Hotel Manager's Picks

Hotel Manager’s Picks | September 2009

Culture abounds in the city in September with a pair of season openers for the San Francicso Symphony and Opera.

Michael Tilson Thomas leads the Symphony in a celebration of the music of Gustav Mahler with a three-week festival from mid-September into October at Davies Symphony Hall, followiong the release of the final symphony in their Mahler recording project.

Highlights of the festival include Mahler's Ruckert Lieder with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and Symphonies No. 1 and 5, which includes one of my favorite movements the Adagietto. Tickets range from $15-$135 and can be reserved by calling (415) 864-6000.

Craig Schwan

Nicola Luisotti makes his debut as San Francisco Opera's music director on September 11th with Il Trovatore, the audience favorite by Guiseppe Verdi featuring fast-paced action propelled by an irresistible stream of melody. Meanwhile frisbees will give way to falsettos, blankets will be accompanied by baritones and moms with strollers will hobnob with maestros in Golden Gate Park as San Francisco Chronicle Presents Opera in the Park, a free concert scheduled for Sunday, September 13, 2009, great fun for the entire family.

The Local Events page on our website provides details for some of the more interesting events that are happening in San Francisco this month. Regardless of what you have planned, enjoy our warmer weather as we transition into Fall.

What's your favorite spot in San Francisco? Let us know at or Share on Facebook.

Happy Travels ... Craig Schwan, General Manager

City Pick

The Boy King, Tutankhamun Returns to the de Young Museum
More than 3,000 years after his reign, and 30 years after the original exhibition opened in San Francisco, Tutankhamun, ancient Egypt's celebrated "boy king," returns to the de Young Museum.

This summer the de Young Museum at Golden Gate Park presents Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, a glorious exhibition of over 130 outstanding works from the tomb of Tutankhamun, as well as those of his royal predecessors, his family, and court officials.


Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs includes many new and exciting elements not seen in previous versions of the exhibition, including a revised version of the catalogue, a new audio tour, and additional artifacts from Tutankhamun's tomb. The exhibition is scheduled to run from June, 2009 through March, 2010.

Dining Pick

Based in the new Millennium Tower south of Market street and co-created by Michael Mina, chef Jason Berthold of French Laundry and wine director Rajat Parr, RN74 takes its name after a highway that runs through the Burgundy region of France.

Wine transforms every element of this unique venture. An electronic train board from Europe dominates the back wall; throughout the night diners can hear the rapid flip of letters, and all eyes turn. Instead of announcing trains arriving at the station, the board highlights special deals on last bottles. When one bottle sells, another flips into place.


Some of the best tastes come from the "anytime" section of the menu, including organic Italian chickpeas flavored with chorizo, pea leaves and roasted garlic; others, like the pate de campagne, are favorites from the bar menu and can stand in for appetizers. There's also a bowl of smoked sturgeon rillettes capped with a thin layer of Meyer-lemon-scented creme fraiche.

For one of my favorite main courses, Berthold reinvents cassoulet with crispy Liberty Farm duck on a bed of barley, shiitake mushrooms and spinach. White sesame pot de creme, vanilla bean gelato with pineapple and olive oil, and warm beignets with blueberries, lemon thyme and ras al hanout sorbet top off the menu for desserts.

Give it a try ... you'll enjoy it!

Relax Pick

Brews on the Bay Event
For the weekend of September 12-13, prepare to sit back, relax, kick back a brew and enjoy the views of San Francisco bay aboard the historic WWII Liberty Ship, the SS Jeremiah O'Brien at Pier 45 here at Fisherman's Wharf.

The San Francisco Brewer's Guild presents Brews on the Bay featuring tradition, taste and technique from some famous local brewers including Gordon Biersch, Magnolia and Thirsty Bear.


Enjoy over 40 handcrafted beers from seven San Francisco artisan breweries. Live music by Zepparella Zoo Station are featured with food available for purchase from the Rib Shack by Oola Restaurant & Bar. For further information, call (415) 939-1943.

Romantic Pick

Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival
If you had to ask: what's so romantic about chocolate, you need to rent the movie "Chocolat" from Netflix. Okay, now that you've done that, plan a trip to Fisherman's Wharf September 12-13.

At Ghirardelli's annual festival of perpetual indulgence, treat yourself and a loved one to chocolate delicacies, sip wine or enjoy chocolate-inspired activities. This event is presented by Cost Plus World Market and is free and open to the public. 


Tickets must be purchased to sample chocolate; $20 for 15 samples with all proceeds benefiting Project Open Hand, a local nonprofit organization.At Ghirardelli Square. For more information, call (415) 775-5500.

Show Pick

WICKED The Musical
Although we originally saw Wicked on Broadway after it's initial run in San Francisco, it was great to see it return to it's home town.

Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West and her relationship with Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Their friendship struggles through their opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, their reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba's public fall from grace.


The plot is set mostly before Dorothy's arrival from Kansas, and includes several references to well-known scenes and dialogue in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz as a backstory.

Family Pick

Urban Safari
This is a fun, engaging and entertaining Best Family Pick that I am pleased to pass on this month, all thanks to energetic and entertaning tour guide and owner Daniel Oppenhiem who created a special tour for us this past April.

Urban Safari features city tours "off the beaten track" that include unique city stops and fun factoids about architecture, landmarks, lookout points, movies filmed in San Francisco, public art, urban myths and even botany! Daniel warns ... every trek is different! It all depends on you, the adventurer, and what's going on in the Jungle that day.


So put on your pith helmet and be prepared for a truly enjoyable half-day jeep tour around our beautiful city. Daniel will ensure you are entertained along the way and kept laughing. Tours pick up at the hotel and expanded options are available that include any topic from kid's tours to ghost hunting. For information on tours visit or call (866) 697-2327. Highly recommended.


For activity reservations and suggestions, please contact our Concierge.
 Website  •  Phone (415) 627-6525  •  Email

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