Take San Francisco’s defining features—its booming tech industry, its creative heart, its killer restaurant scene—and squeeze them into a 100-year-old building in a neighborhood undergoing a sea change. That’s Hotel Zetta. The dynamic property, which re-opened as Hotel Zetta in 2013, couldn’t be more, well, San Francisco.

In the lobby, there’s a chandelier fashioned from recycled sunglass lenses, a front desk made from reclaimed wood, and a two-story Plinko board (an interactive art piece) that descends from the Playroom. About that: The Playroom caters to the work-hard, play-hard set. A shuffle board, a pool table, and video games (both current and retro) spark friendly competition. A classic London telephone booth lets guests order room service or video chat. Modern amenities continue in the rooms. Desks built from kitchen butcher blocks encourage standing while working. A G-Link docking station facilitates wireless streaming from tablets and smartphones to flat-screen Samsung Smart TVs, which come pre-loaded with complimentary Internet service, apps and HD channels.

The art? A blend of analog and digital. Art in the guestrooms include work by Nick Gentry. He made an original work as a compilation of floppy disks. Then, the work was photographed and screenprinted as a giclee on a canvas for the rooms. Downstairs, two new ventures from famed Bay Area restaurateurs Anna Weinberg, James Nicholas and Chef Jennifer Puccio (of Marlowe and Park Tavern) ensure the young and hungry are adequately fueled.

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Post-Run Breakfast in Bed

Sometimes working remotely is a drag when all you want to do is explore the city around you, but the spacious and light room - and big fluffy bed - at Hotel Zetta make it easy. And the in-room dining menu is darn good.

A Creative Escape

Hotel Zetta is one of the newer players in San Francisco’s luxury hotel scene, opening its doors to the public in February 2013. Hotel Zetta’s approach to luxury aligns well with San Francisco’s essential style—a perfect marriage between design, art, and tech. It’s an imaginative vision of classy comforts and grown-up gadgets. The S+R lounge in the lobby welcomes you with swanky modernist sofas and chairs, a two-story Plinko game, artsy chandeliers, a backlit, repurposed wine bottle wall, and an iMac work station. After a few cocktails, head up to the second floor to find a room full of billiards, shuffleboards, and other retro toys and games.

It’s truly an adult’s playground where you can work hard and play even harder. Between the gorgeous display of contemporary decor and the wonderfully hospitable service and staff, my stay at Hotel Zetta was a sheer pleasure and truly inspired my creative intellect. It’s a creative escape that cleverly tempers the worlds of intense work and serious play. I would absolutely recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a centrally-located, upscale, trendy, tech-focused, and artsy alternative to luxury chain hotels.

San Francisco's Most Charming Hipster Hotel

Having lived in San Francisco for about a year, the concept of staying at a hotel on my upcoming visit seemed strange. Yet, the Zetta—my home for three of my five nights there—was less of a hotel and more of a local hangout...and a very hip hangout at that. Location-wise, it’s in a great spot. The Westfield Shopping Center is literally next door and the Powell Street Bart station essentially underneath. During my days living in North Beach, I rarely left the neighborhood, so it was a refreshing change to experience a different side of San Francisco. As an art lover, I gravitated toward the Zetta’s interior decor immediately. The lobby does a really great job filling out the space. There’s a sleek bar across from the reception desk, plenty of seating and even a plinko wall. I used to watch The Price is Right religiously whenever I was home from school, so this was a standout feature for me. I also really appreciated the red phone booth near the elevator bank, which reminded me of my semester studying abroad in London.

Beyond the cleverly designed lobby and lounge areas, there’s actually an underground exhibition of local artwork splattered on the walls. Everywhere, from ceilings to stairwells, graffiti-style artwork meets your gaze. While the grittiness of street art might feel like a contrast to the more elegant lobby furnishings, that too is a bit of an illusion. For example, many of the fixtures are made from recycled and reusable materials. In terms of amenities, there’s pretty much everything one might expect at a four-star property plus a few unexpected perks. Right above the lobby is a “Playroom,” for adults, complete with a pool table, shuffleboard, ping pong and more. There’s also a wellness center and a British brasserie called the Cavalier serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. I found the Zetta to almost be like a home away from home, except a lot cleaner and in a better part of town. On my last night in San Francisco, two friends and I enjoyed a bottle of red wine at the S&R Lounge, which hardly feels like a typical hotel bar. There’s also Marianne’s (part of The Cavalier), an intimate spot serving craft cocktails in an old-fashioned, eclectic setting.

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