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The Westin St. Francis to Get Extreme Makeover

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  Site Where: 335 Powell Street [map], San Francisco, CA, United States, 94102
June 3, 2008 at 11:21 AM | by | ()

A couple weeks ago we wrote about the tired-looking Westin St Francis. We don't want to assume we are some kind of soothsaying project of visionaries, but let's just say we found it very interesting that the grand dame of San Francisco has just announced they are undergoing a $40 million renovation anticipated to be complete in Spring 2009.

Starting on the ground floor, the lobby renovation is headed up by none other than Jesus-for-hospitality-design, Rockwell Group. The lobby will take on a modern palette with blues and browns for the color scheme and guests will notice a cooler, more hip feel (picture hanging edison bulbs and sleek couches.)

However, the traditional aspects that made the hotel famous in the first place will still be honored such as glass and metal reproductions of the lobby's original globe chandeliers.

Other street-level news is the addition of Clock Bar which will be the Michael Mina cocktail lounge located directly across from his signature restaurant. The central focus of the space is two columns clad entirely in hand blown champagne and amber colored glass. Loosely woven screens of copper and bronze threads will provide elegant window sheaths and a stitched gold wall covering will adorn a portion of the walls. You will see us there without a doubt.

And now, drum roll please.....all 614 rooms will undergo a $9 million restoration lead by San Francisco based-Kevin Joyce Design. Sounds like we'll still be living in a tan/bronze palette world; however, the addition of new custom designed dark wood furniture pieces topped with gold and silver granite does certainly peak our interest, in a good way.

There was also mention of abstract art work to be added to the rooms as well as velvety chaise-style chairs. Of course staples such as crystal chandeliers and classic black and white photography of the hotel and surrounding area will remain in the rooms as well.

Mess with those signature Heavenly Beds and 37" flat screens and we'll go Children of The Corn on you (not to worry, they are staying.)

Also being redone by Kevin Joyce Design are six suites located on the 31st floor of the Tower Building. Those suites will be completed in Spring 2009. We'll definitely keep you updated.

Unfortunately, there was no mention of any bathroom rehab which really bums us out, because that was one of the main points where we felt the hotel fell flat, on its face, and made us embarrassed for it. Bathrooms are sooooo important. Luckily they are installing new bathrooms in the lobby area.

General improvements to the hotel will include wireless Internet access throughout (but probably not free); the installation of self check-in “pods” and digital reader boards, and elevator upgrades. Both function spaces will receive some nip/tuck action as well. Good for the goose as well as the gander is a $400,000 security update to keep the low lifes and exceptionally belligerent San Francisco homeless population out while keeping the business dudes (and chicks!) in and happy.

This is a one of those dauntingly massive undertakings and we're really looking forward to reviewing the new spaces once they're complete. The hotel industry expert in us thinks Spring 2009 is coming quick, but Starwood is a hotel industry juggernaut, so we wish them the best. Of course frequent geeked-out updates and photos will be published when available.

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