This warm, historic boutique
may be on ritzy "Snob Hill," but it's actually a great value -- so there's more money left over for indulging at the divine spa, voted "Reader's Choice for Best Pamper Spot" by San Francisco Magazine in 2009. The Premier Spa Suite, with private treatment areas plus a living and dining room is the perfect splurge for a group of girlfriends, as are specialty treatments like the Table Thai Massage ($200 for 80 minutes) and a Coconilla Massage Wrap ($140 for 50 minutes). In any case, the city views from the pool, Jacuzzi, fireplace lounge area and breezy outdoor patio don't cost a thing. The fitness center, yoga/Pilates studio, sauna and steam rooms are free for guests as well, making this a great pick for pampering on almost any budget.
1075 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108 Call
At the acclaimed restaurant in the Campton Place Taj
, Master Sommelier Richard Dean can guide you through the 1,500-bottle cellar or the 40 wines that are served by the glass. And the inventive Californian-Mediterranean fusion menu, which features dishes like slow-roasted pork belly topped with cuttlefish and deep-fried okra, is (nearly) as impressive as the wines. And the hotel itself? This ultralux, 110-room boutique a block from Union Square offers posh rooms and pampering service that place it among the city's most special hotels.
340 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108 Call
If shopping is more important than sightseeing, the Laurel Inn
-- located close to the high-end boutiques, galleries, and antique stores of Pacific Heights -- is a great base of operations. Start walking along Sacramento Street, just half a block to the north, for pricey (but special) stores, from ribbons from around the world at The Ribbonerie, to 18th and 19th century European furniture at T. Reggiardo Antiques. Then head east along Sacramento until it meets Fillmore Street for more upscale shops, and continue north toward Union Street, a long stretch of boutiques, jewelry, beauty, and home decor stores that could justify another full day of shopping. Fortunately, The Laurel Inn is not only one of San Francisco's best boutique hotels, it's also one of its best values, leaving you with more spending money.
444 Presidio Ave, San Francisco, CA 94115 Call