Sir Francis Drake Hotel

Known by locals as "The Drake," the hotel
defines San Francisco - exciting, romantic,
and a little offbeat. Take in the ornate lobby
and the romantic clang of the cable cars - it's
all part of the legendary San Francisco

When our San Francisco historic hotel
opened its doors in 1928, the city had never
seen anything like it.

Built for the princely sum of $5 million, the
Sir Francis Drake Hotel offered impressive
innovations like an indoor golf course, ice
water on tap, and radios in every guest room.
The window panes were made of Vitaglass,
so-called because it let even the healthful
ultra-violet rays into each room, making it
possible, according to early advertisements,
to suntan without going outside. Another
feature was the Servidor, a handy panel in
the guest room doors, which allowed staff to
discreetly deliver dry cleaning or other items
without disturbing guests. (This may have
come in handy during Prohibition.)

The Sir Francis Drake Hotel quickly obtained
a glamorous aura in the late 1920s and
became a favorite home away from home for
stars of vaudeville and the silver screen.
World War II was another busy era for the
Drake, which by then had become a part of
Conrad Hilton's growing empire. During the
war, blocks of rooms were taken over by the
U.S. military and the hotel was the scene of
many farewells and reunions as troops made
their way to and from the Pacific.