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.
Noted architect Harrison Albright designed the hotel.
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.
Famous guests have included Albert Einstein,
Charles Lindbergh, Franklin D. Roosevelt
and twelve additional United States Presidents.
The inaugural San Diego Comic-Con International,
which was then called "San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con,"
was held at the U.S. Grant Hotel in 1970.
The hotel was refurbished in the 1980s,
but fell upon hard times in the subsequent decade
due to a financial slump. The hotel changed hands
several times during the 1990s.
In 2003, the hotel was purchased by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation,
who closed the doors for 21 months
to renovate the building. It reopened in November 2006.
The hotel is operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts
as a part of their Luxury Collection.
The hotel's signature restaurant is the Grant Grill,
which opened in 1952. It became a power-lunch spot for
downtown businessmen and politicians, so much so that
"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.
The Grant Hotel was, for nearly 35 years, until 1974,
known as the site of the annual reunion dinner of the
Great White Fleet Association," a group of sailors
who sailed on the cruise of 16 white battleships from 1907-09.
These dinners attracted a wide range of military officials
and guests from all over the world.