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“Excellent old world hotel in great location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Scarlet Huntington

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The Scarlet Huntington
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1075 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108 (Nob Hill)   |  
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Ranked #46 of 236 hotels in San Francisco
Cork,Ireland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Excellent old world hotel in great location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2009

We were on our honeymoon and this hotel was great. We booked it on a special rate of only 125 dollars per night. It was either alpharooms or booking.com. Each evening the bar was nice and busy with a great atmosphere helped by the piano playing the background. Food was excellent. Room was perfect and I preferred this hotel to the hotel we were just in, the Four Sesons in Las Vegas so it tells you how great this place is.

A free business center on the first floor is handy to look up the sites and see what you are going to do for the day.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Bean777
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2009

I couldn’t imagine anyone giving this hotel a bad review. If you want commercialized luxury with a cheesy lounge act and extremely overpriced drinks stay at the Mark Hopkins two blocks down.

If you want to step back in time to a place of classic luxury and grace, with personalized service, a welcoming staff, and people who remember you from day one, then stay at the Huntington.

We spent the weekend at the Huntington for my husbands 55th birthday and we were upgraded to a suite when we arrived. The living room was spacious, the furniture adorable, and we couldn’t believe the view. It was fun to get up in the morning and watch the folks in the park doing yoga and watching the sun set over the bay in the evenings.

I realize that in the current culture of new, new, new some reviewers may feel the need to use terms like “dated” etc. But when you want to get away to quiet comfort, and enjoy spectacular views from a room that will bring you back to the 1930's, this is the place to be (and rumor has it the place where many famous names also have chosen to be from time to time). There are no jetted tubs, no kitschy nonsense in the bathrooms. The building was built in the nineteen-twenties and it’s supposed to look that way – nothing kills me more than a building that’s full of Historic Charm on the outside and in the lobby, and then looks like a ritzy Holiday Inn when you step inside your room. Here there are just extremely deep soaking tubs in the bathroom with showers where you can stand under the luxurious spray and watch the park from your open window. There are overstuffed chairs and couches with reading lamps all over the place and dark woods that transport you into a world where Greta Garbo or Clark Gable might meet you coming up the stairs.

The hotel is walking distance to so many fantastic attractions and the cable car is right out the front door. If you’re into a “party” atmosphere or you want 400 bell hops at your beck and call because you have a severe “me” complex, then I’m begging you to stay away from this treasure of a hotel, so it doesn’t get any more bad reviews from people with narrow vision who can’t appreciate San Francisco’s amazing history.

If you want to be greeted by a fantastic (and dare I say handsome and charming) group of gentlemen at the door every morning and every evening; if you want to come back to your room at the end of a long night and be greeted by two fresh water bottles, a bed that’s been turned down for you, robes that have been hung up and a room temperature that’s been adjusted to anticipate your comfort while sleeping; if you want an evening person at the desk to make sure you have a few Tums when you need them after a couple of glasses of wine; if you want Danny to recommend the gospel choir at Glide (sp?) church; if you want Trey at the bar to mix you up an amazing drink with special touches you hadn’t even thought of like fresh melon; if you want to hang out in a classy bar with a glass of wine and regulars who have lived in the city for 40+ years; if you want a hotel that will cater to those who want to get out and explore the city and then come back and relax in the spa (excellent spa staff as well, I forgot my swimsuit and they were kind enough to provide me with one); then the Huntington will be an experience you won’t soon forget.

The Huntington is truly unique. An experience that takes you back to a bygone era with enough class and luxury to keep you feeling pampered. Even if they make little adjustments here and there as the years go on I hope they never lose that feeling of authenticity and a desire to pamper their guests.

If I had to sum it up I’d say it was nice to stay in a hotel that didn’t recommend I buy the bathrobe in the closet for $130. The Huntington treats you like a guest not a charge card.

I give it 5 stars. A hotel that veers away from our cultures adoloscent "amuse me" mentality and caters to a more sophisticated audience. Great for romantic weekends, girls getaways (you'll love the spa ladies), and anyone who wants to experience San Francisco the way it was meant to be.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2009

All I can say is, I love the Huntington. Always have. My first visit here in several years did not disappoint. I have been coming here since I first came with my family in the ‘70’s, and it is still the classiest place in SF. Old school charm mixed with modern elegance. Perfect service with knowledgeable veteran concierges. Cruising through a rockin’ Big Four for some music and a late night manhattan is still the way to end your day, although I was disappointed I didn’t get to grab a steak while I was there. Rooms were solid; I couldn’t believe how updated the bathrooms were. And the l’Occitane products were about twice the size as the ones you get at a Four Seasons. Nob Hill is the most interesting area to stay in, and while I have enjoyed the Fairmont and the Mark Hopkins, the Huntington is still king.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2009

