Review: Hotel Zeppelin, San Francisco

Despite being part of Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, the Zeppelin is very much a boutique hotel

LOCATION: Tucked away in San Francisco’s theatre district, Hotel Zeppelin is well disguised. It has minimal branding outside so you could easily pass without knowing it’s there. But its location is brilliant, just one block from Union Square, and 30 minutes from the airport, when the traffic’s playing ball.


FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Despite being part of Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, the Zeppelin is very much a boutique hotel. It oozes character, and as a result, is one of San Francisco’s trendiest places to stay. In keeping with its name, the property playfully embraces a rock and roll theme merged with a hippy 60s vibe throughout – think dark and deep colour palettes paired with artwork featuring peace signs. I stayed during a cold winter weekend. The combination of a sizzling fire, friendly staff and the modern and bold decor of a lobby that was made for lounging in, sucked me in from the moment I rolled my suitcase through the front door.


THE FACTS: Psychedelic Hotel Zeppelin is one of two Viceroy properties in the city. The other, Hotel Zetta, can be found in the SoMa district. Hotel Zeppelin is the bigger of the two with 196+ rooms and suites, while its sister site has 116. Zeppelin’s public spaces have a sleek and sexy feel. While the rooms are a little more reserved in design, the soft furnishings provide a pop of colour. The property has a small, but very high standard, gym. On the food front, previously the hotel only had a cafe in the lobby that transformed into a lounge after dark. But the property upped the culinary ante when it opened restaurant Rambler a couple of years ago. The dinner menu features lots of delicious pasta and grain‑based dishes, as well a long starter list that could easily double up as a selection of sharing plates for those who like to sample as much of a menu as possible.


EXPLORE: If you’re heading out on foot, prepare for a major workout. San Francisco is famously hilly, but some ascents can be a real struggle, and that’s where the trams come in. Jump in a cable car to reach North Beach or Fisherman’s Wharf and you’ll be there within 15 minutes, unlike the panting and sweating walkers who have clambered up Nob Hill. Every visitor to the city will want to visit the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s 15 minutes away by cab or a two-hour walk.


WOW: The games room in the lower level of the lobby is unexpected, and some might say unnecessary, but you can’t deny that it’s a fun touch and has become a central hangout point in the property. 


BOOK IT: Room-only rates at Hotel Zeppelin lead in at $209.