The former Hotel Vitale reopens Wednesday as 1 Hotel San Francisco after a major remodel and restaurant renovation

The SF hotel business is starting to boom again, and with the start of the summer travel season, a new luxury hotel is making its debut on the Embarcadero, in the building that has been the Hotel Vitale since 2005. And the formerly lively happy hour and brunch spot Americano has changed.

Back in February 2020, we learned that the new owners of the Hotel Vitale property at 8 Mission Street, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, had plans to renovate the barely 15-year-old hotel for $25 million. The pre-pandemic plan was to remain open during the renovations and have an official relaunch under a new brand name “early 2021”. The project, like everything else, was significantly delayed and the hotel has remained closed for the past two years, but as of Wednesday it’s ready for guests again.

The new name is 1 Hotel San Francisco and it is the first property in the Bay Area to be operated by international luxury hotel chain SH Hotels & Resorts. The company has brands that focus on environmental awareness and also operates the Treehouse Hotel in London – with upcoming Treehouse locations opening in Miami and Manchester (UK).

A look inside the renovated rooms shows us lots of raw wood accents and knots as decor.

Photo courtesy of 1 Hotel San Francisco
Photo courtesy of 1 Hotel San Francisco

The hotel has 186 rooms and 14 suites, and like the Vitale before it, there’s a rooftop spa. As the Chronicle reports, 1 Hotels has also installed a vegetable garden and beehives on the roof.

Plus, it’s all about the use of reclaimed wood, and the Chronicle notes that “the lobby floor is made of reclaimed wood salvaged from barns and industrial buildings, while the corridors are adorned with reclaimed wood salvaged from the original San Francisco Bay Bridge.” was recovered. The latter detail cannot be confirmed, and it is not clear which part of the ‘original’ Bay Bridge was made of wood – perhaps they mean the scaffolding used to build the bridge?

Formerly known as Americano, the 221-seat restaurant is reborn as Terrene, which sounds like it’ll have a Latin American and Mexican twist on the menu. And the “zero-waste” cocktail menu also has an agave focus.

“There’s a huge historical influence of Mexico on the Bay Area,” says Matt Erickson, president of food and beverage at SH Hotels & Resorts, in an all-too-obvious statement to the Chronicle. “The chef’s menu is inspired by nature, rooted in purpose and designed for sharing.” (The chef is not named in the hotel’s press material or Chronicle article.)

The menu isn’t online yet, but some examples of sides include Star Route Farms carrots with tahini mousse “whipped up with leftover chickpea cooking liquid” and a mushroom dish from Far West Fungi across the street in the Ferry Building, topped with “roof garden herbs and coriander berries.”

Hotel Vitale opened in 2005, and the Americano’s courtyard happy hour scene quickly became a hot spot for downtown singles at night.

Since then, the hotel has changed hands twice, once in 2014, as SF Business Times explains, and another time when Pebblebrook acquired the company it bought in 2018.

With rooms overlooking the Bay Bridge and bay, the location became known as a premier viewing spot for fireworks during holiday events and was a hub of activity during the Super Bowl 50 celebrations in 2016.

1 Hotel San Francisco and Terrene are both open as of today, June 1st, but reservations for Terrene do not seem to be available online yet.

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