San Francisco gets new Autograph Collection hotel

The Jay, an Autograph Collection Hotel, is now open in San Francisco's Embarcadero neighborhood. Following a multimillion-dollar renovation, the 360-room hotel has a new outdoor rooftop terrace and a dining outlet, The Third Floor, from The Omakase Restaurant Group and has joined Marriott International's Autograph Collection.

With interiors by the San Francisco studio of design firm AvroKO, the renovation design embraces The Jay's brutalist exterior from architect John Portman and introduces the concept of warm brutalism. In honoring the building's architectural history, the concept of warm brutalism blurs the lines between design modalities while providing subtle nods to the local artists and creators who served as inspiration.

While the concrete exterior of the building remains, everything from the porte cochere to the penthouse was reimagined. Guestrooms have angled floor-to-ceiling windows, drawing in natural light and providing views of the Bay, Coit Tower and the downtown skyline. The rooms have warm wall coverings, soft furnishings and clean lines. The design blends brutalist shapes with a tone-on-tone palette reflecting calm in both color and shape. Other elements in the guestrooms include warm oak wood screens with bronze mirror detailing; custom closet doors inspired by the building's facade; a stone-and-walnut console that combines the desk, dresser and minifridge; custom lighting; and soft custom carpets.

"We're thrilled to be a part of this exciting new lifestyle hotel right in our backyard," said Greg Bradshaw, co-founder and principal of AvroKO. "We've envisioned The Jay to feel like a 'friend in the know'—someplace friendly and warm, but also sophisticated and well crafted. By bringing a layer of warm woods, textured stones and plasters we were able to honor the building's original brutalist structure while giving it a new life and energy that we believe San Francisco's next chapter can be." 

Small and large touches throughout the hotel connect back to San Francisco, from wall coverings inspired by Ruth Asawa's notebook to artist Peggy Caserta's blend of patterns and textures. A three-story circular staircase, featuring bronze castwork by artist Arnaldo Pomodoro and sculptural wood screens, leads to the hotel's lobby, the Third Floor Restaurant & Lounge and the rooftop terrace bar. The staircase was inspired by one designed by John Portman for his own home.

The Third Floor Restaurant & Lounge is a modern update to the hotel's lobby restaurant and bar. This upscale, light-filled environment serves three meals a day, cocktails and a modern spin on traditional afternoon tea. The property is overseen by Executive Chef Michael Magallenes.

"It is fitting that our first hotel partnership is with a property that is a love letter to San Francisco," said Omakase Restaurant Group CEO and co-founder Kash Feng. "This city has brought me so much opportunity to share the foods and flavors that inspire me and we are so excited to now share with even more guests at The Jay."