PHOTO: Maarten Van Den Heuvel | Unsplash

Fodor's Expert Review The Scarlet Huntington Hotel

1075 California St., San Francisco, California 94108, USA See on Map

Stars from Bogart and Bacall to Picasso and Pavarotti have stayed in this venerable hotel, famed for its spacious rooms and suites, most of which have great views of Grace Cathedral, the bay, or the fog rolling across the city skyline. The Nob Hill Spa boasts an indoor pool with outstanding views and a slew of body treatments.

You can occasionally find street parking near the hotel (or deals at nearby garages) for those not wanting to splurge on high parking rates.


Rooms blend Asian, Moroccan, and high fashion aesthetics without sacrificing class. Brightly colored textured headboards and puffy satin blackout curtains, golden detailing on furnishings and lamps, and high ceilings infuse fun and charm into this old gal.


Massive bathrooms feature tiled cream flooring, a glass shower, and a large soaking tub. Antique wood countertops hold double sinks and an array of luxe bath products.


A glass chandelier above the lobby hints at the history of this grande dame, while the shock of red loveseats and glaringly white reception desk hollers the property's commitment to cool. Staff greets you with a warm towel and a beverage at check-in. The eastern edge of the lobby houses a light-filled spa store.


The indoor pool and hot tub offer a panoramic city view through a wall of windows. Sunbeds facing downtown, and white-jacketed waiters delivering healthy spa cuisine and champagne.


The elegant Nob Hill Spa complex offers access to the sauna and steam room, as well as the pool and hot tub. Massage treatment and facials are popular with lunching ladies often comparing notes on the size of their diamonds.


A decent fitness center offers state-of-the-art cardio machines, a TV, and free weights.


The Big 4 Restaurant serves contemporary American cuisine to folks making business deals on green-leather booths under a collection of San Francisco and Western memorabilia. Open for breakfast and dinner, this is the spot for hearty American fares like steak and potatoes.


The Big 4 Restaurant bar appeals to those interested in San Francisco's railroad baron history, with cocktails that reflect the ages--think lots of bourbon and gin.


Getting Around

The hotel will valet your car for a hefty price. The cable car stops right out front, delivering travelers to buses, Muni trains, BART, and trolley cars, purchase a day or week pass for unlimited rides. Walkers should reserve that last bit of energy to hike up steep Nob Hill after a long day of exploring.


Upscale Sons & Daughters (8-minute walk) dishes up a memorable tasting menu with seasonal treats like fiddlehead ferns with walnuts and lemon. Brandon Jew's Mister Jiu's (11-minute walk) honors the Chinese history of the city with a delightful take on bao or a salt-baked trout.


Hotel bars lure locals to the top of Nob Hill. The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins' Top of the Mark (1-minute walk) grants guests the chance to sip fruity martinis as you watch the fog roll in over the bay. At the Fairmont's Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar (2-minute walk) share a rum cocktail in a pineapple before getting out on the dance floor to boogie to disco classics.


View galore, an outstanding spa, and massive rooms atop Nob Hill make this old gal shine.


Business, Historical, Romantic, Service, Views
96 rooms, 40 suites
Breakfast Yes, for a fee
Dinner Yes
Bar Yes
Cafe Yes
Room Service Yes
Gym, Pool
Valet Parking


Phones: 415-474–5400; 800-227–4683

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