The Grant Hotel’s elegant décor has been drawing in elite guests for over a century with ornate details filling every inch of the hotel. From the dazzling crystal chandeliers to the award-winning art gallery, no corner appears to have been overlooked. The lobby and dining room give us a slight glimpse into the modern elegance that awaits inside the guest suites. Each suite features stunning details such as a custom Yves Clement drip-painting headboard and classic Empire-style furnishings.
The history of the Grant Hotel is just as impressive as the architecture and design. The hotel was built by Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., son of president Ulysses S. Grant, who named the hotel after his father. Grant bought the Horton House Hotel and demolished it to construct the current hotel in 1910. San Diego voters helped finance $700,000 for the $1.5 million needed to construct the hotel after Grant lacked the funds to do so.
Many famous guests have graced these walls. Some of the guests included are Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, Franklin D. Roosevelt and twelve additional United States Presidents. In 1970, San Diego’s Comic-Con International, which was then called "San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con," was held at the U.S. Grant Hotel in 1970.
Due to financial pitfalls, the hotel was purchased by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in 2003, who closed the doors for 21 months to renovate the building. It reopened in November 2006 and is operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts as a part of their Luxury Collection.
If you choose to visit the hotel, do not miss out on their fantastic dining! Even if you are short on cash, you should at least grab a drink. The hotel's signature restaurant is called the Grant Grill, which opened in 1952. It quickly became a power-dining spot for downtown businessmen and politicians. Ladies were not permitted in the restaurant after 3 PM. In 1969 a group of prominent local women staged a sit-in which resulted in the restaurant abandoning its men-only policy.
Another spot open to the public is their $6.5 million dollar art collection, featuring beautiful sculptures, murals and paintings. This is a very selective collection including world-renowned artists from European, American and Native American backgrounds.
The Grant Hotel is said to have at least one resident ghost. Her name is Fannie Chaffee Grant, the first wife of the hotel's builder who was instrumental in getting the hotel up and running. She died, almost a year to the day, before the hotel's grand opening. Her husband remarried a few years later and moved with his new bride into the hotel. An apparition has apparently been seen walking the hallways. Maids report that items will move of their own, oftentimes the instant you turn your back. There are many employee ghost stories that have taken place inside of the ballroom and they mention that they never go in there alone.
We had a slightly strange incident happen inside here. While roaming the hallways my partner got extremely weak and started to feel sick. It got so bad that we had to halt our exploring very early into the night because he felt like he was going to pass out. The sickness struck him out of nowhere right when we began walking through the hotel room hallways.
We roamed the hallways which was a ton of fun and kind of creepy.
Their beautiful, award-winning art gallery:
Their artwork is always changing. The last time we visited there were these beautiful paintings of our past presidents (who I believe have all visited this hotel) and the first ladies:
Their upscale restaurant: