No matter where you’re from, a trip to San Francisco is always an unforgettable, rich experience. Choosing the right hotel that encompasses the cosmopolitan wonder comes down to very few choices. You just can’t go wrong making Palace Hotel – A Luxury Collection Hotel (2 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, www.sfpalace.com, 415.512.1111) your base for exploring the city. After all, top notch quality, class and comfort is a great way to recalibrate for the daily and nightly explorations of the Bay Area.
Still in its original location since 1875, Palace Hotel has been through several remodels while successfully preserving its charm and history. The latest renovation, just recently completed, keeps the hotel at the forefront with innovation, technology and modern amenities. The breathtaking Garden Court always provides a memorable dining experience with fine cuisine, a full bar and stellar service. Guests can enjoy breakfast with natural light refracting downwards, providing super-photogenic optics in a controlled temperature environment.
The staff is extremely warm, well trained, accommodating and knowledgeable. There is a seamless check-in process with plenty of valets, bell hops, guest services and front desk representatives. The Concierge desk is one of the best you will ever encounter – enthusiastic, refined and well equipped to develop and provide your own personalized key to the city.
This highly recommended establishment has a renovated indoor swimming pool and spa area, fitness center, locker rooms, ballrooms, meeting rooms, business center, 24 hour room dining with on-site eateries such as the GC Lounge and the Pied Piper. The Palace Hotel is also situated in a prime time location within walking distance from Chinatown, the Ferry Building Marketplace, Moscone Center, the Financial District, the Embarcadero, cable cars and cultural marvels. Written by Forrest Graef
SAN FRANCISCO’S ICONIC PALACE HOTEL, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL –
COMPLETES MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR RENOVATION
A new look for the historic landmark and The Garden Court & GC Lounge Unveiled!
San Francisco, CA – The iconic Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel in San Francisco revealed a new look after undergoing an extensive renovation to guest rooms, the indoor pool, fitness center, lobby, promenade, The Garden Court& GC Lounge.
“For more than 40 years, Kyo-ya Hotels& Resorts has been proud of our stewardship of this iconic treasure for the city of San Francisco,” stated Takamasa Osano, President, Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts. “We look forward to many more years of sharing this landmark with our hotel guests and the thousands of visitors who travel through this remarkable city every day.”
The fresh design approach captures timeless warmth and elegance beautifully married with chic, contemporary elements. Modern amenities, custom created for global explorers and well maintained, expansive meeting space that boasts beauty and functionality are complemented by genuine service.
‘This is a very rewarding moment in the history of the Palace Hotel” commented General Manager, Christophe Thomas. “The new design elements highlight the grandeur of the historic architecture. It is remarkable to see how the Palace transcends generations. The younger travelers admire and enjoy the magnificent GC Lounge while the same appreciation is shared by local guests who have celebrated family traditions in The Garden Court for decades. This is what makes the Palace so special. We embrace tradition and innovation remaining dedicated to creating unforgettable memories for our guests.”
The new Palace was the vision of Interior Designer Beatrice Girelli of indidesign, an award winning Los Angeles firm specializing in luxury hospitality design and high-end commercial interiors. Girelli was inspired by the hotel’s rich history, the period in which the hotel was established and the important role the Palace played in the Golden Age of Travel.
A GRAND ENTRANCE
The moment you arrive at the Palace Hotel, the magic begins. The streets are lined with trees, vintage lamp posts and high-end retails shops. The impressive 1909 Beaux Arts building is accented by wrought iron filigree work, gold leaf embellishment and angels that reside over every doorway. Inside, polished marble floors, coved ceilings and soaring archways that embody the classic architecture of the Palace are accented with rich, structural, furnishings thoughtfully arranged to welcome guests. Period brass and crystal chandeliers are mixed with sleek lighting in varied metal finishes. The colors of plum, charcoal and dove grey paint the perfect picture on upholstered furniture and carpets with artistic cross hatched design and floral border. Deep mahogany wood is used throughout the Guest Reception, Concierge and Bell Desk areas. Local art inspired by the wonderful city of San Francisco graces the walls. The Promenade is an open, airy gallery dotted with museum cases displaying pieces of Palace history. Collections – a new luxury logo shop, located in the hotel lobby, offers beautiful gifts, unique San Francisco treasures and travel related sundries.
