Hotel Manager's Picks - May 2009 Archive

Hotel Manager’s Picks | May 2009
May is one of the best months to visit the City by the Bay. After all the winter storms have departed, our bright California sun emerges and produces green hillsides and a variety of beautiful spring flowers that surround the city; along with some of the warmest temperatures of the year. Be sure to visit Golden Gate Park and nearby "Crooked" Street to enjoy the best color show that Spring has to offer.

The Local Events page on our website provides details for some of the more interesting events that are happening in San Francisco this month, however try not to miss Uncorked! the annual wine festival at Ghirardelli Square or the exciting American Sailing League Championships at Pier 39 towards the end of the month. Both events are a great excuse to enjoy the California sun and beautiful bayside vistas all along the waterfront in this section of the city. May also features the opening of the new Rooftop Sculpture Garden at SFMOMA, a new 14,400 square foot exhibition space featuring a collection of modern and contemporary scupture and interactive exhibits.

Craig Schwan

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

Happy Travels ... Craig Schwan, General Manager

City Pick

Urban Safari
This is a fun, engaging and entertaining Best City 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!

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.
Dining Pick

Betelnut on Union
When it opened 14 years ago, this Pan-Asian restaurant was the first to offer dishes from China, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and India on the same menu. Now it seems just about every restaurant from coast to coast is mixing Asian cultures, but Alexander Ong has been able to maintain the integrity of each cuisine. The main challenge for diners is getting a table in this restaurant that evokes the sexy feel of a 1920s Shanghai speakeasy. The bar is exceedingly popular with the young Marina-Cow Hollow crowd, which is visible from the windows overlooking Union Street.

Specialties include Cecilia's minced chicken in lettuce cups; smoked sea bass; little dragon dumplings; Szechuan green beans; glazed pork short ribs; coconut-tapioca pudding. A plus for this restaurant pick of the month is it's location in the middle of the Union Street neighborhood. Union Street in San Francisco offers a rich mix of shops, restaurants and points of interest not far from the entrance to the Golden Gate and only a short distance from the hotel.
Relax Pick

Our Outdoor Living Room with Fire Pits
Our new outdoor fire pits continue to be a big hit with our guests. This past week a guest wrote their praises in one of our survey responses: "The staff was very pleasant. The rooms were very comfortable and the decor was fun. The outside lounge areas with the fire pits were great!"  

When you arrive at the hotel, carve out time to enjoy drinks and dining in a casual outdoor setting. This exquisite outdoor living room is a natural extension to our lobby with warming fire pits and exterior seating ... a great place to relax.

The open air environment makes gathering with associates, friends, family or other guests a comfortable experience in a unique San Francisco setting.
Romantic Pick

Cocktails in the Carnelian Room
If your passion is for sweeping views of San Francisco and the Bay, then a trip to the Carnelian Room in the Bank of America building will reignite that loving feeling. With the bejeweled city spread out 52 stories below, you're looking at one of nature's most beautiful creations, enhanced by the hands of man.

The Carnelian Room offers a world class fine dining restaurant, described as Cosmopolitan by its contemporary French character, Asian and South American influences, combined with the flair of California culinary creativity.


But the real attraction is the view. The Carnelian Room offers uninterrupted views of the city. From a window-front table you feel as though you can reach out, pluck up the Transamerica Pyramid, and stir your martini with it. In addition to cocktails, the restaurant has one of the most extensive wine lists in the city -- 1,600 selections, to be exact. Jackets are required and ties are optional for men, but encouraged.

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

Alcatraz & Angel Island Combination Tour
This is a great value for families and provides for a full day's worth of entertainment for the entire family.

Offered by Alcatraz Cruises, the Alcatraz & Angel Island Combination Tour showcases two of San Francisco Bay's most famous and historically rich islands, Alcatraz Island and Angel Island State Park. The tour is offered on weekends through mid-June and daily after June 13th. The Alcatraz & Angel Island Combination Tour is approximately 5 1/2 hours long and departs from Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing at 9:30 am.


Angel Island is alive with history. For over three thousand years the island was a fishing and hunting site for Coast Miwok Indians. It was later a haven for Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala, a cattle ranch, a Marine Hospital Service Quarantine Station, a United States Immigration Station and a U.S. Army post.

Step back in time and experience the legendary Alcatraz Island. Once a Civil War fort, a military prison and one of the most notorious federal penitentiaries in US history, Alcatraz is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The tour of Alcatraz includes a 45 minute award-winning audio tour, an orientation video presentation by the Discovery Channel, National Park Service interpretive programs, historic gardens and abundant wildlife.


To make reservations or for more activity ideas, please contact the Concierge at (415) 627-6525.


Hotel Manager's Picks Archive:

 August 2009   |   July 2009   |   June 2009   |   May 2009   |   April 2009