Known as one of the eco-friendliest in green lovin’ San Francisco, the Hotel Triton does its level best to live up to its rep. With ridiculous lobby decor, helpful staff, and working elevators, the smallish boutique hotel has a definitive San Francisco vibe. It’s also got a definitive San Francisco price tag—expect to pay at least $250 per night for a standard room, and at least $300 for an eco-room. This doesn’t make the Triton expensive by the City’s standards, particularly given its sweet location.
I booked myself and my serious allergy plagued travel buddy into one of the Eco-King rooms. We could tell right off which room was ours—it was the one with the random shards of bamboo screwed to the door. This decoration repeated inside the room, creating a silly “lookit how GREEN we are we use BAMBOO EVERYWHERE” theme. A handmade paper book described in loving detail every eco-friendly aspect of the room, from the paint to the towels to the specially constructed bed.
Our room was small—a common circumstance in the boutique hotels clustering around Union Square. The bamboo flooring looked nice, but I slipped and nearly cracked my head trying to walk on it in socks. An air purifier hummed night and day, which honestly helped my companion’s breathing inside the room.
The Triton has air conditioning—not the most common amenity in the City because it so rarely gets over 80 degrees F. The fan on the A/C unit helps with the stuffiness that greeted us upon arrival. Opening the bathroom window wide helped too.
Room service is available from the attached restaurant Café de la Presse. A mini-bar serves up organic snacks (including Blueberry-Acai gummy pandas) and overpriced beverages.
We had to share—the eco-rooms all have Cal king beds, no double-doubles. The organic cotton sheets and comforter felt super-soft and had no detergent or perfumey smell. And in fact, my buddy was able to sleep with her skin in contact with the sheets (not usual for her) without enduring any allergic reaction whatsoever.
The mattress, a wool-stuffed specialized thing, laid over a frame made primarily of dowels. It made for a fairly comfortable sleep, though I did get a bit of a backache.
I’d asked for a foam pillow in advance, and it sat on our bed when we arrived. Standard pillows at the Triton are feather-filled and numerous. Ask if you need alternatives.
Our bathroom’s size matched our room’s—tiny, with a door that opened inward and made the whole thing awkward. But the shower-tub combo was deep enough for good long soaks, which we both took to ease various aches and pains. The shower head had a filtration unit attached. Towels were fluffy soft organic cotton, and without detergent-y smell. The Triton provides Aveda toiletries, and the labels don’t joke—the mint oil can make delicate eyes water.
But Can You Sleep In It?
Our room had a less than stellar view, with the tradeoff of zero street noise. For a hotel on busy Grant Ave, this is a good trade. On the other hand, our room remained well-lit even at midnight. The eco-conscious bamboo shades did almost nothing to block light, and there were no other means to darken the room. The air purifier never slept, but its hum stayed at a manageably low level. I recommend earplugs maybe and a sleep mask definitely.
Location Location Location
The Triton sits half a block from the Chinatown Gate on Grant Ave, about 3 blocks from Union Square, and 4 blocks from the nearest Cable Car stop. MUNI buses run through the area regularly, and it’s easy to catch a cab out in front of the hotel. The hotel offers free car service from 7am-9am on weekdays for business travelers who need to get to the Financial District.
A French restaurant, Café de la Presse, is attached to the Triton. Next door there’s a coffee bar competing with the Starbucks across the street. The clothing and furniture stores of Union Square spill into the Triton’s block too.
I love the location because it’s easy to walk to points of interest without exhausting myself.
The Bottom Line
The Hotel Triton is a good place to stay for travelers with pain, travelers with allergies, and travelers with mild to moderate Environmental Illness (EI). I’d definitely stay there again.