Joie de Vivre Hotels’ boutique San Francisco property, Hotel Kabuki, will soon unveil the first phased of its $28 million renovation in September 2017, with the full completion set for November. Located in the city’s Japantown, the hotel’s renovation takes an immersive dive into the spirit of the neighborhood. Japanese influences are prevalent throughout the hotel, while the design and experience are wholly modern and sophisticated, with whimsical, bohemian accents.
The historic exterior of the building will remain intact—in the 1960s, the part of the building that now houses the Garden Rooms served as a community center. Those rooms are connected to the Tower Rooms, formerly the Japanese Consulate. The interiors will be reimagined by Brooklyn-based MARKZEFF Design. The 225 guestroom hotel will have a lobby lounge and library with 19-foot-tall ceilings, 14 suites up to 600 square-feet in size, a Japanese garden woven throughout the property, a brand new lobby bar with Japanese-inflection and Bay Area bar snacks, a spacious outdoor lounge with fire-puts and pond, a 3,000 square-foot fitness center and 400 square-foot yoga studio, and a designated floor with 13,000 square-feet of dedicated meeting and event space.
Guestrooms will have unobstructed city views along with custom furniture and lighting with several hand-worked finishes, gray accent walls, stitched leather furniture, and shibori crafted cloths. A carefully curated art wall will feature traditional and modern Japanese art and calligraphy, with sisal carpeting to create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. The modern bathrooms are anchored with a custom, ebonized timber vanity set against large scale floor-to-ceiling porcelain tiles and contemporary fixtures.
The new reception area will have a clean-lined Japanese-style timber reception desk with a live wood edge, detailed with contrasting butterfly-key inlays. A back-lit vintage factory window wall will serve as the backdrop, along with a custom map mural on the ceiling. Custom hand-tufted wool carpets sourced from Thailand lead from the reception area to the elevator lobby. The lobby will also have exposed rough-hewn Douglas-fir beams, vintage factory paned windows, and salvaged industrial pendant lights. Materials include flame-treated Shou-sugi-ban wood—an ancient Japanese technique of charring wood to preserve it. The space will be outfitted with plush couches and chairs, vintage industrial tripod lamps from Europe, and various seating arrangements.
In addition to its physical connection to the Japan Center Mall, Sundance Kabuki Movie Theaters, and Kabuki Springs & Spa where hotel guests are granted complimentary access to the communal baths, the hotel will also offer bikes on loan, meditation aides to utilize in the Japanese Gardens, enhanced cable programming including streaming platforms, and programming options in the fitness center. Hotel Kabuki’s philanthropic partner is the Japantown Foundation, anchoring its ongoing commitment to supporting the community.