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Palace Hotel Review
The city's oldest hotel, a Sheraton property, has a storied past. It opened in 1875, but fire destroyed the original structure after the 1906 earthquake, despite the hotel's 28,000-gallon reservoir. The current building dates from 1909. President Warren Harding died here while still in office in 1923, and the body of King Kalakaua of Hawaii spent a night at the Palace after he died in San Francisco in 1891. The managers play up this ghoulish history with talk of a haunted guest room, but the opulent surroundings are this genteel hostelry's real draw. Glass cases off the main lobby contain memorabilia of the Palace's glory days.
San Francisco City Guides (415/557-4266) conducts free tours on which you'll see the glass-dome Garden Court restaurant, mosaic-tile floors in Oriental rug designs, and, following its 2013 restoration, Maxfield Parrish's wall-size painting The Pied Piper.
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