There's a lot to startle you in this place--the food can be shaky, some of the rooms can be cramped, it can be ragged at the edges--but for those who prefer character to conformity and privacy to luxury, this is the best place to stay in San Francisco. I recently tried four luxury hotel in four nights around San Francisco, and the best by far (as in every stay I've enjoyed over more than 20 years) was the Huntington.
The beauty of the place is that its pleasures are subtle ones: the doormen who work there for 30 or 40 years, and can reminisce with you as the fog rolls in; the fact that the staff behind the Front Desk never seem to change; the way people from the Business Office will let you use their computer or printer if you're having trouble with yours; the quiet once you disappear into your room.
Many, many places around the Bay Area are slicker, more sumptuous and cool; but there's a family-owned warmth and unpretentiousness about this place that makes it really special. Sometimes even the things that go wrong underline what's so steady and engaging about it.
And the things that go right are wonderful: the rooms with a view over the park across the street; the elegant pens and touches of a classiness almost vanished elsewhere; the location across fem Grace Cathedral (and within easy walking distance of Chinatown and Union Square and Pacific Heights elegance); the size of the larger rooms. All topped off by the Nob Hill Spa, which is one of the loveliest sanctuaries in the city and suddenly opens the door on sunlit terraces, a gym, massage services and just a place to chill out and sip tea that complements the great facilities this hotel has always offered.
Some hotels dazzle you; this one simply makes you smile. And grows on you as a favorite, slightly tattered aunt might.
- 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 & Nob Hill San Francisco
- The Huntington Hotel And Nob Hill Spa