Celebrating Pride 2014 with Jonathan Rachman Design

Posted by Dana Andrews on Tue, Jun 24, 2014 @ 10:23 AM

In celebration of Gay Pride this year, we asked our close friend and highly acclaimed designer, Jonathan Rachman, what his favorite go-to spots are around town. Here’s his itinerary for a fabulously Gay Day:

1. Favorite Book Store: City Lights! Go for its history, significance to the queer/beat community, and great array of reading options. Dubbed a "Literary Landmark." (261 Columbus Ave. San Francisco, CA 94133 (415) 362-8193)

Harvey Milk Gay Pride

2. I love a drag show for Sunday brunch at the Starlight Room. Who doesn’t like a boozy brunch with bloody marys and mimosas? “A classic Sunday brunch with attitude!” (450 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 395-8595)

3. Visit City Hall and read about Harvey Milk. Knowledge is power, know your history! (1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl, San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 701-2311)

4. Right in the Castro, Harvey’s restaurant and bar! It may not be the hippest bar anymore, but it pays homage to Harvey! Great place for people watching. (500 Castro Street, San Francisco, 94114 (415) 431-HARV)

Harvey Milk Gay Pride

5. Good Vibrations: not your sleazy sex shop. You name it, they have it; “Creating a buzz since 1977!” (multiple locations* 603 Valencia Street at 17th San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 503-9522)

6. Get lost in Haight Ashbury, where tourists and locals collide.  And while you’re there, go check out Piedmont Boutique for your ultimate Pride costume wear! (1452 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (415) 864-8075)

7. Cafe Flore, also known as “Cafe Hairdo.” Best outdoor cafe with great drinks. Where old school meets new school and generational queers mix! (2298 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114 (415) 621-8579)

Cafe Flore Gay Pride

8. Hotel DIVA: with a name like diva, puhlease - need I say anything more?? (Hint: If fully booked, go to Hotel Union Square, I heard it is newly and fabulously re-designed by this local gay guy!)

Tags: #SF, Jonathan Rachman, Historic San Francisco, Gay Pride, Harvey Milk, Castro

Steinhart Hotel: Style Refresh

Posted by Megan Brandt on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 @ 01:21 PM

If you've stayed at the Steinhart Hotel then you know how charming and timeless it is. And if you've stayed at our long-term property recently, then you might have noticed some beautiful new changes. 15 one bedroom apartments were recently refreshed in a sophisticated Parisian style by Jonathan Rachman Design and they look absolutely gorgeous, don't you think?

"I brought in designer Jonathan Rachman to transform the space because he's simply the best visual storyteller I know. His first career was in the hospitality industry in Switzerland, so he understands what is necessary to make a winning first impression on guests--and what it takes to give them an experience as unforgettable as the decor. Jonathan also appreciates the history of buildings and designed our spaces with complete respect to the building's stunning architecture. When I saw the renderings for the first time, I thought he'd had a peek inside my head and stolen my best ideas before I could articulate them: rich and elegant without being the least bit fussy." -- Yvonne Detert, Personality Hotels CEO & Founder



We caught up with Jonathan Rachman to get the inside scoop on his vision and the inspiration behind his design. Here's what he had to say:

PH: What was the inspiration behind the renovation?

JR: Our inspiration was 'old world' European - classic, yet current. Respecting the history of the Steinhart was crucial because there are so many rich elements of the property that I hope to showcase - from the elevator and the old school front desk, to the tile in the lobby and the coffered ceiling and wall paper in the hallway. San Francisco is an intimate global city and the Steinhart carries the old charm of San Francisco so well.

PH: Where did you pull inspiration from? 

JR: I lived and studied in Europe and have traveled extensively, but Hotel Costes in Paris truly inspired my design for the Steinhart - to continue its rich history AND texture in the current time in San Francisco. I love the rich colors and textures without being pretentious and impractical.

PH: What is your favorite thing about the Steinhart?

JR: Hands down - the history, but as far as interiors - the architectural elements like the elevator and the tiles in the lobby! 

PH: What is the most important thing you consider when designing a home away from home?

JR: The feeling of TRULY being at home, which means being cozy, not stuffy. It's all in the details  - to make the space warm, chic and personalized - not feeling commercial and generic. We put a touch of whimsies in the accessories and art elements at the Steinhart.


Tags: #SF #sanfrancisco #sanfran, Yvonne Detert, Jonathan Rachman, Q&A, design, Steinhart Hotel

Lounge Confessions: Jonathan Rachman

Posted by Domitille Montoro on Thu, May 16, 2013 @ 10:13 AM




Personality Hotels are well known for their original design and their partnerships with various very talented interior designers. Today we would like you to get to know Jonathan Rachman a little more.  Proud owner of Jonathan Rachman Designs, Jonathan has traveled the world before settling in San Francisco for our greatest joy.

He was born and raised in Sumatra, studied in Switzerland and lived in Paris. Being rich of all those influences allows him to create very rich décors in which he is not afraid to mix Louis XVI furniture with random Indonesian artifacts. We are very happy as Jonathan will be designing Hotel Union Square’s new lobby, which will be absolutely stunning when he is done working his magic. It’s time for Jonathan Rachman’s Lounge Confessions:

Inspired by the Proust Questionnaire, here is a set of 10 questions that we like to ask Personalities to get to know them a little better.   
PH: What is your favorite food and drink in San Francisco?

JR: Drink- anything made by Absinthe's bartender on Hayes Street. Food- After all these years, I am still in love with the classic Zuni's Roasted Chicken, B Star Bar's Lotus Chips, and Gary Danko's Horseradish Crusted Salmon Medallion with Dilled Cucumbers and Mustard Sauce.


PH: What is the place you always go to?

JR: From the Feryy building to the "fairies"-the F line route. I love strolling down the Castro and always think about the history of the place, what it means to Gay rights movement. My favorite building in the neighborhood is the Castro Theatre, one of the few still standing: Old School!


PH: What is your favorite street?

JR: West Portal- I have a lot of memories with loved ones there, plus this is the one street in San Francisco which is still "trapped" in the past, it was cool long before Mad Men ever aired.


PH: What do you most appreciate in SF?

JR: How it has become a home to so many wayfarers and how cosmopolitan yet so itimate it is. On a personal level, this town holds so many memories for me. 


PH: What is your favorite occupation in SF?

JR: Being a doorman in a classic San Francisco establishment, especially those who've held the position for decades...imagine the books they could write if they wanted to.


PH: What is your idea of happiness?

JR: Being with my partner and my "tribe" at he same time in the same place, which happened for one of my birthdays in Bali. There were 60 poeple from 14 countries gathered for a week of love. They are my biological family and my "gathered and hoarded" over the years family.

But sharing meals with my partner everyday is just another perfect idea of happiness.


PH: If not yourself, who would you be?            

JR: No one.


PH: What is the natural talent you would like  to be gifted with?

JR: Playing the piano or the violin.


PH: What is your present state of mind?

JR: Insanely grateful.


PH: What is your favorite Motto?

JR: COMPASSION AND LOVE: "There are in the end three things that last: Faith, Hope and Love and the greatest of these is Love".

Tags: interior design san francisco, Jonathan Rachman

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