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What to Know About Buying a Condo…In a Hotel

Sean Mamola  |  April 27, 2022

What to Know About Buying a Condo…In a Hotel

With its thriving culture, mild climate, and strong ties to finance and tech, San Francisco is a city that draws visitors time and again – many of whom stay at their preferred hotel. For those who need a base in The Golden City, whether for work, to see grandchildren, or simply to explore the city’s restaurants, museums and events, investing in a hotel residence makes personal and financial sense.

Fortunately, San Francisco offers three of the world’s most luxurious residence hotels, each of them Forbes-rated and world-recognized: The Four Seasons at 765 Market Street, The St Regis at 188 Minna Street and The Ritz-Carlton at 690 Market Street.

Residence ownership offers the seamless experience of a guest stay with the benefits of ownership, providing a more elevated way to invest in the city than a standard condo. Regulated by world luxury hospitality champions such as The Forbes Hospitality Group, San Francisco’s residence hotels offer a level of service that comes only with the brand-names they represent.

Here’s what to know about buying a residence in a luxury hotel in San Francisco and what you can expect from ownership.

What to Know about Buying a Hotel Residence

What Is a Hotel Residence?

A hotel residence is typically an individual condo, or sometimes collection of multiple condos that have been merged, which provides the benefits of ownership along with the five-star service of a guest stay. Ownership includes use of hotel amenities and services, from the pool to room service. Equally valuable for many owners is the intangible benefit of familiarity and personal interaction that comes with a permanent presence at a luxury hotel.

Although some residence hotels offer homes within the standard guest building, San Francisco residence hotels have a separate residence lobby for maximum privacy. However, guests maintain access to the amenities of each hotel, including luxurious gyms, pools, and spas. Owners also may enjoy 24-hour room service, housekeeping and concierge service. In this sense, these hotel-residences have the best of both worlds – all the amenities and services of a five-star hotel, with the space, privacy, and personalization of a full residence.

Hotel Residences in San Francisco 

San Francisco’s three residence hotels all lie in the SoMa/Yerba Buena districts of San Francisco, steps from boutiques, museums, parks and cafes. A wander through the neighborhood might lead you to the Yerba Buena Gardens, The Museum of Modern Art, a chic cocktail bar or a charming waterfront restaurant along the Embarcadero.

The Four Seasons Residences

Address: 765 Market Street

Inside the Four Seasons Residences San Francisco, a welcoming lobby invites intimate conversations, while a veranda terrace offers a private retreat above the city with hand-selected vintages from an in-house sommelier. Each 1 to 4-bedroom residence has sweeping city views through floor-to-ceiling windows, contemporary decor, and high-end appliances.

Building Amenities

  • On-site Equinox Sports Club (available for a fee)
    • Indoor heated pool & hot tub
    • Massage room
    • Sauna
    • Yoga room 
  • 24 Hour Valet 
  • On-site MKT Restaurant and Lounge
  • 24/7 security
  • Doorman service
  • Personal trainers
  • Concierge service
  • Room service
  • Housekeeping
  • In house direct access to Equinox gym

St. Regis Residences

Address: 188 Minna Street

Owners of residences at the St. Regis enjoy the same 5-star experience as hotel guests, including personalized Concierge service, an on-demand butler as well as hotel room service. St. Regis Bar and Lounge, a pool, spa and health club are additional options when owning a residence.

Building Amenities
  • World Class Cocktail Lounge
  • Remede Day Spa
  • Heated pool
  • Fitness center
  • Yoga studio
  • Private terrace
  • 24 Hour Valet Service
Please note that some amenities may not be available due to COVID-19.
  • 24-hour doorman
  • Concierge
  • Butler service
  • St. Regis Hotel Amenities

The Ritz-Carlton Residences

Address: 690 Market Street

An iconic part of San Francisco’s history, The Ritz-Carlton Residences once served as the offices of the San Francisco Chronicle. The original facade remains, with interiors that combine classic architectural details, expansive windows, gourmet kitchens and modern amenities.

Building Amenities
  • State-of-the-Art Fitness Center
  • Residents’ Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Conference Room
  • Full-Service Concierge
  • Doorman-Attended Lobby
  • 24/7 Security
  • Valet Parking

The Benefits of Owning a Hotel Residence in San Francisco

The primary benefit of owning a hotel residence is the service level that accompanies a globally recognized hotel brand. Although the monthly HOA fees tend to  be higher than for a comparably sized condo, the tradeoff is for 24-hour security, building insurance, and world-class personalized service. Residence-appointed concierges will handle and assign tasks, including maintenance, some repairs, housekeeping, amenities, and many other day to day needs, allowing you to simply enjoy your residence.

Who Shouldn’t Buy a Hotel Residence

Owning a residence at a five-star hotel certainly has its perks, but the purchase is best suited for owners who plan to downsize or use their residence as a part-time/second home. Investment buyers looking to rent their residence for profit will most likely face a challenging environment. San Francisco gives individual homeowners’ associations great freedom in determining their strict short-term rental policies, and none of the city’s three residence hotels welcome Airbnb-style rentals. If your goal is rental income, leases need to be a minimum of 12 months or longer. As an investor, you might be better served purchasing a condo in a building that offers more favorable terms.

How Can You Purchase a Residence in a Hotel?

Since hotel residences do not typically appear alongside guest accommodations, interested buyers will need to look beyond the standard hotel’s website. In San Francisco, resourcing a well-connected real estate advisor to identify available opportunities is the first step to be taken.

At Rises.co, our experienced local real estate advisors have intimate knowledge of the options available and the best locations. We understand the price per square foot rates and the appropriate valuations of homes. Going the extra mile, we can even help you understand and navigate the agreement, services available to you, and the expectations of you as an owner. When you work with Rises.Co, our interests are aligned with yours. We learn your negotiables and non-negotiables, and we take the time to understand what amenities and services matter most to you.

Looking to Buy a Residence or Other SF Real Estate?

As specialists in the luxury condo market and the opportunities it offers, our team at Rises.co welcomes the opportunity to answer any of your questions about owning a residence in one of San Francisco's three exclusive residence hotels. San Francisco is home to some of the world’s finest living, and we make it our business to show you the best opportunities for highrise living. Browse our listings or get in touch for a personalized home shopping experience.

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