fairmont hotel, historic hotels in san francisco
The Fairmont Hotel || Photo courtesy of Brad Coy via Flickr

San Francisco has some of the United States’ most iconic sites, like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the historic cable cars. For those who enjoy American heritage, San Francisco offers a unique opportunity to stay in the some of the nation’s oldest hotels. Here are seven of the best historic hotels in San Francisco that are landmarks in and of themselves.

Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square

Fairmont Heritage Place is a unique property in the historic Ghirardelli Square. The guest rooms feature modern décor in a building that dates back to 1907. The neoclassical building is one of the oldest hotels in San Francisco and features vaulted ceilings, Corinthian marble columns, and a gorgeous wraparound staircase.

Hotel Whitcomb

Hotel Whitcomb, constructed in 1910, features wood panelling and large elegant chandeliers. The hotel served as San Francisco’s City Hall when an earthquake in 1906 destroyed the original structure. It opened to guests in 1916 and is now a member of the Historic Hotels of America.

Steinhart Hotel

Steinhart Hotel offers fabulous architecture and opulent interiors that evoke the glamour of the 1930s. Constructed in 1910, the hotel retains its original mahogany and glass entrance doors. Inside you will find marble columns, and an original brass elevator in the lobby.

Palace Hotel

Palace Hotel, constructed in 1875 and even after being destroyed by an earthquake in 1906, holds the title of the oldest surviving hotel in San Francisco. Rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake, the hotel features a colourful stained glass dome and chandeliers with Austrian crystal. Throughout its history, eight American presidents have visited Palace Hotel, and other notable guests have included John D. Rockefeller, Oscar Wilde, and J.P. Morgan. This distinguished client list illustrates how luxurious the Palace Hotel is and the role it has played in history.

Westin St. Francis on Union Square

Constructed at the turn of the century and opened in 1904, Westin St. Francis has had a torrid history: wild parties and even the attempted assassination of Gerald Ford while leaving the hotel. Modelled after the grandest hotels in Europe, the property is reminiscent of those in Berlin, Vienna, Monaco, and London. The hotel is one of the only ones on San Francisco’s famous Union Square. It includes several wings and a 32-storey tower, making it the largest hotel on the Pacific Coast.

Sir Francis Drake, a Kimpton Hotel

This iconic hotel is known as The Drake and has 416 rooms. With construction completed in 1928, the hotel is well-known for its London style Beefeater doormen and the jazz lounge on the 21st floor. The Renaissance-influenced architecture will bring you right back to the turn of the century when you enjoy the complimentary evening wine hour in the hotel bar.

The Huntington Hotel

The Huntington opened in 1924 as luxury apartments. Converted to a hotel after World War II, the property is a family run boutique establishment and home to the Nob Hill Spa, which adds to the luxury experience. The rooms, inspired by Chinese art and design, have beautiful, bold colours.

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