On our ascent to the chic and lofty heights of Nob Hill, we were faced with a whimsical Straits-Chinese, boudoir fantasy – a happy confusion (not Confucian) of a red-light opium den and an oppulent red-brick, gold-rush-born mansion. This boutique hotel, sister to its Singaporean namesake is set among the “hill of palaces” – words used to described this upscale neighbourhood by writer and adventurer Robert Louis Stevenson himself. True to its DNA, and our delight, the property is but just a wander away from the mouth-watering dim-sum of Chinatown. Despite being a relatively new reimagining, we feel The Scarlet is a quintessentially San Fran hotel, a testament to the city’s rich, colourful and multicultural physicality – step out of the front door and you’ll see why. A view of the bay meets a criss-cross of intersecting streets, interrupted by the clanging of iconic cable-cars being hoisted up the hill. Inside, our spacious suite was playful, yet elegant and its spa and restaurant is the talk of the town. The icing on the cake? Perfection in service, and the hotel is affiliated to one of our favourite luxury portfolios, Preferred Hotels and a member of its Preferred Pride programme.