94103 Travel Guide
UPDATE 2:05pm, A rep for the hotel informs us that the hotel is experiencing some minor delays and will not be opening today. As of now, the Zetta is on track to open later this week.
San Francisco's newest belle opens today in the city's SoMa district, right next to the Powell St BART stop. The 116-room Hotel Zetta is in fact a Viceroy Hotel, and is the latest output from the brand's "Urban Retreat" collection (this is also what will open in New York next September).
The original building that houses the Zetta was actually built in 1913, and the hotel features "reclaimed" decor like a front desk made out of old lumberyard wood, a chandelier made out of old sunglasses, and a "used electronics" art installation that incorporates old cell phones, computer chips and other expired gadgetry that was donated by locals (this is the home of Google and Facebook, after all) last month.
Best of all: the hotel had been keeping quiet about its lobby restaurant (the website still lists an unnamed "exclusive destination restaurant"), but SF Gate finally spilled the beans last week that the venue will be called The Cavalier.
Run by Ana Weinberg and chef Jennifer Puccio, The Cavalier will be a "London-inspired brasserie," with leather banquettes and polished brass giving the place a vintage feel, as well as a "semi-private bar and lounge" in the back of the restaurant named Marianne's, after Marianne Faithful (whom we love). Weinberg and Puccio will also handle the food and drink menus at the S&R lobby bar (pictured). The Cavalier is set to open later this summer.
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It doesn't seem to happen every often, so we're always a little more jazzed than usual when San Francisco gets a new hotel, and the Hotel Zetta will debut just after Valentine’s Day.
The 116-room hotel, at the junction of SoMa, Mid-Market, and Union Square, will attempt to create a work play balance with sustainable architecture that features technological and recycled elements to go along with ultramodern furnishings. The building where the hotel resides, was originally constructed in 1913, and will celebrate its hundred-year anniversary to go along with the opening.
Check out the photo gallery to get a sense of what to expect.
According to the story, Leo Nocentelli, a guitarist from the Meters Experience, attempted to check into the hotel along with two other members of the band. When he handed over his credit card to cover incidentals during the stay, the hotel manager refused to take it.
Except there was nothing wrong with the card—just the manager, who somehow didn't like the look of these guys. When Nocentelli's friend later showed up to see what was wrong, the manager told him he didn't accept credit cards from black people.
Um. We always knew Travelodge was kind of an outdated brand, but...seriously?
Fortunately, this room won't be around much longer.
Here's some very good news for the Viceroy Hotel Group---they've just nabbed a hotel in San Francisco.
The group has just been selected as the operator for Hotel Milano, a 108-room hotel near the Moscone Convention Center. (The hotel is owned by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, who owns two other properties that Viceroy manages--The Delfina in Santa Monica and the Viceroy Miami.)
The hotel will undergo a much-needed renovation later this year including guest rooms (thank god!), common areas and the restaurant but it will keep its name and will be relaunched as one of Viceroy's "Urban Retreat" hotels.
With the opening of the Inn at The Presidio earlier this month and now this news about the Hotel Milano, it looks like things might be picking up in San Francisco once again after several years of quiet. Who will be next? (If you've got a hint, let us know!)
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We've written a bunch about staying safe in hotel rooms lately but even well-known
nerds celebrities need to learn how to protect themselves when staying in hotels.
"Jeopardy's" legendary host Alex Trebek revealed yesterday that his hotel room in San Francisco had been broken into and that he ruptured his Achilles tendon as he chased the robber down.
Trebek revealed the traumatic incident (in Jeopardy-speak) right before he hosted the National Geographic Geography Bee at Google Headquarters in Mountain View.
What is, it happened at 2:30 a.m., chasing a burglar down the hallway of my San Francisco hotel when my Achilles tendon ruptured and I then fell on carpet, bruising the other leg in process. Surgery on Friday," Trebek said, according to Patch.com.
