Virgin of the future

THE perennial human headline Richard Branson is no stranger to the concept of disruption, lending his quirky edge to virtually every aspect of travel conceivable.

So, it shouldn’t be surprising that his new Virgin Hotel, San Francisco breaks the mould in terms of both style and emphasis on technology.

Located in the SoMa district not far from the Yerba Buena Gardens, the 192-room property boasts a number of nifty technology features such as custom lighting settings, smart entertainment devices, and “Lucy,” the Virgin Hotel app which can respond to several guest requests including room service, room climate control, restaurant reservations, and renting vehicles and transport.

Other features of the hotel include a rooftop bar, on-site coffee shop, a Commons Club, dining room and cocktail bar managed by acclaimed chef Adrian Garcia. The Kitchen by Adrian Garcia serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the bar welcomes nightly music from a roster of DJs; and in very Richard Branson style offers a more intimate lounge area called The Shag Room, which serves up exclusive wines and beers from various European countries.

Even the meetings and events space is covered in unconventional style, presenting clients with eight customisable rooms with less traditional furnishings such as ping-pong meeting tables, fitness video games, mini golf courses and life-sized Jenga games.

The 12-storey, 7,000m2 mid-risehotel formally opened its doors in February this year.

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