San Francisco Proper Hotel
What We Love
- The cornice-crowned rooftop lounge
- Imaginative interiors by West Coast powerhouse Kelly Wearstler, whose star-studded resume includes residences for Cameron Diaz and Gwen Stefani
- Zany staff uniforms, which consist of checkered suits and floral ties
- Aesop toiletries in guest bathrooms
What To Know
- There’s a small, no-nonsense gym in the basement
- Rooms at the tip of the Flatiron structure are more reasonably priced (albeit narrower)
- Double-height glass sides make the hotel café, La Bande, an ideal people-watching perch
- Albert Pissis, who is often credited with bringing Beaux-Arts style architecture to San Francisco, designed the original building in the 1900s
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Pet Friendly
The Art Deco era collides with the 80s at this impeccably dressed Mid-Market hotel
Stripy sofas, floral wallpaper, and salvaged furniture may seem like a combination destined to clash, but anything goes at this colorful neighborhood standard-bearer. The historic redbrick building’s Alice in Wonderland-inspired insides come courtesy of designer Kelly Wearstler, whose signature whimsy permeates every colorful corner, from Villon, a restaurant that offers an elegant take on clean Californian eats (salmon belly tostadas; a Fresno chili-spiked version of avocado toast) to the rooms, splattered in a kaleidoscopic array of wall coverings influenced by vintage European graphics. Though not everything is steered by nostalgia: each of the 131 guest dwellings is thoughtfully equipped with walk-in rain-showers, Google Chromecast, wireless Vifa speakers, and a bedside tablet stocked with a room service menu and the ability to reserve your very own complimentary bicycle. If you splurge for the Premier King, you’ll enjoy a swish seating area, draped in Viennese Secession-inspired textiles. Rooftop lounges are few in the City by the Bay, so spend at least one boozy evening at Charmaine, a fire-pit laden space, where the ice-cubes are oversized and the Mezcal power-packed.
In the Area
Downtown Market Street, long regarded the city’s scruffier side, is slowly transforming, thanks to an influx of tech start-ups and Michelin-starred chefs. At the intersection of Market, McAllister and Jones, you’re within easy reach of Embarcadero Boulevard (board the cruise to Alcatraz here), the Ferry Building’s farmer’s market, Union Square, the San Francisco War Memorial, and the outdoor galleries of SFMOMA. Take the ten-minute walk to City Hall, where the dome channels the one crowning St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Looking to go further afield? Lucky for you, the city’s underground BART and Muni trains stop right outside the hotel.
How to Get There
This was my first stay at the Proper Hotel in San Francisco. And, I’ll admit I never heard of Proper Hotels, nor Design Hotels, but they will be on my radar now.
I was in San Francisco for five days on business, and chose the Proper Hotel based on its very competitive pricing compared to other San Francisco hotels. Some of the blocks around the hotel are quite nice, and some are a bit sketchy, and there aren’t many dining options within walking distance.
This hotel has a quirky, funky, boutique feel to it. I saw some reviews refer to it as ‘hipster,’ but I did not get that vibe. I really liked the selection of colors, tiles, wallpaper, furniture, etc. through the hotel and the rooms.
Mine was a corner room (where McAllister Street meets Market Street), that was essentially in the shape of a triangle. The living room area had a couch, a large TV screen, a comfy guest chair, as well as a not too comfortable chair, around a coffee table. The room also had a round dining table with four chairs. This round table would serve as a desk (since there is no traditional desk). The bedroom had a queen size bed. There was a large screen TV in the bedroom as well as the living room. However, the one in the living room was mounted on an artist’s easel since a wall mounted screen would make for difficult viewing in a triangular room. The bathroom was a good size and had two doors, so you could enter it either from the bedroom or the living room.
The room had standard amenities like luggage rack, iron, ironing board, hair dryer, a closet that had both the mini bar and room safe, a night stand on each side of the bed (one of which had some storage space, as well as some plugs for charging devices). There was no bureau per-se, the only available storage space, aside from the closet, was in a credenza in the bedroom.
The bathroom had a sink, toilet, and a large stall shower (no tub) with traditional shower head (no hand held). The stall shower is one of those that are not fully enclosed. The usual offering of soaps and shampoos were from Aesop (an Australian company). Robes (but no slippers) were also available. You could enter the bathroom from the bedroom as well as the living room.
The wifi was fast and reliable and complimentary. One of the nightstands had a tablet in a charger that you can use for requests for maintenance, housekeeping, room service, etc. It also serves as a clock and an alarm. The tablet’s charging stand had two USB ports that were convenient for charging my own phone. Each room had a Vifa Bluetooth speaker. I assume that they were to improve the sound from the TVs. However, neither one seems to have been properly setup to work with the TV, nor were there instructions for setting them for connecting to a smartphone.
In general, I thought that the room could’ve used more lighting. For example, the chandelier over the table would be lacking if you were using it as a desk to get work done. I was also amused that the little recessed niche in the shower to hold the shampoo, conditioner and body wash bottles was just a little too short. The only way to get the bottles to fit was to press down on the pump-dispenser a bit to make the bottles short enough. Of course, that meant that some of the contents was being squirted out onto the shelf each time.
I ate in the hotel restaurant every morning, once for brunch on Sunday, and twice for dinner. The food is good, but the menu is rather limited. At times, I was a little surprised that it was as crowded as it was, but perhaps that’s because of the limited dining options in the neighborhood.
The staff was friendly and helpful. However, a number of times I felt like I was dealing with staff members who were still being trained.
I look forward to the neighborhood around the hotel improving as the gentrification already underway proceeds, and a return to the Proper Hotel.
My wife and I went to San Francisco for the night to attend the Symphony (great performance) and enjoy a night away from home. I hadn't stayed at the Proper before, but it was figured prominently on the Marriott web site.
The hotel was very nice, clean and comfortable with a good staff. The bed was particularly comfortable and the room, while not large, was well laid out.
Only negatives, were a lack of acknowledgement of my Marriott "status" and thus any amenities based on that. It appeared as if the hotel barely functioned as a Marriott; perhaps by design. The other issues was the morning lobby coffee wasn't very warm and had obviously been "cooking" for quite a while.
We did enjoy an evening drink in the lobby bar and were attended to efficiently and personably by the wait staff.
Good hotel to stay at if you can get a reasonable rate; be careful in the neighborhood, however, and expect to drive/taxi rather than walk, especially at night.
The Proper is a great hotel. Roof top bar is cool. Rooms are a bit small but have heaps of character. Staff service is generally very good and it has a great gym. The key issue however is the surrounding area which although very central is basically terrible and it did not feel safe particularly in the evening.
Front desk allow a drunk intruder into my room and left him inside while I was sleeping. I should have called the police. This is terrible and should never have occurred, They did not take the correct actions to protect the guests of the hotel.
I was informed by Hotel Proper I could valet my car to try their restaurant Villon. I was met by a rude valet named Jose who told me valet was for hotel guest only. I tried to explain to him the hotel told me it was okay to valet my car for their restaurant and he cut me off rudely in mid sentence and said I needed to find somewhere else to park. I did not like his attitude and will not go to the Hotel Proper again.