There’s nothing more fun than relaxing in a beautiful hotel after a tiring escort or dancing job. You can enjoy a fancy room and have fun all evening.
While spending a night or two in a hotel can be generally enjoyable, a stay in a unique hotel in California makes the experience more fun. California has many popular hotels packed with intriguing and fascinating stories.
Let’s take a look at some of the most unusual hotels in California.
Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse Suite
There are many reasons the Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse Suite is one of the world’s most iconic hotels. For one, American art historian and archaeologist Arthur Upham Pope built and designed this legendary penthouse suite during the Roaring Twenties. The National Register of Historic Places added the hotel to its list of iconic locations in 2002.
The penthouse suite has accommodated many well-known personalities like Presidents John F. Kennedy and Harry Truman, Prince Charles of Wales, Marlene Dietrich, Mick Jagger, Tony Bennett, Alfred Hitchcock, Mick Jagger, and more.
The Fairmont San Francisco offers the most expensive hotel rooms in the entire San Francisco area. Spending a single night in the 6,000-square-foot penthouse will cost you $18,000.
One of the grandest features of the Fairmont San Francisco is its two-story round library. The circular library has a red spiral staircase, which allows you to reach two floors of expensive books. Indeed, getting a chance to take a picture in this well-known library is a fantasy for many!
But what makes the hotel unique is the secret door located at the back of the shelves on the second floor of the library. It leads to a dark corridor, which many famous personalities would use to safely get in and out of the hotel without using the main entrance.
Perhaps the juiciest story about the corridor involves Marilyn Monroe. Many people believed that Marilyn, JFK’s lover, used this secret passage to sneak away whenever Kennedy’s wife, Jackie, would come up with the hotel’s stairs.
Currently, the 1929 hotel is still in operation and offers fancy quarters, a sophisticated restaurant, a posh spa, and a class-A bar.
Also located in San Francisco, California, the Hotel Vertigo was once known as the Empire Hotel, but when highly acclaimed film director Alfred Hitchcock used its exteriors in his classic 1958 thriller “Vertigo,” hotel management decided to take advantage of the movie’s fame and formally changed the property’s name to “Hotel Vertigo.”
Hitchcock used the hotel as the location for the home of “Vertigo” character Judy Barton. Viewers of the film can see the lobby of the hotel several times throughout the picture.
The late director especially liked the hotel’s neon green sign that was visible from Judy’s room. Unfortunately, the sign was lost during a renovation years later. However, you can still enjoy small hat tips to the film. Orange and white are featured throughout the premises to invoke the movie’s famous poster.
Stay On Main Hotel
If you’re intrigued by mysterious deaths and killings, the Stay On Main Hotel is the perfect location to spend the night in California.
The Stay On Main Hotel, previously named Cecil Hotel, is a budget hotel in Los Angeles. Opened in 1927, it was initially built for reputable business people. However, due to the Great Depression, only a few estimable businessmen frequented the hotel, and less reputable drifters patronized Cecil’s rooms. This significant change in clientele led to the gruesome events that would define the hotel’s reputation in later years.
In the 1950s, at least three people committed suicide by jumping from windows in the hotel. Later, in 1964, a senior resident was brutally murdered in her room there.
The hotel became known as a lodging house for convicts in 1985. Richard Ramirez, an infamous serial killer, even used the Cecil as the base for his killing spree. In 1990, Jack Unterweger, an Austrian crime journalist, murdered three women in the hotel.
The most recent occurrence was in 2013 when residents began complaining about bad odors and low water pressure. Authorities then discovered the body of a 21-year-old Canadian student, Elisa Lam, floating in one of the hotel’s rooftop water tanks. Her death remains a mystery to this today.
After Lam’s death, the hotel rebranded and changed its name to Stay On Main Hotel and Hostel. The name is quite intriguing as if warning the residents to stay in the main hotel’s premises to keep themselves safe.
The Stay On Main Hotel and Hostel is supposedly the inspiration for the “Hotel” season of the FX Network’s series “American Horror Story.”
The Ahwahnee Hotel
Located in Yosemite National Park, California, The Ahwahnee Hotel opened in 1927. It is unique because it is a classic example of “Parkitecture,” an architecture style wherein buildings harmonize with the natural landscapes and environment that surround them.
But what makes it even more unusual is that it was used as the primary inspiration for the interior of Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1980 psychological horror film, “The Shining.”
Although the exterior scenes of the movie were shot at the Timberline Lodge in Oregon, the interiors were influenced by the Ahwahnee Hotel. If you visit the hotel, you will find the same Native American floor patterns, vast ceilings, and even the famous red elevators that were present in the film.
Westin St. Francis Hotel
Located in San Francisco, the St. Francis Hotel was built in 1904 and quickly became famous for being one of California’s most luxurious hotels. Its fame reached new heights in 1938 as management began a “money-laundering” operation—they would literally wash coins to avoid getting dirt on the white gloves female guests wore around the hotel.
Enjoy the Weird Side of California
While we rounded up the most unusual hotels in California here, there are more! There is no shortage of interesting places to stay in the Golden State. Be sure to check out some on your next out-of-town escort or dancing job. Click here to learn more.