My wife and I just returned from our visit to San Francisco. We loved our stay at the Huntington Hotel. We would return to the hotel in a heartbeat on a return trip.
Positives:
-- Service = From the front desk, to the doormen, to the courtesy driver (great job Ursula!), to the maids, all were beyond courteous and helpful. We were given an upgrade at check-in (which always helps). We loved that as nice as this hotel is there is no pretentious attitude among the staff. Very friendly (especially the doormen).
-- Location = This is really where this hotel excels. It sits atop Nob Hill (safe and beautiful), overlooks a beautiful park and Cathedral, sits next to both main Cable Car lines, and is central to basically everything. The only other hotels that can claim this would be the Fairmont and Mark Hopkins. I would not want to stay anywhere else in San Fran besides Nob Hill.
-- Rooms = Our room was recently updated. This was probably the only slight disappointment for us. The bed was comfy and great. The room very nice and clean. But, the decor (a bit modern) doesn't fit the rest of the hotel (traditional). This is most true in the bathroom. The bathroom was a bit small for a 4* hotel. The shower is a nice size, but water gets everywhere (a serious design flaw), and there is absolutely no vanity. ONly a modern looking sink. There was nowhere to put your toiletries, etc. This was obviously planned to fit the modern decor, but is very inconvenient.
-- Overall = The hotel is a great stay for anyone visiting San Fran. The feel, location, people, and cleanliness far outweigh a poorly designed bathroom. We look forward to returning soon.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2009

This is a very nice, old school hotel. People were not snobbish at all. We booked thru hotels.com for a Saturday night visit. Rate was amazing - $125. Work ended early for me in Sacramento on Fri. so I called the hotel (not hotels.com) and they gave me the same rate for Friday. Off to a great start. When I checked in, I found that they gave us a room on 8th floor (bldg. is 11 storeys) overlooking the park and SF Bay. Amazing view. Room was spacious, clean, tastefully decorated and huge bathroom. Pleasantly surprised that we were not stuck over a dumpster looking into an alley. Point being, is at least when we stayed, they did not appear to distinguish between hotels.com and other guests. Bar was old school and very pleasant. Forget bartender's name, but he was from upstate NY and very pleasant. He works (I think) Fri. and Sat. nights. Also, Jason the bellhop (from Chicago) was nice/helpful, as was concierge, who directed me to the Hyde Out (Hyde and Calif.) for a solid gin mill to catch the Celtics game and have a few pints. Finally, one of the very cool things is cable car stops right in front. In sum I would say upscale hotel without the upscale attitude. It exceeded every expectation.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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LA, USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2009

I stayed here for a week on a business trip and would like to share my experience. The hotel staff are just great!! The doorman are very warm and helpful. My room (suite) was just great, great bed and lots of space. The housekeeping staff do a great job and provide lots of little treats (the massage cream is great for falling asleep), the restaurant is slightly expensive, but the food is great. Best of all is the spa, the pool/sauna/steam and jacuzzi are located in a excellent location overlooking SF.

Overall, I will be back here the next time i am in SF.

Great job!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2009

We stayed 5 nights (Sat - Wed) and chose Nob Hill due to the scenic hill location, fairly safe neighborhoods for walking at night, and proximity to the downtown & conference center where we had to be during the day.

While the official nightly rate on the hotel's website or generic searches ranges from $200-300 a night, we had booked our stay through HOTWIRE for a mere $102 a night (definitely a great deal...it was listed as a hotel in Nob Hill near the Grace Cathedral). Another couple with whom we traveled also booked for 5 nights for $105/night. Of note, when they checked in early in the day, their room hadn't been cleaned so they were given a courtesy upgrade and placed in a giant suite which included scenic views and a separate spacious kitchen.

We checked in and were given a standard room (it was an *03, such as 103, 203, 303) - the smallest according to the room layout and located just proximal to the open staircase and elevator. The walls were soundproof and we hardly heard any elevator/stairway sounds. While the room was classically decorated with a desk and sitting area, it lacked a coffee maker (you could go downstairs to the restaurant to purchase coffee for $4.50 or go across the street to the FAIRMONT Hotel's Illy Coffee Shop to get a cup for $4) and was furnished with an older model television. Of note, the coverlet bedspread was worn and had several prominent stains, but as the chambermaid came in nightly to fold up the spread and turn down the sheets (and leave 2 complimentary water bottles), this wasn't too pressing an issue. The bathroom was well equipped with a full bath/shower, thick cotton towels, and a vanity with basic shampoo/conditioner/lotion/cotton balls/and sewing kit. We highly recommend you wrap yourselves in their thick cotton robes! Our room was located on the front side of the hotel, facing the courtyard and Grace Cathedral. It's relatively quiet compared to hotels more deeply embedded in the business district/Market Street area.

