94104 Travel Guide
Hotel Packages / Hotel Art / Museum Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / → All Tags
For all you Sinophiles out there, the acclaimed "China's Terracotta Warriors" exhibition has finally landed at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco this month. Featuring 120 life-size clay soldiers, out of the nearly 8,000 that were excavated from the tomb of China's first emperor Qin Shihuang, the relics are considered by many to be the eighth wonder of the ancient world.
Unsurprisingly, this was a perfect opportunity for Mandarin Oriental SF, which is located near the museum, to offer a "Terracotta Warrior" package. No, you don't get to cuddle up to the statues in your room, or enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner with one of them at the hotel's Brasserie S&P restaurant.
What the hotel wants you to do is simply get to the museum and spend an afternoon admiring the warriors—they are 2,000 years old, after all. The package starts at $545/night and, in addition to accommodation in the hotel's recently-renovated guest rooms, also offers special access to the exhibit with two VIP tickets and a catalogue with additional info on Emperor Qin Shihuang and his burial complex (ie, something to peruse while you lounge around your "room in the sky").
Hotel Renovations / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Hotel Design / Hotel News / → All Tags
Yes, Mandarin Oriental San Francisco has finally finished up its massive renovation project. Well, almost—they're still putting the finishing touches on the new lobby restaurant, Brasserie S&P, but the 158 guest rooms are all spruced up and ready for business.
And they're looking pretty fresh.
Click through to see our photo gallery!
Usually we’re all about the latest technology and perks like free WiFi, but sometimes the little things a hotel does is the fastest way to our hearts, and it was the old school touches at the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco that made one recent stay memorable.
iPad Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel Amenities / San Francisco Hotels / Joie de Vivre Hotels / JDV Hotels / → All Tags
The eagerly anticipated iPad 2 may have only been released late last week, but a number of tech-loving hotels have already added it to their stable of gadgets. Some have the second-generation iPads for their concierges and others offer them for free guest use in the hotel. But the Galleria Park Hotel is taking a different route and renting out iPad 2s.
The hotel, the first in San Francisco to offer iPad 2s, is letting guests borrow them for $14.95 a day. Bonus: The hotel has free WiFi, so you won't have to worry about that additional expense.
Book: A set of written, printed, or blank pages fastened along one side and encased between protective covers.
As hotels try to out-tech each other with 3DTVs, iPhone apps and iPads, there's a hotel that's going back to a simpler time by offering guests good old-fashioned books. (See the definition above in case you forgot what those were.)
In the tech-conscious city of San Francisco, The Mandarin Oriental has kicked off its very own book club for hotel guests called MO Reads. Yes, a book club for hotel guests. This might be a first. But it's not quite the scene you are imagining, i.e. there isn't a circle of guests cuddling up in quilts by the fireplace in the lobby. No, the MO Reads is a little bit savvier than that.
Shutterbugs, bring your digital cameras and iPhones to the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco to shoot pictures of the sky-high views, and you can win a package worth $750. The prize-winning picture-taker will receive a two-night stay with breakfast and parking each day.
To enter the bimonthly Picture Perfect Photo contest, you have to snap a photo from the hotel that best captures the latest theme. For September and October, it's "Best Sunset Shot."
Obviously, the SF fog was "cooperating" the day the hotel took this pic.
One of our recurring problems in life is that our love for Mandarin Oriental Hotels cannot always be supported by our wobbling bank account. So whenever we see a deal at Mandarin, who are known for luxury amenities and unreal service, we try to jump on it right away. And today we're thinking of spending Labor Day weekend at the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco.
The luxury hotel in the city's financial district is offering a daily dining credit of $50 if you stay two nights are more. With room rates starting at just $295 a night (we're used to seeing MOs at $400+), we're mighty mighty tempted.
For those of you whose bank accounts are little more, ahem, healthier than ours, it's recommended you book the Bridge to Bridge view rooms as they feature a panoramic view of both the Golden Gate and Oakland Bay bridges. Those rooms start at $460 a night over Labor Day Weekend.
Just make sure that if you valet your car, you don't get a parking ticket.
