Built in 1902 as a private residence, this five-story white Edwardian is the city's oldest continually operating hotel--movie-star sisters Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland once lived in these spacious rooms. The hotel, which survived both of San Francisco's major 20th-century earthquakes, is legendary for its friendly ghost.
Rooms feature poster beds with thick linens draping from above. Patterned wallpaper and rich textiles evoke the property's beginnings. Free Wi-Fi and flat screen TVs bring rooms up to current technological standards.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The resident ghost is said to pop her head in to say hi on occasion. If you see her, let us know.
The elegant lobby is a graceful haven of antique chandeliers, plush Victorian chairs, and hundreds of antiquarian French books.
The classic Cafe Majestic serves Sunday brunch popular with celebratory events. Tuesday-Saturday the hotel offers a breakfast buffet. In the evenings, enjoy Italian fare like hearty pasta dishes. The Butterfly Lounge serves small bites.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Check out the largest collection of exotic butterflies in Northern California on display at the café.
The hotel offers valet parking. Walkers will find plenty to explore within a short meander, including the fun Fillmore District, Japantown, Pacific Heights and even the Marina District. Buses stop within a block from the property, connecting travelers to downtown, the BART train (which can get you to local airports) and outer neighborhoods like the Mission and Sunset.
Dosa (4-minute drive) introduced San Francisco to Indian cuisine beyond tikka masala; dine in the lofty Pacific Heights outpost on Indian pancakes filled with spiced veggies. Consistently a local favorite, The Grove (13-minute walk) offers hearty American style breakfast, plus sandwiches and soups throughout the day in an arbor-lined dining room.
Catch some of the planet's greatest rockers at the famed Fillmore (13-minute walk), and while there check out the rock poster collection upstairs. For a more low-key ambiance, settle in at the Wine Jar (10-minute walk) to sample local vino.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Historic rooms at a great price in one of San Francisco's most vibrant (and less explored) neighborhoods.