Ask San Francisco residents which local hotel they most often recommend to friends and family, and the answer is invariably “Hotel Drisco.” The slightly under-the-radar (yet always included in top SF hotel lists) Pacific Heights inn is a home-away-from-home preference of visiting dignitaries and glitterati seeking a bit of privacy. It’s also a favorite of those whose iconic manses surround the historic property; neighbors consider it a hospitable extension of their own homes—a welcoming and sumptuous annex in which to house overflow guests.
Located in a historic 1903 Edwardian building at Pacific and Broderick, the elegant Hotel Drisco blends seamlessly within its luxe residential neighborhood known globally for stunning hilltop views of the City and the Bay. The hotel’s exclusive and private location delivers a quintessential San Francisco experience, one that is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the city’s other first class lodging options. Yet, Hotel Drisco is within convenient proximity to many of the city’s most noteworthy boutiques and restaurants, as well as landmark museums and parks. Explore on foot, or borrow an e-bike from the hotel’s fleet. (A house car is also available for weekday morning drop-off to most locations within the city limits.)
Updates and upgrades have been (and are continually) made through the years, but it’s the original details that are a large part of the hotel’s charm, such as Honduran mahogany paneling and columns in the lobby, and tasseled room keys that hang decorously behind the front desk. In contrast to the historic elements, thoughtful and modern refinements are found in every one of the 48 guestrooms and suites, of which varying layouts offer many options for single travelers, couples, and families. Each is tastefully appointed with custom-designed furniture and vanities, plush, pillow-top mattresses, and custom made goose down comforters and pillows in serene hues of cream, taupe, and slate, accented with striking pops of gold. Marble bathrooms feature radiant heated floors, lighted fog-free vanity mirrors, walk-in showers, and Bulgari toiletries. But the most valued amenity in each room is the San Francisco skyline views.
And though plush furnishings, gracious and bespoke service, luxuriant toiletries, and city views might be enough of a draw, it’s Hotel Drisco’s complimentary food and beverage offerings that truly ‘wow.’ Every evening, from 5 until 7pm, guests are invited to a wine and appetizer reception for which there is no San Francisco equivalent. Guests often end up canceling dinner reservations after enjoying the generous offerings such as Swedish and Italian meatballs, spicy pork bao, cheeses, charcuterie, fruits, nuts, tossed green salad, and a selection of sweets, all of which can be enjoyed within the urbane dining room. The bounty is accompanied by a choice of high-end wines. This lavish amenity is echoed in the morning with an equally impressive breakfast buffet. Pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits, and eggs made to order are just a few of the morning offerings, which also include coffee drinks made with outstanding Equator Coffee blends. (Coffee is also found in-room via Nespresso machines, and always at the ready in the hotel’s soon to be expanded front sitting room.) Additional food options are available via 24-hour room service, with an extensive menu featuring a number of gourmet choices and a lovely wine list.
Finally, another sign of a well-run hotel can be found in employee longevity. Hotel Drisco’s general manager has served at the helm for a dozen years. The operations manager claims three decades at the front desk, and many members of the housekeeping staff have spent their entire careers caring for Hotel Drisco patrons—dedication illustrative of the loyalty mirrored by Hotel Drisco’s many fans.
Hotel Drisco’s remodeled Sitting Room will be unveiled in May 2023. The space will double in size and feature new custom furniture and fixtures from floor to ceiling. Another guestroom will serve as a temporary Sitting Room during renovations. Additionally, by June 2023, Hotel Drisco will outfit all suite living rooms with new marble-topped cocktail bars, as well as new plush and stylish sofas and end tables.
Photos courtesy of Hotel Drisco
Hotel Drisco is a certified Green Business, meeting the high environmental standards recognized by the City & County of San Francisco.