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The Huntington Hotel

by Katie Hammel
Huntington Hotel Guest Room
Photo: Huntington Hotel Guest Room / Courtesy of the Huntington Hotel
by Katie Hammel
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Huntington Hotel Pool
Photo: Huntington Hotel Pool / Courtesy of the Huntington Hotel
by Katie Hammel
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Big 4
Photo: Big 4 / Courtesy of the Huntington Hotel
by Katie Hammel
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The Huntington Hotel (formerly known as the Scarlet Huntington) underwent an extensive renovation in 2014 that brought the storied property — which has hosted the likes of Humphry Bogart and Picasso — into the modern age. The 134-room, 12-story property watches over the city from its perch on Nob Hill, and features a clubby old-school bar and restaurant, a pristine spa, and an indoor pool with some of the best views of San Francisco.  

The Look 

Aside from the massive sign that crowns the building, it would be easy to overlook the Huntington Hotel’s unassuming facade. But, once inside, it's hard to miss the property's bold style, which mixes old and new interiors (think tufted velvet walls, leather seating, 20th-century travertine floors, and hand-carved doors). The guest rooms and suites feature striking pops of bright turquoise, yellow, purple, and magenta playing against black lacquer and gold accents. 

It's All in the Details

The Vibe

A favorite of the older generations, the hotel attracts couples in their 50s and upwards, along with the occasional business traveler. Jackets and pearls are a common sight throughout the space, giving the hotel a glamorous, special occasion feeling that’s a step above average. 

Who Will Love It

The hotel’s fascinating past and traditional vibes attract couples who appreciate the finer things in life, while its location in the heart of Nob Hill appeals to tourists who want a convenient home base for exploring. 

Who Might Not

If your idea of luxury is understated elegance, the hotel’s unabashedly sexy aesthetic may be off-putting. Additionally, the property isn’t super welcoming to families; children under 16 aren’t allowed in the pool. 

Best Amenity 

Named for the four Central Pacific Railroad barons, Big 4 restaurant and bar is  complete with green leather chairs, dark wood accents, strong cocktails, and a nightly piano player. The three-level Nob Hill Spa is also a stunner with ten relaxing treatment rooms, saunas, steam rooms, and an indoor infinity pool with sweeping city views.

Money Matters

What’s Included

Complimentary wifi is available throughout the hotel. 

Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About

Valet parking costs $54 per day. There is no self-parking. 

How to Get a Deal

Room rates start as low as $183 per night in winter, while rates soar to a whopping $846 per night in peak season (June through October). To save, consider booking a nonrefundable room, which you can generally score for 15% off. Check the property's offers tab for seasonal packages, deals, and promotions. 

Getting There

In the Neighborhood

Located in the upscale Nob Hill neighborhood, the Huntington Hotel is surrounded by equally posh neighbors, including the stunning Grace Cathedral and the James C. Flood Mansion, as well as the Fairmont and Ritz-Carlton hotels. Chinatown and Union Square are just a 10-minute walk away. 

Nearest Airport

San Francisco International Airport is 15 miles from the property. Depending on traffic, the drive can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes and costs about $40 for a taxi, Uber, or Lyft. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a better option and more affordable options, especially if you're traveling during rush hour (it’s 30 minutes and $10 from the airport to the Powell Street Station). From there, you can hop in a cab for the short ride uphill to the hotel. 

Nearest Public Transit

The California Street cable car cruises right past the property on its way towards the Financial District, while the Powell Street cable car is about two blocks east. BART can whisk you to the Mission District or across the Bay to Oakland in less than 20 minutes. The station is about a 10-minute walk from the hotel. 

The Bottom Line

A reinvented classic, the Huntington Hotel features a modern look, excellent hilltop location, and one of the best spas in San Francisco. 

It's All in the Details