THE GARDEN COURT
For over a century, The Garden Court has been known as one of the world’s most beautiful dining rooms. The renovation now reveals two beautiful venues– The Garden Court and GC Lounge.
A vibrant, magical setting within a historic landmark, GC Lounge is located at the front of the room. Stylish, comfortable chairs and couches create private vignettes. A communal table offers a perfect place for a gathering of friends or an innovative collaboration amongst colleagues. The GC Lounge experience is contemporary, savvy and social.
The Garden Court remains the jewel of the Palace Hotel. The entrance to the famous dining room has been completely transformed. Guests are escorted to the dining room via private marble entrance situated to the left of GC Lounge. This exclusive arrival brings new intrigue and excitement to The Garden Court. The 120 seat dining room celebrates tradition with a modern twist. Classically inspired contemporary design is a perfect contrast to the elegant, historic architecture. The experience in The Garden Court is exceptional, offering creative, locally sourced cuisine, refined service and unforgettable surroundings.
While the venues are distinctively different, they share original architectural elements and common ground. Luxurious carpeting cascades across the center of the 8,000 square foot room and is framed by Italian marble. Gilded Ionic columns surround the space and the magnificent glass dome ceiling, draped with Austrian crystal chandeliers, crowns the two spectacular venues. Smart furniture placement, and screens inspired by the paned glass ceiling, designates the areas without obstruction. The well designed interior maintains an open sightline that draws attention to the breathtaking architecture. Plum, ivory, charcoal and dove grey hues continue in The Garden Court and GC Lounge, blending the palette used throughout the hotel.
The approach to the guest rooms is as lovely as the rooms themselves. Wide, welcoming corridors are painted to highlight authentic trim and molding. The Italian marble floors are accented by lush carpeting that blooms with color – a dramatic effect that leads to the epitome of luxury.
The response to the new look of the Palace has been extremely well received. “Our guests are elated about our restored guest rooms” commented General Manager, Christophe Thomas. “They absolutely love the residential feel of the space and choice of color. They truly appreciate the attention paid to preserving and highlighting the original details. We are very proud of this renovation and it is wonderful to see our guests enjoy and celebrate the new Palace.”
Keeping true to preserving the integrity of the hotel, guests will open the solid oak doors adorned with brass monogrammed knobs – both have graced the Palace since 1909. Crossing the threshold, an entry welcomes you to a room washed in a palette of midnight blue, charcoal, dove grey and plum, creating the backdrop for an exquisite layered interior. Historic architectural details painted gloss white contrast with rich, mood-setting wall color that brings the vintage elements to life. The 11 foot ceilings and expansive windows create a naturally well lit room filled with warmth. Dark wood furnishings, mixed metals and artistic lighting are complemented by textured upholstered furnishings and signature Palace details. The artwork, topographical inspired carpeting, retro trunks, and suitcase handles creatively incorporated into fixtures and furnishings pay tribute to time and travel.
The focal point of the bedroom is a contemporary, tufted headboard with classic nail head trim. Every item in the room has been custom created exclusively for the Palace. The carefully selected curated elements give the Palace guest rooms a chic, city residence feel. It is as if one has stepped into a private luxury apartment in the beautiful city of San Francisco. The new Palace guest rooms are a harmonious blend of yesterday and today.
INDOOR POOL & FITNESS CENTER
The newly renovated Palace Hotel pool and fitness center invite wellness and retreat.
The 60’ x 20’ pool is an indoor oasis. A neutral palette, stone tile surround and stainless accents create a serene environment. Chaise lounges, comfortable seating and a whirlpool welcome relaxation. The restored, soaring sky lit ceiling opens the space to natural light and showcases the San Francisco cityscape. The Palace pool is ready for an aquatic workout or a leisurely swim.
