Steam punk style dining room at Hotel Zelos San Francisco

Sometimes, when wandering through a city, the imaginative thinker might come upon an interesting building and stare up at the façade, thinking “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a room up there?”

On Market Street in San Francisco, the building is the Pacific Building, a 1907 vintage beauty with mint green exteriors and a corner turret. Like most buildings in the SoMa (South of Market Street) neighborhood, it was a new earthquake-resistant build after the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires flattened much of the neighborhood.

The building has a century’s worth of tenants with a century’s worth of stories to tell, but inside and out it looks no worse for wear. It’s also possible to have “a room up there” because the building’s current occupant is Hotel Zelos, part of The Viceroy Urban Retreats Collection.

Viceroy is a luxury hotel group that has three essential brands: the Icon Collection is a group of distinctive luxury properties in jaw-dropping locales, the Lifestyle Collection is marked by luxury properties in more urban environments and the Urban Retreats collection is a group of boutique hotels brimming with contemporary personality.

Personality is something Hotel Zelos has in spades. Inside the green turreted antique building is a self-consciously modern design. Waiting for check-in one might take a seat on a tufted leather bench next to a multi-armed Indian goddess figure with an electronic device punctuating the modern age in each hand.

Upstairs, there’s a bar and restaurant called Dirty Habit that is a drinker’s paradise, with a humongous list of spirits to choose from. A Scotch drinker will find five pages of selections, and those are just the single malts. There are also a number of inventive cocktails, plates large and small (charcuterie, octopus, oysters, wild boar, all the contemporary foodie boxes are checked) and a rooftop because, well, San Francisco.

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Guest rooms are comfy in the way only guest rooms in a historic building can be. My Corner King room was on the top floor of the turret overlooking Market Street—exactly the spot one’s eye is immediately drawn to upon encountering the building for the first time—and it’s difficult not to feel atop the very world with such a bustle at one’s feet.

As a boutique hotel, one won’t find arcades of shopping (there’s a mall next door) or huge, varied amenity lists, but the hotel serves it’s purpose well—it doesn’t upstage the city it occupies but instead provides a comfortable, stylish respite after a day of exploring. Guests enjoy luscious linens, bath amenities from ROIL (and Natura Bisse in suites) WiFi for multiple devices and a well-stocked minibar.

The Takeaway

Hip, perfectly located near the transit options of Market & Powell, and day-meltingly comfortable, Hotel Zelos is certain to catch the traveler’s eye.

The Math

Rates as low as $112 at the bottom of the trough season and work upwards from there.

The hotel charges a mandatory $29 (plus tax) per night “Guest Amenity Fee” that includes coffee & tea, premium internet access 60 minutes of local phone calls, 24 hour fitness center access, printing services, bike rentals, $10 food & beverage credit, neighborhood discounts, and “Borrow Bar” amenities at the front desk, plus a welcome amenity.

Instagrammable Moment

Views of Market Street or the lovely statue in the lobby.


Viceroy participates in the Discovery Loyalty program, but Hotel Zelos is not a participating property.

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Good To Know

The only parking option is valet, from $55 per day plus tax.

There’s also coffee and tea service in the mornings on the 5th floor next to Dirty Habit.