Sir Francis Drake Hotel

450 Powell St., San Francisco, California, 94102, United States

Beefeater-costumed doormen welcome you into the regal lobby of this 1928 landmark property, fresh off a $30-million face-lift, while guest quarters are fitted with typical technological amenities yet evoke the era with regal headboards atop beds draped in blue, white, red, and gray. The renovation was just what this place needed, injecting it with new life and energy, and the cumulative effect is of an Italian castle restored to her former glory, with a lobby decked out with chandeliers, Italian marble, velvet furnishings, and a centerpiece bar hugged by silver stools and a pair of Renaissance-inspired murals. Something that hasn't changed is the first-rate location and rich history. Harry Denton's Starlight Room, on the hotel's top floor, is a tribute to faded 1920s glory and is one of the city's best-known skyline bars. Scala's Bistro serves better-than-average food in its somewhat noisy bi-level dining room.


  • can't beat the location
  • free in-room Wi-Fi
  • renovation added needed zip to a formerly faded queen


  • small baths
  • some complaints about unresponsive service and questionable cleanliness


Phones: 415-392–7755 | 800-795–7129


412 rooms, 4 suites
Rate Includes: No meals