The new, spacious fitness center’s floor to ceiling windows look out to the swimming pool for an inspiring workout view. 800 square feet have been added with renovation, expanding the footprint to 3000 square feet. The well appointed space offers a cardio training room, free weights, spin bikes, and a floor exercise area placed along an expansive mirrored wall. Great design and cutting-edge technology present the world’s best exercise equipment from LifeFitness.
The men’s and women’s changing rooms have all been updated. Features include luxurious marble bath areas, spa showers, fresh design elements and large back lit mirrors.
Originally established in 1875, the Palace was San Francisco’s first premier luxury hotel and the largest in the world. Throughout her lifetime as a landmark of the city, the Palace Hotel has witnessed history and evolved with the times. With the introduction of the new Palace in 1909, the award winning 1989 restoration and the modernization of today, the Palace remains a first in time and place.
Since inception, the Palace has been an innovator, leading the way with services, and amenities suited for a lavish lifestyle. For over a century the Palace has been “arbiter” to business titans and the social elite, captivating celebrities, dignitaries, and corporate leaders with her charms.
The breathtaking Garden Court with its glass dome atrium, sparkling Austrian crystal chandeliers and soaring Italian marble columns provides a dramatic backdrop for cherished celebrations. Staying true to her original design, spacious footprint and light-filled grandeur, the magic of the Palace is felt the moment you walk through the front door – beckoning you to discover the many treasures within her historic walls.
Born in the Golden Age of Travel and Commerce and occupying an entire city block in downtown San Francisco, the Palace has always been located in the center of progress. What made the Palace a great original in early years holds true today. The Pied Piper, named after the prized Maxfield Parrish painting that takes pride of place, has been a favored meeting spot for a over a century. Just as industrialists of the past brokered secret deals amongst the deeply grained wood paneling, the pioneers of today’s digital revolution share ideas and swap stories over expertly blended artisanal cocktails.
An icon in one of the world’s most cosmopolitan, savvy and progressive cities, the Palace stands as a beloved original inspiring those around her. The powerful elements signature to the hotel; history, design, innovation and luxury transcend time and generations – making the Palace a truly unforgettable destination.
About the Palace Hotel
The Palace Hotel, owned by Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, LP, is a member of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Luxury Collection; an ensemble of over 100 hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences. A legend in San Francisco, the Palace seamlessly merges period elegance with modern technology and innovation. The hotel’s architecture showcases Austrian crystal chandeliers, Italian marble and intricately worked stained glass. Welcoming guest accommodations present 556 newly renovated rooms with 11 foot ceilings and expansive windows. The Palace showcases three elaborate ballrooms, 45,000 square feet of function space with 23 meeting rooms and 4 executive boardrooms, a self contained conference area and full service business center. Luxury features include three famed restaurants; The Garden Court, GC Lounge and Pied Piper, 24 hour in room dining, and a newly renovated Fitness Center and indoor pool. Centrally located in the heart of downtown San Francisco, the Palace is the ideal destination for business or leisure. The Palace is steps away from the Financial District and Moscone Center. Within enjoyable walking distance are designer boutiques, center shopping, cable cars, the Embarcadero, Ferry Building Marketplace, Chinatown, AT&T Park, cultural museums and theaters.
About The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts
The Luxury Collection® is a collection of hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories. For the global explorer, The Luxury Collection offers a gateway to the world’s most exciting and desirable destinations. Each hotel and resort is a unique and cherished expression of its location; a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures. Magnificent decor, spectacular settings, impeccable service and the latest modern conveniences combine to provide a uniquely enriching experience.
Originated in 1906 under the CIGA brand as a collection of Europe’s most celebrated and iconic properties, today The Luxury Collection brand is a glittering ensemble of more than 100 of the world’s finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries in bustling cities and spectacular destinations around the world. The Luxury Collection includes award-winning properties that continuously exceed guest expectations by offering unparalleled service, style and class while celebrating each hotel’s distinctive heritage and unique character. All of these hotels, many of them centuries old, are internationally recognized as being among the world’s finest. For more information, please visit
Written by Forrest Graef