CONCEPT: The 676-room Westin is in a building that was designed in the 1970s and has been several different hotels since— most recently the Argent Hotel, which it has been operated as since the late 90’s. “The building originally had a modern design but when it became the Argent, it had a French Deco theme which didn’t seem appropriate for the building or for San Francisco,” said Briggs MacDonald, principal of Alamosa Design Associates, Inc. “We wanted to take it back to its modern roots and make it more direct and less theatrical than the Argent. We wanted it to be crisp and clean but warm.”
The plan was for the converted hotel, which is the second Westin in the city, to convey “the whole Westin experience,” added Gary Gutierrez, vp of Highgate Holdings, the owner of the property and interim general manager of the hotel. “It’s all about getting energized and renewed,” he said.
EXECUTION: The renovation project encompassed all of the guestrooms and suites, the restaurant and bar, lobby and entryway. A new outdoor dining and lounge space with a firepit that offers seating for up to 50 people was created and is accessible from the street. Approximately 3,000 square-feet of meeting space was also added as part of the hotel’s conversion to the Westin brand.
One of the most unique features of the new Westin is the boldly colored Lobby Lounge. “We reworked the Lobby Lounge and added a series of glass screens. There is a lot of traffic in this area so we wanted to make it inviting,” MacDonald said. “We created a refreshing space that is not overly trendy” but conveys the renewal idea the brand has become known for, he added.
The hotel also includes the traditional hallmarks of the Westin brand, including the Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath in the guestrooms, which are designed in soothing earth tones. “There are also floor-to-ceiling windows with great views of San Francisco,” he said.
RESULT: The new Westin San Francisco Market Street with its contemporary design has been very well received since it made its debut in April, Gutierrez reported. “We have a tremendous amount of repeat business from guests who stayed at the hotel when it was the Argent. They love it, the look and the feel of the hotel, now that it’s a Westin,” he said. “The reaction from both corporate and leisure guests has been overwhelmingly positive.”