Every city has, in its history, certain defining moments that are destined to reshape its future. That moment came for San Francisco at 5:12 on the morning of April 18, 1906, when a magnitude 8.3 earthquake struck the booming port city. For three days afterward, those buildings that did not topple were burned in an inferno that is now estimated to have been more destructive than either the Chicago fire of 1871 or the London fire of 1666. But this prosperous (and, some would say, profligate) city would rebuild and reinvent itself, as it has done many times over in the century since.
It is fitting, then, that the new St. Regis San Francisco, located on Mission Street near the Museum of Modern Art, should represent a departure from its more classically styled sisters in New York, Houston, and Washington, D.C. Sleek, contemporary, a composition of clean lines and elemental materials, with a subtle Asian flair, this newest addition to the St. Regis portfolio is everything one thinks of when one thinks of the City by the Bay: cutting-edge, international, and full of surprises. One such surprise is that this seemingly modern structure actually comprises two buildings, one of which was the first major edifice to be built after the Great Quake.
Modern amenities abound, however, including high-speed wireless Internet access and “digital assistants” in each room that control lights, blinds, and audio/video systems. Remède Spa awaits those who wish to be pampered in a tranquil, Zen-like environment. Appetites of a more literal kind can be satisfied at Ame (see page 290), the innovative American-style restaurant with a Japanese twist by Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, who are best known for Napa Valley’s celebrated Terra.
St. Regis San Francisco