Hotel Spotlight

In SF, a Prime Locale for Taking Care of Business

by Jeralyn Gerba
All Hotel Zelos SF

Hotel Zelos
San Francisco, CA
Contemporary, $$ ($200)

In San Francisco, back in the day, you wouldn't necessarily want to find yourself South of the Slot, that is to say — on the wrong side of the Market Street cable car track. The industrial district, which Jack London wrote about in the early 20th century, was made up of slums and warehouses for Gold Rush workers, laundries, machine shops, and factories. But SoMA (South of Market) after bohemian sprawl and the 21st-century tech gold rush offers a markedly varied landscape: One of high-end restaurants, museums, cocktail bars, cafes, and indie shops; a ballpark, big box stores, and the convention center; nightclubs, leather daddy establishments and real-deal dive bars.

And maybe some combination of those enterprises will make booking a room at Hotel Zelos compelling — whether you're in town for business or just want to go about your business streaking at the kinky Folsom Street Fair. The Viceroy hotel (formerly Kimpton Hotel Palomar) occupies floors five through nine of what was originally an office building, so the views are pretty great and the rooms are some of the largest in the city. The decor is contemporary modern with sophisticated lounges and event space and bright bedrooms with big windows. The hotel is a quick walk to the convention center and half a block from the public transport system, BART, making it a great jumping-off point for travel elsewhere in the city. But without having to go anywhere, guests can take advantage of one of the best cocktail bars in the neighborhood —Dirty Habit — hidden away on the fifth floor with a heated outdoor patio that looks out on the changing neighborhood below.

Hotel Zelos
Hotel Zelos Lobby
The lobby.
Hotel Zelos
Lobby light fixture.
Hotel Zelos
Newly renovated digs.

Book It

Rates change seasonally and start at $200 in winter. Click here for reservations. Or get in touch with the Fathom Concierge and we can plan your trip for you.

Hotel Zelos
Dirty Habit, Hotel Zelos
The Smoked Bohemian served at Dirty Habit. Photo by Nader Khouri.
Hotel Zelos
Bird's eye view of the outdoor patio (a rare SF bird).

At a Glance

The Vibe: Work and play outside the tourist fray.

Standout Detail: One of the neighborhood's best cocktail bars is conveniently located on site. Incredibly inventive drinks served near the fire pit justify a few rounds on the corporate card.

This Place Is Perfect For: Young professionals looking for a solid business hotel where they can loosen the proverbial tie.

Rooms: There are 202 oversized rooms (the building was originally designed as office space) on the 5th-9th floors, and seven suites. Rooms have bright window dressings and bedding, nice views, dedicated workspaces, an honor bar, safe, WiFi, 400-thread-count sheets, and Molton Brown toiletries.

On Site: AAA Four Diamond service, 24-hour fitness center, six handsome meeting rooms (4,800-square-feet of event space; lots of natural light). The "borrow bar" at the front desk is helpful when you need a comb/toothbrush/hair straightener in a pinch.

Food + Drink: Dirty Habit, a whiskey pub in a film noir-inspired setting, is a destination for locals as well as travelers. Go for small batches, adventurous cocktails, shared plates (Asian-inspired), and heated outdoor patio seating (a rarity in this city). Guests will find daily coffee and tea service in the lobby.

Hotel Zelos
Crab dumplings. Photo by Nader Khouri.
Hotel Zelos
Hotel Zelos

What to Do Nearby

SoMA(South of Market Street) is a warehouse-filled district — home of the San Francisco Museum of Art, Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD),Yerba Buena Gardens, and AT&T Park, where the San Francisco Giants play. You'll also find tech startups, high-octane nightclubs, dive bars, and upscale dining options like Cockscomb, Bar Agricole, and Terroir Natural Wine Merchant.

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