BALANCE discovers a tranquil zen den in San Francisco
When travelling to a new city it’s easy to fall into the trap of choosing a hotel based solely on it’s proximity to tourist landmarks.
Keen not to make this mistake in San Francisco as we had done in New York, there is a reason Times Square is not synonymous with a good night’s sleep, we ventured further afield than Union Square to explore the buzzing, boutique-laden Fillmore Street and cultural hot-spot that is Japantown to check-in at Joie de Vivre’s Hotel Kabuki.
Located in Japantown just streets away from Pacific Heights on Fillmore Street with tons of chic boutiques, restaurants and cafes, Hotel Kabuki is perfectly placed for getting, well, just about anywhere. Hop on a traditional San Francisco streetcar to the Embarcardo or jump on a complimentary Hotel Kabuki bicycles to explore the neighbourhood further.
Hotel Kabuki’s interiors are, unsurprisingly, full of Japanese influence. Think pendant lights hanging from lofty ceilings, geometric shapes, exposed wood and shelving made from metal pipes.
Less industrial and more minimalist was our Deluxe Balcony King which provided panoramic views of San Francisco from the 180-degree wrap-around balcony. Ten floors up, we slept soundly, undisturbed by the busy street below. With white walls and plenty of natural light, the room was contemporary and clean; the perfect respite from the city.
THE FOOD + DRINK
Pay a visit to Hotel Kabuki’s on-site bar for finely crafted-cocktails with a serious kick and a menu of global flavours. Pre-5pm the vibrant, communal space is a freelancers dream but post-5pm, the shared space comes alive serving Tea for Two cocktails and Japanese-inspired bar bites such as Karaage Chicken, our favourite.
An amble away from Fillmore Street, we recommend grabbing a drink at Hotel Kabuki before heading down the road for a mouth-watering Mediterranean feast at the new kid on the block, Noosh, for Chubby Pita Sandwiches and to-die-for Red Pepper Muhammara dip.
With a newly renovated, 3000 square-foot gym, separate Mind-Body Studio, open-air meditation garden and on-demand portable Meditation Station, Hotel Kabuki well and truly has the BALANCE seal of approval.
We highly recommend leaving time when you check-out to use the latter to quiet your mind with a guided meditation, calming music and soothing Saje Natural Wellness Mist before your onward travel.
Look out for the reimagined zen garden that is set to be woven throughout the property and revealed later this year. Featuring an outdoor lounge, firepits and a pond with bar service, the zen garden will soon be a safe space from the city.