Hotel Kabuki – a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel
What We Love
- Traditional shoji (rice paper murals) framing windows
- Fantastic bonsai garden off the Midcentury Modern glass lobby
- Japanese bathhouse with varied spa treatment menu
- Read more about what to see and do in San Francisco and Big Sur in our magazine section
What To Know
- Percentage of hotel profits go directly to the nonprofit Japanese American Historical Society
- Standard Rooms don’t have Japanese-style soaking tubs
- Valet parking costs a steep $40 per night, but you can use your car whenever; garage parking is $23 per day, but you can’t access the car during your stay (no in-and-out privileges)
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Behind the stodgy 1960s architectural frame the Kabuki is a romantic boutique hotel that takes its Japanese style seriously — the cool bonsai garden off the Midcentury Modern glassed-in lobby is one example. The artful placement of flowers, wall art and furniture, combined with the purposeful use of varying colors and textures, enhances the Zen ambience throughout.
Bed and Bath
Rooms are spacious, especially by San Francisco standards, and mimic classic Japanese themes in design elements like traditional shoji screens, fresh orchids, boxy lamps, boldly colored printed silk runners draped over cushioned but firm platform beds. Bathrooms are done in tile and marble, and all but the Standard Rooms have classic Japanese deep-seated soaking tubs and adjoining showers. The Corner View Rooms have exceptional hill and city views across San Francisco.
Inspired by traditional Japanese watering holes, Hotel Kabuki’s O Izakaya Lounge serves more than 20 kinds of sake and an Asian-Western fusion menu designed for sharing. Kabuki Springs & Spa is also on-site. The authentic Japanese bathhouse – facilities include a dry sauna and steam room, hot pool and cold plunge – is open to guests for a fee. A full spa menu, including Asian and Western treatments, is offered here.
In the Area
The hotel sits in the middle of the funky NoPa/Western Addition area of the city. Walk out the front door and into the heart of the revitalized Japantown, with its bustling sushi bars and kimono boutiques, giftshops and bookstores. Try Tataki for mouthwatering, sustainably fished sushi; the Golden State Roll is the house favorite. The funky triplex New People houses a cafe, cinema, gallery space and boutiques with edgy Japanese duds and design books. NoPa’s best local hangout? NOPA. The wood-burning oven at this buzzy spot serves urban rustic fare, from hearty brunches to late-night burgers.
How to Get There
Loved this hotel. The cool vibe is real, and every space is very comfortable. Warm greeting by reception and the valet, who was awesome just in his friendliness every day. Room very clean and bed so comfortable, sliding doors that open for fresh air! Lobby/lounge/bar area perfect place to relax and get some work done during the day, and enjoy happy hour in the evening. Neighborhood is great - loads of ramen and sushi joints, walking distance to the Fillmore and The Boom Boom Room for live music.
Only negative during my stay was when I walked into the bar near closing time to order a cocktail and was told they couldn’t make it because they were out of citrus. I was offered a glass of wine instead. It was clear the bartender was well into his nightly closing routine and simply didn’t want to make any more drinks so I took the wine instead. Not only was this lazy, poor service, the wine was lame. Stick to the cocktails and don’t expect to get one any time near closing.
I have been visiting SF on and off since 1998. I travel a lot on business and prefer to stay in “boutique” hotels where I can, just because I prefer the ambiance compared with the big corporates. Sometimes a Marriott is what you need, but sometimes you just want to sit in a bar with a friendly atmosphere, cool decor and a three piece Jazz band playing live next to your leather sofa.
I love the Kabuki. A JDV hotel recommended by a friend in San Francisco, I’ve now stayed three or four times. Comfortable, contemporary refurb of a 70s building in Japantown - which always feels quiet and fresh compared with the craziness of Union Square.
The staff are friendly and professional. The rooms are very comfortable - particularly the beds. I’ve already mentioned the comfortable and stylish lobby area. Particular thumbs up to Jordan and Sergio in the lobby/bar area. And (I think) Brian who is always there to welcome you back from a long walk across San Francisco or after work.
See you again soon.
This place came highly recommended but ended up being a disappointment. Overall the hotel has great ambiance and it is very clean. Unfortunately, we arrived during a heat wave and the air conditioner in our room was struggling to keep up. We stayed for two nights and reported it on the first night and they brought us a fan because the engineering staff had gone home for the evening. The next morning when we left we made sure to let the front desk know that the a/c was still not cooling and they promised to send someone to fix the problem. When we got back that night, the a/c was still not working. After talking to the front desk they promised to send someone to go look at it. After over an hour late at night someone did show up and replaced the fan of the a/c (which took them an hour). Even after this was done the fan blew a little harder but still not enough to cool the room. BTW, we had the thermostat to 65F. On a separate note, the design of the bathroom left a little bit to be desired. While the shower was extremely ample, the main area of the bathroom was completely visible from the rest of the room, offering no place to change ones clothes without being seen. We contacted the front desk and they informed us that the grand suites have doors in the bathroom area and offered to move us for an additional fee or they could bring us a curtain. We opted for the curtain since the other option didn't offer two beds. We were presented with a very lovely print of the wave Kanagawa no bigger than a towel on a curtain rod, leaving a two feet gap above the floor and it was translucent. Also, one light switch controlled the vanity area, the shower and the water closet. The management did offer some compensation for the inconvenience but I still have to confirm it.
We arrived to the hotel at 8 AM, knowing that check in was not till later that afternoon. Our plan was to just drop our bags and head out for the day. We were told that our room was ready and we could go ahead and check in. I have traveled a lot - all over the world, and rarely does that happen. When we went to our room we found it to be bright and spacious. The shower was huge and everything was very clean. The Hotel had a bar downstairs and it was lively in the evening. I wanted to write a review as our experience was so good - but I hope this Hotel does not get so popular that we have a hard time getting a reservation.
I love staying at this hotel whenever I come to SF. It's cozy, yet chic, amazing customer service, relatable vibes (i.e. playing the NBA finals in a classy way), great music, good food, relaxing garden if you need to get outside but don't want to deal with any of the homeless people on the street.