San Francisco’s upscale neighborhood has long been home to some of the city’s swankiest accommodations, best restaurants and most expensive real estate. Culture Trip reveals where and how to experience the glamorous side of the city, including Grace Cathedral and Huntington Park – and get the most spectacular city views.
Colorful decor from around the globe and thoughtful international accents add character to this charming, ecofriendly Nob Hill hotel. Complimentary wine is served nightly in the lobby, accompanied by live music from local musicians. The on-site restaurant, Saha, serves Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, and each guest gets a daily $5 food and beverage credit voucher. The rooms are small, but they offer spectacular city views, Lather bath products and iHome docking stations.
Old-world grandeur at its best, the Kimpton Sir Francis Drake is a must for history buffs as well as those who like to make the most of in-house facilities. Scala’s Bistro serves up unconventional Italian food, with dishes such as burrata and zucchini pizzas. The real fun, however, is had at Lizzie’s Starlight on the 21st floor, where a Drag Brunch takes place every Sunday, and a burlesque night on the last Thursday of each month. Unpretentiously posh and just a little bit naughty, this is a hotel that’s sure to score high for character, food and fun.
A flamboyant masterpiece with just 26 rooms, Petite Auberge feels more like a sweet rural retreat in the south of France than a hotel in San Francisco. Explore a little and you’ll find the kinds of personal touches and thoughtful perks you’d hope for at any B&B-style hotel. There’s complimentary breakfast every morning, plus daily wine and hors d’oeuvres tastings. In-house dining is found next door at local favorite Del Popolo – a former food truck that proved so popular, they set up a brick-and-mortar shop to continue serving their delicious and piping-hot pizzas to hotel guests.
Located atop Nob Hill and built in 1926, this landmark hotel has a rich history. Perhaps one of the biggest draws of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins is Top of the Mark, its penthouse restaurant and cocktail lounge that offers 360-degree views of the city skyline. The hotel is a sophisticated choice if you want to experience the swanky area – and be sure to try a martini from Top of the Mark’s 100-Martini menu before you check out.
The Fairmont San Francisco is the crown jewel of Nob Hill. Marble, mahogany and velvet abound in this 606-room hotel, and the ambiance matches its storied history. Rooftop gardens house bee hives that provide honey for its lobby restaurant, the Laurel Court, and for its artisanal beer, Honey Beer Series. The hotel’s other restaurant, the Tonga and Hurricane Room, is a lively scene with Polynesian-inspired cuisine, live music performed from an island in the middle of the indoor lagoon and a simulated tropical thunderstorm.
A boutique, modern option in an otherwise old-school neighborhood, Stanford Court features sleek rooms, contemporary accents and tech-focused amenities. Each room has refillable water bottles and unlimited Chromecast streaming, and the “Nod Hill” sleep program allows guests to choose their pillow and lullaby tunes via Jambox. A $25 nightly “urban fee” gets you an app-based walking tour of Nob Hill, access to the state-of-the-art fitness center and day use of bikes and e-bikes.
It’s all about 1920s classic luxury at the Huntington Hotel, one of San Francisco’s most iconic establishments. In addition to the elegant and spacious rooms, the hotel’s renowned spa and pool provide sweeping views of the city below. Its restaurant, Big 4, retains some old-school glamour, with live piano entertainment, dark wood accents and railroad memorabilia lining the walls. For an elegant and comfortable stay in a prime location, you can’t go wrong here.