San Francisco prides itself on luxury accommodations, many of which have been around since the early days. The 1906 Earthquake and Fire destroyed most of the city's original hotels, but many were resurrected and have been in business ever since. Here now, a map of San Francisco's most historic hotels. Since many buildings in San Francisco have been converted to hotels, this list is only for buildings that were born and raised as hotels.Read More
Mapping San Francisco's Most Historic Hotels
The Beaux Arts-style property, designed by Julia Morgan, was set to open right before much of it was destroyed by the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. A year later it finally opened, and a 23-story tower was added in 1961. It's got some guest pedigree too: this is where the delegates met in 1945 to draft the United Nations Charter, and starting with Harry Truman, every U.S. president has stayed at the Fairmont. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is San Francisco Landmark #185.
The Palace Hotel was built in 1875 as reputedly the largest, most luxurious, and costly hotel in the world. It reopened in 1909 after getting completely remodeled due to damage from the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. It features The Garden Court's stained glass dome with Austrian crystal chandeliers and the 1909 Maxfield Parrish mural of "The Pied Piper of Hamlin" located in the Pied Piper Bar. The Garden Court is San Francisco Landmark #18 (and one of the city's few landmarked interiors).
InterContinental Mark Hopkins
The Mark Hopkins opened to great fanfare in 1926, built on the spot where railroad millionaire Mark Hopkins's turreted mansion (later Mark Hopkins Institute of Art) once stood. It's also home to the Timothy Pfleuger-designed Top of the Mark sky-lounge, famed for its panoramic vistas since its opening in 1939. The hotel is California Historical Landmark #754 and San Francisco Landmark #184.
Sir Francis Drake Hotel
The Drake opened in 1928 as a sleek state-of-the-art marvel, including luxuries like an indoor golf course, ice water on tap, and radios in every guest room. It became a home for celebrities in the 1920s, and blocks of rooms were taken over by the U.S. military during WWII. It's also home to the famous top floor Harry Denton's Starlight Room
St. Francis Hotel
The St. Francis Hotel was begun by the trustees of the estate of Charles Crocker, one of "The Big Four" railroad magnates. Designed by Bliss and Faville, it opened in 1904. It was gutted by the 1906 fire, and reopened a year later.
Omni San Francisco Hotel
Built as a financial center in 1926, the downtown Omni Hotel was designed by Frederick Meyer. It still has an elaborate marble lobby that harkens back to its earlier life.
Built in 1911 as San Francisco’s temporary City Hall after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. It was converted to a hotel in 1915. The lobby features Austrian crystal chandeliers, Tiffany glass, Italian marble columns and floors, and lots more. Until the mid 1990s, the words City Hall could still be seen faintly etched above the main entrance.
Built in 1926, The Pickwick Hotel features neo-gothic architecture and a seven-story corner sign (the facade is seen in The Maltese Falcon). The Pickwick Corporation was originally founded as Limited Imperial Valley Stage Line in 1915—a San Diego-based stagecoach company. The hotel was renovated in 2011
Built in 1902, the Hotel Majestic was the only hotel left standing after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire (as such, it's the longest continually operating hotel in SF). The Edwardian boutique hotel was built by California politician Milton Schmitt, and his daughter Lisa is said to haunt the hotel.
Built in 1913, the Clift hotel was started by an attorney from the Sierra foothills on a lot the family had inherited. Designed by George Applegarth (of Legion of Honor fame), it was advertised as the first hotel in San Francisco to be fire and earthquake proof. The 1933 Art Deco Redwood Room, a favorite of celebrities in the 1940s and 50s, was refurbished by Philippe Starck during a 2001 renovation.
The Nob Hill Hotel
The Nob Hill Hotel was established in 1906 and fully restored to its in 1998. Think lots of marble flooring, stained glass panels, ornate ceilings, and period paintings. This place takes its history seriously, with each guest room full of Victorian antiques, velvet and satin bedding, and marble en suites.
H. C. Baumann designed the Gaylord Hotel in 1929 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style inspired by the buildings of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Now it operates as furnished suites, and is listed as San Francisco Landmark #159.
Ocean Park Motel
Ocean Park Motel in the Outer Parkside was built in 1936 originally sitting among sand dunes, and is San Francisco's first motel. The motel was honored by the Art Deco Society in 1987 for "preservation of this Streamline Moderne beauty."
Designed by in 1923 by Edward E. Young as the Hotel Californian, the Serrano Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as San Francisco's only temperance hotel. Lizzie Glide, a devout Methodist, opened the hotel a few blocks from her Glide Church, and it operated as San Francisco's only temperance hotel from 1935 to 1978.
Built in 1907, the Cadillac was home to wealthy visitors in the first part of the 20th century. It was briefly owned in the 1960s by GAP founder Don Fisher who removed some of its historic detail. The Cadillac Hotel was the first non-profit “Single-Residence Occupancy” (SRO) hotel West of the Mississippi. The original Grand Ballroom was leased for many years by Newman’s Gym, a legendary training facility for boxers (Muhammed Ali and Mayor Willie Brown are said to have worked out there). It's San Francisco Landmark #176.
The primary building of the Prescott was built in 1913 as the Cecil Hotel. During the famed roaring 20's, the Cecil's ballroom had an alter ego as a speakeasy. The other building was the former Press Club of San Francisco, home to journalists and writers.