Hotel Review: Palace Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel

by Anthony Losanno
Palace Hotel Exterior

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I was in San Francisco last weekend to visit a friend and stayed at one of my favorite hotels in the city, the Palace Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel. It’s a grand dame in the city and has been hosting guests since 1875. I’ve stayed here many times over the years and while much has changed in San Francisco, this hotel remains the same with its offer of timeless elegance and luxury accommodations.

Anthony’s Take: The Palace Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel has a great location and is easily walkable to many of my favorite places in San Francisco. The hotel is well maintained, has luxe and comfortable rooms, and offers amenities that will satisfy both leisure and business travelers. The breakfast in the Garden Court is great and every employee I encountered was top notch.

Palace Booking


The room was booked through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts®.  I booked a Junior Studio Suite, 1 Bedroom for $322 per night. If you’re looking to redeem Marriott Bonvoy® points here, redemptions cost between 42,400 and 94,000 points per night.

AMEX Fine Hotels Palace

With the booking made through American Express, I received some benefits in addition to those that I get for being Titanium Elite with Marriott Bonvoy®. Those are outlined above. I found real value in these benefits and had breakfast daily (on Sunday with my friend). That normally costs $49 plus tax and gratuity per night. Plus, we used the $100 food and beverage credit at the Pied Piper for some drinks.

Palace Hotel Map

Transportation to/from the Hotel

I rented a car and drove to the hotel. It’s around 14.6 miles and traffic was fairly light. It took around 27 minutes to get to the hotel. Parking at the hotel costs $72 per day. The valet was quick each time I requested my car.

Palace Hotel Exterior 2


The hotel is located on Market Street in San Francisco. It provides easy access to Chinatown, Union Square, SOMA, Financial District, and the Ferry Terminal Building. I find this hotel perfect for exploring a lot of my favorite parts of the city.

Palace Hotel Check-In


I arrived around 4:00 PM and my suite was ready. The hotel did not have any upgrades available, but my Junior Suite was perfect for me. The agent offered me a late checkout and took me through all of the benefits that come with booking through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts®. He also handed me a box of chocolates as a welcome amenity (in addition to the 1,000 points). I had my keys a moment later and was on my way. My only complaint was that there was only one line with no designation for Marriott Bonvoy® Elite members. There was no line when I arrived, but several people came after me.

Palace Hotel Elevators

The elevator bank is around the corner from reception.

Palace Hotel Suite 716

Junior Studio Suite, 1 Bedroom (716)

There are 556 rooms and suites at the hotel.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 1

The Junior Suite was one oversized room. It had plenty of space for relaxing and working. A closet was to the right of the door as soon as you entered. It contained an iron, ironing board, extra pillow, blanket, luggage rack, and robe.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 9

A shoehorn and brush as well as laundry and shoe bags were hanging on the back of the closet door.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 2

Across from this closet was the bathroom. It was on the smaller side, but nicely appointed.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 3

It included a Toto toilet with lots of bells and whistles.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 4

The remote on the wall controlled water spray, air, and temperature for the toilet.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 5

The vanity contained a single sink. Towels were stacked below and body lotion, mouthwash, and other toiletries were on a shelf above it.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 6

There were also two complimentary bottles of water here.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 7

A bar of soap was next to the sink. Palace Hotel uses Byredo Le Chemin as its toiletry brand.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 7

The shower was an adequate size. Water pressure and temperature were both good. Another robe hung outside of the shower.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 8

Large pumps of Byredo Le Chemin Body Wash, Shampoo, and Conditioner were in the shower.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 10

When entering the room, a desk was on the right side. It had two chairs and could double as a dining table.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 11

These Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels were a nice welcome.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 12

A dresser with a large TV was to the left of the desk.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 13

A chair and another cabinet were on the wall near the windows.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 14

Inside I found the safe as well as a Keurig, coffee pods, an ice bucket, more water, tea, and condiments.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 15

An empty refrigerator was also located here.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 16

A sitting area was in front of the bed with a love seat and a board game.

Palace Hotel Suite 716 17

The king-sized bed was comfortable and the two nightstands had plenty of outlets.

Palace Hotel Hallway

The hallways have high ceilings and have a classic elegance to them.

Palace Hotel Hallway 2

Each floor is tastefully appointed with gilded mirrors, marble, dark woods, and elegant carpets.

Palace Hotel Hallway 3

Stairwells are also marble and some impressive metalwork.

