The bulk of San Francisco's hotels were destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, so a massive building wave during reconstruction created some pretty swanky new hotels. With each hotel opening came reviews, though they were a bit more flattering that your typical Yelper. Curbed has combed through them to pull out the gems.
By 1913, there were over 1,300 hotels. Amenities were a little different back then. Hotels were either in the European (meaning the room only was included in the price) or the American style (with the price including meals).
The Palace Hotel:
· "To the bon vivant the grills of the Palace Hotel contained more to enhance the joy of living than anywhere else, and here the chefs prided themselves with providing the best in the land."
· "And it was said of it, as Kipling said of the India Docks, that if you waited there long enough you could see anybody you wished."
· "The Palm Court is even more beautiful than before, and a favorite rendezvous."
· "The lobby has remarkable architectural dignity. It is in the truest sense what hotel lobbies are only by courtesy."
· "The sunroom on the roof, named for its daytime attractiveness, through it is achieving an even greater popularity by night [...] There is no room in San Francisco open to the general public which affords anything like the panorama." [source]
· "There is no finer interpretation of the art of public hospitality in the United States today, than is presented by the complete three-winged St. Francis, which, with over 800 guest rooms, has the largest capacity of any hotel on the Pacific Coast." [source]
· "Magnificent new hostelry is thronged by beautifully gowned women and their escorts." [source]
· "The magnificent interior of the modern establishment and its elegant fittings, which there are probably none richer or better in the world." [source]
· "Among the guests were many who have traveled over the entire world and not a few of those sought out [the manager] to congratulate him on the splendid arrangement of his hotel and the many comforts it provides, equaling all and surpassing many they had received at other establishments in various countries through which they had traveled." [source]
· "It is one of the model hotels of the world." [source]
· "Every room is large, light and airy and easy of access from broad, light parlors. Nearly all of them have the coveted bay window, which ensures sunlight and a most interesting view of the city's main thoroughfare." [source]
· "Every convenience known to modern invention is to be found here, and on a scale of liberality that is surprising." [source]