Enter the Palace Hotel and its stunning Garden Court and you might think you’ve stepped into a Parisian castle. Marble columns, massive chandeliers, crowned by an atrium of over 80,000 panes of stained glass, will take your breath away. While completely rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake, its history dates back to 1875 when it was considered the largest, most expensive hotel in the world. For a historic hotel, the rooms are a good size (even the least expensive standard rooms have enough space for a comfy chair to relax in and a desk set). The surprisingly high ceilings help give the illusion that rooms are a little larger. A stately hotel of this magnitude wouldn’t be complete without plenty of options to eat and imbibe, and the Palace delivers. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and Sunday brunch in the Garden Court, which doubles as the only indoor historic landmark in the city. Or cozy up to the swanky Pied Piper Bar, where you can sip an expertly crafted classic cocktail or dine on upscale American cuisine, while gazing upon the $3-million Pied Piper mural that hangs behind the bar.
- Erika Lennert