Spot Cool Stuff strives to be objective in all our reviews. That’s nearly impossible for us when it comes to the Hotel Triton. This fun, boutique hotel at the edge of San Fancisco’s Chinatown has a special place in our heart. In our early adulthood we spent many nights here while working on a consulting project. It was the first high design hotel we stayed at and our home base for exploring the city by the Bay.
Thereafter our travels did not take us back to San Francisco for six years. When we returned we decided to stay at the Triton again. After we checked in we found a handwritten note in our upgraded room that read: Where have you been for the last six years? We’ve missed you!
How can you not love service like that!?
Where serious whimsy meets serious luxury, the Hotel Monaco is a decadent, silly place ideal for fun-loving sorts who don’t mind smaller rooms and the lack of an all-out gym. All the rooms in the renovated 1910 Beaux Arts building have loads of character and include canopy beds draped in romantic fabrics and stripes. Trompe l’oeil murals, such as the cloudscape in the lobby, add a touch of magic to the hotel’s public spaces.
Most hotels would have stopped there, but the Hotel Monaco goes far beyond with dozens of tiny flourishes, such as yoga accessories, Frette robes, Aveda bath goodies, and even a goldfish of your very own for the duration of your stay. Pop down to the living room in the morning for free coffee, and in the afternoon for fresh cookies. Return later for wine, cheese, a tarot reading, and a neck rub. Take the hotel’s complimentary town car to one of the nearby shopping areas. Or free your inner rock star in the Grace Slick Suite, packed with original artwork and memorabilia from Jefferson Starship and Jefferson Airplane.
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LA’s first power plant is one of its latest hot spots. When The Edison Bar moved into a 1910 building near Harlem Place Alley in downtown L.A. it left much of the infrastructure there intact, including the original boiler, power turbines and much of the piping. Around that industrial facade went mood lighting, low-slung bar, atmospheric dance floor and lots of plush nook for eating, socializing and romancing. The result is beyond cool. Come prepared to stand in line and dress to impress — bouncers won’t let you in wearing hats, sneakers or athletic wear.
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