The Palace Hotel Is Not Misnamed


Noah benShea


I am a poet-philosopher whose mission statement it is to be a source of strength to others. And in what you are about to read, my intention is no less. Prepare for pleasure.

For work and leisure, I travel a great deal, and live in Italy for part of each year.

However, to find the wonderful close at hand, I simply love the magic of San Francisco between Christmas and New Years. And in San Francisco, in any season, the Palace Hotel is magical.

The Palace Hotel,, is a San Francisco icon unveiled in 1875 and unveiled again after a great deal of money went into making the amazing, more amazing.  Over and over again, I found myself just gazing up and around and being spellbound. And if you think I am jaded, my wife, Julia Mora, an esteemed Interior Designer, was no less completely impressed. And that is not something that comes without her extremely discerning eye. Trust me, sometimes I don’t make the cut.

But when you step back from the fabulous architecture, and stunning details, the first thing you note when you check into a hotel are the people. So I’d like you to meet Jenny Lee, the front desk supervisor, who is truly caring, and capable, and rare. And did I mention a great smile? Now that’s the way I like to arrive at a hotel. Life is brief; bring on the Jenny smile and more of us would be smiling.

While I was in the city, I had a colleague wanting to meet, and the best place to clink-clink and catch up was without doubt the Pied Piper Bar & Grill. An important part of both The Palace and San Francisco history, The Pied Piper was commissioned from famed artist Maxfield Parrish in 1909. The painting has remained in the Palace Hotel bar for over a century, and the city’s mayor declared August 22nd Pied Piper Day in San Francisco!

So, if you are looking for a step out of busy and into a transforming moment in San Francisco, check this out. Comparison? Only one, the timeless classic St Regis hotel in New York which also boasts of a Parrish landmark, but alas, no Tony Bennett.  Bottom line, the Palace Hotel sings of memory, and beauty, and romance.

Now a brief word on three of my best food bets in the San Francisco.

I love to cook and love to eat, and concur with Mark Twain when he said, “Too much of a good thing is not good. But too much of good whiskey is a good start.” To this end, go to BIX,,  and enjoy heaven before your are called to higher ground.  I repeatedly visit this restaurant and am repeatedly not disappointed. Indeed, the food and the music at BIX are transporting.

Call ahead, book a table, and check out SEVEN HILLS,, ,  and you will shout “Bravo, bravo!” This is a place that is good, getting better, and better. E fantastico, promesso!

The best in life is often a test of time, and time and time and yet time again, Julia and I have found nothing but the very best at BOULEVARD Restaurant, Here the team of Nancy Oakes, Kathy King, Dana Younkin, and Peter Gisslow dominate the major leagues in a great bar, fabulous wine, fine dining, and doing the incredible, making you feel at home. I return repeatedly, my pleasure compels me. And will embrace you.

Over every finish line in life are the words: “Begin here!” So let me finish where I began. My friends, The Palace Hotel is not misnamed. Treat yourself with respect. Treat yourself to the best.


Noah benShea

Copyright 2017

Noah's Blog, TravelOniracom Info