The Iconic San Francisco Palace Hotel
The Palace Hotel located at 2, New Montgomery Street in downtown San Francisco, has been my favorite place to entertain friends and family who come to visit San Francisco. The Garden Court with its stained glass dome, is spectacular. The guests that I treated here were all very impressed, not only by the beauty of the hotel and the restaurant, but by the historic tour conducted by the volunteers of the San Francisco City Guides, a program of the San Francisco Library. http://www.sfcityguides.org/
I am posting a few pictures here to share with you. Below is a link to the historic photos of this hotel. You may like to compare the then and now.
I found out about this historic tour plus lunch program last year when I tried to find something nice, but not too costly, which is also like a cultural tour for my sister-in-law who came to visit from Canada. Since that time, I had already brought friends and family here six times. That means I had attended the same tour 6 times in less than a year! Is it worth it? Definitely. That is why I am writing this post to share with you.
If you are taking the historic tour and lunch, the price of lunch is a very reasonable. It includes two courses plus one beverage, at $25 @, excluding tax and tips. Although there are not too many choices on the menu, the main focus of this event is the historic tour, and to enjoy the turn-of-the-century grandeur in the signature of the Palace Hotel. Take a look at the menu from the hotel’s website. The famous Green Goddess Dressing was created at the Palace Hotel in 1923 by the Executive Chef. You can find out the history of his dressing and its recipe here. http://www.sfpalace.com/assets/u/GreenGoddessDressing2.pdf
The main entrance to the hotel – The doors are so beautiful! The big pot of roses is placed there 365 days a year, as instructed by the owner of the hotel – only roses, not any other kinds of flowers!
This is the window in the French Parlor. When you open the window, you will see the beautiful Garden Court Restaurant down there.
How about the historic tour? Although it was my 6th time last weekend when I took my brother and sister-in-law there, I still enjoyed it very much. Every guide has a different style. They are all trained professional volunteers, who enjoy their work very much. One time, there were two ladies who just retired from their teaching jobs. They were like conducting a play, creating lots of fun for the visitors. Another time, a professor at the university used the visitors as actors conducting role-play. It was so much fun attending those tours! I highly recommend any tourist that visits San Francisco to take this tour, even if you are not interested in the lunch. It is free, but donation is accepted. There are other city tours conducted by the SF City Guides, but I did not have the chance to attend. Check out the website if you are interested.
This chair is an antique, placed at the hallway across from the Garden Court. See this chair in the historic photos.
The Pied Piper Bar and Grill has the famous 1909 Maxfield Parrish mural of “The Pied Piper of Hamlin“. This is the menu cover with the picture of the mural. You may also see the mural from the historic photos as well.
This is the end of my tour! I did not tell you anything about the history because I want you to listen to the professional volunteer guide when you attend this tour yourself. You may be interested to know that many Presidents and celebrities had lived there before. The hotel was burned down in the 1906 earthquake and later reopened in 1909.
If you do not have the chance to attend the historic tour, check out the information on Wikipedia and the gallery at the end of that page. The information and photos are quite interesting, but you will have fun and enjoy the tour from the city guide.
Below is an image gallery with carousel view. Click on any image and you will see the pictures in carousel view.