Perched 370 feet above the city, Nob Hill is known not only as a geographic high point but an economic one, too, ever since railroad barons chose it as the site for their opulent mansions in the late 19th century. Over time, grand hotels, stylish restaurants and unique attractions have filled the neighborhood, but the historic atmosphere still persists. Just half a mile from Union Square and a mile-and-a-half from The Moscone Center, Nob Hill is an ideal spot for groups who want to enjoy the best San Francisco has to offer both inside and outside the conference room.
Hotels and Venues
Located at the crossing of three cable car lines, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel is as splendid now as when it opened in 1926. Modern amenities and services complement the hotel's original character of old-world luxury, offering a seamless blend of historic charm and contemporary comfort. The hotel features 383 rooms and 33 suites, most of which command spectacular views of the city and the bay. Groups have access to 21 meeting rooms on four levels, including two ballrooms and two junior ballrooms.
Just across the street is the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel, which has been the lodging of choice for U.S. presidents, world leaders, sports legends and stars of stage and screen since 1907. Along with impeccable service, this landmark hotel offers 606 newly-renovated guest rooms and suites, three distinctive restaurants and an on-site health club. Its 72,000 square feet of well-equipped function space can accommodate events of any size and scale, from glamorous ballrooms for large galas to intimate spaces for smaller meetings.
Standing out among Nob Hill’s wide selection of luxury options, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco is the city's highest rated hotel, boasting Forbes Four-Star and AAA Five-Diamond ratings. With the historic cable car located directly outside its doors, the 336-room hotel offers meeting attendees easy access to some of the city's most popular areas and attractions. Expert planning services and more than 24,000 square feet of meeting space provide maximum convenience for your event. Choose from ballrooms, courtyards and boardrooms, all of which reflect San Francisco’s traditions of art and architecture with clean lines and richly appointed details.
If you're planning a particularly grand affair, consider The Masonic. This gem of mid-century modernist architecture offers more than 74,000 square feet of flexible event space and excellent event support services. Along with being a venue for various musical events, The Masonic offers a unique setting for banquets, receptions, tradeshows, exhibitions and business meetings, accommodating up to 4,000 guests.
For fine dining, few neighborhoods can beat Nob Hill, especially if your guests appreciate a great steak and an even better view.
Up on the 19th floor of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, the legendary Top of the Mark sky lounge is a spectacular setting for a party. Since 1939, the Top of the Mark has entertained dignitaries, movie stars and other celebrities who have traveled far and wide to enjoy a cocktail accompanied by an unbeatable view. Guests can mix, mingle and take in a near 360-degree view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf.
Over at the Huntington Hotel San Francisco, the Big 4 Restaurant will give your guests a touch of San Francisco history in every bite. Named for the famous “Big Four” businessmen who built the Central Pacific Railroad and made a name for themselves on Nob Hill in the 1870s, the restaurant focuses on seasonal, locally sourced Bay Area ingredients transformed into some of the best classic American dishes in the city.
Looking for something a little more exotic? Take attendees on a trip to paradise at the Fairmont San Francisco's signature restaurant, The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar. This Nob Hill classic has delighted guests with its tropical décor, decadent libations and Polynesian-fusion cuisine since 1945. Guests can feast on a memorable meal while enjoying live entertainment on the floating stage of the restaurant's man-made lagoon.
At The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, the hotel's flagship restaurant Parallel 37 embraces the vibrancy of San Francisco with a farm-to-table menu and a wine list showcasing Bay Area vintages. Dishes focus on American culinary traditions with international accents, showcasing cuts of meat from Niman Ranch, wagyu beef and Asian flavors. For an exclusive party, the restaurant offers a Chef's Table with a multi-course tasting menu, the Private Dining Room for up to 20 guests, or a full restaurant buyout for parties of up to 80 seated/120 standing.
In addition to excellent hotel eateries, two steakhouses shine among the many dining options of Nob Hill. Osso Steakhouse is renowned for their specialty steaks, perfected through meticulous aging and preparation and recognized by USA Today as one of the “top 10 steaks in America." Meanwhile, Harris' Restaurant is famous for some of the finest Midwestern beef available on the West Coast, along with a variety of delicious appetizers, soups and seafood.
At La Folie, you can treat attendees to an evening of fine French dining that combines culinary creativity with seasonal, fresh and sustainably harvested ingredients. From Butter Poached Lobster to Dungeness Crab Salad, your group is guaranteed to have an incredible meal from start to finish.
Things to See and Do
When the workday is done, or if attendees just need a break to take in some fresh air and city vibes, there are many unique sightseeing options just a stone's throw from Nob Hill's hotels.
Guests can take a stroll through Huntington Park where the Huntington mansion once stood. This flowered square was attractively renovated in 1984 and its centerpiece is a copy of Rome’s Fontana delle Tartarughe (Fountain of the Turtles) by Taddeo Landini (1585), gifted by the Crocker family.
On California St. is Grace Cathedral, the largest Gothic structure in the West. Of the cathedral’s many splendors, none is more arresting than its cast of the gilded bronze doors created by Lorenzo Ghiberti for the Baptistery in Florence, featuring 10 rectangular reliefs depicting scenes from the Old Testament.
Another church worth visiting is Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral, where nonprofit Noontime Concerts hosts a free weekly concert series every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. True to its mission of enriching the community and cultural life of the Bay Area, Noontime Concerts has presented hundreds of classical concerts by local and international musicians.
One of the most notable features of Nob Hill—and a must-do for attendees—is the cable cars. To learn about their history and how they work, attendees can visit the one-of-a-kind Cable Car Museum, just two blocks downhill from the Fairmont Hotel. The mezzanine gallery is open to the public for free from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, where visitors can observe the improbable machinery that keeps the city’s motor-less museum-pieces in motion.