Located in the heart of downtown San Francisco and surrounded by word-class restaurants, luxurious hotels, and amazing shopping, Union Square is an excellent neighborhood for meeting and convention attendees to enjoy both work and play. Newly renovated venues are in full supply and promise to usher events and attendees into the future, while well-known local eateries and can’t-miss entertainment continue to provide a taste of the city’s history.
With so many top-notch hotels in and around Union Square, it’s easy to find something that will suit your needs. A few blocks from The Moscone Center, the city’s premier convention facility, is Hotel Nikko (222 Mason St.), a luxury hotel with an independent boutique feel. Hotel Nikko offers 532 guestrooms, 22 suites and 25,000 square feet of meeting space. After a day of networking, your attendees can take advantage of the 10,000-square-foot health club with a workout or relax in the steam rooms and dry saunas.
Also in close proximity to The Moscone Center is the landmark Sir Francis Drake Hotel (450 Powell St.), renovated in 2019 to fuse the traditional with the timeless. The grand staircases, gilded ceilings and sleek marble walls will wow attendees, while the hotel’s 16,000+ square feet of event space can be configured to suit any type of meeting. The legendary Starlight Room nightclub on the 21st floor is an ideal setting for a swanky soiree.
If you’re looking for a hotel that will make your attendees feel at home, head to Hotel G (386 Geary St.), where amenities like Samsung Smart TVs, Tivoli clock radios, Mascioni bedding, Nespresso makers and more are in abundance. Located next to San Francisco’s iconic cable cars, Hotel G also provides convenient access to some of the city’s most popular points of interest.
At the Warwick Hotel (490 Geary St.), located in the theater district two blocks west of Union Square, old world charm meets modern convenience. The recently renovated 74 rooms and 16 suites boast original architecture, hand-carved headboards and antique armoires, while also including high-tech amenities like high-speed Wi-Fi and flat screen TVs. The suites have been redesigned to suit attendees of all stripes, featuring spacious sitting areas with full-sized working desks, brand new bathrooms and the latest in-room technology.
Renowned for luxury accommodations and excellent service, The Westin St. Francis on Union Square (335 Powell St.) is the perfect place to host your distinguished event or meeting. On the 32nd floor, attendees will ride one of five glass elevators to Westin’s Golden Gate Room, which boasts a stunning view and has been called “the most spectacular special event venue in Northern California.” For an equally stunning view and French design inspiration, consider booking their Mission Room, which can host up to 140 people for a seated event and 200 guests reception style.
For one of the best rooftop spaces, the Grand Hyatt San Francisco (345 Stockton St.) can’t be beat. The hotel is home to many venues with enough space for events and meetings of all kinds, but its rooftop venue is particularly special. Surrounded by wall-to-wall glass windows, it offers a stunning 360-degree view of the city.
One of the largest and most convention-friendly hotels in the neighborhood is the Hilton San Francisco Union Square (333 O’Farrell St.), offering 130,000 square feet of event space, as well as state-of-the-art sound, lighting and A/V capabilities. Their experienced, on-site Certified Meeting Planners will ensure your event is both memorable and flawless by assisting with guest rooms, dining options and technology services. For a party or happy hour, the Hilton’s 46th-floor Cityscape Bar & Lounge serves signature cocktails, California wines and a selection of small plates set against amazing unobstructed 360-degree views of the skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Right in the center of Union Square’s action is Bespoke (845 Market St.), a sophisticated, state-of-the-art event space. Modular air walls allow Bespoke to build a customized environment, whether your event necessitates a 360-degree stage, space for breakouts or enough room to construct an immersive installation. The venue’s digital façade includes three gestural screens and touchscreens that are ideal for interactive displays of your company logo or partnered sponsors.
Add an impressive historic touch to your event at stately August Hall (420 Mason St.), a unique venue that lends itself perfectly to live music and entertainment. Choose between their Music Hall, cocktail room (Green Room), or the cocktail/dining/gaming parlor (Fifth Arrow), which is complete with three bowling lanes.
Attendees can be immersed in the region’s passion for wine at Eno Wine Bar (320 Geary St.), available for semi-private or full buy-out events. Activities can include a casual walk-around tasting experience that allows guests to flow through the space as they mix and mingle.
From authentic Southeast Asian food to San Francisco mainstays, there are dozens of delicious places for your attendees to nosh in Union Square.
If you want to give them a taste of local grub, check out Sears Fine Food (439 Powell St.), serving everything from famous pancakes to local seafood in an environment that can easily accommodate large groups.
Impress your guests at Michelin-starred Taj Campton Place (340 Stockton St.), located in the eponymous hotel. Executive chef Srijith Gopinathan masterfully blends Bay Area cuisine with American and European traditions to create a menu that draws worldwide acclaim. Take the experience to the next level by booking a private, customized event in one of their elegant dining rooms.
Hakkasan (One Kearny St.), a modern Chinese restaurant with large dining spaces, tasty small bites and an opulent bar, is an ideal spot whether you’re looking to host a formal sit-down or a spontaneous cocktail hour.
At Tratto (501 Geary St.), attendees will be able to enjoy cozy, rustic Italian fare in an equally cozy environment. The drink selection here is bar none, featuring mouthwatering offerings like boozy Italian sodas concocted with seasonal house-made syrups.
Finally, book a table at Le Colonial (20 Cosmo Place) for food that will transport your attendees to an island getaway. Modeled after the elegance of 1920s French colonial Vietnam, this restaurant works for intimate and larger gatherings alike.
With easy access to some of the world’s top designer lines, Union Square is indisputably one of the best shopping spots in San Francisco. It’s the primary destination for luxury retail, as almost every major fashion label has a storefront here, including Brooks Brothers, Carolina Herrera, Tiffany & Co. and more. At Macy’s Visitor Information Center, attendees coming from more than 100 miles away can receive a 10% discount on all purchases throughout the store.
With nine stories of shopping and dining options, Westfield San Francisco Centre is also a great shopping location to explore, especially since they often offer meeting and event deals. It’s also home to San Francisco's largest day spa, Burke Williams Day Spa, where attendees can de-stress and decompress with a massage or treatment.
Union Square has lots of entertainment options for attendees to experience in an evening or a just few free hours. Anyone with an Instagram account is sure to enjoy a trip to The Museum of Ice Cream (One Grant Ave.). The space is large enough to accommodate many attendees.
Theaters abound in Union Square. BroadwaySF has made it easier than ever for groups to qualify for discounted tickets with a dedicated contact to assist with access. With everything from “Hamilton” to “Spongebob the Musical” slated to appear in the coming year, it won’t be hard to find a show that will please everyone. The Curran (445 Geary St.) will host Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, starting Fall 2019.
Riding the sideboard of an iconic cable car is a must for your guests before they leave town. The cable cars depart from multiple locations, but in Union Square, attendees can catch one at the intersection of Powell and Market streets and take the popular Powell-Hyde line to Fisherman’s Wharf to check out Ghirardelli Square or sip an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista Café. It will also take them past famously crooked Lombard St. in the scenic Russian Hill area.
There are fun happenings throughout the year in Union Square, giving attendees the chance to soak up some San Francisco culture between meetings. From April through October, the Union Square Live series presents free entertainment, including dance, music, theater and other performances in Union Square Plaza, every Sunday and Wednesday.
During the holiday season, Macy’s Union Square offers a variety of festive events and celebrations, including the lighting of a spectacular 83-foot Christmas tree. Macy's is also renowned for stunning holiday window displays, available to view through New Year’s Day. The pop-up Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square is open for skating November through early January.