Our stay was quite nice, but note the following:
-parking fees in the hotel's underground lot are $40 a night; the attendants briskly pointed to the streets when we inquired about other options
-if you park on the streets, note the colors painted on the curb - white curbsides indicate drop-off zones (i.e. NO PARKING) while the adjacent facilities are open; therefore, you can't PARK in front of the hotel at any time except for loading/unloading...but you CAN park in front of the Grace Cathedral overnight after church hours - HOWEVER, you MUST move your car promptly BEFORE opening hours to avoid being ticketed or towed. EVERYONE says they are quite prompt with the ticketing & towing, so beware! Also, if you choose to park on other streets, check carefully what day the street cleaning occurs (various days, starting at 7 AM), as you can also be ticketed if parking there during restricted hours.
-The neighboring underground lot along the same block charged $47 dollars nightly for parking.
***We found street parking after circling for 30 minutes at 11 PM, but had to get up and move it before 7 AM. We mostly used shuttles/cabs or walked, and only rented a car for two days for farther travel. One night we actually returned the car to the dealership in Fisherman's Wharf and walked 17 blocks up hils back to the hotel at 10 PM - nice 30 minute walk with great workout through relatively safe neighborhoods =)

*INTERNET ACCESS comes at a price:
(1) There is a business center located on the second floor with two desktop computers. They're free to use and have printers at each station, but it's a nail-bitingly slow connection. You can hook up your laptop there, as I saw some guests using it in that fashion. After hours it's locked up, but the front desk can unlock the room for you.
(2) You can pay $9.95 + tax for a 24 hour service of wireless Internet to your room account, but it starts and ends at 1:00 PM. Therefore, when we checked in at 11 PM at night, if we had paid that night for Internet, we would have paid $9.95 + tax for the next 14 hours, and then have had to pay again for any service after 1 PM the next day. We managed just fine waiting for odd hours to use the business center offices and printed our boarding passes out there.

Overall, the location was a safe and easy access site. We walked just a few blocks to catch the Cable Car to Fisherman's Wharf (Powell/Hyde) and walked to Pier 39 to see the Sea Lions. The California St. Cable Car runs in front of the hotel. We were able to spend several hours walking from our hotel to the business district, up to Chinatown, and back through the neighborhoods to the hotel during day hours. We never made it to the hotel restaurant as we sampled food outside (went to House of Nanking, an Americanized/hyped-up but tasty Chinese restaurant in Chinatown...and also went to the Stinking Rose, a GREAT restaurant on Columbus Ave which specializes in garlic dishes - their lasagna and short rib are delicious, and you should definitely try their specialty item, ROASTED GARLIC ICECREAM!).

*NOTE with taxi's and cabs: our understanding was that only the YELLOW CABS are equipped with credit card readers, so for the other taxi cab companies you must have cash to pay for the fare

Enjoy and hope these tips help!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Scarlet Huntington

Address: 1075 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Francisco > Nob Hill
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Spa Hotel in San Francisco
#20 Luxury Hotel in San Francisco
#37 Romantic Hotel in San Francisco
#53 Family Hotel in San Francisco
#75 Business Hotel in San Francisco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Scarlet Huntington 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Designed to spark the imagination and provide an adventure for the senses, the much beloved and newly renovated Huntington Hotel re-emerges in May 2014 from a $15 million renovation as The Scarlet Huntington. The Scarlet Huntington builds upon the property's original charm, graciousness and exceptionally high standards while introducing locals and visitors to a unique and avant-garde style that is influenced by a vibrant Singapore Peranakan heritage woven together with the opulence of San Francisco. More than just a name, The Scarlet possesses a distinguished charm and charismatic aura, likened to a gracious hostess who indulges guests with a luxurious stay experience. Providing a warm ad familiar welcome, the iconic red of the former Huntington Hotel's exterior - as displayed in the brick facade and illuminated sign high atop the hotel - will permeate the new aesthetic, representing the hotel's heritage while embracing the passion and allure defined by The Scarlet; offering uninhibited luxury to every guest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Huntington Hotel And Nob Hill Spa
The Huntington Hotel & Nob Hill San Francisco

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