San Francisco police have confirmed the incident and the subsequent arrest of Lucinda Moyers, 56, who was booked on charges of burglary and receiving stolen property, namely the victims' purses and wallets. TMZ is also reporting that the suspect lifted a bracelet that Trebek's mother gave him.
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When you stay at the InterContinental San Francisco, you can use a Zipcar, from the eco-friendly car-sharing program. But you won't get just any old ride; you can drive the new Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which isn't available for purchase till 2012.
The hotel offers eight Prius Plug-In Hybrids in its Zipcar fleet and a smart charging station, which is easily accessible in the porte cochère by the main entrance.
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Long established as one of our least favorite W hotels in the world, this month we returned to W SF to check out the new room designs slash renovations. While this particular W is never going to be able to hide the fact that it was first built to be a Radisson, then switched to a W at the eleventh hour, back in 1999, the latest interior renovations definitely raise the W SF up a couple notches in our book.
The renovations are Asian-femme -- white and pastel-y with plenty of soft touches. No doubt the W brand's glory days began with the launch of W Montreal and ended after the opening of W Hong Kong. Earlier W's like the one in SF and later W's, like the one in Boston, have never met the standards of the 2005 - 2008 era.
While you carefully monitor your March Madness brackets in hopes of winning the office pool, the Four Seasons San Francisco created its own special bracket for the NCAA championships where you're sure to win every time. The hotel is serving up a March Madness beer-and-cheese bracket.
The San Francisco hotel's Seasons Bar and Lounge presents every beer-and-cheese pairing like a basketball slate, with each slate offering three beer tasters and three cheeses for $22.
Hotel Palomar San Francisco's Fifth Floor bar is kind of like the one from Cheers. Only, instead of it being where everyone knows your name, it wants to be where everyone knows your drink.
No need to order a straight Manhattan or martini here. The bar has put a Cocktail Consultation on its menu, where the bartender will custom-make a libation for you and then keep it on file for future visits.
HotelChatter always has a funny way of showing up at hotels during interesting convention events. Remember our International Mister Leather run-in? Well, when one of our operatives was in at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco last week, they noticed this convention was taking place: Society of Single Professionals: Bay Area Flirting Convention.
Sadly, our operative was not able to get in there and wow everyone with their own flirting skills. Still, we hope a good time was had by all, especially the hotel's occupancy rate. We wonder how many rooms were booked that night because of this convention and specifically how many rooms were booked after the event.
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Last week, we told you about the Michelin-starred grub at Luce, the restaurant at the Intercontinental San Francisco, but today, we’re going to take you on a video walkthrough of a standard guestroom there so you can get a feel for the entire hotel experience.
Our favorite features of the room? Enormous windows (though not such awesome views), a cozy work desk-sitting area, a huge flat-screen TV on which to watch Anderson Cooper spout off on CNN, an iPod docking station, huge marble bathrooms (though the sliding doors were kind of unwieldy and didn’t lock!), neutral-toned patterns and fabrics, and well stocked minibars.
Though Michelin decided to skip rating Los Angeles restaurants this year, we caught word of their just-released 2010 San Francisco rankings and noticed that Luce at the Intercontinental San Francisco just got its first star under the direction of recent Iron Chef competitor, Dominique Crenn.
After our meal there this past weekend, we totally understand why.
The meal begins with an unassuming amuse bouche of panna cotta-textured celery root mousse with citrus foam to get your palate ready for the unexpected flavor combinations still to come. Appetizers on the menu, which is small but still impressive and diverse, run the gamut from a warm and hearty autumn vegetable medley, to a streamlined Kona kampachi tartare served with pickled apples and shaved cauliflower with bright green celery sorbet, to a combination of both styles in the modern dressing up of an erstwhile working-class comfort food: roasted bone marrow (served in-bone lest you have any doubts) with garlic confit, fried capers gremolata and grilled bread.
Smear it all together and you’re transported back to a 19th century farmer’s table.