TWO NEIGHBORHOODS + BUSTLING FILLMORE: Picking your San Francisco stayover isn't quite like choosing a hotel in any other city. For sure, you're looking at price, at amenities, at parking, at the theme or tone of the place. But the City by the Bay is more quilty in its quirky neighborhoodiness, more of a mosaic, so landing near a couple of interesting areas, rather than just one notable nook or avenue or thoroughfare, takes a bit of research and pinpointing that ideal place. The Buchanan, the latest property to debut in the Kimpton family has easy access to both Japantown and Pacific Heights, and the added bonus of being steps away from Fillmore Street, the cafe- and shop-lined stroll-along that is an oft-recommended must-visit in guidebooks (and by longtime live-in-the-area-ers, too). So bedding down at The Buchanan Hotel is a three-fer of sorts, when looking at its external pleasures, but what's inside the just-unveiled-in-June?
A NICOLEHOLLIS DESIGN... which includes "an undulating light installation made from whiskey bottles to underscore the moody glamour of the social hub that welcomes guests and locals into the hotel." The San Francisco-based firm also created a "feature wall made of reclaimed whiskey barrel staves charred by a traditional finishing process known as Shou-Sugi Ban." Beyond the lobby, the 131 guestrooms boast both a "bohemian sensibility" and a nod to the hotel's Japantown location via accent pillows bearing dye-centered Shibori prints (Shibori patterns also make a showing in the hotel's public spaces).
THE HOSTED WINE HOUR, a social, get-to-know-other-travelers staple of the Kimpton hotels, is in place each evening, but beyond the chardonnays and cabs look for sakes to be on the pour as well. In fact, the initial deals packages for the hotel takes its name from the celebrated spirit: Sake in the City, which includes both an overnight stay and "a sampling of three fine sake varieties." For more on this and the boutiquery that now sits where Hotel Tomo once stood, click.