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Palace Hotel, San Francisco 

2 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco , California
Tel: 415 512 1111
Fax: 415 543 0671
view web site ›'s insider take:

The Palace is San Francisco's most storied hotel. The original opened in 1875, then burned in the fire following the 1906 earthquake. In 1909, the hotel reopened in its current incarnation in the Financial District. President Woodrow Wilson gave his League of Nations speech here, and President Warren Harding died upstairs. Today, the lobby glows with the original Austrian-crystal light fixtures. A $7 million stained-glass dome covers the opulent Garden Court, one of Northern California's most spectacular rooms, which is lined with a double row of Italian marble columns and 20 enormous lead-crystal chandeliers. Guest rooms have less of a wow factor, with colonial-style wood furniture, predictable beige color schemes, and chintz bedspreads. But details like high ceilings and heavy crown moldings distinguish them as historic, and beds are sumptuous. The fitness center has a glass-enclosed, heated rooftop swimming pool—a rarity in foggy San Francisco. Off the lobby, don't miss the bar at Maxfield's, which is adorned with an eerie Maxfield Parrish mural depicting the Pied Piper luring children to their demise.—John Vlahides

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