Smart Stay by

Hotel Zetta, San Francisco

by Katie Hammel
Guest room at Hotel Zetta
Guest room at Hotel Zetta / Courtesy of Hotel Zetta
by Katie Hammel
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Hotel Zetta lobby
Hotel Zetta lobby / Courtesy of Hotel Zetta
by Katie Hammel
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Playroom at Hotel Zetta
Playroom at Hotel Zetta / Courtesy of Hotel Zetta
by Katie Hammel
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The S&R Lounge
The S&R Lounge / Courtesy of Hotel Zetta
by Katie Hammel
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Set behind a neoclassical facade in an early 20th-century building, Hotel Zetta is a modern, swanky property in the heart of downtown San Francisco. With a sleek lobby lounge, an innovative playroom for guests of all ages, an on-site restaurant, two bars, it’s a solid choice for tech-savvy travelers who want a little more personality from their hotel. 

What You Need to Know

The Look

It's All in the Details

The energetic lobby sets a lighthearted tone with a mix of reclaimed wood, inviting couches, and quirky touches like a classic red telephone booth and a large The Price is Right-style Pinko game.

If the lobby is all about communal fun, the 116 rooms and suites reflect an opportunity for quiet relaxation and feature dark wood, tufted leather headboards, modern art, and sleek chrome accents. Accommodations range from the 250-square-foot Superior rooms to the 800-square-foot Zetta suite, which has a separate living area, a dining table, a wet bar, a mini fridge, and an Atari Pong table. There are also 233-square-foot Well & Away rooms, which are complete with Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link™ purifiers, Method cleaning products, and Peloton exercise bikes. All rooms are outfitted with the hottest tech (think Samsung smart TVs with access to Netflix, Amazon Alexa voice assistants, high-speed wifi, and Illy espresso coffee machines) along with earthly comforts like ROIL toiletries and super-soft bathrobes. 

The Vibe

Hotel Zetta offers a bevy of ways for stressed travelers to relax, from the 30-foot-tall Plinko game in the lobby to the playroom's shuffleboard, pool table, ping pong, and Nintendo Wii console. The crowd reflects a start-up team, too. Expect to find early-career business travelers, groups of friends, and millennial couples. 

Who Will Love It

Those who want more than a cookie-cutter hotel will appreciate the property's whimsical touches and startup-style communal spaces. Business travelers will love its central location. 

Who Might Not

Travelers in search of solitude who want a calm, quiet lobby may find the hotel overstimulating. On weekends, the business-centric area around the property loses a bit of its energy, as there are fewer people hustling to and from work.  

Best Amenity 

The on-site restaurant, Cavalier, offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves up British-inspired dishes (think scotched duck eggs, fish and chips, and smoked salmon tea sandwiches). Pair your meal with one of the restaurant's inventive cocktails or opt for a glass of vino from the extensive California-focused wine list. 

Money Matters

What’s Included

Guests enjoy free wifi in their guest rooms as well as all common spaces. The "Borrow Bar" allows guests to rent laptops, a Wii, a GoPro, or other necessities and tech they may have left at home. 

Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About

The hotel charges a mandatory $29 per night fee. This covers a $10 mini bar credit, two bottles of water per day, e-bike rentals, Oculus Go VR Headsets and access to the property's Virtual Reality Room. The fee also includes in-room coffee and tea, as well as access to the fitness center. Dogs are allowed with a fee of $75 per stay. Valet parking costs $62 per night and there is no self-parking. 

How to Get a Deal

In the winter, you can score rates as low as $136 per night for a Superior room, and midweek stays are usually the most affordable option. Summer rates range from $234 to $432 per night. During special events — especially large conventions at the nearby Moscone Center — rates can spike to $700 per night. Be sure to check the property's offers page for seasonal discounts, deals, and promotions. 

Getting There

In the Neighborhood

Located on 5th Street between Market and Mission, Hotel Zetta is located in the city's South of Market (SoMA) neighborhood. The Westfield Shopping Centre, Yerba Buena Gardens, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art are all within a few minutes' walking distance. Iconic landmarks like the Ferry Building, Embarcadero, and Union Square are about a 10-minute walk from the hotel. 

Nearest Airport

The property is 14 miles from San Francisco International Airport, and the drive can take anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour depending on traffic. A taxi or ride-sharing app will cost around $30. During rush hour, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a better option. The journey from the airport to Powell Street Station takes about 30 minutes and costs under $10. It’s just four minutes on foot from the station to the hotel — with no hills to climb. 

Nearest Public Transit

The Powell Street BART station is just around the block from the hotel. Nearby, there are also dozens of other bus stops where you can hop on public transport heading in any direction.

The Bottom Line

The quirky property models itself on the big tech companies found in its central SoMa location, complete with playful communal spaces filled with games, trendy dining and drinking options, and tech-forward rooms.

It's All in the Details