Location: Nob Hill, San Francisco.
Stars: 3 Labor Day Weekend rate: $169
The location -- Nob Hill -- says it all. It's an exclusive area of old money, large mansions and luxury hotels. The elevation affords visitors wonderful views in all directions, and the steep streets have served as Hollywood backdrops, especially for high-speed auto chases as in "Bullitt." As an older hotel, built in 1912 on the property where railroad mogul Leland Stanford built his pre-earthquake mansion, the Stanford has the character more modern hotels often lack. These include stained glass lobby ceilings and entryways, a gorgeous grand staircase and well appointed public rooms. It also has up-to-date room amenities such as individual climate control, CD player and Fax.Default: The lender, Barclays Capital, claimed the owner walked away from an $89 million debt and the hotel has fallen into receivership. Hotel management has not changed, however, and the hotel continues to run normally.
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