Opened in 1907, this grand hotel perched above bustling downtown harkens back to an opulent era in San Francisco history. But is it old fashioned? Not a chance. With its commanding views of the city and bay and restored lobby, uncovering original marble floors and other details created by famed architect Julia Morgan, it’s still an unforgettable luxury hotel, the kind of place where dressing up for dinner still makes sense.
Things didn’t start so smoothly for the hotel. When the 1906 earthquake struck, construction was already finished but the hotel had yet to open. The building survived yet suffered considerable damage in the inferno that consumed much of the city. Repairs were made, and, from those fiery beginnings, the Fairmont San Francisco emerged as a hub of elegant city life, and hosted a string of American Presidents and other A-list guests. For a retro hip diversion, spend time with Tiki statues and Mai Tais at the hotel’s Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar.