The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco – The One That Launched Luxury

Dominating the summit of Nob Hill, the Fairmont Hotel San Francisco managed to survive the 1906 earthquake (barely) and was the site for the signing of the United Nations Charter in 1945. As soon as it opened, the Fairmont became the city's top venue for glittering balls and presidential visits. In fact, Tony Bennett first belted out his famous I Left My Heart in San Francisco at the hotel's Venetian Room. (We all love Tony, don't we?)

The Fairmont San Francisco

Through all the dramatic events in its lifetime, the hotel's Laurel Court restaurant never stopped serving afternoon tea — not for the last 110 years. The Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, it seems, is here to stay. Celebrities and important historical figures have stopped to stay in the penthouse suite — John F. Kennedy, Prince Charles, Mick Jagger, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, and Marlene Dietrich.

What You Can Expect at The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco

Details, details, details. Many hotels talk about their attention to detail, but we think the Fairmont really delivers. Start with the classic lobby with its alabaster walls, gilt-embellished ceilings, Corinthian columns, a spiral staircase, and rococo furniture set the stage for the understated glamour found in the rooms.

The guest rooms in the main building are decorated in a muted color scheme with high ceilings and dark-wood furniture, punctuated with colorful Chinese porcelain lamps. In the Tower Building, the guest rooms are generally larger with better views. But whatever room you choose, you'll have spectacular city views since the Fairmont is perched at the top of Nob Hill.

Although steeped in history, the Fairmont has all the modern amenities you expect at a luxury hotel — spa and health club, maid service twice a day, a business center and babysitting services. Recently the rooms have had a refresh with Frette linens from Italy, plasma flat screen TVs and MP3 docking stations.

The Fairmont San Francisco The Fairmont San Francisco
The Fairmont San Francisco The Fairmont San Francisco

Restaurants. Indulge in afternoon tea at the Laurel Court, the hotel's centerpiece. But when evening comes, let loose a bit have a Mai Tai and dinner at the timeless Tonga Room tiki restaurant, where it's happy hour all the time. It's such an integral part of SF that the City Historical Review committee has considered awarding the Tonga Room historical landmark status.

Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest impression: like having free chicken noodle soup delivered to your room if you're feeling under the weather. The children will enjoy the extensive Media Lounge with multiplayer Guitar Hero, Wii Golf and other games.

In 2010 the Fairmont installed four honeybee hives the culinary garden on the lobby level of the hotel. (This 1,000-square-foot kitchen garden produces herbs used in the hotel's cooking — rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, chives and cilantro.) The bees produce around 800 pounds of honey a year, which is used in the hotel kitchen and also to brew the Fairmont's own honey beer, served in the bar.

From the Fairmont it's a quick cable car ride to everywhere you want to go — downtown, the Financial District, Union Square, Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf. In fact, it's the only spot in San Francisco where the three cable car lines meet.

The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco

How Our Ratings Work

Superb Plus = 93%+ Travelers Rating
Superb = 88%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated Plus = 85%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated = 80%+ Travelers Rating


Highly Rated Plus!
• Paid WIFI (Boo!) thumb (Lowered our rating from Superb.)
• 950 Mason Street
• Neighborhood — Nob Hill

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