travel in style: huntington hotel

So, I promised yesterday that I’d fill you in on all of the details about one of my Top Ten San Francisco items: the Huntington Hotel & Nob Hill Spa (part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, so you know it’s going to be amazing). Friends…oh, I almost hate to tell you how wonderful this experience was, because you’ll be so tempted to get up from your desk, ditch work and hop the next plane to San Francisco. Truly, it’s that good.

I’d always wanted to stay at the Huntington when I lived in the Bay Area, but – well, it’s hard to justify a serious hotel splurge when you live in the same city. But now, we’re tourists! So splurge away, right?

The Huntington is located on the very tip top of all those hills for which San Francisco is so famous, with a picture-perfect view of the city below. But don’t worry about the hills – they’ve thought of that. The hotel has a courtesy sedan with the kindest driver, ready to whisk you nearly anywhere nearby without breaking a sweat (or a stiletto). It’s all very Pretty Woman.

Walking into their bright, beautiful lobby, I knew I had something special on my hands. The feel of the entire property is so warm and cozy, but ultra-luxe…like you’re staying at an incredibly rich relative’s mansion. And it makes sense – the property is one of the few family-owned luxury hotels left in San Francisco, so that intimate/decadent feel is entirely intentional. When I walked in, my first sight was a guest chatting with the concierge, and the guest was wearing sky-high Prada heels and carrying a Birkin. I’m home!

Once I stopped drooling and made it to the front desk, the hubs and I were greeted with hot towels to wipe away our travel grime – such a nice touch after our long day of travel.

Then, it was off to our room:

In case you missed that, here’s another look:

How much do you love that artwork? I couldn’t stop staring at it for our entire trip. That is, when I wasn’t looking out the window. With a view like this, can you blame me?

{Just to clarify – that really is a photo of our view. I just got a little carried away with some of the filters in Camera+.}

Yep, our actual view. It was just as fabulous as it looks. I’m now utterly ruined for other accommodations. Beyond the hotel itself being absolutely beautiful, every single member of the staff made our stay amazing, and I am one picky customer when it comes to these matters. Plus, they have turn-down service, and I’m always a sucker for that.

Also, did I mention the spa?

As wonderful as the Huntington was, I have to admit, it’s the spa that blew me away. I’m a spa girl at heart, and the Nob Hill Spa has become such a favorite of mine, it really belongs on my Top Ten of All Time list, not just for San Francisco. To wit:

Yeah, that’s just the waiting area. And this photo leaves out the cozy fireplace off to the left, the hot tub, and the 270-degree view of the city from the balcony on the right. Are you getting the picture? The spa even has a nap room (okay, it’s called a Zen Room), in case your massage was just so relaxing that you can’t muster the strength to leave the premises. And it would be understandable. My therapist was a genius, and my massage was definitely one of the best I’ve had. I was more blissed out after that fifty minutes than I’ve been in a long, long time, and that nagging ache in my shoulder has entirely vanished.

Post-massage, the hubs and I spent some time lounging poolside. (Those chairs you see right up front, with the wine glasses? Yeah, that was us.) We dawdled for two hours in our picture-perfect, climate-controlled paradise. We took a dip in the hot tub, read books, and indulged in a delectable lunch that the staff delivered to our lounge chairs. No clock, no crazy dogs, no deadlines…it was a dream, friends. And I’m not the only one who thought so: just before we headed to the sauna, my darling hubs looked over at me and said, with the happiest look I’ve seen on his face in ages, “This is the best spa in the world.” Endorsements don’t get much better than that.

A huge thanks to the Huntington Hotel for making my stay so utterly unbelievable…though I get the feeling that’s all in a day’s work for their incredible staff. Tearing ourselves away from that beautiful room when it was time to come home was more of a challenge than I care to admit. Fortunately, there are a bevy of other SLH properties still to check off my list in the meantime. But something tells me we’ll be back!

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2 comments on “travel in style: huntington hotel

  1. DL

    WOW. Just WOW. I am kicking myself for being so ignorant of this place while living in the Bay Area. But like you, now that I a a tourist, I’ll be sure to come here someday for a self-indulgent trip of sorts. 🙂 Thanks for the awesome review! Your pictures are amazing.

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