Palace Hotel Garden Court 1

Public Areas & Amenities

When you enter the hotel, you are faced with the Garden Court and its impressive ceiling. It’s a grand room where breakfast is served. This makes me think of the days of the Titanic and also reminds me of the stained glass dome at the Westin Palace Madrid (review here).

Palace Hotel Garden Court 2


Palace Hotel Garden Court 3

As mentioned the glass ceiling is quite impressive.

Palace Hotel Lobby 2

There is a small seating area near check-in.

Palace Hotel ATM

The concierge desk is across the hall. An ATM can also be found there.

Palace Hotel Microwave

I was surprised to see a microwave for guest use in an area where food deliveries are received.

Palace Hotel Flowers

One of my favorite things at the Palace Hotel has always been the huge floral arrangement in the center of the lobby.

Palace Hotel Flowers 2

You feel like you’re stepping back in time when you stand for a moment and take in the grandeur.

Palace Hotel Fitness Center 1

The fitness center and pool are located on the fourth floor.

Palace Hotel Fitness Center 4

There was a sign-in desk, but it was not staffed.

Palace Hotel Fitness Center 2

The fitness center was fairly large with lots of equipment and weights. There were many bikes, elliptical machines, and treadmills.

Palace Hotel Fitness Center 3

More exercise equipment.

Palace Hotel Fitness Center 6

Water and chilled towels were available in the fitness center.

Palace Hotel Fitness Center 5

The pool was located behind the fitness center. It also has a glass roof to let in lots of natural light.

Palace Hotel Locker Room 1

Men’s and Women’s locker rooms are off the pool.

Palace Hotel Locker Room 2

These have sinks and bathrooms.

Palace Hotel Locker Room 3


Palace Hotel Locker Room 4

Extra towels are also available.

Palace Hotel Breakfast 1


Breakfast is served in The Garden Court Restaurant. Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador Elite members can select a continental breakfast as a welcome amenity.  The meal, tax, and gratuity are included. Since I booked through American Express, I was granted the full buffet. It normally costs $49 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are recommended and can be made here. The buffet was plentiful with lots of choices and everything tasting fresh and delicious.

Palace Hotel Breakfast 2

French Toast with Pineapple, Raspberry, and Honey Yogurt

Palace Hotel Breakfast 3

Scrambled Eggs

Palace Hotel Breakfast 4

Braised Corned Beef Brisket Hash

Palace Hotel Breakfast 5

Hash Browns

Palace Hotel Breakfast 6

Chicken Sausage

Palace Hotel Breakfast 7

Applewood Smoked Bacon

Palace Hotel Breakfast 8

Broccolini with Cherry Tomatoes

Palace Hotel Breakfast 9

Baked Egg Whites

Palace Hotel Breakfast 10

Fresh fruit to go

Palace Hotel Breakfast 11


Palace Hotel Breakfast 12

A huge assortment of meats, cheeses, smoked fish, and more.

Palace Hotel Breakfast 13

Fresh fruit

Palace Hotel Breakfast 14

Baked goods

Palace Hotel Breakfast 15

Bread, bagels, and spreads

Palace Hotel Breakfast 18

Homemade flavored butter

Palace Hotel Breakfast 16


Palace Hotel Breakfast 17


Palace Hotel Breakfast 19

Ketchup and Tabasco Sauce

Palace Hotel Breakfast 20

Hot maple syrup

Palace Hotel Breakfast 21

Milk and Berry Hibiscus Elixir

Palace Hotel Breakfast 22

Coffee (servers were quick with refills)

Palace Hotel Bar 1


As mentioned, I had a $100 food and beverage credit to use as part of my booking. My friend and I had drinks at the Pied Piper located off of the lobby. I love the mural behind the bar.

Palace Hotel Bar 2

I had champagne and my friend had some rosé.

Overall Impression: Palace Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel has long been a favorite in San Francisco. It’s got such an impressive history and oozes old-world elegance. The service, amenities, and breakfast are all excellent. The location has also always worked well for me.

Anthony’s Credit Card Pick: I love booking some of my stays with The Platinum Card® from American Express and its unique Fine Hotels & Resorts® offering. The card has had a prominent place in my wallet for many years now. While it does have an annual fee of $695, it provides many travel benefits and will always be my go-to for lounge access (both Delta Sky Clubs® and Centurion Lounges) and booking airfare from the airlines to earn 5x points (up to $500,000 per calendar year). Learn more. Rates & Fees. Terms apply.

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Advertiser & Editorial Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat earns an affiliate commission for anyone approved through the links above This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. We work to provide the best publicly available offers to our readers. We frequently update them, but this site does not include all available offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

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