Opened in 1928, the hotel saw its heyday up till WWII when it was used primarily by the military for army housing. The Drake has always been known as a party venue for locals and tourists alike from it's Prohibition Era roots, with its Persian Room and the Starlight Roof restaurant and bar with city views.
The lobby retains the glamorous decorations from it's beginnings: considered modern in the 20s, it now is one of those 'grand old spaces'. I loved these original murals depicting Sir Francis Drake's near discovery of the San Franciso area. Despite a major renovation a few years ago by the Kimpton Group of hotels (a company that I really admire for their appreciation of historic buildings,rehabilitation and reuse policies) the hotel is a bit tired now, especially the rooms.It's an old hotel and as can be expected, these rooms are TINY. Thats fine for most travelers as you spend little time in them but they also are a bit....worn shall we say? The rates reflect this and it has really become a budget hotel in a great location.