Best for Families: Kids like the Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St. (tel. 800/WESTIN-1 or 415/397-7000), because upon arrival, children under 12 get a Kids Club hat and a special sport bottle that includes complimentary refills in the restaurants. Those ages 3 to 7 also get coloring books and dinosaur soaps and sponges.
Best for Romance: Check out the whimsical and affordable The Archbishop's Mansion, 1000 Fulton St. (tel. 800/543-5820 or 415/563-7872); boutique spot The Hotel Bohème, 444 Columbus Ave. (tel. 415/433-9111); and old-world elegant The Hotel Majestic, 1500 Sutter St. (tel. 800/869-8966 or 415/441-1100).
Best Public Space in a Historic Hotel: The Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery St. (tel. 800/325-3589 or 415/512-1111), the extravagant creation of banker "Bonanza King" Will Ralston in 1875, has one of the grandest rooms in the city: the Garden Court. Running a close second is the magnificent lobby at Nob Hill's The Fairmont Hotel & Tower, 950 Mason St. (tel. 800/441-1414 or 415/772-5000).
Best Trendy Scene: If you want to shack up with the tragically hip, head to Clift, 495 Geary St. (tel. 800/652-5438 or 415/775-4700), which promises upscale flirting at its bar the Redwood Room. Less chichi and funkier in style and location is the Phoenix Hotel, 601 Eddy St. (tel. 800/248-9466 or 415/776-1380), where guests lounge poolside or hang at the too-cool Bambuddha Lounge.
Best Service and Amenities: As usual, the Ritz-Carlton, 600 Stockton St. (tel. 800/241-3333 or 415/296-7465), corners the market in ultimate luxury, from its stunning ground-floor bathrooms to its fabulous restaurant to everything in between. Of course such pampering comes at a cost, but if you can afford it, it's worth the splurge.
For a complete listing of Frommer's-reviewed accommodations, visit our online hotels index.
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