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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Colorful Rooms on Nob Hill

The Scarlet Huntington was originally constructed as a luxury residential apartment building, and that legacy lives on in its spacious rooms. While newer hotels get away with offering smaller ones, The Scarlet Huntington is generous when it comes to square feet, from its starting superior rooms up to the signature suites. While style can’t be measured, The Scarlet Huntington has its own distinct, playful, and vibrant flair. Its rooms are celebrations of color, with an abundance of rich gold and red velvets, offset by dark wood accents. The décor is inspired by the Peranakan culture, but you’ll to appreciate it even if you’ve never heard of the Peranakans before checking in. With their original and colorful style, the rooms are fitting homes away from home in San Francisco, a city that is famous for celebrating colorful originality. And then there are the views: Of the intimate and elegant Nob Hill Park and the soaring Gothic façade of Grace Cathedral. No description will do them justice; they have to be seen in person.

Nob Hill Spa

The Nob Hill Spa brings many San Francisco residents to The Scarlet Huntington, but when you stay at the hotel you’ll have the perk of having one of the city’s best spas just an elevator ride away. Along with 10 treatment rooms, there is an indoor pool in an oversized sunroom—whether the California sun is shining or the city’s famous fog has rolled in, you can sit poolside at the end of a day exploring the city and climbing its famous hills. The Nob Hill Spa offers revitalizing treatments and customized attention. Created for optimum comfort year-round, the full-service spa features an inviting fireplace, Zen relaxation room, sauna, and eucalyptus steam room. Treatments include familiar options such as classic, stone, and deep tissue massages, to other offerings that draw on Ayurvedic medicine and Thai techniques to clear energy pathways, you can choose the route back to wellness that is right for you.

An Enviable Location

San Francisco is famously said to have been built on seven hills, just like Rome before it. The less poetic truth is that there are actually 44 hills in San Francisco. Whatever the total number, none is as storied as Nob Hill, the home of The Scarlet Huntington. Its location close to downtown, yet also sitting above and apart from it, has made it an exclusive area from the earliest days of the city’s history. The Big Four who built California’s railroads were among the wealthy residents who chose to construct their mansions here. In fact, the name “Nob Hill” comes from a shortening of “nabob,” a term for an important or wealthy person. Much of what made Nob Hill appealing in 1890 remains true today. The city is at your feet, with the Financial District and Chinatown both easy walks—and downhill ones at that. If you are feeling a little more ambitious, the cafés and bars of North Beach aren’t much farther. Wherever you venture during the day, you’ll return to a remarkable oasis in the middle of San Francisco, which manages to have maintained its air of exclusivity even as the city has grown up around it. The Scarlet Huntington shares the elegantly landscaped Nob Hill Park with the soaring neo-Gothic Grace Cathedral and the brownstone Pacific-Union Club—one of the few structures to have survived the 1906 earthquake and fire.

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