94102 Travel Guide
It might be hard to believe this but up until a few weeks ago, the Westin St. Francis in touristy Union Square in touristy San Francisco had something no one else in America had--a Goyard boutique.
If you're not familiar, Goyard is one of the oldest luxury "trunk maker" from Paris that's still in business. But today instead of trunks, they are most well-known for their pricey colorful tote bags in the signature Goyard print (monogramming is available too and recommended.)
While several high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Barney's in New York, Boston and Beverly Hills carry Goyard bags, the Goyard San Francisco store was the only actual Goyard boutique in America. That is, until the Maison Goyard in NYC opened quietly a few days after Christmas.
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This is what happens when Macauley Culkin circa 1990 plans your company meeting.
Tech entrepreneurs are sort of like kids, right? They have wild and active imaginations, they love building and playing with new toys, and they frequently rely upon the indiscriminate generosity of wish-granting fairy godmothers. (Except in tech they’re called “angel investors,” and probably dudes, because #sexism.)
So naturally, San Francisco’s Sir Francis Drake Hotel has created a new series for group meetings, dubbed “Be a Kid Again,” that coaxes out the gold coin-counting, POG-playing Richie Rich that lives within every Bay Area mobile app developer in skinny jeans.
According to a release, the series features “nostalgic catering, thematic décor and playful break-out sessions.” Basically, it's the wet dream of every Gen Y "innovator" patenting million dollar ideas between BuzzFeed quizzes. More from the release: “Harkening back to a simpler, more playful time is sure to increase positive energy, enhance creativity, and draw upon the retelling of childhood memories for a much-needed dose of bonding.”
Translation: Meeting room extras include conference tables covered with paper and crayons, a toy chest’s worth of Silly Putty and Lego’s, and jumbo versions of Jenga and Connect Four.
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San Francisco's old Hotel Frank in Union Square will re-open as the Hotel G on May 2.
We couldn't book a room on the hotel's website until May 12 but rooms on that date are available for 30 percent off at $160.10 a night. Regular room rates will run about $229. And of course, there is free WiFi. C'mon, this is San Francisco.
[Photo: Hotel G/Facebook]
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We can always count on New York, Chicago and Miami for a new hotel but San Francisco? Those are few and far between. So when we got news that a new boutique hotel was opening this summer in Union Square, we immediately perked up.
The Hotel G, located on the corner of Geary and Mason Street, was formerly known as the Hotel Frank before it closed down in 2012. (We even stayed in it way back when!) So it's not exactly a new build. But after an extensive renovation of all 13 floors and 153 guest rooms, the hotel will emerge with a new design that is "simple yet functional and complements the building's unique architectural environments," said general manager, Steve Rizzo.
The hotel will also get a simple yet functional new name, The Hotel G.
Guest rooms will have "fog-colored walls, wood finishes and earthy fabrics and textiles." Expect some pops of bright color along with cool decor accents like Victorian settees (a nod to the hotel's past), vintage school house chairs, banker's lamps and mid-century writing desks. Modern amenities will include flat-screen SmartTvs, docking stations, Nespresso coffee makers and not surprisingly, complimentary WiFi.
The rooms we've peeped on the website are waaaay more subdued than the Frank's old rooms. We liked the Frank's quirky design but the G Funk Era, er, the Hotel G, is much, much, much easier on the eyes.
It's no surprise that Cali is always on the cutting edge when it comes to technology, but even we were stumped when we first heard about Hotel Abri's "iPad wall". We knew it had to be gimmicky in some sort of way, but hopefully helpful, too.
The "wall", which is located in the hotel's lobby, holds five iPads loaded with the latest and best apps out there to help guests tour San Francisco. There's a bunch of best of lists, links to Alcatraz tickets, details on Napa tours, games and more.
Along with the iPad wall, Hotel Abri has a "Tech Menu" for guests who've forgotten important items at home. Need to borrow a phone or laptop charger? They've got it. How about some ear buds, speakers, or a flash drive? Yeah, they've got those for you, too. All for free. Love it so much you want to keep it? They'll sell it to you, no problem.
