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
We couldn’t of picked a more perfect hotel! We went to SF to elope at city hall, less then five minute Uber ride to city hall. We stayed in a corner view room, room was impeccable. The view was was amazing our photographer ending up taking photos out on our balcony because the view was that great! Will definitely be staying at Kabuki next time we are in SF and recommending to friends. Hotel lobby has great decor and a good atmosphere! This is the place to stay!
Traveled for Business so I am not sure about product vs price. Room was super comfortable. Staff were very attentive. Room was clean. I was on the 16th floor and views were amazing. There are a lot of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean restaurants in immediate walking distance. Really cool Japanese garden courtyard.
I've stayed at the Hotel Kabuki twice. And twice, there were loud, all-night parties in a room either above or adjacent to mine. Both times, the stench of cigarette smoke constantly wafted into my room from smoking customers, even though this is supposed to be non-smoking hotel. The last time I stayed there (as my daughter was recovering from surgery), I helped the management catch the smoking culprits. The hotel manager told me if I was ever in San Francisco again, to call him and he'd make sure to "take good care of me." I recently e-mailed the hotel to tell the manager I was in need of a hotel in San Francisco over the Memorial Day weekend and reminded him of my less-than-comfortable, two previous experiences. The hotel never answered my e-mail. So, I sent another one. That was not responded to, either. Then I called the hotel. I left a message for the front desk manager. That call was never returned. So, I left another message. That message was never returned. So, I booked another place for eight nights. They just lost a lot of money from me (my eight-night stay would have given them more than $2,000.00). All in all, don't stay here unless you like to smoke and you like parties that go on all night long.
Rooms have extremely thin walls, windows, and doors, so you'll constantly hear noise from the busy street, neighboring rooms, and the hallway. Also, expect lots of extra charges to get added to your bill, like a $28/night "amenity fee" for stuff you didn't use (like borrowing a bike) and a $1/night "donation" to a local non-profit. These should simply be included in the rate. The add-on is deceptive, and a massive annoyance for those who need to itemize expense reports.
One positive: The hotel bar is extremely nice and reasonably priced.
Hotel Kabuki was a great part of a decent trip to SF. The hotel was nicely situated in Japantown and near Fillmore St and so the nicer parts of SF were a walk away. the neighborhood was safe and panhandlers were not overwhelming the area (which is how downtown is). The hotel was recently renovated and had a relaxing design to things. Our room was open and had a relaxing feel to it. The bathroom was big and clean (although the toilet "room" could use a light that did not shine in the shower and the sink areas... but this is a minor suggestion). The lobby was friendly and active, it was full for a lot of the time we were there. The photos of the lobby are not staged, people really did seem to find it a nice place to hang out (we did while we waited an hour before leaving to the airport). They were working on a new restaurant that looks like it might be really nice, there was a little noise during the day, but not too bad.
Overall we were very happy about our choice and will stay there again if we ever have to come to SF again