SAN FRANCISCO -- The Chateau Tivoli, one of the most eye-catching structures in a city of eye-catching structures, is undergoing renovations intended to ensure its stature as one of San Francisco's grandest "Victorians."

The Chateau Tivoli The bed-and-breakfast inn -- an officially designated San Francisco landmark, with its ornate exterior of turrets and towers painted in 22 colors, including glittering gold leaf trim -- has been open to guests since 1985.

Three years ago, the Shohet family purchased the property and picked up where the former owners left off after spending four years and more than $1 million in a sumptuous renovation.

The effort was recognized by the California Heritage Council, which honored the owners with an award for best restoration of a Victorian house in the state.

The Shohets are continuing the renovation, having created two suites and renovated bathrooms in keeping with the period, adding Oriental carpets and turn-of-the-century furniture, including pieces from the estates of the Vanderbilts, Charles de Gaulle and J. Paul Getty.

The inn is in the historic Alamo Square District -- five minutes from the Civic Center -- known for the Victorian homes, called "Painted Ladies," which are featured on many San Francisco postcards.

The mansion was built in 1892 for Oregon lumber baron Daniel Jackson, and the hand-carved, oak staircase that dominates the entrance hall shows the opulence of Jackson's time.

Continental breakfast is served in a formal dining room graced by a crystal Florentine chandelier; wine and cheese are served in the afternoons in the adjacent double parlor with large fireplace.

There are three stories of guest rooms, each named after famous actresses, singers and writers who visited San Francisco at the turn of the century.

The most lavish is the Luisa Tetrazzini Suite, with a queen-sized canopy bed, a large private parlor with fireplace and a balcony. Another elegant accommodation is the Lily Langtry Suite which has two separate bedrooms, a bathroom, shower and private entrance.

A second two-bedroom suite is the Lola Montez Suite, also with its own private entrance. The suite also contains a kitchenette, small dining room and sitting room, making it appropriate for families or visitors on extended stays.

One of the mansion's towers contains a suite named for Aimee Crocker (of the famous banking family). Two rooms on the second floor share a hallway bath.

On the third floor is the Mark Twain Suite with a king-sized canopy bed, a large private parlor and a sitting area. The Joaquin Miller Room has a double bed and the Jack London Room a double bed and small seating area.

The rooms all have telephones and radios, but in keeping with the period style, there are no televisions. Rates range from $99 to $230 week nights; $120 to $245 on weekends. A champagne brunch is included for weekend guests.

Chateau Tivoli
Phone: (800) 227-1647 or (415) 776-5462
Web: www.chateautivoli.com

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