And of course, your room, with its free 100 Megs of WiFi, will be laced with all the bells and whistles, from the in-room iPod/iPad docking clock radio to the new iPhone 5 adapters (whew!).
Rates at Hotel Abri begin at $279 per night in February.
[Photo: Hotel Abri]
San Francisco has been on our radar lately. There just always seem to be a question of where to stay. We’re always being asked. Well, now there’s more news to add to the mix, the under-the-radar Hotel Adagio has undergone a seven-million dollar renovation which will make it more appealing for those looking for a Union Square-area option.
Opened in 1929, the historic Spanish-Colonial style hotel was once lauded for its great penthouse views, but over the years it's struggled in its theater-district location, which can be hit or miss depending on who you talk to. And despite being part of California's popular Joie de Vivre boutique hotel brand, Adagio parted ways with the company and has joined with the Evolution Hospitality management group, which has San Diego's Hard Rock Hotel under its wings. So, who knows perhaps the hotel's future may be brighter.
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We once told you about the amazing views from an executive suite at the Parc 55 Hotel in San Francisco. But to be honest, there's some photo-worthy action going on downstairs too, in the hotel's gigantic lobby (that also doubled as our office for an afternoon).
From quaint seating areas like the one above to funky art and free internet, the lobby at Parc 55 is the perfect fun-filled hotel pit stop to break up your walking tour of San Francisco.
Click through our photo gallery below!
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We knew it was only a matter of time before we saw a hotel package capitalizing on the New York Times' #1 bestselling “Fifty Shades of Grey” novel. And lo’, a special just appeared in our inbox!
San Francisco’s female-owned Personality Hotels company whipped up (cough) a “Fifty Shades of Women” package designed to encourage ladies to take control of their lover.
First, you'll choose deluxe accommodations at their Hotel Diva, Hotel Union Square, or Kensington Park properties. Then, you’ll get an intimacy kit from Minna Life filled with a black satin scarf, an Ola vibrator, lube, limited edition designer condoms by Art of Lust(limited edition condoms? say whaaaat?),and, of course, the obligatory pompom feather (OK, does anyone really like feathers? Please, weigh in on this, y'all).
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In the ever-expanding universe of Twitter, there is one particular trend @HotelChatter happens to quite enjoy: candid hotel photos. These Twitpics range from stunning views to anti-views to celebrity tomfoolery and everything in between. And we can't get enough of 'em! Every Monday, we will feature one "Twitpic of the Week" to commemorate our favorite hotel-themed snapshot. Got a favorite of your own? Want to show off your sweet suite? Send it in!
We caught Conan O'Brien with his goofy hotel cookie last week, so we thought we'd change the mood today with something a little more...picturesque. @dens, also known as Dennis Crowley, co-founder of Foursquare, tweeted this shot from his room at San Francisco's Parc 55 Wyndham last Wednesday morning, capturing some brilliantly illuminated boats out in the bay.
It says 'I left my heart in San Francisco' and, in tiny lettering on the back, simply 'Clift'. So cute and cozy! The same could be said for the hotel itself...
People are buzzing about Bristol Palin's possible plastic surgery. But the hotel nerds that we are, we're less interested in the baby mama's new face and more into the facelift at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco.
The renovations to the rooms in the 1928 hotel won't be done till mid-June—and the lobby and Harry Denton's Starlight Room won't be ready until August—but you can get a sneak peek at the new guestrooms for as low as $149 a night.
The best way to explore a city is on foot, but a bike works just as well. The Clift Hotel wants to make it easier for guests to get around San Francisco by offering free bikes.
You won't have to worry about lugging around a heavy bicycle, since the hotel has a fleet of Public J7s, lightweight two-wheelers designed for stop-and-go city riding. Plus they come in fun colors like the above orange European-looking design.