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Designing a San Francisco Sojourn

March 1, 2008 By: Mark Rogers Home-Based Travel Agent
 

Places to stay and eat in the City by the Bay


Getting There: San Francisco International Airport (www.flysfo.com) connects non-stop with more than 60 cities in the U.S. on 21 domestic airlines. In addition, SFO offers nonstop flights to more than 30 international destinations on 25 international carriers. San Francisco's Chinatown

Oakland International Airport? (www.oaklandairport.com) is on the East Bay and has more than 200 daily nonstop flights served by 17 major airlines.

Hotels: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (www.fairmont.com) recently made a company-wide commitment to going green by introducing eco-oriented packages. The Fairmont San Francisco offers guests its signature "Lexus Hybrid Living Suite," a unique tower accommodation targeted towards the eco-savvy traveler. The package includes accommodation, one bottle of local organic wine upon arrival, access to a signature "Green Guide to San Francisco" and free parking for Hybrid cars. Year-round rates start at $869 per night double occupancy.

The 591-room hotel is central to the Financial District, Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf, and is located at the only spot in San Francisco where each of the city's cable car lines meet. The Fairmont San Francisco has two restaurants and lounges, as well as 55,000 square feet of function space. The hotel consists of a main building and a 24-story tower. Because the hotel is on Nob Hill, rooms from the second floor and up have unobstructed views. Guests desiring views of the Bay should be booked into one of the hotel's Signature Rooms.

The property recently completed a renovation of its guestrooms, and inaugurated Caffe Cento, a first-floor café.

The travel agent contact for the hotel is Kevin Hilton, director of travel industry sales, ([email protected], 415-772-5212).

The 32-story, 550-room InterContinental San Francisco (www.san-francisco.intercontinental.com) opened this past month. Construction started on the $200 million-plus property in 2005, and it's the largest hotel to be built in San Francisco in almost twenty years.

The hotel's rooms start on the seventh floor and floor-to-ceiling windows in guestrooms and suites provide views of the city, the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Guests can gaze out on picture-perfect views from floors 15 and above.

The hotel has 14 suites, including the 2,000-square-foot Presidential Suite. The bi-level suite has an indoor fireplace and two outside terraces with an outside fire pit. The second-level master bedroom has circular windows and a TV that rises out of the floor.

Travel agent inquiries can be directed to Gail Gerber, director of sales & marketing ([email protected], 415-616-6622).

The 553-room Hotel Nikko San Francisco (www.hotelnikkosf.com) will open a full-service spa with 10 treatment rooms later this year. Meanwhile, guests can use the hotel's health club, which has an atrium-enclosed pool, outdoor sundeck, meditation rooms, saunas, and Shiatsu massage rooms.

The hotel's Imperial Club rooms and suites on the 22-24 floors (the top floors of the hotel) have the best bay and city views. These rooms also have added amenities, including secure key access to the floors, complimentary Wi-Fi, and bathrooms equipped with Vibe TV, which is viewed through the bathroom mirror. Private concierge service and free access to the Club Nikko Health Club are also available for Imperial Club guests. A room at The Fairmont San Francisco

The hotel's Japanese Suites are highly favored. These have double beds and an Asian ambiance and decor.

Families would do well booking a Deluxe Room with double beds; these will accommodate two adults and two children. There are four sets of connecting rooms (1022 & 1023, 1222 & 1223, 1422 & 1423 and 1622 &1623).

The Plush Room, a famous entertainment venue known for its cabaret and comedy, moved from its old digs to the Nikko and had its first show last January.

Agents can direct their inquiries to Matt Lewis, director of corporate sales ([email protected], 415-394-1150).

The Hyatt Regency San Francisco (www.hyatt.com) is the largest waterfront hotel in the city. The hotel has 802 rooms, including 45 suites. The most requested rooms are Bay View Balcony Rooms. These have king beds with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open out to a balcony with bay views.

The hotel has 50 connecting rooms. The Hyatt Family Plan, available for families traveling with children 18 years and under, gives families an adjoining or connecting room (based on availability) for half the price of the first room booked.

Travel agent inquiries should be directed to Suzanne Folsom ([email protected]) or John Radgoski
([email protected]) in the hotel's sales department (415-788-1234).

Restaurants: Two restaurants from popular restaurateur Pat Kuleto have recently opened in San Francisco. On The Embarcadero, guests will find Waterbar (www.waterbarsf.com, 415-284-9922) and Epic Roasthouse (www.epicroasthousesf.com, 415-369-9955). Waterbar serves seafood in an interior design that features floor-to-ceiling aquariums.

Epic Roasthouse concentrates on red meat. The steakhouse provides views of San Francisco Bay. Epic Roasthouse also serves poultry and fish, including crudo, Italian-style raw fish.

Tour Operators: Here's a partial list of tour operators and wholesalers with San Francisco programs: AAA Member Choice Vacations: www.aaa.com/mcv, 800-292-3150; All About Tours: www.allabouthawaii.com, 800-274-8687; ATA Vacations: www.atavacations.com, 800-892-6380; Delta Vacations: www.deltavacations.com; www.vaxvacationaccess.com, 800-221-6666; Footloose: www.trekamerica.com, 800-TREK-USA; Heritage Festivals and Bowl Games of America: www.heritagefestivals.com, 800-999-7676; Majestic Vacations: 800-476-5489; Midwest Airlines Vacations: www.midwestairlinesvacations.com, 888-235-9693; Pleasant Holidays:
www.pleasantagent.com 800-448-3333; Tauck World Discovery: www.tauck.com, 800-468-2825; TrekAmerica: www.trekamerica.com, 800-221-0596.

—Mark Rogers


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