Fairmont hotel exterior
Nob Hill is home to some of San Francisco's finest hotels.

Famous and Historic Hotels in San Francisco

Journey through some of San Francisco's most famed historical hotels and explore the stories and secrets behind these grand buildings.

The city has been a cultural and economic hub for over a century, and famed hoteliers have carved out their careers here. From James C. Flood, who founded the legendary Palace Hotel, to Mark Hopkins, the city's hoteliers and hotels have long been synonymous with luxury and sophistication. These hotels have hosted a who's who of famous individuals, including musicians, international and local politicians, and even royalty.

Inn at the Presidio

2 Moraga Ave

Located in the heart of the Presidio, this building is an historic restoration of Pershing Hall, once a social and administrative building during the Presidio's Army days. In 1994, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark and renovated to become the Inn at the Presidio. The hotel now offers modern amenities such as free WiFi, a complimentary breakfast in their refurbished "mess hall", and a beautiful communal living room with a fireplace.

Book Your Stay

The Palace Hotel

2 New Montgomery St.

Built in 1875, the Palace Hotel garnered immense fame for its over-the-top luxury. In fact, at the time of its construction, it was the largest hotel in the Western United States and San Francisco's tallest building for over a decade. The hotel survived the earthquake and fire of 1906 and was rebuilt to its current grandeur in 1909.  Amenities include 556 spacious rooms and suites, a fitness center, an indoor pool, and fine dining at the acclaimed Garden Court and Pied Piper restaurants. Guests can also enjoy afternoon tea in the lounge and cocktails at the famed Palace Hotel's bar.

Book Your Stay

The Garden Court of San Francisco's Palace Hotel
The Palace Hotel is just one of San Francisco's unparalleled luxury hotels. Credit: @spandanar

The Fairmont Hotel

950 Mason St. 

Two sisters, Theresa Fair Oelrichs and Virginia Fair Vanderbilt, built this Nob Hill mainstay to honor their father, Senator James Graham Fair. Just weeks after the hotel was built, the 1906 earthquake completely destroyed the building. The sisters were undeterred, and hired famed female architect Julia Morgan to re-design their passion project. It opened a year later, gaining a reputation for its glamorous, celebrity clientele. In the 1940s, the hotel's famed Venetian Room attracted big name entertainers, like James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Marlene Dietrich, and Nat King Cole. The room is most famous for hosting Tony Bennet's first performance of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in 1961. The hotel features more than 600 luxurious rooms and suites, a fitness center, a full-service spa, and multiple dining options that serve international cuisine. Guest can also enjoy panoramic views of the City and the Bay, as well as a tiki-themed outing to the legendary Tonga Room.

Book Your Stay

Chateau Tivoli

1057 Steiner St.

Originally built as a private Victorian home in 1892 and restored more than a century later, Chateau Tivoli has lived many lives. In 1917, it was home to The Yiddish Literary and Dramatic Society and in the 1970s it became an important site in the New Age Movement. Located in the Western Addition of San Francisco, it exists among the largest concentration of authentic Victorian buildings in the city. The B&B has stayed true to its roots, with a candy-colored exterior to match its colorful history, and beautiful rooms that reflect the splendor of Victorian times. Choose from nine rooms and suites, with complementary breakfast and additional wine and cheese offerings. 

Book Your Stay

Omni San Francisco Hotel

500 California St.

This splendid hotel has deep roots in the Financial District, originally built as a bank facility known as the Financial Center Building in 1926. The building also drew local fame from its incredible, Chinese granite exterior. After a multi-million dollar renovation, the interiors were refurbished, saving its precious Renaissance-revival architectural features. This beloved holiday destination offers 362 beautiful rooms, plenty of amenities, and a famed steakhouse within the building. The California Street cable car stops right outside its entrance.

Book Your Stay

InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel

999 California St.

Upon opening its doors in 1926, the people of San Francisco described the InterContinental Mark Hopkins as “architecturally perfect” and "flawless." It was built on the site of the former estate of Mark Hopkins, one of San Francisco's "Big Four" who went on to create the Southern Pacific Railroad. The 19-story hotel was designed to reflect a combination of Spanish Renaissance and French Chateau-inspired architecture. The hotel's construction on steep Nob Hill and winged design allow it splendid views of the city and bay. The InterContinental has hosted royalty, heads of state, presidents and various celebrities. The Rolling Stones once rented an entire two floors during their stay, housing themselves and their entire entourage! Enjoy the thoughtfully designed rooms, the hotel's art collection (which includes 9 murals depicting early California), and fine dining at their famed restaurant, Top of the Mark.

Book Your Stay

The Phoenix Hotel

601 Eddy St.

Firmly anchored in rock and roll history, this Tenderloin legend is the place to stay if you're a fan of the classics. It was called The Caravan Motor Lodge upon its construction in 1956, and was designed in the classic mid-century style. Musicians from David Bowie to Kurt Cobain stayed in the Phoenix. The hotel even claims that Neil Young lived there with his pet bush baby while writing "Deja Vu". When Chip Conley purchased the property in 1987, he made sure to add a parking lot large enough for a musician's tour busses to park overnight, attracting San Francisco's "in crowd". The boutique hotel still maintains its aura of cool, with colorful, retro-style rooms equipped with band paraphernalia. During the summer, enjoy DJ sets by their outdoor pool. 

Book Your Stay

The Line Hotel

Where to Stay in San Francisco

In the City by the Bay, you'll find hip boutique hotels, pet-friendly abodes, and hotel suites big enough for the whole family. There's room for everyone here!

Maddie Pratt's headshot
Maddie Pratt

Maddie Pratt is the Sr. Associate of Design & Content at San Francisco Travel. She grew up in nearby Marin County, just a bridge away from the City. After moving to San Francisco in 2020, she knew she'd found her home base. Maddie enjoys walks in Golden Gate Park, chowing down on dim sum and sunsets at Baker Beach.

The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset with a multicolored sky and the San Francisco Bay in the foreground.
Stay Connected with SF

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Be the first to know about upcoming events and festivals, new restaurants, special deals, and everything else happening in the City by the Bay.