Looking at San Francisco's Rich and Varied Hotels
San Francisco has been a tourist destination long before the word tourist became popular. Its legendary hotels have been shelters for presidents, kings and opera stars since the 19th Century. As part of our ongoing travel book project, San Francisco Secrets, we took another look at a handful of hotels that share some of the city's rich and eccentric past and a few new ones that caught our attention.
The Clift is one of the finest examples of Art Deco exuberance found anywhere. What is amazing is the fact that it was not destroyed when Philippe Starck remodeled it 15 years ago. Having a drink in the Redwood Room should be on everyone's bucket list.
The W San Francisco hotel should be a corporate cookie cutter type of place serving the convention crowd. It's not. It is a chic, well-designed modern space that is several steps above it's south of Market neighbors. It has a hip, sophisticated uptown look in a downtown environment. Third and Howard St. is a busy intersection, but once inside the hotel, you don't realize that you are in the heart of the city.
Chateau Tivoli is one of those 19th Century Victorian mansions that survived the fire of 1906, the hippies of the 1960s and the New Age communalists of the 1970s. Today it is a beautifully restored mansion that reminds us that this was always a classy place. You can almost hear the opera stars of old who were guests back in the day. Their names along with other famous San Francisco persona are on the doors of each of the nine rooms and suites.
A View From the Other Side of the CameraWe thought we would get a bit personal and give you a look at what happens on the other side of the camera. Kristen Paulin is always documenting the job so she can tease her midwestern friends on Facebook. Here are a few snapshots from behind the scenes.