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Hotel Bijou Highlights Movie History

Hotel Bijou, a unique 1920s-style boutique hotel located steps away from downtown San Francisco, has completed a renovation that harkens back to the city’s history, with room designs that pay homage to some of the famous films shot there.

The renovation includes new furnishings, decor and amenities while maintaining its significant historical characteristics.

“As the hotel is a historical landmark in San Francisco, built in 1914, we tried to imagine what the hotel would have looked like in its heyday,” said Kunal Sikand, co-proprietor of the property, who worked with Oakland, CA-based interior design firm Mr. Important Design on the hotel’s on-site restaurant, Gibson.

“We were immediately inspired by the ’20s time period and decided to pursue an Art Deco design theme,” he said. “Hence, you will see many brass features, such as our peacock doors, which is the first thing guests are visually drawn to upon entering Hotel Bijou. You will also see Art Deco patterns incorporated all over the hotel, from the carpet detail, to the window treatments throughout the restaurant and the guestrooms. Every detail was executed with this inspiration in mind.”

The hotel’s 65 guestrooms are each named after an acclaimed movie filmed in the city to provide a true San Francisco experience for locals and travelers alike, blending historical sophistication with chic modern decor.

“The movies are mostly classic films, such as Dirty Harry, Bullitt, or The Rock,” he said. “In terms of design, we tried to think of the rooms as leading men or leading ladies in the sense that these are rooms some of the stars of these films would be staying in. All rooms continue with the Art Deco theme; however, our king bedrooms (rooms with one bed) are designed as if Sean Connery were staying in them. They have curved, dramatic leather headboards with a subtly more masculine color tone. Our two double bedrooms are designed with Audrey Hepburn in mind, featuring a classy leather headboard with a more feminine color tone.”

The renovation includes many design upgrades throughout the property, including carpet with a marbled design, improved lighting, refreshed corridor paneling, plush decorative throw pillows and luxury linens. The Art Deco theme is continued throughout its rooms, including bronze touches on furniture, new drapes and ornate jewel-shaped mirrors. Hotel Bijou’s hallways are now lit with crystal-adorned lamps and decorated with an eclectic collection of contemporary artworks, from creative portraits to Hollywood glamour-style photos that complement the hotel’s decor.

Gibson, the property’s restaurant with a lively bar, is located on the hotel’s ground floor and offers a new supper club dining experience.

“There is a giant pop-art ceiling mural above the restaurant space that was created by artist Marco Battaglini,” said Sikand. “This ties together the space by merging the theme of the old and the new together. Once again, Art Deco is woven throughout the design, marrying modern day touches with how we approach hospitality throughout the hotel and restaurant. The movie theater lights that border the ceiling mural, as well as the movie theater curtains at the entrance of the private dining room, pay homage to the movie theme in the rooms.”

Photo credits: Kane Andrade