Whenever I go into a hotel room, I compulsively fill my purse with the tiny toiletries from the bathroom. Strong-smelling soaps wrapped in brown paper, lavender-scented shampoo with a wax seal on the cap — they're like little souvenirs. I have a bit of a love affair with hotels, and luckily in my line of work, I get to spend a lot of time in them. The crisp white sheets, room service breakfast in bed, turn-down service — what's not to love?
Moreover, hotel sex is awesome. Knowing that someone else is going to wash the sheets, and I'll never have to look that person directly in the eye, inspires me to get seriously filthy when I get down in a hotel room. So this holiday season, when you're over being inside your own house because it is filled with ornaments and relatives, try a sexy staycation in one of my favorite Bay Area haunts.
The Hotel Triton is just a stone's throw away from the ornate Dragon's Gate entrance to Chinatown. This place is full of the eclectic whimsy the city is known for. It boasts a Technicolor decorating palette as well as celebrity-themed rooms. Both Jerry Garcia and Kathy Griffin have suites that they supposedly decorated — though I just can't see an aging Jerry Garcia caring that much about curtains and dust covers.
I first encountered the Hotel Triton while filming a custom porno for a fan. We were looking for something that had a David Bowie vibe to it (not joking), but they don't, as of yet, have a Bowie suite. We made do with a room that included a yellow-submarine-hued headboard and wallpaper covered in Jack Kerouac prose. The staff didn't ask too many questions about the scenes we shot in the lobby, and no one complained about the incredibly loud porno sex we had in the room, though the bellhop did wink at me on my way out the door. Depending on the season, a night here will set you back around 500 clams. 342 Grant Ave., S.F., 394-0500, hoteltriton.com.
The Berkeley City Club is more than just a fancy place to rest your head for the evening: It's a piece of California history. Built in 1929 and designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan, of Hearst Castle fame, it definitely lives up to its nickname as a “little castle” tucked into the heart of the East Bay. The Gothic stone archways and wrought-iron window details truly make it seem like you have stepped back in time. Swimming caps are required in the exquisite tiled pool, and all the doors are opened with real brass keys — not a plastic key-card reader in sight. Even though the room itself has a little too much of a grandma vibe, the overall haunted feel of the antique rooms makes it a great backdrop for creepy BDSM role play. Rooms range between $175-$300, and breakfast in the fancy dining room is included. 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley, (510) 848-7800, berkeleycityclub.com.
Located at the top of Nob Hill, overlooking Alcatraz and the foggy Golden Gate, the Fairmont harks back to early-20th-century opulence. It is my biggest San Francisco hotel crush. Opened in 1907 just after the earthquake, the Fairmont has been known as the White House of the West because nearly every U.S. president since William Taft has stayed there. But my favorite part of the Fairmont isn't the Rococo tea room or the white-gloved valets: It's the over-the-top Tiki bar in the basement. The Tonga Room, opened in 1945, is the perfect blend of class and kitsch. It houses a pirate ship dance floor, a lagoon with a floating band, and an indoor rainstorm (don't worry, only the lagoon gets rained on). I spent one of the silliest appointments of my life there straining to see and hear my client over the giant mai tai in front of me and the deafening luau music. Rooms at this San Francisco gem cost anywhere from $450 for a basic room to $4,000 for the 23rd-floor Fairmont suite with a wraparound view. 950 Mason St., S.F., 772-5000, fairmont.com/san-francisco.
Enjoy your fuck-cation and please, grab a fancy soap from the bathroom for me. They make excellent stocking stuffers.