8 Best San Francisco Historic Luxury Hotels
Don’t you find that sometimes it’s hard to choose? We think that the most glamorous, historic and luxurious hotels in the USA are found in San Francisco — located on prestigious Nob Hill, around the bustling Union Square, in the Financial District and in SOMA (which stands for South of Market Street). But we wanted to present you with only the cream of this crop. So, we had to dig deep and choose wisely. Yet even within our top 7, there are distinct choices.
If you prefer history with your luxury hotel in San Francisco try these bastions of antiquity — The Palace Hotel, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, or (of course) The Fairmont. If you’re looking for a touch of cheeky modern design mixed in with historic luxury, then head to the newly-renovated Scarlet Huntington, the St. Regis, The Westin St. Francis, or the Omni.
The Scarlet Huntington
One of our new faves, the Scarlet Huntington just reopened after a massive re-do, and it’s fabulous.
We call the cheeky design film deco and we love the details as well as the color palette featuring yellows, purples, and, of course, scarlet. Although this Nob Hill luxury hotel was opened in 1926 by a railroad tycoon, C.P. Huntington, it’s become thoroughly modern without losing its historic charm. It’s home to the famous Big Four Restaurant and the award-winning Nob Hill Spa. Find out what we like about the luxury hotel in San Francisco. Minutes away from Huntington Park, Grace Cathedral, and other amazing San Francisco Landmarks.
The Scarlet Huntington – Our Review & Rating…
St. Regis Hotel
A few years ago this historic Union Square hotel underwent a massive renovation to refresh and update.
This up-to-the-minute design and technology we describe as “Historic Elegance Meets Modern Design” and makes the St. Regis one of our top picks. Of course, the fact that it’s also home to Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani’s acclaimed restaurant Ame — one of our favorite places to eat in San Francisco — adds to our liking.
St. Regis Hotel – Our Review & Rating…
Mark Hopkins Hotel
This signature luxury hotel in San Francisco is located on Nob Hill and was founded by a railroad tycoon, Mark Hopkins.
Now part of the InterContinental group, the hotel is an artful blend of French Chateau and Italian Renaissance. It’s one of the most loved SF hotels. Since 1939, the famous Top Of The Mark lounge has been a gathering place for locals and celebrities.
InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel – Our Review & Rating…
Westin St Francis Hotel
This luxury hotel has dominated Union Square since 1904. A recent $40 million renovation restored the Westin to its former glory.
It’s famous for the glass elevators that take you to the 32nd floor for a dazzling view of the city, but also for hotel’s historic luxury trademarks — classic balconies, decorated marble columns, and handcrafted woodwork.
St Francis Hotel San Francisco – Our Review & Rating…
Close to Union Square on New Montgomery Street, the Palace Hotel is the oldest and certainly one of the most historically interesting hotels in the city.
The Palace Hotel is a landmark historic hotel in San Francisco, California, located at the SW corner of Market and New Montgomery streets. The hotel is also referred to as the “New” Palace Hotel to distinguish it from the original 1875 Palace Hotel, which had been demolished after being gutted by the fire caused by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It was rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake to a new level of elegance and luxury, which it retains to this day. It’s also home to a famous San Francisco landmark, the fabulous Garden Court with an 80,000-paned glass-domed ceiling.
High tea or brunch at the Palace Hotel is a favorite venue for special occasions with locals. The food is first class and the ambiance is historic and amazing. Here are my insider hacks for enjoying The Palace to the fullest and cheapest; try the Saturday breakfast buffet and then stay for the free tour which will take you behind the scenes to some of the most gorgeous rooms and wrap with a complimentary glass of bubbly under the crystal dome.
Palace Hotel – Our Review & Rating…
This is the original Fairmont hotel, that set the standard of excellence for the later hotels in the group. (Now owned by Raffles.) Since 1907, The Fairmont has served as the San Francisco residence for U.S. presidents, world leaders, and entertainment stars.
Dominating the summit of Nob Hill, the Fairmont Hotel is home to the Laurel Court restaurant, where they’ve been serving afternoon tea for 110 years. Understated and sleek, the Fairmont is known for comfortable rooms and impeccable service. Don’t miss the culinary garden with its aviary!
The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco – Our Review & Rating…
The Omni Hotel
This opulent hotel is filled with elegant touches like crown molding, chandeliers, a gracious central staircase, and mahogany hand-carved furniture.
Hotel restaurants are an important part of the San Francisco food scene, and the Omni doesn’t disappoint — it’s home to the top-rated Bob’s Steak & Chop House and Bob’s Bar. The Omni San Francisco Hotel is located in the heart of downtown San Francisco on the corner of California Street and Montgomery. The Nob Hill hotel is just a short walk to Union Square shopping, Ferry Building, North Beach and Chinatown. Or hop on the Cable Car located right outside our door and head down to Fisherman’s Wharf. After a day of exploring this dynamic city retreat to our luxury accommodations.
- The Omni Hotel – Our Review & Rating…
Other Luxury San Francisco Hotel Choices
In addition to the Magnificent 7 Historic Hotels above, there’s the group of SF hotels we love that are a modern testament to luxury and design.
If you like contemporary and leading-edge design considers the Japanese-influenced Hotel Nikko, the fun-filled Hotel Zelos, or the W San Francisco.
There are a few other luxury hotels in San Francisco that we like enough to include them in our reviews — like the Renaissance Stanford Court on Russian Hill and Hotel Vitale at the Embarcadero.