The London List Abroad Review: Hotel G, San FranciscoThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 13 Sep 2016

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Just one block west from tourist haven Union Square, walking into the plush, foliage-lined foyer of San Francisco’s Hotel G immediately takes you out of the bustle of the city, and into your own, hip, oasis. Show the rest of this post…

Re-opening in May 2014 after a two-year renovation, Hotel G’s Geary Street location is steeped in history. A hotel ever since the building was first constructed in 1909, the new owners renovated each floor under the watchful eye of interior designers Hun Aw Studio, maintaining the original flooring throughout and fully restoring the building’s front façade.

In a style described by the Michelin guide as ‘demolition chic’, Hotel G has a modern and youthful vibe. Complementing the rough textures of original tiling and exposed concrete with mid-century furniture, plush rugs and warm fittings, the hotel splits 153 rooms over 12 floors to become a different sort of option for downtown San Francisco.

Location

Less than a 10-minute walk from downtown Market Street and just one block away from Union Square, Hotel G is perfectly situated for exploring the city.

The immediate surrounding area is known for shopping, with big chain shops like Niketown, Macy’s, the Disney Store just a few minutes walk away, and the Westfield Centre also nearby. Just beyond Market Street are the wonderful museums of the SoMa neighbourhood, including the Contemporary Jewish Museum and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, plus SoMa’s burgeoning restaurant scene.

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To get further afield is just as easy. From the Powell St. Bart station, you can go north-east to the Ferry Building and into Oakland, while lines south-west go to the hip Castro, Mission and Lower Haight neighbourhoods. You’re also just a few block away from the end of the historic San Francisco cable car, which while touristy is still a must, and makes it easy to reach Fisherman’s Wharf and Lombard Street to the north.

Rooms

The style of the hotel carries through to the rooms. The interior is minimal and can feel a touch sparse if it’s not what you’re used to but the style works. The crisp, white walls, curtains and bathroom are softened by warmer, wooden furniture and slick detailing. The rooms are sleek and everything is functional, there’s no excess or clutter on show, meaning it’s the beds that really dominate.

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Big and comfy with excellent pillows, fluffy duvets and luxury linens in every room, Hotel G’s beds boast tall, feature headboards that are the real showpiece; perfect for lounging in bed, day or night. Blackout blinds really do the job too, so you’ll get a great night’s sleep, or well-deserved lie-in.

We stayed in a Greatest King, the largest of the hotel’s five room types. Akin to a suite, it was big and spacious with a sofa, small coffee table and armchair, with enough room to have a couple of friends up while we planned the day. Plus all rooms come with a mini-bar and espresso machine so you’re able to start and end your days right.

The original concrete floor was a touch cold but rugs covered the important floorspace, and it’s a small price to pay for original features. Guests are given hotel slippers for the room too.

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With Geery Street down below, we were worried about late night traffic and noisy pedestrians but we had no problem in the room. Unfortunately, however, being surrounded by similarly high rise buildings, there weren’t particularly impressive views, even on the 10th floor.

One great surprise though, the rooms and communal space throughout the hotel are decorated with art from a collaboration with Creativity Explored, a local non-profit arts centre that works with adult artists with developmental disabilities. The pieces are all for sale, with profits going back into the program. It’s a really nice touch and the artwork brings an individual personality to the space.

Bathroom

Our bathroom featured luxurious marble tiling and fittings, with larger rooms boasting a magnificent table sink, and smaller rooms just a freestanding basin. It was more of a classical bathroom but matched the sleek, minimal style of our room. The shower was excellent and very refreshing in the morning, while all rooms come with C.O. Bigelow toiletries.

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Amenities

Hotel G has all the amenities you’d expect from a modern city hotel. WiFi is free downstairs and in your room, and if not particularly fast, it’s perfectly acceptable for holiday planning and just about streams Netflix if you need a little SF breather. The gym on the second floor boasts four Technogym machines for a range workouts, plus there’s floor space for yoga or stretching. It’s not a huge gym but perfectly functional and definitely big enough for a hotel of this size.

Hotel G also have a well-equipped conference room available for hire, and as an extra little sweetener, if you book directly, they’ve partnered with a local limo company to pick you up from SFO for free.

Restaurant and bars

Two excellent restaurants and a superb cocktail bar are the Hotel G’s surprise up its sleeve. On the corner of the building, Three 9 Eight is a French-American brasserie menu serving hearty breakfasts from 7am, and classic French sandwiches, steaks, moules frites and charcuterie and cheese boards until late.

