In a world-class city, perched on an iconic bay and awash with scores of high-end hotels, it’s a surprise to discover that Hotel Vitale is the only waterfront luxury boutique hotel in San Francisco.

Located across the road from the landmark Ferry Building, at the intersection of Mission Street and the Embarcadero, this outstanding 200-room hotel delivers spectacular views of San Francisco Bay and the imposing Bay Bridge.

Its exclusive bayside location and panoramic vistas, however, are just two of the many pleasant surprises awaiting guests at this contemporary urban retreat.

Unique circular suites, terrace studios, a penthouse- level spa set in a tranquil bamboo garden, and a stylish restaurant sourcing produce from the neighboring Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market combine to make Hotel Vitale a standout among San Francisco hotels.

The least surprising aspect of Hotel Vitale is that it’s part of a collection of upscale hotels across the United States operating under the brand Joie de Vivre, a name celebrating the joy of life and all it entails.

This inherent sensibility seems to flow throughout the hotel, from the welcoming, efficient and helpful staff at the reception desk to the 14 categories of rooms and suites, the whisper-quiet Spa Vitale and popular Americano Restaurant & Bar at street level.

While all of the rooms deliver contemporary and comfortable accommodations, with neutral color palettes, limestone bathrooms and honor bars, this is definitely a hotel to consider upgrading to one of the spacious terrace studios, circular suites or terrace suites, all with wonderful views of San Francisco Bay.

Instant relaxation can be found in the hushed confines of Spa Vitale, an intimate and soothing haven of pampering on the penthouse level. Treat yourself to the spa’s signature Bathing Ritual, a leisurely affair enjoyed in one of two outdoor soaking tubs set in a rooftop bamboo garden.

Under the direction of executive chef Josh Perez, Hotel Vitale’s Americano Restaurant & Bar offers a sophisticated menu of cocktails, small plates and seasonal Italian cuisine served in a circular lounge, adjacent indoor dining room or on an outdoor patio.

The hotel is an easy walk or cab ride to many of the city’s best attractions, shops and restaurants, assuming you can tear yourself away from those surprisingly good views of bay and bridge.

Image Credits: Photo courtesy of Hotel Vitale.