When I think of visiting San Francisco, grand, trendy and artsy hotels come to mind. However, when I was planning my last visit to the Bay area, I came across a hotel property that had recently been named as the newest addition to the Luxury Mansion Collection: The Mansion on Sutter…the only 5-star Victorian Mansion in all of San Francisco.
The Mansion on Sutter is a 17,000 square-foot boutique hotel that brings to life a world of elegance from the golden Victorian architectural age, via art and antiques of the period. The Mansion was originally named “The Payne House” and was the last of a number of large homes that stood on Sutter between Franklin and Gough. Its importance may be found in its architecture, and in the role of the Payne family in early San Francisco history.
Designed by architect William Curlett, the house is a dignified combination of earlier Victorian styles and later, Queen Anne Style, with an emphasis on spaciousness and openness. The building was designed to include the most advanced plumbing, central heating, machine-made hardware, and materials of the day. The “toilet rooms” were fully integrated into the house and not just hung on a porch or verandah. They were an intermediate step between the backyard privy and a modern bathroom. The Payne House is one of the few examples of a virtually unchanged pre-fire home of San Francisco’s wealthier class, one of only a few of the homes in San Francisco remaining in this area.
As you enter the mansion’s gilded doors, you are welcomed into a time where the finest personal service of warmth and charm is still felt. A baby grand piano sits in the corner of the lobby lounge, which is the perfect setting for a cappuccino or glass of wine. Central to the theme of the hotel is the everflowing essence of the current owner, Mr. Rosenson. His passion for wine led the family to establish (2013) Coquelicot Organic Estate Vineyards located in Los Olivos, CA. A complimentary bottle from the Coquelicot Estate is one of the properties amenities.
The decor of the hotel was designed by Timothy Quillen of San Francisco. Attention and respect have been given to the integrity of the building as a historic site. Walls, ceilings and floor finishes have been preserved in the historic materials and colors employed.
Your personal butler will show you to one of the eight rooms in the mansion. While walking up the winding wooden staircase, you cannot help but marvel at all the antiques. Each guest room at the Mansion on Sutter has been exceptionally decorated with different elements including elegant marble from Italy and Spain.
When I walked into the Bay Suite, I was welcomed by an extravagant, extra-large threshold of Portoro marble. The luxury continued with the stunning fireplace made with an outer hearth of Rosso Alicante marble. The Bay Suite is named for its luxurious sitting-area enclosed entirely with floor-to-ceiling bay windows. It has Emperador tile throughout and is accoutered with custom drapery and antique furniture. The Suite offers a California King bed and a sleeper sofa with a Queen-size mattress both fitted with exceptional “Italia” linens by Belisario. Golden, damask wallpaper perfectly complements the room. One of the two bathrooms has Crema Marfil Marble throughout and the other, a floating vanity of luxurious Portoro marble.
The art collection that will surround you in the breakfast nook is quite impressive. Through the years, the Rosensons have collected international art from their travels ranging from artists such as Salvador Dali, art nouveau, art deco, and 19th-century paintings.
Staying at the Mansion on Sutter added a layer of elegance to our weekend visit and is the perfect hotel for those looking for a charming, quiet stay in a bustling city.
Hospitality by Mansion on Sutter
*The Luxury Mansion Collection includes three high-end boutique hotels in California. All properties share in the world of the Rosenson vision of Art, Culinary, Hospitality, and Community. These themes are seamlessly featured throughout all of the properties.