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Inspired by visionary, William Ralston, the Palace Hotel was the result of one man's dream of turning the city from boom town into a booming metropolis, simply by erecting a hotel of timeless elegance and unprecedented luxury.
Ralston commissioned an architect to study Europe's finest hotels and make them pale in comparison. To finance his dream and its $5 million price tag, he exhausted his banking empire. Just weeks before the Palace's grand opening, he was told the Bank of California would close. The next day, Ralston's body was found floating in the San Francisco Bay. His partner, Senator William Sharon, was undeterred in fostering the dream. On October 2, 1875, the Palace Hotel opened its doors to great acclaim.
When the Palace Hotel opened its doors in 1875, the Garden Court was the carriage entrance to this grand hotel. A parade of famous guests visited San Francisco's Palace and stood in awe of its magnificence.
As the holidays approach, several hotels in downtown San Francisco roll out the red carpet for a tradition that is growing in popularity but is still widely misunderstood -- the institution of high te... More »