, shopping, and tourism.
In the midst of the Embarcadero renaissance, Hotel Vitale rises out of San Francisco’s waterfront neighborhood as a symbol of the city’s modern aesthetic. Opened in 2005, Hotel Vitale is revered as the flagship property of the Joie de Vivre hotel group, owners of nearly 40 properties throughout California. Standing as a testament to the resurgence of San Francisco’s Eco Lifestyle and the redevelopment of the Embarcadero, Hotel Vitale celebrates the theme “luxury, naturally.” Standing outside the hotel on the Embarcadero, you can see how Hotel Vitale adopted this theme from the building’s surroundings. To the right, view the Bay Bridge stretching across the water to Oakland. Just beyond the bridge, a bow and arrow stuck in the ground reminds visitors where Tony Bennett left his heart. Looking left, the enormous clock face of the historic Ferry Building guards the restructured marketplace where local farmers gather every Saturday to vend their bounties of fresh produce.
Hotel Vitale’s modern architecture – the vision of local San Francisco Heller-Manus Architects – is apparent even when outside the building. The hotel’s lower-level suites’ floor-to-ceiling windows just out from the facade while the building corners in a unique cylindrical design, housing the hotel’s Circular Suites. Enter Hotel Vitale on Mission Street where you’ll step into the cosmopolitan lobby. Soft earth tones and natural elements – such as hardwood paneled walls and carved stone pillars – instantly create a sense of peace. The lobby’s living room gives guests a luxurious yet cozy spot to relax any time of day.
Head up to one of the resort’s 200 guestrooms and you’ll find that the hotel’s natural décor and luxurious amenities continue in each space. Elegantly decorated by interior designer Colum McCartan with a blend of stone, wood, and glass, every room celebrates an unsurpassed natural luxury to promote wellness and relaxation. Light streams through the guestrooms’ expansive windows, many of which give way to breathtaking views of the harbor, enjoyable from the room’s plush bedding fitted with 440 thread count sheets. Hotel Vitale’s premier Circular Suites offer 180-degree “infinity views” of the bay, viewable from the bed or the room’s open deep soaking tub. Vitale’s bathrooms were designed with a spa-like quality, featured ornately tiled floors, soothing spa showers and soaking tubs. The impeccable rooms also offer twice-daily housekeeping, complimentary Wi-Fi high speed internet access, LCD flat screen television, and elegant bathrobes.
Atop the hotel a collection of stepped terraces provide the perfect spot to relax in the evening with a bottle of wine while the sun sets on the bay. The hotel’s three spectacular terrace suites include adjoining private decks for an intimate spot to take in the view. Each terrace is fit with elegant and comfortable furniture to provide ample lounge space for a small gathering or a simple place where a couple can retreat.
Additionally, the penthouse level also houses Spa Vitale, an all-inclusive day-spa complete with two outdoor soaking tubs nestled in a bamboo forest from where you can unwind while you take in fantastic vistas of the city landscape. Despite its smaller size – the spa contains three pirvate service rooms in addition to the outdoor tubs – Spa Vitale remains dedicated to the utmost in personal attention. Enjoy treatments like the Bathing Ritual, a luxurious bath in the rooftop tubs, or the Side-by-Side couples massage. The spa also offers a Massage Instructional Class for couples to learn the technique with hands-on training from a Licensed Massage Therapist. For their active visitors Hotel Vitale also provides complimentary yoga classes including the new for 2010 “Full Moon” Yoga Series – a set of classes hosted on the rooftop terraces inspired by the lunar phases.
Back on the ground floor Hotel Vitale houses the Americano Restaurant, an authentic and robust Italian restaurant popular among hotel guests and San Francisco natives alike. The Americano’s artful décor continues the use of rich hardwoods coupled with elegant arches. Beautiful and dramatic portraits are lofted into the ceiling and showcased with soft intimate lighting. The restaurant includes a number of private and semi-private dining spaces for intimate parties, or enjoy the fresh air on the Americano’s expansive outdoor patio by the aromatherapy garden. The Americano also houses a cocktail lounge, creatively set in the hotel’s circular corner to offer 180-degree views of the bay while encouraging open conversation within.
Chef Kory Stewart crafts the menu at the Americano with a farm-to-table philosophy. Stewart creates his dishes incorporating exquisite flavors from the local tastes of ingredients gathered from the Ferry Building Farmers Market and Bay Area artisan producers. With a menu changing frequently to reflect the seasons, the Americano remains committed to supporting regional farmers, fisherman, and local purveyors whenever possible.
Start a traditional four-course Italian meal with a local Star Route Farms baby greens salad, topped with Feta cheese and balsamic vinegar, before moving on to the Duck confit Bruschette, prepared with cannellini bean puree and pickled shallots. For the main course, try the grilled rib eye cooked with a porcini dry rub, roasted purple scallions, fingerlings and mustard oil. Finish with one of the Americano’s decadent desserts, such as the Lemon Verbena Pound Cake or Chocolate Torta. Additionally, the Americano provides a weekly two-course market menu with the freshest tastes available from local farmers. The restaurant also offers a wide selection of wine pairings imported from Italy as well as those from the nearby Napa and Sonoma Valley wineries. For those enrolled in the Full Moon Yoga Series, Chef Stewart has put together a distinctive yoga-inspired menu pairing a Mediterranean-style vegetable plate with a revitalizing non-alcoholic elixir and anti-oxidant rich granita.
Standing at the forefront of San Francisco’s financial district, Hotel Vitale is also a popular business destination. The resort’s business center and boardroom offer state-of-the-art accommodations for business meetings while a 1,700 square-foot indoor conference space and rooftop event spaces can host larger business groups. Vitale hosts innovative “Green Meetings” packages that inspire eco-friendly practices throughout the duration of meetings and events.
Outside the hotel’s walls you can enjoy all that San Francisco has to offer. The city’s vibrant culture, rich architecture, and stunning geography provide something for everyone. Make your visit and find out why Herb Caen, the city’s famed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist columnist, once claimed, “One day if I do go to heaven, I’ll look around and say, ‘It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco.’”