San Francisco boutique hotel pioneer dies

US: Paul Handlery, owner and chairman of Handlery Hotels, has died at the age of 92.

Credited by some as creating the first ever boutique hotel, when he opened the Handlery Motor Inn in San Francisco in 1964, he incorporated an extremely high level of amenity for the time, incuding a pool with underwater music, a heated courtyard, bedside remote controls for the television and radio and in-room coffeemakers. He also installed short-circuit TV, so parents could monitor their children in the pool from their hotel rooms.

His son Jon handlery, who is now president of Handlery Hotels, said: “He wanted to create something no one else had created. The rooms even had balconies. Now this is pretty standard, but in 1964 it was ahead of its time.”

Handlery’s industry accolades included Innkeeping Magazine’s Man of Distinction, induction into Hospitality Magazine’s Hall of Fame and the Hotel Council of San Francisco’s Peter Goldman Award of Excellence.

A memorial celebration of his life will be announced in March. Donations may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 221 Main St., Suite 1650, San Francisco, CA 94105, or the Alzheimer’s Association.

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