Forbes Traveler has a neat article on hotels around the world that go beyond just being accomodations for the night: they also made history. For example, take San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel:
Few hotels can lay claim to having played a role in the development of an international body. Yet that’s exactly what the Fairmont in San Francisco did. In 1945, 50 of the 51 original member delegates met during what was called the International Conference to draft the United Nations Charter. Today a plaque outside the Garden Room commemorates the event whilst over the hotel’s porte cochere, the flags of the original signatories flutter in the bay winds. In the decades that followed, the hotel hosted every U.S. president, starting with Harry Truman. It also played a crucial role in the life of Tony Bennett: It was in the hotel’s ornate Venetian Room, where he first crooned what would later became his signature tune, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."
http://www.forbestraveler.com/2007/09/07091101_story_2.html?partner=neatorama | Don't miss the slideshow
The hotel is at the junction of 3 street-car routes, making it easy to get around town. The TV show "Hotel" was shot there, at least the first few episodes, after which they had used a Pasadena sound stage.
It's an expensive hotel, but so is every hotel in San Francisco. If you can get into the Fairmont at a rate you like, it has my recommendation. (FWIW)