Unlike those mega-corporate brands, Virgin has been distinctly more methodical in the building of its new hospitality venture. Indeed, their first hotel opened just more than four years ago in Downtown Chicago – and it’s taken this long for the follow up.
But that second act has at last arrived, as their San Francisco outpost opens this week to significant chattering amongst the creative classes. And surely a part of that excitement stems from the reality that despite its world class cultural/culinary/nightlife status, SF has been a bit slow in crafting its new-gen hotel cred, barely registering on the international trendometer when it comes to groovy places to lay one’s head when visiting the City by the Bay.
The new hotel is located in the perpetually trendy South of Market (SOMA) district – with all of the attendant food and drink options to keep its denizens hanging about from morning ’til midnight. One can pop in for a caffeine fix at the Funny Library Coffee Shop in the AM, grab a buzzy lunch at the Commons Club (a spinoff of the Windy City original), and, starting in March, carry out some serious seeing and being seen at the Everdene rooftop bar.
Public space aesthetics actually come by way of rock star designer Matthew Rolston, and nod to both SF’s fabled 1960s bohemia and its lesser known British Victorian influence.
But amidst all the socializing, you can actually get a good night’s sleep here, if that’s your thing. The 192 rooms flaunt separate dressing areas and ergonomic lounge beds, with warm woods accented by the signature Virgin red.
if you tend towards booking the St Regis or the Westin St Francis, the Virgin probably won’t be your thing. But if you’d prefer to be where the SF wild things are, we would suggest it as your only new option.