Located just 18 miles north of San Francisco in Marin County, San Rafael got its first downtown hotel destination with the opening of AC Hotel San Rafael on Wednesday, August 2. Located at 1201 Fifth Avenue on the corner of 5th Avenue and B Street, the hotel features 140 guest rooms, indoor and outdoor meeting space and several food and beverage outlets, including the city’s first rooftop bar, Above Fifth.
The AC Hotel brand was first conceptualized by Antonio Catalán in Spain with the goal of offering guests a design-forward, yet functional hotel with emphasis on creating a seamless guest experience. The hotel is managed by Evolution Hospitality, the lifestyle division of Aimbridge Hospitality, a lifestyle hotel and resort operator based in California. While the AC Hotel San Rafael is an international brand, the destination is an extension of the greater Marin County and San Rafael community, focused on elevating and highlighting local businesses through partnerships which currently include AvantSpace, a coworking space, and Embrace Yoga studio.“Downtown San Rafael is one of the area’s most exciting communities offering great retail, entertainment and dining. AC Hotel San Rafael will complement this historic community and offer visitors a retreat just steps from everything the town has to offer,” says General Manager Mark Pope in a statement. “We are also excited to offer something new for locals with the opening of Above Fifth and the development of partnerships with area businesses and retailers.”
The 140 guest rooms across five floors feature minimalistic style while offering all of the amenities and tech capabilities guests seek for a seamless stay. Public spaces throughout the lobby level were designed with the modern work space in mind and include versatile seating areas throughout the lobby and a library space. The adjacent state of the art gym includes the latest Precor equipment and Peloton bikes. On-site parking and complimentary electric car charging spaces are available.
AC Hotel San Rafael features the brand’s AC Kitchen offering a European inspired breakfast, the AC Lounge featuring a menu of Spanish tapas, and Above Fifth, highlighting local wine, craft cocktails and food alongside views of Mount Tamalpais and the surrounding Marin County.
The hotel also brings a new destination for meetings and events to the city, offering 6,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. The 1,100 square feet Innovation Lab can host up to 50 people and offers an adjacent 1,560 square feet of furnished outdoor patio space. The library creates space for small team buildings and activations with room for up to 10 people while the 2,500 square feet of Above Fifth rooftop bar lends itself to corporate events, meetings, small weddings and receptions.
AC Hotel San Rafael introduces the first rooftop bar to downtown San Rafael at Above Fifth. Featuring unobstructed views of Mt. Tamalpais and the surrounding Marin County, Above Fifth is a destination for curated cocktails, local beer and wine alongside a seasonal and locally sourced menu of small plates.
Above Fifth offers a seasonal menu of shareable small plates emphasizing local products and ingredients. Menu highlights include White Sea Bass Crudo with shallots, capers, citrus, radishes, flake salt and Napa Valley extra virgin olive oil, Point Reyes Toma Grilled Cheese on Bordenave’s sourdough with house made strawberry preserve, Chilled and Baked Oysters, Dungeness Crab with celery leaf, fresh herbs and Belgian endive, and Superior Farms Lamb Meatball with pickled cucumber and tzatziki.
Upon opening, Above Fifth will offer a limited menu of craft cocktails, local wine and draft beer. Cocktails change often to reflect the seasons, opening with The Saturn featuring Grey Whale Gin, orgeat, lemon, passionfruit and falernum, Tam Cooler with Camarena Blanco Tequila, pineapple, lime and cinnamon, and the Pen Pal with Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Dry Vermouth and Aperol.
Above Fifth is open Wednesday through Sunday from 3pm – 11pm and is planning to offer brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
AC Hotel San Rafael also features the brand’s signature AC Kitchen, offering a European-inspired breakfast daily including fresh baked pastries, Spanish egg tarts, artisan prosciutto and cheeses, fresh fruits and more while the AC Lounge serves tapas with wine, craft beer and cocktails from late afternoon through the evening. AC Kitchen is open daily from 6:30am – 10am and the AC Lounge is open daily from 3pm – 11pm.
Additional food and beverage offerings, including a list of curated local products and drinks, are available at the grab and go AC Market off the hotel lobby, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The 140 European-inspired guest rooms across five floors feature floor to ceiling windows, creating an abundance of natural light while inviting guests to enjoy views of downtown San Rafael to the surrounding Mount Tamalpais. A color palette of neutral tones brings the feel of the outdoors in while metal accents, leather furniture, luxurious platform beds and polished stainless steel detail add a dose of modern design to each guest room – creating a welcoming yet modern environment for guests. Bathrooms feature gray and white marble vanities which complement the white marble showers featuring Rain shower heads and AC signature bath amenities.
Guest rooms feature all of the tech amenities to make for a seamless stay from complimentary WiFi to bedside USB ports, keyless RFID locks and Mobile Key access to Smart TVs offering interactive programming and access to web-based content.
AC Hotel San Rafael is built to Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards established by the California Energy Commission to ensure that new and existing buildings are achieving energy efficiency and preserving indoor and outdoor environmental standards and requirements.