Why you should book the Kimpton Alton Hotel, San Francisco’s hottest new accommodations

Before the pandemic, San Francisco was consistently among the top travel destinations in the country. Though the California city has understandably taken a big hit in recent years, good news is afoot. Tourism in the region is finally on the road to recovery. Visitor spending is expected to reach $6.1 billion by the end of this year, according to this article from the San Francisco Travel Association. (For guidance, 2021 numbers came in at $3.1 billion.) The city also experienced a surprisingly busy Fourth of July holiday, sparking even more optimism about the future of the local economy.

While there are plenty of reputable places to stay in San Francisco, one newcomer stands out with its surprising address, quirky vibe, and lively restaurant. Opening in May 2021, The Kimpton Alton Hotel is located on Fisherman’s Wharf, one of the city’s liveliest destinations. But if you’re concerned that a stay here won’t offer anything unique or special, think again. “Our location provides easy access to some of San Francisco’s best attractions and beaches, yet our hotel guest experience is anything but touristy,” comments General Manager General Manager. “We’re named after Alton Kelley, the legendary rock poster artist of the 1960s, so music and art are embedded in our interior design, decor and programming.”

With the creative direction of acclaimed interior designer Kara Mann, even the main lobby boasts a handsome oak reception desk, a colorful textile piece by Trish Andersen reminiscent of 1970s shaggy carpets, and a tiny, framed original concert ticket by Alton Kelley. The adjoining living room and common areas are also bursting with stylish seating, lush greenery, original artwork – including a texture collage by Kate Drewniak and Ilka Kramer’s evocative photography – curated by Artemis Advising and a diverse vinyl collection.

Appropriately, the 248 guest rooms and suites have a similar retro aesthetic. All of the furnishings, like the midnight velvet headboards and curved wooden bedside tables, were custom-made for the hotel. And in true Kimpton fashion, you’ll also discover the brand’s rocky robes, plush gel beds and yoga mats in the accommodations. But perhaps the most interesting touches of all are the Victrola turntables, encouraging you to customize your own soundtrack during your stay.

Good looks aside, the Kimpton Alton Hotel has a meaningful partnership with the local community. For example: Abacá, the highly acclaimed restaurant helmed by up-and-coming celebrity chef Francis Ang, offers modern Filipino cuisine – standouts include the smoked chicken palabok, Lola’s pork lumpia and Filipino breakfast of garlic rice, pork belly and fried eggs – in a wonderfully light and airy setting .

Though there’s no on-site spa, you can book treatments from massages to haircuts through Soothe, an app that offers on-demand spa services in the privacy of your hotel room. Other notable partnerships include Habibi, a pop-up wine bar in Russian Hill — the owners curate the bottles available for purchase at the hotel’s locally operated bodega — and Oakland’s Blk Girls Green House. “We immediately fell in love with the vibe and ethos of this female-owned plants and specialty homewares store,” says Nichols. “We’ve worked with them since we opened creative community events that we try to produce each quarter.” And on August 25, Kimpton’s popular Off the Record concert series will open the season in Alton with a performance by VINCINT, with proceeds from ticket sales benefiting the National Urban League, a historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization.

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