I spent much of last week in San Francisco, one of my favorite cities. Though this time I had a whole new view as part of a press trip discovering the city’s Nob Hill neighborhood. Having never been up that way, I enjoyed an entirely different perspective of the San Francisco I’m used to. (And a place where we could stay out of the revelers’ fray, as the San Francisco Giants won the World Series while our group was visiting.)
Nob Hill is rich with history—something that is clear on a walk around the neighborhood or a tour of its storied hotels—many of which are currently walking the delicate line between how to update their elegant historical aesthetic while also staying true to their roots. (Note: A gray palette, known around our office as “the new neutral,” is very prevalent and works well as a design bridge between eras.)
Our tour included visits to the defining properties of the neighborhood: Stanford Court (formerly the Renaissance San Francisco Stanford Court Hotel), the Scarlet Huntington (recently acquired by Singapore-based Grace International, which debuted a $15 million renovation this past May), the InterContinental Mark Hopkins (whose apex, the 19th floor Top of the Mark lounge, offers stunning views of the surrounding city), and the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel (opened in 1907, with a recently completed a $21 million guestroom renovation by ForrestPerkins).
Though the neighborhood has a decidedly grand and upscale feeling, it seems it’s undergoing a sort of renaissance—designed to preserve its classic elements (many of these iconic hotels were built upon the sites of the former mansions of the Big Four Central Pacific Railroad barons), while at the same time appealing to a modern audience.
Look out for many more details about the updates of these illustrious properties in an upcoming issue.