Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco
What We Love
- Swimming under the glass-domed ceiling that floods the hotel pool with natural light
- The recycling bins in the rooms
- The city views from the gym are a workout motivator (and we dig the marble baths in the changing rooms)
- The bevy of historic details, like the Maxfield Parrish painting that gives the Pied Piper bar its name
What To Know
- The wait at the check-in desk, which often seems understaffed, can be long
- WiFi is free only for Starwood members
- Valet parking is pricey
- Some suites have views of bustling Market Street
- Parking On Site
When the Palace first opened its doors in 1875, it was the world’s largest hotel and one of the West Coast’s premier places to stay—a reputation it maintained for multiple decades. By 2015, the interiors were looking tired, but a much-needed renovation transformed them back into modern masterpieces, with new floors, enormous tufted headboards, and lots of dark wood accents, all under 11-foot ceilings. The palette of dark blues, purples and grays feels current and complements the property’s charming but older architectural touches like monogrammed brass door knobs and heavy, century-old oak doors. The Palace’s historic elegance remains, particularly in the extraordinary Garden Court, a combination lobby-restaurant-lounge topped with a stained glass dome and enormous crystal chandeliers that still manage to elicit gasps from entering guests. A harpist plays here every Sunday and the brunch is legendary (so best reserve in advance).
In the Area
For tourists, museum buffs, and business travelers, the hotel’s location in SoMa (South of Market) is on point. The Financial District and luxe shopping in Union Square are both within walking distance, and a cable car ride to the waterfront views, shops and restaurants of Fisherman’s Wharf takes around 20 minutes. Guests can walk to the Museum of Modern Art, the Beaux Arts building housing the Contemporary Jewish Museum (and Wise Sons Deli), and the Museum of the African Diaspora within five minutes. There are myriad excellent bars also within stumbling distance from the hotel: try Hawthorn for a chic lounge experience and Local Edition for an underground, speakeasy-style atmosphere (and an extensive cocktail list). There’s a BART and Muni station at the hotel entrance, making movement to other neighborhoods around the city exceptionally easy.
How to Get There
Can't speak to the standard experience at The Palace because my husband's status (we used a combo of money and points for the reservation) meant we were unexpectedly upgraded to a Deluxe Suite. The hotel itself is an SF landmark and the lobby historic exhibits and famous chandeliers are worth a visit.
As for the suite, I seriously have rented apartments smaller, and it featured a double walk-in closet and all-singing all-dancing (and very clean) bathroom. (Plus there's a Ghirardelli in the lobby for yum hot fudge sundaes!) Only drawback was the near impossibility of getting to the front doors to check in: we had to perilously swing around twice to navigate the one-way streets and angled intersection to succeed.
Marriott Titanium. Stayed the past weekend in a Deluxe Suite and it was a great stay. Check in to check out the staff makes sure you're taken care of. Really enjoyed the new updated rooms as well. In a good, but busy, location in the middle of downtown. The Pied Piper was really good as well.
- Updated rooms
- Room service was very reasonable for SF
- Good downtown location
- Can't really think of any
Would definitely stay again.
We stayed one night at the Palace Hotel and enjoyed it very much. The staff was extremely friendly and accommodating. Our room was clean and beautifully decorated. The beds were comfortable. I would stay there again.
Been to many nice San Fran hotels and this was a disappointment with mold around bathtub, stain on room furniture, poor room lighting, weak shower head stream and very poor WiFi connections with constantly getting kicked off WiFi. Will not return; Fairmont and even Omni are better choices. Staff was nice breakfasr solid but was out of complementary morning coffee in lobby nook.
Quality pad in great location with great bar / restaurant on ground floor. Lovely rooms with access to pool on 4th floor but avoid times when children take over pool area for baseball etc
Best we have seen in SF