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With neighbors like Square, Twitter and Uber, it’s no wonder San Francisco’s newest high-end boutique hotel, Proper, offers what could be called disruptive hospitality: a venue with equal appeal to visitors and locals. Innovative design, sumptuous dining and clever cocktails draw throngs to this stylish oasis in the up-and-coming Mid-Market neighborhood. For Silicon Valley staycationers, Proper can serve as a chic cocoon or urban launch pad. Here’s a breakdown of key features and area highlights. 1100 Market St., San Francisco, 415.735.7777
1. By Design
After viewing some of the 2,000-plus artworks and objects on display at the nearby Asian Art Museum, head to Proper’s lobby to admire Los Angeles designer Kelly Wearstler’s artfully curated selection of pre-modernist and Cubist paintings, mirrors, retro couches in rich hues and patterned fabrics, and other vintage or custom furnishings. Both the museum and Proper occupy century-old buildings that underwent major transformations to support their current use while preserving evocative period details. In Proper’s lobby, those include restored Corinthian columns and marble floors.
2. Sleep Patterns
To appreciate more of Wearstler’s unique aesthetic and San Francisco’s architecture, spend the night in one of six Premier Suites (from $525 per night). As with other guest rooms, the one-bedroom suites feature Wearstler’s custom reinterpretations of vintage geometric and oral wallpapers, Aireloom mattresses with Bellino Fine Linens, Vifa wireless speakers and Aesop toiletries. But these 650-square-feet enclaves, one per floor, also claim an angled corner with views down Market Street all the way to the Ferry Building, and across McAllister to the landmark copper dome of Hibernia Bank. Bonus: more privacy and less hallway noise.
3. Market Share
Market and McAllister streets’ narrowly separated intersections with Jones Street inspired the shape of the original 1904 Flatiron Building. Destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, it was rebuilt a year later, with more stories added in 1926. This spring, according to hotel manager Ryan Cunningham, Proper plans to open a lively “neighborhood gathering place,” in the ground-floor tip. La Bande will serve locally roasted Counter Culture Coffee, housemade pastries, sandwiches and other casual fare. Fortify yourself here before shopping in Hayes Valley or Union Square, or heading to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
4. Villon as Hero
A short walk from the hotel, the famed Sunday Celebrations at Glide Memorial take place at 9 and 11. The earlier service concludes right around the time that brunch gets under way at Proper’s Villon (pronounced like “villain”). Culinary director and executive chef Jason Franey has created suitably California-inspired menus for all-day dining in the intimate dining room or the living room-style lobby. At brunch (10:30 to 3 on weekends), don’t miss the hearty breakfast pho with short rib and pork belly, or the fluffy ricotta pancakes with pine nuts and creme fraiche.
5. Raising the Bar
If you haven’t scored tickets to John Cleese (March 27 to 28) or another show at the Orpheum, you can still enjoy the theatrical setting of Charmaine’s, Proper’s rooftop lounge. The partly covered terrace boasts sweeping views, fire pits and heaters, and a playful drink menu by BV Hospitality’s Josh Harris and Morgan Schick, known for their trendy Mission District cocktail bar Trick Dog. While a queue forms downstairs before Charmaine’s opens at 5, hotel guests receive priority access with no waiting.
Originally published in the March issue of Silicon Valley