If you want privacy, a discreet and able staff, and opulence with a 19th-century fee in choosing from a plethora of hotels in San Francisco, the cosy luxury hotel that is the Huntington Hotel will serve you exceptionally well. Back in the 1800s, C. P. Huntington, a merchant, shipping magnate, and one of the Big Four railroad barons, lived in a mansion across the street in what is now known as Huntington Park. The Huntington Hotel was built in the ’20s, a brick-and-steel high-rise said to be the first of its kind in the western United States. Its units were originally residential, and the uniqueness of each has not been made over. The furnishings are lavish, antique, and idiosyncratic, a good match for the diverse but decidedly monied clientele (Bono stayed here, but so do CEOs and ladies who lunch). Request a room ending in ten for more space and the best views. Two key features are available whether you are a guest of the hotel or not: The Big 4 Restaurant downstairs makes a fine supper of American fare, and the very posh Nob Hill Spa offers a full range of services in addition to an indoor infinity pool and breathtaking views.