LoL San Francisco: Queen Anne Hotel

August 13, 2009 at 4:27 am | Posted in Life, Lolita on Location, Lolita on Location: San Francisco, Lumpy | 2 Comments
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(Part of the Lolitas on Location: San Francisco series)

The Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco

The Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco

As I write this, I sit on a satin-covered settee before a fireplace. My feet crunch the Persian-style Victorian rug, and a porcelain cup of tea sits next to me on a marble coffee table, complete with gold filigree engraving. Above the fireplace, I contemplate an oil painting of the lady of the house entertaining a papal figure with her violinist, all of them coiffed and adorned in the style of the Sun King‘s court. In the other room is a wooden grand piano, crystal chandelier, and a young blond man who looks up every time I cast my eyes in his direction.

The main stairway in the lobby - an elevator is also available

The main stairway in the lobby - an elevator is also available

It’s hard to believe I’m still in the twenty-first century, but my fellow parlor attendant is chatting on the cell phone to our family back home, and the young man is wearing jeans and a hoodie. I’m in the Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco, a period hotel on Sutter Street. Down the street  from Japantown and only a few blocks from Fillmore Street with its shopping &Victorian rowhouses, the Queen Anne is in Pacific Heights, a prime location for tourists with a flair for shopping and dining, as well as an appreciation of historical architecture.

The Queen Anne herself is four floors, with both an intricate cherry staircase and a gold-and-burgundy elevator, and contains 48 guestrooms total. It opened as “Miss Mary Lake’s School for Girls” around the 1890’s, making it one of the oldest structures in Pacific Heights, and was restored in the 1980’s as the Queen Anne Hotel after passing hands a few times during the century between. The lobby/parlor is a grand space with burgundy walls & window hangings and mahogany wainscoting, crystal chandeliers and two ornate fireplaces. Afternoon tea with cookies &sherry is served every day from 4 – 6 PM, and a complementary breakfast is served in the ballroom every morning, 7 – 9 (though I should note, it‘s not really impressive – bagels, toast, fruit, cereal, juices). The entire hotel is an antiquer’s dream, as almost all the furniture is from the building’s time of origin or around there, and every landing and room has it treasures. The hotel staff is very friendly and eager to help, and are full of suggestions and local knowledge, and there is town car service every morning at 7:45, 8:45, and 9:45, to anywhere in the city.

A small portion of the lobby

A small portion of the lobby

This hotel is not trapped in the past, however. Breakfast is accompanied by a toaster oven for your bagels and microwave for your oatmeal. Each room is equipped with modern televisions and mini-fridges, and the bathroom is almost disappointingly 21st-centrury – personally, I was half-hoping for a pull-chain on the toilet. The hotel is also equipped with high-speed wifi – theoretically. More on that later.

The guest room itself is beautiful – high ceilings, a beautiful color pallet, and huge, comfortable beds. The closet is very large, and the bathroom isn’t really tiny, either, and it has a bathtub, something many modern hotels have nixed. I almost wish the bathroom was more old-fashioned – lovely marble, but the tiles on the floor also cover the walls and surround the bathtub, which is also sadly modern – in a perfect world, the tub would be a brass-and-porcelain claw-footed monster, though I don’t doubt that in some of the fancier suites this would be a possibility. It’s comfortable, though, and not unattractive, so clearly my standards are just unrealistic. There is also a small sitting area with two armchairs, a nice wooden table, and a lamp.

While there is little else I can say badly about this hotel, as with anything, there are some discomforts. The shower in our hotel was broken when we checked in, to the point of being unusable – however, this was fixed when it was brought to the front desk’s attention, and after we left for the day so we didn’t need to put up with the noise from the plumber. The biggest concern for me, however, is the internet – I don’t have it. For some reason I am entirely unable to connect on either of my laptops, and on those rare times I can, there’s no signal. However, if this problem affects you on your stay, there is a desktop in the lobby available to guests. Another slight annoyance is, due to the age of the hotel, a great lack of outlets, meaning I can’t charge my cell phone, camera battery, and laptop at the same time. I’m sure I’ll survive somehow. Also, they don’t have a pool or air conditioning, though in San Francisco, where it doesn’t often get much over 80, neither of these are necessities, in my opinion – however, they do have fireplaces lit all night to stave off the chill of evening.

The parlor fireplace, in front of which I sit writing!

The parlor fireplace, in front of which I sit writing!

Lolita-specific: The closet is large &deep, perfect for petticoats & even your largest dresses. It come equipped with sturdy wooden hangers that won’t stretch or damage your clothes, however, they have no pants hangers, so if you have any delicate skirts you don’t want to drape over the bar on said hangers, you should probably bring your own. The internet is provided, through wifi (theoretically) and the lobby computer. There is also a nice vanity/dresser next to the door, so if you’re sharing your room with another lolita you can coif yourselves at the same time without squishing into the same mirror. There are many places for photos, as most of the floors have lovely benches, settees, and armchairs scattered around, as well as some lovely art.

In conclusion, I would give it about 3.5/5 stars, which kills me, as this hotel is a Taurean art-and-beauty Nirvana, and my inner bull is going into overdrive at the multitude of rich colors &fabrics. However, the inconveniences must be taken into account. While they aren’t bothering me much, they are exactly that – inconvenient, and they may bother someone else more than I, so they deserve to be taken into account during a review. Even still, I’m having a great stay, and I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone spending any amount of time in San Francisco – especially a lolita.



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  1. Thanks for the post. I’ve always wanted to visit the Queen Anne but since I live in the city, there really hasn’t been an occassion to go.

    • You’re welcome! It’s really beautiful, I have more pictures that I’ll put up when I get the chance, but if you ever have an excuse to go or stay there you totally should, because pictures kind of lose something. 😦

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