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 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
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
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
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.
Phone: (800) 227-1647 or (415) 776-5462