Lights, Camera, Vacation! See which San Francisco hotels have appeared on the silver screen

Naturally, with fantastic attractions and a gorgeous natural setting, it is not surprising that San Francisco, one of the most beautfiul cities in the country, has become a popular location for filming movies. While many movies highlight the city’s attractions — such as cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Fisherman’s Wharf — the city’s hotels have also made their way onto the big screen. Although they may not be featured in as many movies as the hotels of Los Angeles and New York are, San Francisco hotels have still provided plenty of memorable movie moments.


Fairmont San Francisco

Nob Hill, San Francisco, California, United States

Ever since Alfred Hitchcock chose to use his favorite San Francisco hotel for his legendary film Vertigo (1958) starring Jimmy Stewart, The Fairmont San Francisco has become a silver screen icon. In fact, this year Reuters named it #1 on its top-10 list of famous movies hotels. As for the hotel itself, The Fairmont combines the history, cachet, and decor of a turn-of-the-20th-century grand old dame with the amenities, technology, and corporate-dominated clientele of a large chain property. What separates it from its luxury competitors is its beautiful, well-appointed rooms, many with stunning views, and its location atop Nob Hill.

Other movies filmed here include:

  • The Rock (1996)
  • Jade (1995)
  • Junior (1994)
  • Hard to Hold (1984)
  • Sudden Impact (1983)
  • Shoot the Moon (1982)
  • Chu Chu and The Philly Flash (1981)
  • A Night Full of Rain (1978)
  • Towering Inferno (1974)
  • Petulia (1968)
  • Midnight Lace (1960)

The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

Union Square, San Francisco, California, United States

Immortalized for its views of San Francisco's Union Square and towering presence over The City of Paris department store in The Conversation (1974)',' starring Gene Hackman, the Westin St. Francis has also gotten its fair share of onscreen time. Like The Fairmont, the Westin St. Francis has the history and decor of a much older hotel with the modernity and amenities of a much newer hotel. It also borders Union Square, which provides for some fantastic views of the city.

Other movies filmed here include:

  • Rumor Has It... (2005)
  • Final Analysis (1992)
  • D.O.A. (1950)

InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco

Nob Hill, San Francisco, California, United States

One of the city's grandest dames, the Mark Hopkins sits regally on top of Nob Hill with dazzling views and the famous 19th-floor Top of the Mark bar. The hotel is most likely remembered through scenes from Sudden Impact (1983) starring Clint Eastwood, where Dirty Harry Callahan, on suspension for angering his superiors again, is assigned to the case of a rape victim exacting revenge on her aggressors in a small town outside San Francisco.

Other movies filmed here include:

  • Bullit (1963)
  • D.O.A. (1950)

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

Nob Hill, San Francisco, California, United States

The San Francisco outpost of the The Ritz-Carlton made a cameo in the Michael Douglas and Sean Penn thriller The Game (1997), about a wealthy San Francisco banker who gets in way over his head in a very unusual game. The hotel itself has everything you'd expect from a Ritz -- formal, doting service; cultivated decor; tasteful, tasty dining; a luxury spa -- all in the ritziest of San Francisco neighborhoods.


Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco

SoMa, San Francisco, California, United States

The iconic Palace Hotel is the oldest in San Francisco. Boasting ample turn-of-the-20th-century elegance and 550 rooms on only eight floors (we dig these corridors), the Palace is aptly named -- it is indeed palatial. It also has a legendary Sunday brunch with live jazz. It was seen on the big screen in the San Francisco based crime-thriller Jade (1995), starring David Caruso.