Built in 1902 as a private residence, this five-story white Edwardian building is the city's oldest continually operating hotel—movie-star sisters Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland, symbols of Old Hollywood royalty, once lived here. Nicolas Cage, his uncle August Coppola, and the crew of Sweet November are among the more contemporary moviemakers who have visited the hotel's elegant lobby, whose graceful decor includes antique chandeliers, plush Victorian chairs,
and hundreds of antiquarian French books. Many rooms—which have either hand-painted four-poster or two-poster twin beds—have claw-foot tubs. The hotel, which survived both of San Francisco's major 20th-century earthquakes, is legendary for its friendly ghost, the lovely Butterfly Lounge, and the largest collection of exotic butterflies in Northern California—on display at the café bar, where you can also order light fare.