Whenever I chat with someone who is either from or who has been to California, they are often surprised at the idea that not everyone has visited the Golden State. And I often hear from people who have not been that they do want to visit but are intimidated by the thought of doing so. How do they decide where to go? Is the traffic as bad as they’ve heard? Should they visit a Los Angeles or wine country? Yosemite, Disney, or Hollywood? I understand – it’s a magnificent state with a lot to see, and that’s what's great about travel…you don’t have to limit yourself to a single trip to anywhere! You can just keep trav’lin’!
Which parts of Cali have you visited, and what made you pick those places? Clearly if I were to write about the whole state, I won’t finished this article in time to publish it, so like I did here for New York City, I’ll focus on San Francisco’s amazing hotels.
The city that is home to a big red bridge, cable cars, and Ghirardelli chocolate (since 1893), is also home to the green canopy of Muir Woods, a coastal redwood forest preserved as a national monument. These towering ancient trees, some 20 stories high, are among the last remnants of a fog-shrouded primeval forest that once blanketed the northern coast. On a guided tour of the city, you’ll be fascinated by the history of the famous fire and earthquake, the significance of the bay, and be pleasantly surprised by its proximity to the wine country you are eager to explore. A word of advice: if you’re a Cali novice, please pack a sweater. Northern Cali is ‘California’ in name only – this isn’t the California of L.A.'s bikinis, muscle shirts and flip-flops. Citrus farms proliferate in California, but San Fran is not Florida. The chill of the Pacific Ocean will leave you wishing for that sweater.
Taj Campton Place – This tops my list. A Virtuoso Best of the Best hotel located in the heart of San Francisco's shopping and business centers, a half block from Union Square and two blocks from the Financial District, the Taj has an unmistakable European ambiance; the personal attention offered ensures an elegant and comfortable stay for both business and leisure travelers. The hotel has 110 guest rooms, 24-hour room service, complimentary house-car service, complimentary PressReader hotspot, complimentary morning coffee, tea and pastries in the lobby, in-house laundry and dry cleaning, in-room safes, in-room espresso makers and complimentary turn-down service with bottled water. The jewel in their fine-dining crown is the Michelin-starred Campton Place Restaurant that serves a unique Cal-Indian cuisine, blending California fresh ingredients and the use of its smoke, fire and brining techniques with India’s multi-faceted regional dishes, aromatics and traditional spice blends. Chef Srijith’s unique cuisine earned him a coveted Michelin star recognition nine years in a row, and Two Michelin Stars in 2016, 2017 and 2019.
The guest rooms offer the ultimate in comfort. They are light and uncluttered. Insulated glass windows provide a quiet oasis right in the heart of Union Square. Deep soaking tubs and a muted, natural color palette create a relaxing atmosphere. Sand-colored Portuguese limestone floor tiles with French Beauharnais limestone on the countertop. Vestibules and closets are paneled in warm pear wood so that the entire area feels like a dressing room or a cabin on a luxurious yacht. The closets are carefully organized to reduce clutter and maximize efficiency. Window seats add coziness to many of the guestrooms. The seats are flanked by wall sconces and colorful. Leather-topped writing desks are functional and elegant. The beds (oh the beds!). I’m picky about my bedding and the only good thing about a bad hotel bed is that you’re there temporarily. However, here you are very comfy in the feather duvets and luscious throw blankets. The bedside lamp was custom designed of hand-blown colored glass (another of my favorite things) in amethyst and seaweed swirls like a magic lantern.
The Four Seasons San Francisco - After a day of taking in the sights of the Yerba Buena cultural district and Union Square, head for home – the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco and its countless creature comforts. Here, you’ll find inviting rooms and spacious suites, floor-to-ceiling windows providing dramatic views of the Financial District and Yerba Buena Gardens. Stay fit with complimentary access to Equinox Sports Club, which offers more than 127,000 square feet of studio space and an indoor lap pool. Gourmets make their way to MKT Restaurant & Bar for handcrafted cocktails, small plates, and sustainable seafood – a true California dining experience.
Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero - With guest rooms spread over the top 11 floors of a 48-story skyscraper, the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero rises above San Francisco’s many hills and vistas. With its footprint firmly downtown, it’s only a matter of seconds to travel from celestial heights down to the neighborhoods where the city works, innovates, and enjoys itself.
Fairmont San Francisco - This landmark crown jewel of the City by the Bay offers guestrooms and suites with stylish furnishings, stunning, classic yet contemporary accommodations. The grandeur of the hotel coupled with its reputation for impeccable service promises a truly memorable experience for Virtuoso guests. Centrally located atop Nob Hill, providing guests with breathtaking views and easy access to renowned attractions the Fairmont is a short cable car trip from the bustling Downtown, Financial District, Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf. In fact, it is the only spot in San Francisco where each of the cities cable car lines meet.
Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco – Another of Virtuoso’s Best of the Best, at the Palace you’ll encounter the luxury of the Gilded Age, historic architecture and world-class service at the Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco. The Palace is the oldest surviving hotel in San Francisco. In Landmark 18, the newest amenity, you will find a museum curated with details, stories, and artifacts, pertinent to the 146-year history of the Hotel. Located in downtown San Francisco, this iconic, historic hotel features authentic elements paired with classically inspired, modern décor. Enjoy a leisurely dip in the heated, indoor pool with sky-lit ceiling, then step outside and explore downtown San Francisco.
Virtuoso amenities area available to my clients, so make sure you book through me directly or use the link you have at the bottom of your weekly email from me. You can also click the email address link in the banner near the bottom of this page and send me an email. Amenities vary but include things like upgrade on arrival subject to availability, daily breakfast for two guests per bedroom, or breakfast credits, other food/beverage/spa credits, complimentary high speed internet access early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability. Isn't it time for you to get whisked away?
'til next week.
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I create indulgent, transformative vacations for people who crave immersive travel. If you don't have the time to plan the details of your own well-deserved escape, don't know where to begin, or are simply longing to make unforgettable memories with those you love, then don’t wait another day. Let's talk.
Contact: GLOBAL EXOTIC ADVENTURES - Juliet Weller, Founder