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On the other side of the hotel foyer, Klyde Cafe and Wine Bar is a little more snacky, serving a small yet composed menu throughout the day alongside an excellent local wine list.

But the Benjamin Cooper Cocktail lounge is the jewel in the crown and has rightly become a local hangout. Styled like a speakeasy, the cocktail list is superb while the bartender also made an excellent rendition of a couple of our favourites. If it’s your thing, Benjamin Cooper also serve local oysters until close.

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At the time of reviewing, Hotel G was not offering a breakfast service, but the hotel does now offer packages with breakfast at the Klyde included.

Verdict

A modern and stylish city hotel, Hotel G finds a balance between being a hip yet welcoming stay for leisure travelers, and a more edgy, suave stay for business guests.

Perfectly situated for downtown exploration and the vibrant, traditional neighbourhoods beyond, Hotel G stays true to the history of the building, the attention to detail while renovating each floor and the period features they were able to retain really pays dividends.

But most importantly the Hotel G is an escape. The second you step inside the foyer, the bustle from outside is cut off, and while you can certainly have fun at the excellent restaurants and bar, the rooms and superb beds will ensure you can recoup precious energy, ready to go again the next day.

For reservations and more, please visit: www.hotelgsanfrancisco.com
Hotel G, 386 Geary Street San Francisco, CA 94102

The London List: Artist Liz West creates a stunning rainbow installation for the 2016 Bristol Biennial festival of designThe London List

Posted in Art, London List
By Sam Bathe on 3 Sep 2016

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Part of an on-going series titled Your Colour Perception, visual artist Liz West has created a remarkable immersive light installation for the 2016 Bristol Biennial. Taking over almost an entire floor of The Pithay building, Our Colour is a glorious rainbow tunnel, drenching visitors in colour and light. So vividly recreating the full spectrum of a rainbow, West hopes to question guests; does colour change the way you feel? “I observe that after moving through the space, people often go back to the colour they find most comfortable,” West explains. “They will then stand, sit or lay there for some time to reflect.” Our Colour is part of the 2016 Bristol Biennial and runs until September 10th.

Our Colour at The Pithay, All Saints’ Street, Bristol, BS1 2LZ

The London List Abroad: SoHo’s slick 11 Howard hotel pits Scandinavian minimalism against New York coolThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 30 Jun 2016

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At the corner of Howard and Lafayette, New York’s chic 11 Howard hotel breathes new life into the site of an old Holiday Inn. However, step inside and the building is unrecognisable. Decked out top to toe with swish minimalist furniture – bar the stylish bar which feels every bit like a seductive New York speakeasy – 11 Howard apart feel like a Scandi retreat against the bustle of the New York City streets. Show the rest of this post…

With rooms available from Queens to the hugely spacious Terrace Suite, the mid-century rooms are crisp and yet homely, with the soft furnishings taking an edge of the minimalist aesthetic. “There is something about the honesty of these materials that ultimately, even used, they might look better than new. It’s not all distressed and it’s not all polished — it’s a balance,” explains creative director Anda Andrei. Plus the hotel are promoting a mantra of socially-conscious hospitality, with a portion of every room rate goes towards the Global Poverty Project. Right at the heart of New York’s happening SoHo neighbourhood, 11 Howard is now booking with rooms available from $270.

11 Howard Hotel, 11 Howard Street, New York, NY 10013
www.11howard.com

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The London List Abroad: Freemans Sporting Club team up with eyewear designers Ayame for a limited edition of their ‘General’ sunglassesThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 21 Jun 2016

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Teaming up for a Tokyo exclusive, eyewear designers Ayame have collaborated with Freemans Sporting Club for a limited edition of their stylish ‘General’ frames. Available in a gorgeous mottled blue/gold colourways, the sunglasses are hand finished with intricate detailing on the arm hinge and nose bridge. Coming with a custom leather case and signature lens cloth, the General sunglasses are available from Freemans Sporting Club for ¥35,000 (approximately £240).

Freemans Sporting Club, 5-46-4 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0001
www.freemanssportingclub.jp

The London List Abroad: The Rivertown Lodge in Upstate New York re-invents roadside motels for the design-consciousThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 13 May 2016

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Two hours out of New York City, the Rivertown Lodge is a 27-room retreat in Hudson, Upstate New York. Stylish for a purpose, the former movie theatre was converted into a motel in 1958, and more recently into the Rivertown by local makers using only authentic materials. Decked out with stunning mid-century furniture, the minimal rooms boast everything you need to get away, and nothing more, with a communal kitchen and retro Papillionaire bicycles also available to guests. Show the rest of this post…

“There’s no stress, you don’t worry about anything — and if you do need anything, we take care of you. It’s a very simple thought, but it’s very rare,” explains co-founder Ray Pirkle. Sounds good to me. Rooms start at $199 for a double, $219 for a queen.

