Whimsical is the word at the 236-room Kimpton Hotel property the Serrano, where check-in is something of a game even before you’re handed your key. In fact, the game at hand is 21, and, should you win, any number of gifts will be yours — from a free movie rental or an appetizer from the in-house restaurant Ponzu to a room upgrade. But lose and you’ll be out $5 (or an even larger donation), with the proceeds going to one of the Serrano’s pet charities, such as the San Francisco SPCA and Dress For Success. Up for another challenge? Visit this competition-friendly hotel’s game room.

405 Taylor St.
415-885-2500
www.serranohotel.com