Modes of Travel | June26th, 2019

Hotel Emblem


A Viceroy Hotel in the heart of San Francisco

Whether you found your heart in San Francisco and love it unconditionally, or left your heart there promising to return, every visit to this iconic city of hills is filled with new discoveries, its magic and allure and hidden treasures unfold, so much to see, to experience, to eat, and revisit. Walking the hills can be a challenge, but it is undeniably the best way to discover San Francisco’s secrets. The city that hoards its historic facades, celebrates its familiar skyline and bridge, prides itself in classic neighborhoods that reminisce of storied times, is also the West Coast center of innovation in culture and cuisine, fashion and design, finance and technology. High speed trains and the romance of cable cars symbolize the embrace and fusion of time and energy, past and present.  The newest of the old, Hotel Emblem artfully celebrates the revival of an era that impacted the culture of 1950s America, its art and literature, its iconoclastic disturbance and challenges to a cookie cutter post war conformity. The Beat Generation heralded an upheaval in thought and expression, a questioning of norms and morals and meaning in life, defiant and outspoken spokesmen whose writings, thoughts, words, liberated speech and freedom of expression that laid the groundwork for the cultural explosion of the Sixties. The names still inspire new generations of thinkers and poets and dreamers, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and inspire hoteliers like Viceroy to revision a hotel in the heart of San Francisco dedicated in artful tribute to those whose voices defined the Beat generation and created new expression in art, music, and literature.

Hotel Emblem
is celebrating its grand opening after a total renovation and rededication to the colorful roots of the Fifties Beat culture in San Francisco. The historic site has been a hotel since San Francisco rebuilt after the devastating earthquake and fire of 1906 and, through many manifestations and renovations, it ultimately attracted a literary clientele as The Rex, and boasted a voluminous library. That heritage is honored in the iconic wall of books, an element of decor that defines and distinguishes Hotel Emblem, welcoming guests to a unique concept hotel. From that dramatic entry, creativity and nuanced expression are everywhere. A black and white video that captures the spirit, romance, and energy of the hotel engages behind reception to be enjoyed while refreshing with a welcoming glass of champagne. Eye-catching and tantalizing, the unique design of the lounge draws you in with stunning walls of art, contemporary framed bar, welcoming seating, and a spectacular feature fireplace that is truly mesmerizing. Throughout your stay you will continue to discover details, surprises that inspire questions and awaken curiosity.  For the moment, all attention is centered on the Obscenity Bar where lively conversation is focused on the unique crafted cocktails, curated collection of whiskeys, and variations on the theme of Old Fashioneds being designed as performance art to everyone’s delight. The atmosphere is vibrant, capturing a contemporary version of a jazz-inspired speakeasy. Hotel Emblem sparks an energy that is contagious and spirited. Unique portraits dominate and draw the eye; a collage of vintage photos featuring San Francisco’s Beat legends immediately captures interest. The wall of framed pages of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass is intriguing and inspires questions and a deeper conversation. A club vibe extends to a spacious conference event room, perfect for live music, accommodating dancing, receptions, celebrations or business deliberations meeting a full range of tech needs. For a friendly game of pool to highlight cocktail hours, the boardroom quickly converts with a flip and cues magically appear. This is a scene that welcomes and brings guests together.

Walk to your room on hallway carpets that subtly immortalize famed quotations of Beat poets. Each freshly refurbished guestroom has a creative rendition of the cumulative quotations as wall art. A writing desk displays a small collection of period books and, on request, a classic typewriter will be delivered to your room to inspire your personal free expression. The Book Butler is another unique feature, a cart of selections to peruse and enjoy. Each room is styled for comfort with sumptuous mattress, pillows, and linens. The walk-in shower and spacious bath offers Viceroy signature Roil toiletries, plush robes and towels. A perfect San Francisco retreat for business travelers or tourists to relax at the end of vigorous days.  Start your day with premier coffee and healthy breakfast/lunch options at the hotel’s partner, Bluestone Lane Coffee. Fantastic power bowls, avocado or salmon toasts, pastries and excellence in coffees. Mere steps to the Powell Cable Car, Hotel Emblem is also a quick walk to Union Square for renowned shopping and abundance of amazing restaurants. The savvy Hotel Emblem staff have up-to-date trendy recommendations for all budgets, including tours and tickets, events and exhibits. Arts and culture are the life of San Francisco, with endless opportunities to explore all that the museums, galleries, clubs and theaters have to offer. Hotel Emblem ensures your fitness routine continues at their nearby partner full service state of the art gym and indoor pool.

Not to be missed, Hotel Emblem will arrange an Underground Concierge Walking Tour of San Francisco Beat landmarks with stops at famed hangouts, dives, bars and storied eateries once frequented by the counterculture Beat generation legends. Iconic City Lights Bookstore remains a landmark and literary center where Lawrence Ferlinghetti, now 100 years old, famously published Allen Ginsberg’s first work, HOWL, and set off the chain of events that brought the Beat movement west to San Francisco. The Vesuvius bar is unchanged and Kerouac Way is now a muraled famed stop of On the Road devotees. The tour is the best way to discover the meaning and impact of these voices, walk the walk and echo the hip talk, learn and appreciate the names of the Beat generation who challenged and transformed literary conventions, societal norms and political views that still reverberate in 2019. The walk through Chinatown and Little Italy gives a glimpse of the diverse historical roots that formed San Francisco’s vibrant culture.

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