Just as tech money and business travelers have fueled its growth in recent years, the hotel scene has boomed right along with it.
Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler
How did it strike you on arrival?
Hotel Kabuki is a chic mix of Japanese design and Western cool, thanks to a recent $30 million renovation. In the lobby, potted plants and succulents mingle with geometric cane-back chairs and brightly patterned throw pillows. Open wood and metal pipe shelving holds a collection of books and art objects, and patterned rugs cover light wood floors. The hotel isn't opulent, but it is a cool brand of cozy, and the kind of place you go and wonder how you could up the design in your own living room. Open, 19-foot ceilings, rustic Douglas fir beams, and pendant lights lend just a bit of an industrial vibe.
Nice. What’s the crowd like?
Families; Japanese culture enthusiasts.
The good stuff: Tell us about your room.
There's nothing sterile about the rooms at the Hotel Kabuki. Dramatic, dark gray walls are hung with traditional and modern Japanese art and calligraphy that's far more interesting than your typical hotel painting of Alcatraz. Pops of color in the artwork and on the headboards brighten things up, and the furniture is Scandinavian-inspired.
Thanks to oversized windows, there's plenty of natural light, and many rooms have balconies. These are comfortable, well-decorated spaces, but some are pretty tiny; the smallest rooms at the hotel clock in at 215 feet.
We’re craving some deep, restorative sleep. They got us?
The hotel's mattresses are Serta Perfect Sleeper Concierge Suite II, and the linens are from TY Group – Percale Collection.
How about the little things, like mini bar, or shower goodies. Any of that find its way into your suitcase?
There is no mini-bar. Bluetooth-enabled alarm clocks are a handy touch.
Please tell us the bathroom won’t let us down.
Large walk-in showers, porcelain tiles, and clean lines make for contemporary, updated bathrooms.
Maybe the most important topic of all: Wi-Fi. What’s the word?
Basic Wi-Fi is free in the lobby.
Room service: Worth it?
Sadly, there is no room service. The Hotel Kabuki serves a (not included) breakfast buffet; otherwise, it recommends guests enjoy nearby dining options, like San Francisco Favorites SPQR or Sweet Maple.
Anything stand out about other services and features? Whether it’s childcare, gyms, spas, even parking—whatever stuck with you.
The hotel's revamped, 4,000-square-foot gym includes a yoga studio and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the hotel's tea garden.
What was most memorable—or heartbreaking—about your stay?
If you're a Japanophile, the location can't be beat. The hotel is in the heart of Japantown, next to the Dine-in Kabuki 8 Theater and the Japan Center Malls, a great place to stop in for ramen or explore boutiques. The hotel also has its own Japanese garden and koi pond.
Bottom line: worth it, and why?
Japantown is a bit of a trek from downtown or the tourist attractions of the Embarcadero, but it's also walking distance from coveted restaurants like State Bird Provisions, and its sister restaurant the Progress.