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
Of course, because it’s luxury, I expected so much. The Palace delivered in a lot of ways. Comfortable bed, spacious room, smack in the middle of downtown, it was very nice. However, I had a few issues with my stay. The floor in the bathroom and the room needed a good sweeping. You could tell whoever was in charge of cleaning did a half hearted job. We stayed for 12 days & I repeatedly had to ask for tissue, only to be given a roll. They were very stingy with the tissue. Now here’s my BIGGEST issue with the Palace, the price of breakfast. I wouldn’t have been upset to pay a REASONABLE amount for breakfast but $27 a day for subpar, at best, breakfast? it’s a rip off. not to mention, during my stay breakfast didn’t even happen everyday. The people who can afford to pay that, I implore you to find something else, the food wasn’t great. The best part of my stay was having conversations with the housekeeper who worked in the gym. Very nice lady who made sure I had everything I needed after I was done working out, every single time. She was amazing. I wouldn’t stay at the Palace again.
We enjoyed our stay- the room was fine and the location was perfect. Staff were courteous- it is a larger hotel than we would normally stay at so felt impersonal but pleasant.
Kids loved the location to Ghiradelli chocolate shop!! (attached!)
Decided to stay at this hotel using my Marriott points since we knew the strike was over. Was looking for a nice hotel to visit with my nieces and wife. As a lifelong Marriott person I have come to expect a certain quality of hotel when visiting the higher scale properties. Since the acquisition of the Sheraton properties I have felt that these properties have brought the Marriott brand name down. This hotel definitely has the beauty and historic feel that a Luxury Marriott property should have but many other things have not been upgraded to Marriott quality. The following were things that I feel brings this property down 1) the card reader on the door kept falling apart when the door would close and would need to be reassembled 2) the towels are very low quality compared to properties such as JW Marriotts 3) no concierge lounge for elite members 4) was offered an upgrade to a suite for $1000/night even though I was using points (if I wasn’t paying anything for the room why in the world would I spend $1000 for a one night upgrade). If the expectations for this hotel were not set so high being listed as a Luxury Collection hotel than I probably could have rated it with more stars. The good was that they were able to hold our luggage after checkout until we left town that evening. The pool is beautiful and was a great location to spend a few hours with the kids. And as I mentioned the history and beauty of the hotel is amazing but I think Marriott could do some renovations to bring this property up to the standards of their high quality hotels.
We had planned our 10Th wedding anniversary celebration for nearly a year. Workers went on strike maybe eight weeks before our arrival. We could have changed hotels but Palace is a historic property and had special meanings for our celebration. The management and non-striking staff made our stay as good as possible. When we arrived the valet was Angie, hotel manager. I told her when the hotel manager is bringing our suitcases in, we knew the Hotel planned to respond above and beyond our expectations. We had a wonderful upgraded room, housekeeping kept the room spotless, dining temp staff were super and bell and valet staff always assisted my partner who has special needs due to to his wheel chair. Malia and Jose in concierge had great ideas and directions during our stay. Palace management, other Marriott rotates employees, non-striking unions and temp staff made our stay incredible. Their response during this period was exemplary and made our stay and celebrations memorable.
To the strikers your loud drumming and chants of check out were misdirected. As a guest I help create revenue, brand and hotel loyalty and build a desire to return. Your creating lines that made wheel chair access harder was inexcusable and in poor taste. One day I was out early on the sidewalk waiting for others in our group. A man with a mic followed as I moved around the sidewalk to avoid strikers but each time I moved he followed and his loud mic and chants frankly were rude. I am not an owner or manager of the hotel. I am a guest you want to return over and over to help pay your wages and benefits and create job security. I mentioned to our group I wish at our Next visit these same people would be out on sidewalk welcoming us back and chant check in, check in.
My sincere congratulations to the Palace team for exceptional services during our stay.
Ive stayed in this hotel about 5 times. I have a meeting there every year and the Palace never disappoints. Cant say enough good things. Resto is great. Rooms are are superb. Staff are fantastic. Never to have to open a door, immaculate rooms. Close proximity to Market st for shopping. There is a fantastic, cheap and cheerful mani pedi place if you walk out of the main doors and towards the parking lot.
You will overpay for breakfast, never open a door, be met with exemplary service.