HIDDEN AMID THE LAMBENT LIGHTS OF BUSTLING CITYSCAPES, THESE LUSH HOTELS FEEL LIKE HOME ON THEIR OWN PRIVATE ISLANDS
BY AMBER GIBSON
FOUR SEASONS SAN FRANCISCO AT EMBARCADERO
On a quintessentially foggy day in San Francisco, you’ll feel like you’re floating among the clouds at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero. A chic modern castle in the sky, San Francisco’s second Four Seasons opened in 2020, with just 155 rooms, including 28 suites on the top 11 floors of a 48-story building. It’s the newest luxury hotel in SF, with the best views of any hotel in the city, encompassing the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Transamerica Pyramid, and downtown skyline. Two presidential suites even come with private terraces.
Spacious, spa-like bathrooms feature Codage Paris bath amenities, and most rooms have deep soaking tubs so you can end your day with a luxurious bath with sweeping skyline views. Sky bridges on most guestroom floors connect the two towers certainly the most scenic hallways in the city. ere are local touches like Dandelion Chocolate in the minibar, and a state-of-the-art gym with the latest cardio and strength training equipment by Precor and Hoist Fitness.
Many of the staff members are longtime employees, back from when this property was the Mandarin Oriental, and service standards are high. There’s a house car available upon request to whisk you to dinner and meetings around town. Later this year, the street-level restaurant will debut a new California-Italian concept that celebrates a bounty of local produce and serves freshly made pasta.
Rates start at $599. 222 Sansome Street, San Francisco, fourseasons.com/embarcadero
Named for Clio, the Greek muse of history, Hotel Clio emerges from the pandemic with a new name and new look, thanks to a glamorous multimillion-dollar transformation. Originally the first hotel in Denver’s upscale Cherry Creek neighborhood, the 199-room property once more sets the bar for luxury in the city, with comfortable rooms, exemplary service, and an unbeatable location.
There’s a delicate feminine touch throughout, from oshibori-style hot and cold white blossom tea scented towels presented at check-in, to elegant custom artwork, subtle Gold Rush-inspired gold accents, and well-lit marble bathrooms in all guest rooms. Although the hotel does not have a spa, there is a plethora of excellent health and wellness services within walking distance, including Hydrate IV Bar, Vive Float Studio for flotation therapy, cryo therapy, and infrared sauna, and the Now for excellent custom massages at affordable prices. The concierge team will deftly plan an ideal day of wellness, plus shopping at the most exclusive art galleries and boutiques in the neighborhood.
Signature restaurant Toro Latin Kitchen and Bar by chef Richard Sandoval presents an exciting pan-Latin menu that’s meant to be shared. Don’t miss the ceviche amarillo, Colorado bison tiradito with truffle chipotle ponzu, or the adobo Spanish octopus served with Argentinean chimichurri. As part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection, there are also complimentary daily epicurean moments for guests each afternoon including tequila tastings and lessons on building the perfect guacamole.
Rates start at $369. 150 Clayton Lane, Denver, Colorado, hotelcliocherrycreek.com
THE RITZCARLTON RESIDENCES
This chic modern skyscraper adjacent to Kalakaua Avenue, the busiest street in all of Hawaii, is Waikiki’s best luxury escape, with the Diamond Head tower completed just a few years ago for a total of 552 rooms and suites. All rooms have ocean views and private balconies overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Suites are well-equipped for extended stays, with a washer and dryer, plus furnished kitchens including a full-size refrigerator and freezer, marble countertops, and Miele appliances. Bathrooms feature separate showers and soaking tubs, along with full-size Diptyque bath amenities.
The eighth floor is where you’ll find all the action, with the open-air lobby connecting both towers and boasting the highest infinity pool in Waikiki. One pool is reserved for adults, while the second includes a slide and body contour lounge chairs, with complimentary scoops of locally made gelato served each afternoon. Dine al fresco at Italian restaurant Quiora accompanied by live music and panoramic views of the city and beach. There’s a dedicated kids menu, along with sophisticated preparations of wood-grilled fish, porcini pappardelle, and house made olive tapenade and citrus ricotta to start.
Visiting the spa is a must. Request Emiko as your massage therapist and try a full body CBD oil massage with warm stones that will melt away all stress and tension, or opt for a revitalizing body treatment with native lehua blossoms and healing ‘olena, Hawaiian tumeric. If you don’t ever want to check out, six new residential penthouses are being built in the Diamond Head tower.
Rates start at $575 for rooms and $725 for suites. 383 Kalaimoku St, Waikiki, Hawaii, ritzcarltonwaikiki.com
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL MINNEAPOLIS
A breathtaking skyscraper in the heart of the city, Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis sets an entirely new standard for luxury in the Twin Cities. The 222-room hotel includes 39 suites, and is located just a block and a half from the Mississippi River, and is within walking distance to attractions like the Guthrie Theater. Rooms start on the 23rd floor, with floor-to-ceiling windows for unobstructed city and river views. Stone bathrooms feature deep soaking tubs, large separate showers with double rain shower heads, and full-size Le Labo bath amenities. Décor throughout guestrooms and public spaces is modern, with bright and calming blues and neutral wood and sand tones. Details show a refined sense of place, like the locally curated snacks in the minibar from Terroir Chocolate and Isadore Nuts.
Signature restaurant Mara is the first hotel restaurant by James Beard Award winning chef Gavin Kaysen, and the Mediterranean menu includes highlights like chermoula spiced chicken, braised lamb shank, and an assortment of vegetarian friendly dips to begin. Socca Café offers top-notch cold brew and baklava croissants for grab-and-go daytime snacking, while Riva Terrace is an al fresco poolside lunch option and aperitivo hangout.
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis is an impressive wellness destination, and you could easily spend the entire day lounging around the well appointed spa facilities, including indoor pools, steam rooms, and spacious saunas. If you’re feeling especially indulgent, book the two-hour botanical bliss body treatment for a full body exfoliation scrub, warm rose scented bath milk wrap, and customized full body massage. Rates start at $545. 245 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, fourseasons.com/minneapolis