True to its name, the Scarlet Huntington makes use of sumptuous reds throughout the hotel, from its brick facade to its Passion Suite decorated in shades of ruby. Formerly the illustrious Huntington Hotel, the Nob Hill property became the stomping grounds for San Francisco’s artistic and financial elite after opening in 1924. Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Desmond Tutu all called the Huntington home at one point. After a change in ownership in 2011 and a $15 million renovation, the hotel reopened as the Scarlet Huntington in 2014.
Now 20th-century Hollywood meets modern chic in this design-centric property. Antique mirrors and hand-carved lounge chairs juxtapose teal faux snakeskin-covered headboards and dramatic silk curtains. The union of history and contemporary luxury extends to the boutique hotel’s Big 4 Restaurant, named for the group of businessmen and philanthropists who built the Central Pacific Railroad and dominated Nob Hill in the late 1800s. Chartreuse leather-upholstered banquettes, nightly live piano music, and dark wood accents give the space an air of old-school glamour.
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Nob Hill harks back to a time when wealthy entrepreneurs and philanthropists made the neighborhood a gathering place for the social elite. But the stunning mansions from this era aren’t the only things that adorn the neighborhood’s steep streets. Admire the architecture and stained-glass windows of Grace Cathedral and then walk down to Union Square, Chinatown, or North Beach. On the way back, save your legs and hop onto a California Street line cable car. Refuel with a drink at the Tonga Room, a tiki bar and San Francisco institution, before checking out the organic fare at Olea.
Need to Know
Rooms: 94 rooms, 40 suites. From $469. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:The Big 4 Restaurant serves seasonally driven breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner menus that emphasize local ingredients. Refined American classics like a grilled Berkshire pork chop with cider sauce and chicken potpie are served alongside such European-influenced dishes as filet mignon with bordelaise sauce and Mediterranean fish stew, a hearty combination of lobster, shrimp, cod, littleneck clams, and mussels in saffron broth. Stop by the adjoining bar for a barrel-aged cocktail or a glass of California wine from the lengthy drink list. Reservations are recommended; call (415) 771-1140. Spa and gym details:The three-floor Nob Hill Spa offers massages, facials, and nail services. Take in skyline views from the indoor infinity pool, or unwind in the eucalyptus steam room. A gym with cardio and weight machines is open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Who's it for: History-minded travelers who appreciate modern aesthetics and amenities. The hotel also caters to businesspeople, families, and couples. Our favorite rooms: Book a room on the California Street side for views of San Francisco’s iconic cable cars, as well as Huntington Park, where neighborhood residents do tai chi and walk their dogs. For skyline views, choose a room on the Pine Street side. The Mulholland, Opulent, and Passion suites have such luxurious touches as Italian linens, L’Occitane bath products, and rich leather upholstery. A toast to history: Pretend you’re a railroad tycoon and order the Big 4 Restaurant’s signature drink, the Golden Spike. Riffing on the classic Rusty Nail cocktail, it’s made with Sheep Dip whiskey, apricot liqueur, and Licor 43. The drink pays homage to the last spike that linked the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific railroads.
Fine linens, twice daily maid service with nightly turndown service, in-room coffee and tea brewing
L’occitane bath and body products, backlit mirror and rainfall shower head
Outdoor patio at Nob Hill Spa, room views of Nob Hill, Grace Cathedral, Union Square
Nob Hill Spa - guests receive complimentary access to indoor infinity relaxation pool, Zen Room, Whirlpool, fireside lounge area, saunas, fitness center, and treatment rooms
Concierge service from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily; chauffeured sedan service from hotel to Union Square and Financial District on request; valet parking, laundry/dry cleaning services; morning newspaper delivered daily
Spacious work desk with USB port; complimentary access to hotel’s business center with free WiFi
LCD flat screen TV, bedside Bluetooth entertainment system
Superior rooms are designed with influences of Singapore Straits Chinese heritage and a color scheme of pumpkin, teal, platinum and taupe. Rooms feature black oak pieces with mirrored door fronts, a hand carved lounge chair, and work station with USB port and electrical charging station.
Similar to Superior Rooms, Deluxe rooms are designed with tones of pumpkin, teal, platinum, and taupe. Rooms include black oak pieces with mirrored door fronts, a hand carved lounge chair, and work station with USB port and electrical charging station. Rooms have views of Union Square and other San Francisco neighborhoods.
Executive rooms have a color palette of citron and navy with platinum and eggplant accents. Spacious rooms feature views of Huntington Park and Nob Hill.
Premium rooms include a large sitting area, media-refreshment center and a custom cocktail table in a Straits Chinese-inspired batik print. Rooms are decorated in colors of yellow, gold, black and fuchsia.
One Bedroom Suite
Suite is 715 square feet with separate living and dining areas. Rooms are decorated with tones of yellow, gold, black, mink, and fuchsia. Bathrooms feature separate tubs and shower, with choice of shower head.
Suite is designed with quality Mulholland leather and is meant to embody the rugged and refined spirit of northern California. Room includes a 42-inch flat screen TV, spacious work desk, and in-room coffee and tea brewing system.
Suite is 715 square feet with separate dining area and living area with a carved and gilded ceiling. The bedroom features a four poster bed with cascading draperies. Rooms are decorated with tones of ruby, onyx, silver and gold. Furniture is black lacquer and black leather with gold accents.
Opulent Suites are 715 square feet and feature views of Nob Hill. This one-bedroom suite is decorated with tones of magenta, imperial yellow and platinum. A dining area includes an etched glass table and chandelier. The living area features a wing backed sofa.