Suite of the Week: Penthouse at the Fairmont Hotel

This stately, 6,000 square-foot penthouse/funhouse has been home to Mick Jagger, Marlene Dietrich and Nat King Cole—though not at the same time.
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This stately, 6,000 square-foot penthouse/funhouse has been home to Mick Jagger, Marlene Dietrich and Nat King Cole—though not at the same time.

Where is it? On the top floor of San Francisco’s stately Fairmont Hotel in the midst of the grand Nob Hill neighborhood. The Fairmont’s central location puts it only a short trip (by cable car, of course) away from Downtown, Union Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

The Hotel: The San Francisco Fairmont is the first of the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts chain, built by the daughters of U.S. senator and fuel magnate James Graham Fair. The Fairmont has played host to the creation of the UN, Tony Bennett’s first performance of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” and a stream of dignitaries ranging from royal (Prince Charles, JFK) to rock’n’roll (Mick Jagger, Elton John).

The Suite: Originally a private apartment, the penthouse spans the entire eighth floor and covers over 6000 square feet (the average American home is under 2600). Three equally grand bedrooms allow for a fun adaptation of musical chairs, should the mood strike, and amenities include a gourmet kitchen stocked with organic produce from the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market and a selection of fifty wine’s chosen by the hotel’s sommelier. The ivories of the grand piano in the living room have been tickled by Elton John, and the two-story circular library has thousands of books and trick ladder if sliding is more your style. The kicker is the billiards room, complete with vaulted ceilings tiled with antique Persian ceramics. (It would be a shame to scratch in such a space.)

The Selling Point: Beyond tomes, the library is equipped with a secret passageway for any weekend contraband, sleuthing, or full-scale CLUE games you have in mind.

By the Numbers: Six-thousand square feet, the accumulated presences of several US presidents, views from four sides, three lavish bedrooms, two-thousand pieces of Czech crystal in the chandelier, and one celestial map rendered on the ceiling of the billiards room in gold leaf.  

Photos by The Fairmont