Rivertown Lodge, 731 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534
www.rivertownlodge.com

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The London List Abroad: Artist Cornelia Parker has recreated the ‘Psycho’ house on the rooftop of NYC’s Met MuseumThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 15 Apr 2016

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Now in the fourth year of their summer rooftop series, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art commissioned British artist Cornelia Parker to create their 2016 installation. Titled Transitional Object (PsychoBarn), Parker’s piece is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and paintings by US artist Edward Hopper. A structure that from the front appears to be a real house, but from the back is exposed as two facades held up by scaffolding, PsychoBarn juxtaposes the authenticity of landscape with the artifice of a film set. The 30-foot structure uses the wooden slats, window frames and roof tiles from an abandoned barn in upstate New York, and will be on show from April 19 to October 31.

The Met Fifth Avenue, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028
www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2016/cornelia-parker

Ancient Transylvanian salt mine, Salina Turda, finds a new lease of life as a spectacular subterranean theme parkThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 12 Apr 2016

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In the picturesque Transylvanian countryside, Salina Turda is an ancient salt mine that has become a tourist attraction for unlikely reasons. Deep below ground, visitors descend the mine’s tight tunnels not only to experience the extraordinary man-made chamber below, but for subterranean mini-golf, bowling, and to row around its underground boating lake. Show the rest of this post…

Shot by photographer Richard John Seymour, the Salina Turda dates back over two millennia, last active as a salt mine in 1932. Since then it was used as a WWII shelter, for cheese storage, and in its modern form, now offers a healing centre for people suffering from lung conditions. Part of a €6m investment, a mini theme park with ferris wheels, plus a spa and small amphitheatre were all constructed as this man-made marvel starts a new life for tourists.

Salina Turda, Aleea Durgăului 7, Turda 401106, Romania
www.salinaturda.eu

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The London List Abroad: Ace Hotel open their doors in New Orleans with character match to their new Louisiana homeThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 7 Apr 2016

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Branding away from their iconic minimalist style, Ace Hotel have embraced texture and character with their new New Orleans hotel. Sitting on the corner of Carondelet and Lafayette streets in the city’s Warehouse District, Ace welcome guests to their sleek and sophisticated rooms, dressed with a deep palette and Ace staple acoustic guitars and turntables. Also boasting a Stumptown cafe, Southern-inspired Italian restaurant Josephine Estelle, full music venue and two bars all in the building, New Orleans joins Pittsburgh in opening its doors, as the hotel company’s impressive expansion continues in 2016. Show the rest of this post…

Ace Hotel New Orleans, 600 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
www.acehotel.com/neworleans

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The London List Abroad: Boutique hotel Le Pigalle aptly captures the exhuberance of its surrounding neighbourhoodThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 15 Feb 2016

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In Paris’ trendy Pigalle district, Le Pigalle is a new 40-room neighourhood hotel that “celebrates the area’s tawdry values, brazen spirit and musical energy.” Boasting a cafe, restaurant, vinyl library and bar that hosts regular parties, the hotel has the vibe of an upmarket and little more homely Ace Hotel. Show the rest of this post…

Mixing rough and ready mid-century design with more contemporary touches, the rooms are styled to look and feel like an authentic Parisian apartment, sourcing artwork and furniture from the local neighbourhood.

Le Pigalle, 9 rue Frochot, 75009 Paris, France
www.lepigalle.paris/en

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The London List Abroad: Menswear label The Hill-Side open their first store Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighbourhoodThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 23 Dec 2015

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One of the hottest menswear labels in recent years, Japanese-influenced The Hill-Side have opened first-ever physical store located in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg district, the label’s own backyard. Slotting in perfectly alongside the wealth of shops in the hip Williamsburg neighbourhood, outfront, a New York Subway-style mosaic tile sign adorns the pavement, with tall windows letting light spill into the store. Mixing rugged daywear with more smart-cusual styles, the Brooklyn store carries The Hill-Side’s whole line, including shirts, outerwear, jeans, footwear and accessories, plus ceramics from local artists. The store is open six days a week, closed Monday.

The Hill-Side, 263 S 1st Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

FAN THE FIRE is a digital magazine about lifestyle and creative culture. Launching back in 2005 as a digital publication about Sony’s PSP handheld games console, we’ve grown and evolved now covering the arts and lifestyle, architecture, design and travel.

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