The Palace, 2 New Montgomery St., San Francisco, 415-512-1111 or http://www.sfpalace.com. Rooms from $229 per night.
The Menger, 204 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, 210-223-4361 or http://www.mengerhotel.com. Rooms from $129 per night.
The Mission Inn Hotel and Spa, 3649 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside. http://www.missioninn.com or 951-784-0300. Room rates vary by season, with winter rates starting at $229 a night. Book well in advance for the famous post-Thanksgiving festival of Christmas lights.
TIP: For all hotels, note that prices rise sharply during peak periods, particularly in Washington and San Francisco. Book as far in advance as you can. Rates are often lower on the weekend than during weekdays.
OTHER PRESIDENTIAL SLEEP SPOTS
Runners-up: Some other notable hotels with presidential ties from around the country. The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix is where Sen. John McCain gave his 2008 concession speech. It has hosted several presidents. The Brown Palace is the Denver hangout for every president since Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 - with the exception of Calvin Coolidge and Barack Obama.
More than two dozen presidents have stayed at The Greenbrier in West Virginia, a popular cool mountain getaway from Washington's summer. But its greatest mark was a secret underground nuclear bunker created to serve as the secret gathering place for the U.S. Congress in event of atomic war. You can stay at the hotel and tour the bunker.
The turreted Windsor Hotel in Americus, Ga., was the unofficial headquarters of the White House during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, who came from the tiny nearby town of Plains. Now affiliated with Best Western, it's across the street from the headquarters of the Carter-founded Habitat for Humanity headquarters.
The Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles has been a Democratic Party favorite for decades. Robert F. Kennedy often barked orders from his hotel room bathtub to underlings working on his brother, John's, convention campaign in Los Angeles in 1960. The hotel is where Lyndon Johnson decided to give up his powerful job as Senate Majority Leader to run with Kennedy as vice-president.
One of the best photos of a president is of the taciturn Calvin Coolidge wearing a full Indian headdress while on tour in the western United States. You can still sample part of "Cool Cal's" vacation destinations at the State Game Lodge, the 1927 "summer White House" in Custer State Park, S.D. It's famous as a jumping off point to go see buffalo. Dwight Eisenhower also stayed there in 1953.
Waldorf Astoria, New York City: Every U.S. President since Franklin Roosevelt has stayed at the Park Avenue palace. The train lines into Grand Central Terminal run underneath the street and presidents at one time could disembark from a secure special platform adjacent to the hotel.
Carlyle Hotel, New York City: John F. Kennedy's favorite haunt in Manhattan, it's where he met Marilyn Monroe after she sang her infamous "Happy Birthday Mr. President" tune at Madison Square Garden. On Monday nights, Woody Allen still plays with a Dixieland jazz band at the hotel.
Theodore Roosevelt was well traveled and turned up at some out-of-the-way hotels, including the Wawona Hotel near Yosemite National Park and the Copper Queen in Bisbee, Ariz.
Before Barack Obama put Hawaii on the presidential vacation map, George H.W. Bush was fond of the Grand Wailea on the sunny southwest coast of Maui. The Best Western Gettysburg Inn was the former operations center when President Dwight Eisenhower stayed at his nearby farm while president.
The Best Western President Hotel in Manhattan was formerly the President Taft Hotel. Today each room celebrates a president with photos and prints. The Clinton Room contains memorabilia from McDonalds, the president's dietary Achilles heel while in the White House.
Gary A. Warner: email@example.com