Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel Completes $11 Million Renovation

Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel

SAN FRANCISCO—The Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco’s Union Square has unveiled its new look with the completion of an $11 million property-wide renovation. The upgrades offer a modern refresh with rich layering and luxurious textures for a clean, contemporary style that showcases the opulence and historic character of the Gothic Revival and Renaissance architectural landmark. Dawson Design Associates conceived the redesign.

With a focus on the hotel as a social hub and gathering spot, the renovation extends from the lobby’s custom fabrics and upholstery in pearl, cranberry, bronze, and pewter colors to the guestrooms with new bed frames, lounge chairs, and sofa beds. New bathrooms have custom millwork and Kohler fixtures, and many have showers in place of tubs. The suites at the Kimpton Sir Francis Drake underwent additional updates of polished stainless steel bar stools, custom glass dining tables, and a new patio design for the Presidential Suite.

“We are excited to share the new enhanced look of the Sir Francis Drake with our guests after almost a year of hard work,” said David von Winckler, general manager and area director of hotel operations, San Francisco and Sacramento. “The extensive renovation highlights our commitment to keeping this iconic hotel relevant while continuing to honor our place in San Francisco history.”

 Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel


As the standard for luxury when the hotel opened in 1928, eclectic, custom furnishings add to the hotel’s sense of adventure and playful atmosphere and complement the original ceilings, ornate staircases, and gilded finishes in the lobby. Smooth pearl fabric sofas have deep tufting and cranberry and bronze accent pillows. Bernhardt Design’s Chiara chairs in a pewter fabric are nearby along with black side chairs by Wolf Gordon complete with Architex reign pattern for the chair back. The pearl fabric continues with the octagonal shaped ottoman with a polished stainless steel stud detailing and double luggage stitching as well as in the bar stools with a wenge wood finish.

The elevators have enhanced mechanics and new walnut panel walls, and custom woven wool Axminster carpet lines the way to the 416 renovated guestrooms. The design of the rooms draws on the hotel’s history while adding lighter, sleeker touches, including a new bed pillow with a hand-written letter from Sir Francis Drake to Queen Elizabeth printed on Dupioni fabric, new custom lounge chairs in a deep slate gray fabric and winged sides, custom millwork bed boxes from mahogany wood, and new full-blackout roller shades. New sofa beds in the same deep slate gray fabric have also been added to 13 guestrooms.

Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel

Additional elements in all of the hotel’s five suites include bar stools in polished stainless steel with a mosaic color seat as well as custom glass dining tables with polished stainless steel legs. The patio of the Presidential Suite has a new outdoor area rug by Safavieh in the Damask medallion pattern, natural teak armchair by Pon International, drum side table by Janus et Cie, Restoration Hardware dining table with double-coated aluminum slate, and Grupo Ketal patio chairs.

The redesign of the guest bathrooms touches on an emerging industry trend toward a preference for showers over bathtubs. Nearly half of the hotel’s bathtubs were converted to a tiled shower surrounded with rolling Belstone glass doors and Kohler plumbing fixtures, with the remaining tubs sanded and refinished. Both showers and baths now have large-format, high-gloss white tile in a classic brick pattern. Each bathroom received new custom millwork with large quartz vanities, European-style cabinets, gray and white patterned wallpaper, undermount sinks, and Kohler faucets, many with new lit mirrors.

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