Keep in mind this is a good rate for Mandarin Oriental hotels. We'll be sussing out even more affordable hotel deals for Labor Day in the upcoming weeks. Got a particular destination you're interested in? Let us know!
San Francisco natives know that the closest thing the city gets to snow, sleet, or anything of the sort during the holidays is Union Square's perilously crowded ice rink. You can either hightail it out of town—to Lake Tahoe or Big Bear, for instance—for a taste of the real thing, or you can fake it with the "Snow Day" package being offered by the Galleria Park Hotel. Its perks are a far cry from being caught in a bonafide flurry, but when you're a coastal Californian or holiday visitor, faux is the best you can hope for.
The Galleria Park is located in Union Square, whose holiday decorations are really impressive, despite their kitsch: a fully tinsel and wreath-beckdecked MACY*S, a gigantic Christmas tree in the main plaza, and even more lights than usual. What the package offers in addition to being squarely in the middle of these surroundings are complimentary valet parking, which usually runs for $35 per night, two tickets and skate rental to said ice rink, and two cups of Valrhona (a.k.a. the way high-end version of Swiss Miss) hot chocolate upon returning to the hotel at midi.
We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.
If you want to get this great view over the San Francisco skyline, you need to find a way to get up onto the private deck of a suite at the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco.That's what HotelChatter tipster derek did--thanks for that--before he dropped this great shot in the HotelChatter Flickr Pool.
The Mandarin Oriental is advertising that its high-in-the-sky suites have all been renovated (except they call it "transformed") recently and we're thinking for this view the 2000 square foot Taipan Suite might do the trick. It even comes with its own telescope so you can enjoy every square inch of the view properly.
Naturally, this is a suite in a Mandarin Oriental so all this doesn't come cheap. If you do want to save some pennies, book online. The internet rate of $1,800 a night is significantly cheaper than the standard rate of $3,100.
Last week while in San Francisco, we checked out JDV's newest hotel the Galleria Park Hotel near Union Square. Billed as a "BusinessWeek meets Vanity Fair" type of hotel, the lobby turned out to be extremely photogenic--almost glossy.
Most guests we talked to were pleased with the service, their room, and the price--and we always gravitate toward staying in hotels that have just been renovated--soft opening kinks be damned.
Touring the hotel we were bummed to see the absence of flat screen televisions, at least in the rooms we saw. The rooms decor is inline with the magazine feel, however, the standard rooms are on the smallish side. While the room and lobby renovations looked great, the elevators were still being renovated, which caused us to have to use the stairs during our visit.
Hmm, a high profile cover, beautiful design, with some structural changes still needed inside--yup, sounds like it is all Vanity Fair to us.
· Galleria Park Info [TripAdvisor]
Hotelier Chip Conley has shifted focus from Southern California back to his tried-and-true turf of San Francisco.
The $7.1 million renovation on the 95-year-old Galleria Park Hotel on Sutter Street has been completed. Conley, known for modeling his hotels after big magazine publications, has made the Galleria Park a "BusinessWeek meets Vanity Fair" type of hotel.
Previously known as the Sutter Hotel, the property was constructed in 1911 and had not been renovated since the 1980s. Joie de Vivre took over management from the Kimpton Group in June, 2005 and immediately embarked upon a soup-to-nuts upgrade. Amenities tailored to the needs of the sophisticated modern traveler -- including flat-screen televisions, alarm clocks with MP3 connectors and 300-thread-count Frette linens and bathrobes -- have been introduced to all 177 refurbished guestrooms.
Other business travel amenities include a Business Honor Bar where instead of candies and other snacks, guests will find office materials like a tech tool box, ergonomic desk chairs, free BART passes to the airport and a checkout packet complete with hotel bill and airline boarding passes.
That's the BusinessWeek part of it all. Now for the Vanity Fair. Rooms will incorporate a mixture of different design eras from Art Deco to vintage and mid-century. In the lobby, "Bold gold tones, subdued blues and greens breathe new life into the lobby area" and artwork from San Fran's Lost Art Salon will hang from the walls.
And while the hotel's amenities will make you happy on the road, the hotel's introductory $139 a night rate should make the boss happy too.
· Joie de Vivre Unveils Dramatic Facelift to Historic Galleria Park Hotel [Yahoo! Finance]