While the area in and around the downtown district is in full-on high-tech boomtown mode, there are fewer and fewer places where you can get in touch with the classic elegance of old Victorian San Francisco. Pacific Heights, however, is still Pacific Heights, a tony hilltop residential district whose streets are lined with century-old mansions with views over the Marina towards Alcatraz and the Golden Gate. This is where you’ll find Hotel Drisco, a longtime local favorite and a fine option for visitors who want to see how the other half of San Francisco lives.
Though it’s fresh off a top-to-bottom renovation, the Drisco hasn’t lost any of its character. They’ve added luxurious radiant heating and refreshed the décor, but they haven’t altered the atmosphere. Here you’ll find many of the comforts of a big downtown luxury hotel, from Blu-Ray players and a pillow menu to adaptive-sleep sound generators and Bulgari bath products.
There’s a daily wine reception in the evening, a complimentary breakfast buffet, and a 24-hour room service menu. But for restaurants proper, you’re at the mercy of Pacific Heights and the surrounding neighborhoods — which, given that San Francisco is arguably America’s restaurant capital, is no bad thing. There’s also plenty of excellent shopping nearby, as well as some extraordinarily scenic walks. There’s no question San Francisco looks its best from this angle.